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Joined: 22 Jan 2001
Posts: 2579
Location: Yaro'on the Fair

 PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 1:36 am    Post subject: ToF: Urban Renewal Reply with quote Back to top

*The Rogues' Guild of Lost Veegas, front entrance. Enter Keybish, Cherik, and assorted Rogues, Elves, Goblins, and Rogue Guards, followed by a dejected and ignored Loralty.*
Keybish: Everything is ready, sir. The show opens in *checks an ornate watch* five minutes and eleven seconds. You have your funer- your fun-lovers' speech ready?
Cherik: Well, not quite - if I had a few minutes -
Keybish: *impatiently* It'll take us a few minutes to get there. Improvise someting. Like I said, this doesn't have to be a grandiose thing. Nobody'll miss you - ahem, it.
Cherik: If you say so.
Loralty: *in the very back* Would anyone mind telling me where we *ah-choo* are headed?
Goblin Bouncer #34: The Lounge, obvi'sly. Where did'ja think the show would be held? In the sewers?
Loralty: *goes pale, or would if his face was not glowing with fever* The sewers might be more appropriate. Do you realize what manner of "shows" are produced in *cough* Elven Lounges?
GB #34: *smirks* Do I ever!
Loralty: *pauses and goes a sickly green colour* Pardon me, but I believe I am going to be ill - that is, moreso than I already am . . .
*Thus it was that Loralty was more or less alone when the Ranger-Warrior combo walked up to him.*
DragonWizard: Hiya!
Loralty: *winces* Please.
DragonWizard: Huh?
Loralty: "Hiya" is not a proper greeting. "Hail" or "nice to meet you" or even "hello," but not "hiya." I have barely heard a single sentence since coming to this blasted wasteland that did not contain at least one mutilated word. Since the gods have seen fit to bestow a cold on me, could not my fellow animations, at least, have mercy on sensibilities?
DragonWizard: Uh, whatever. By the way, somebody wants to see you.
Loralty: Who? *Really starts looking at the Hero he has been talking to, and blanches again.* You! You are Clarina's husband! *He is seized by a particularly violent sneeze.*
DragonWizard: Yeah, so? *Loralty covers his ears.*
Loralty: Please, no more! It is too much! Rogues, Elves and mispronunciations as far as the ear can hear! And *cough, cough* a cold to boot! *Shuffles off with as much haste as a sic Monk can manage. Neither knowing nor particularly caring where he is going, he follows the same route that the Lost Veegas ensemble had taken . . . to the Elven Lounge.*
Clarina: *lowers her field binoculars, having watched the whole thing* Hah! I can see it now: "Final Oils Poured on the Heretic's Pyre; Monk Joins Elves in Debauched Orgy." You won't escape justice this time, Loralty. Nor will the Three Rogues. I'll see to it that all of them are turned out of their Guilds! *A beeper beeps somewhere about her person.* Aha! The SS's signal. I hope that Embera's plan works out.

*At the main Elven Lounge, or rather, a rooftop of a nearby Gambling Hall. Embris Evershine, Head of the Sunfire Society of Helia, or Helian SS, sits atop the blue-slated roof, along with several other Solari. She is peering through her own high-tech binoculars - infrared and X-ray vision attachments included. She smiles to herself*
Embris: Aha! The rats are gathering.
Eidola Flare: *another, not too (pardon the pun) bright Solarus, looks around in panic* What? Where?
Embris: Not the furry kind, dimwit. How do you ever become my lieutenant?
Eidola: *proudly* By being the first to master Fire Hammer!
Embris: Whatever. I mean that all the top villains are assembled. *Clenches her binoculars, threatening the delicate technology.* There's that churlish Cherik. Funny, though; I don't see his pornography-peddling pals. I wonder where they could be?
Eidola: In Lost Veegas?
Embris: *sighs in exasperation* Doubtless. Wherever, they're sure to show up once the show starts. Eidola, you're in charge of contacting Clarina and Kayt as to the proper time to release their Paladins. When I signal you, you signal them. Understand? *Eidola nods.* Good. Now get to your post! *Eidola runs off.
Bare seconds later, she has forgotten her task. And stands lounging in front of the Lounge. She is rather conspicouous, as Solari tend to be, even when in the black suits of the SS.*
Eidola: What was I supposed to do again? Something about alerting the Paladins . . .
Elven Financier: Hey you! Girl! No, not you, Virginia, I mean the dark-skinned one in the black tights and sun-glasses. *Comes over to Eidola.* You occupied?
Eidola: Well, sort of -
EF: Do it later, then. We need you as a serving wench. All of our usual waitresses are being dragooned as back-up for the show. I hear it's to be a killer.
Keybish: *arriving just then, he overhears the financier and chuckles evilly, and perhaps a little insanely, to himself* In more ways than one, pointy-ears. Oh yes, it'll be a killer, all right.
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Joined: 08 Sep 2000
Posts: 2018
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

 PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 1:57 am    Post subject: ToF: Urban Renewal Reply with quote Back to top

Day 5

(As bouncers, TaleSpinner and Galen proved themselves particularly unfeasible. It wasn't that they were not efficient in taking down potential trouble-makers - when a group of salivating heroes had attempted to break into the Elfmaids' Changing room for a sneak peek, the WoDs had charged into the fray gleefully. The problem was getting them to stop - after the last of the intruders were sent fleeing (or flying), the WoDs proceeded to take out the walls, floors, part of the ceiling that came down, and then each other before Vinnie had them drenched with a pail of cold water. The already-over-stressed goblin overlord then decided that perhaps it was best to assign the WoDs to simplier tasks)

Galen: (looks at the inn next to the lounge) Umm.. this looks like it.
TaleSpinner: (scratches head) So we're supposed to transport the food to the lounge? Sounds boring.
Galen: (shrugs) Still being paid to do this. (pushes open the door of the inn) Hello? (no answer)
TaleSpinner: Looks like no one's here. (sees the food) Corr! Look at all this stuff!
Galen: Yeah! I'm getting hungry just looking at it!

(Steaming platters of food lie on the inn's tables. In the midst of the whole feast is a large, bulging turkey.)

TaleSpinner: (eyes wide) Look at the size of that thing!
Galen: It'll take the two of us just to carry it. Come on - you take one end and I'll take the other.

(The Wods take their positions and struggle to lift the turkey platter.)

TaleSpinner: Man, this thing's heavy! Hey, look! There's a card next to it.
Galen: (reads the card) "Dwarven Bomb-astic Turkey with Nitroglycerin-stuffing and Napalm sauce" Mmmm.. sounds good. What's Napalm?
TaleSpinner: (shrugs) A sort of tree, I think.

(The WoDs grunt as they carry the turkey out of the inn (miraculously not hitting the door frame) and back to the lounge)

[ 01. July 2003, 03:24 AM: Message edited by: TaleSpinner ]
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 PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 3:13 am    Post subject: ToF: Urban Renewal Reply with quote Back to top

Cooker raised an eyebrow. "You might just be pleasantly surprised. Now then: What could be in this for me?"

Cooker has strong distaste for lack of intelligence, yet the opportunity is not to be missed.

“All Right, help the warrior of discord to carry the food for the show. I will build you a temple to Krolm with the payment from the banquet. However, sovereign have to pay for the rage of Krolm. With that, you can level this town with your bare hand. But be warned, the spell would affect anyone. I don’t even want to speculate what Raged paladins can do.”

[ 01. July 2003, 04:15 AM: Message edited by: Merlin the Black ]
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Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

 PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 10:55 pm    Post subject: ToF: Urban Renewal Reply with quote Back to top

(Cherik and Loralty are in the Special Honored Guest Booth, located at the side of the stage itself. Keybish had brought them there and then excused himself after saying that he had a lot of things to do. The rest of the audience are seated some ways back and are rancously swearing with impatience.)

Voice from Audience: -BLEEP!- THIS!! WHERE'RE THE GIRLS!?
Cherik: (panicked peek at the audience) What am I going to do!? I didn't even write anything down!! I need a speech!!
Loralty: (raises eyebrow) *sniff* Do you now? Well, maybe I can help (pulls out a piece of paper from his robes and starts scribbling)
Voice from Audience: GET ON WITH THE SHOW!!

(From the other side of the stage, an elf signals Cherik to make his speech)

Cherik: (whimpering) I can't go out there! I was never good with crowds! I always freeze!!
Loralty: (hands him the paper) Here you go - use this speech. It's brief, but all I could do in such a short span of..
Cherik: (joyfully grabs the paper) ThankyouThankyouThankyou!! I owe you one!

(Cherik gets up on the stage. Cheers and yells from the audience who sense the show is about to start.)

Cherik: (fumbles as he reads) Umm.. "Greetings fellow heroes.."
Voice from the audience: WHO'S THAT CREEP!? WHERE'RE THE GIRLS!?
Cherik: Umm.. (nervous crackling sound of paper) "..Turn from your unsound, disgraceful ways and repent to the righteous holiness of Dauros!"?

(A moment of stunned silence before the audience erupts again.)

Voice from audience: WHAT THE -BLEEP!- DID HE SAY!?!?
Cherik: (still reading) "..Your vile, decadent values will only bring you moral ruination.." Holy -bleep!-!! What kind of speech is this!?

(Boos and hisses as weapons are flung towards the stage. Cherik yelps as he dodges a buzzing arrow and dives off the stage.)

Cherik: Holy -bleep!-ing Mother of -bleep!-s!! (holds up the paper) What, are you trying to get me killed!?
Loralty: (sniffs as he notices the curtains being drawn) It doesn't matter now - the show seems to have started regardless. I'd better leave this cesspool of decadency.. (walks off)

(The band starts playing, drowning out most of the audience. Cherik gets on his seat and faces the stage. His eyes pop open wide and jaw drops as he stares and stares..)

[ 02. July 2003, 12:10 AM: Message edited by: TaleSpinner ]
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Location: Yaro'on the Fair

 PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 1:23 am    Post subject: ToF: Urban Renewal Reply with quote Back to top

*Meanwhile, outside the Lounge, a cordon of black-skinned, black-suited females is drawing tighter and tighter about the purple, red and blue house of ill repute. Two women stand out from the rest. One is a Paladin wielding pencil and paper instead of a sword. The other was a red garbed Priestess attended by a skeleton crew of camaramen.*
Embris: Right. The media coverage is on the scene.
Sister Gloom: I must thank you for tipping me off, Clarina. CNNa will be the only news program to catch this live.
Clarina: It'll be worth it. The fate of the Three Rogues and their heretic helper, never mind Lost Veegas, will hang on the outcome of this show.
Embris: Not to cast a cloud over your day, but me and my agents only saw one of the Forumnian Rogues. Shifty and Ytfihs are missing.
Clarina: They'll show up. Here comes someone with more information. *Loralty emerges from the Lounge just as the curses within turn to cheers.* Go get him, girls!
*Embris snaps her fingers. Two SS Solari rush over and apprehend the startled Monk.*
Loralty: I say! What *sniff* is the meaning of this?
Clarina: You know quite well. *Smiles with a predatory grin. Loralty nearly faints.*
Loralty: *faintly* You!
Clarina: There will be no weaseling out of this, Monk. We caught you red-handed - or blue-handed, as the case may be. Where ate your dispicable friends?
Loralty: If you mean Cherik's Guildmates, I have not the faintest idea. They were not at the Guild.
Clarina: I hope you're telling the truth, for your sake. We'll see soon enough. *Turns to Embris.* Okay, we're ready.
Embris: Right. *Pushes button on her innocuous-looking wristwatch. Kayt, standing hidden and out-of-view of the Lounge, receives the signal on her cop of the device.*
Kayt: That's it. *Nods to Eleanor, who inhales deeply, eyes gleaming red.*
Eleanor: *Looks around to about a dozen other Paladins, whose eyes also glint with repressed malevolence.* This is it! Everyone, charge!
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Shifty Coindrop

Joined: 21 Sep 2000
Posts: 204
Location: Duncanville, TX, USA

 PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 2:42 am    Post subject: ToF: Urban Renewal Reply with quote Back to top

(Somewhere around or before that time...)

Shifty: Diabolical. The one place where no money-grubbing lecher would want to be caught dead.
Two-Gold: And that makes it the best hidin' place for someone tryin' ta take cover from the Dancing Show.
Max: I honestly didn't know we even had one here in Lost Veegas.
Ytfihs: No kiddin' man. Unless of course the books're all color photgraphs if ya get m'drift.

(The camera pans back to show them inside a Library... the only one in Lost Veegas. The shelves are all lined with never-touched scrolls and tomes, lined with thick layers of dust.)

Two-Gold: (Points them down towards a staircase as he walks on towards it) I tailed him a bit just after word got out that Adan took over the town. From what I got a look at down there it looks like he'd been preppin' this for a long time.
Ytfihs: Like what?
Two-Gold: You'll see.

(They go down to the basement and end up before what was ostensibly an old reinforced steel door with a symbol that was an international symbol given Forumnia's role in the rest of the Ardanian world: A stereotypical cone Wizard's Hat with a nuclear fan drawn on it.)

Shifty: Great Dauros... A Cooker Shelter.
Max: Is that even practical? That maniac blows up anything he sees fit.
Ytfihs: This is a Library remember? It's sacred ground for any self-respectin' Wizard out there... even an unstable git like Cooker.
Shifty: But wait... not even a properly built Cooker Shelter's going to save a poor sod from hormone poisoning that the Free Welcome Show's gonna set off.
Two-Gold: Keybish is a clever bastard, take a look inside and see.

(The vault door of the Cooker Shelter. Well stocked with food, wine, Fervus Ale and crates of Elven Pipeweed. Opulent furnitures, and plenty of gold piled in the corners. It was like private hotel suite, with the exception of the black and white wallpapering that somehow cast an aura of cold shiver on the four.)

Shifty: I still don't see how Keybish would just get all cushy and wait until everyone was dead and messy. And I don't mean that in a gory, bloody way either.
Two-Gold: (Grabs Shifty by the head and presses him closer to the wallpapering) Read it and weep.
Shifty: (Sweat breaks out as he silently reads the "wallpaper") Good Grief... he's lined the shelter walls with pages from The Dauros Divine Network Paladin Primer. Eleanor sure has this obcession with killing me slow and painfully.
Ytfihs: (Whistles) Damn, Keybish is a clever bastard after all.
Max: Can we go now? I haven't read a single sentence and already I'm creeped out even more.

(Just then the clicks of loaded crossbows echo. All four turn around to see Keybish and a few Rogues loyal to him aiming repeaters.)

Two-Gold: [Bleep].
Keybish: You didn't think I wouldn't have noticed, traitor?
Shifty: You've gone more psycho than Eleanor. What's the point of knocking off Cherik for the Executive Chair when everyone else is all dead and smiling?
Keybish: I can always find replacements.
Max: (Paler) This is madness I tell you... madness!
Two-Gold: Nice shack here Keybish. Wasn't exactly an overnight job now was it?
Keybish: No, this was my safehouse just in case something went horribly wrong... like recently. But the DDN Primer are a necessary reinforcement for what was supposed to take place in a few minutes. Now if you'll excuse me gents, this is the part where I order my men to execute you sorry lot.
Shifty: Quite a Pyrric victory here Keybish.
Keybish: But still a victory nonetheless.
Eleanor(?): (From upstairs) Die Perverts!

(All the Rogues are immediately frozen with terror... but Max takes initiave and cold cocks the nearest LV Rogue. Two-Gold, Shifty and Ytfihs trigger on survival instinct and snap out of their paralysis, jumping the rest of the ambush party. A dust cloud kicks up amidst the socks and pows and oofs, etcetera. When it clears Shifty, Ytfihs, Two-Gold and Max are left standing with the other Rogues laying unconscious. Keybish however isn't among the casualties as he is nowhere to be seen.)

Shifty: That bastard fled on us. Damn he's good.
Ytfihs: Now's not the time for critiques man! Eleanor's upstairs and she's gonna tear us ta pieces!
Max: (Clearing his throat and dusting off his robe) No she's not.
Two-Gold: (Looking at Max) She's not?
Max: (Smirks sublimely) Just because I'm managing and choreographing my girls now doesn't mean I've lost my showmanship.
Shifty: Well let's save the oohs and aahs for later. Keybish is still out there and we need to find him and save Lost Veegas from the biggest thrill of a lifetime.
Ytfihs: What about Cherik man!?
Shifty: Oh he could use some loosening up.
Ytfihs: What about these blokes? (Gesturing to the unconscious Rogues with a repeater)
Shifty: Throw them in the vault. Even they don't deserve to go out making a mess in their drawers if we don't succeed.
Max: (Picking up a repeater and examining it) This isn't what I'm used to but it'll have to do.
Two-Gold: Come on then. (Pulls back the string on the Repeater with a pump) [Ka-Chunk]

(And so they run upstairs after putting away the unconscious Rogues in the safety of the Cooker Shelter.)

[ 03. July 2003, 07:43 PM: Message edited by: Shifty Coindrop ]
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 PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 3:10 am    Post subject: ToF: Urban Renewal Reply with quote Back to top

(Some time just before the paladin's charge. TaleSpinner and Galen finally place the turkey on a table in the lounge basement. Vinnie comes along to check on them.)

Vinnie: (stares at the turkey) Bloody 'ell, that's a big turkey!
Galen: (wiping forehead) Tell me about it.
TaleSpinner: (proudly) It got special sauce made from trees too! Says right here on the card!
Vinnie: Really? Lemme see. (takes the card)

(Vinnie reads the card. And re-reads it again.)

Vinnie: Umm.. say - did you boys see the cook when you were at the inn?
TaleSpinner: Umm.. no. We might have just missed him.
Vinnie: Uh huh.. maybe.. (flips the card around. Behind it are the words Special recipe of Cooker, Dwarven wizard) HOLY THUNDERING -BLEEP!-S!!!!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

(Cherik and the rest of the audience are glued to the events on stage. The salivating rogue is shaken roughly to his senses.)

Vinnie: (shouting) WAKE UP, YOU MOTHERLESS -BLEEP!-!!
Cherik: (blinks) Whuh?
Vinnie: (frantically) You gotta tell everyone to clear out! There's a bomb in the building!!!
Cherik: That's nice. (tries to see around the goblin) Can this wait till that voluptuous one does that thing again with her-
Vinnie: (grabs Cherik by his front and head-butts him)
Cherik: OWWW!! (blinks with more thought) What the heck did you do that for!?
Vinnie: (growling) Listen to me, guildmaster. You gotta make an annoucement to clear everyone out. And keep it low-key - you don't want to cause a major panic.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

(Keybish runs into the lounge from behind the audience, cursing rogues, and his two double-crossing henchmen as he does. They'll never find him in this crowd. The insane rogue stares around and chuckles evilly to himself as he watches the heroes being mesmorized by the show. After this, he had a lot of things to do alright, like organizing a mass burial. So much to organise, so little time.)

Cherik: (climbing on stage) Um.. excuse me! Excuse me! Can I have everyone's attention?
Keybish: (frowns) What the heck is that moron doing!?
Cherik: (amidst boos and hisses) Uh.. sorry to interrupt folks, but we have a situation.. umm..
Voice from audience: WHAT'S HE DOING ON STAGE AGAIN!?
Another Voice: GET THAT -BLEEP!- OFF!!
Keybish: (snarls) Gah! That imbecile's ruining everything! (pulls out his crossbow) Sometimes I have to do everything myself! (takes out a sniper scope from his tunic and whacks it on the crossbow)
Cherik: (to the elfmaids) Sorry ladies, but the show's postponed.. (stammering) Umm.. Pardon me, folks - but we need everyone to clear out of this building..
Keybish: (aims the crossbow to Cherik. The rogue comes into his sights) Kiss this goodbye, guildmaster Cherik...
Cherik: ..and if everyone can go out nice and quiet, then no one will get hurt when Cooker's bomb goes off..

(The audience erupts into complete, screaming chaos as everyone scrambles for the exits. A shrieking cultist knocks into Keybish's arm, sending the bolt into the ceiling.)

Keybish: (yelling) Damn it all to- (cut off as a roaring barbarian runs him down)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Seth: Hey look, Jay!
SovJ: What the -bleep!- is going on!?!?

(on the screen, masses of heroes are exiting from a single lounge. All read 'Fleeing in Terror' on their Action bars)

Seth: They'll all not stop until they're back at their home guilds or temples! And that's back at their home towns!
SovJ: -bleep!- this! It's time to do Urban Renewal!!

(tags on a whole bunch of buildings with 1000 gold reward flags)


[ 02. July 2003, 04:26 AM: Message edited by: TaleSpinner ]
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 PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 6:16 pm    Post subject: ToF: Urban Renewal Reply with quote Back to top

Gunthor, and the various barbarian attendants, remained stranded like a delta in the stream of heroes emptying the room. He unshouldered a tray of beverages like Atlas on his coffee break. One of his braves was kneeling on the neck of a pinned-down rogue, richly attired.
The chieftain advanced. "Nothing was supposed to go wrong tonight."
"Yes clan leader, we saw this troublemaker draw a weapon."
Keybish turned his head with a hoarse growl. "I'm not the one you're looking for. The one on-stage, there, he blew the whistle."
Cherik looked around in desperation. "Look, I've just saved the night for the rest of us! Don't you understand, you need to get out of here?"
Gunthor pinned Cherik to the wall, and made to pulverise his squirming frame.
"You, imbecile!" *Wham.*
Cherik gasped, "Could."
The chieftain paused, sweating for breath. He was getting too old for this. "What!" he screamed.
Cherik turned pale, or paler. "...good enough to not hit me..? There is, y'see, a-bomb-and-we-ought-to-be-going." He grinned nervously.
"Idiot- Of course there's a bomb! How else were we to dispose of these vagabond infidels and proceed with our escape!" Gunthor gritted his teeth and flung his other hand towards Keybish. "Who and what is he?"
Cherik eased himself. "Huh?.. Oh, he's my second in command. Very good friend of mine!"
Keybish, prostrate on the floor, moans loudly. Gunthor glared.
"IF any of my braves are injured because of your meddling, I- Gunthor, swear, by the Law of Steel- he and you will both die."
Keybish muttered. "I could save you the bother, barbarian. Our ends and means may coincide."
In an astonishing maneuver, normally unwitnessed in pitch-black allies, Keybish whipped his legs up behind his back in a bicycle motion that snapped his captor's neck with a jerk. He brushed off his jerkin, rising like a snake.
The barbarians advanced, but the chieftain waved them back.
"You see, I wanted to be first in command, and I also want this town undamaged, so those heroes had to go. Two birds, one stone. Just call off the uprising and hand over Cherik to me. I will then issue you and the horde a full financial pardon, clean slate."
"Why should I trust you?"
"Because the first thing Adan will do is flag every lounge with reward bounties. With his heroes fleeing in terror, that mainly leaves the horde to do his dirty work."
Gunthor grinned manically. "Pretty quick on the uptake. So what do I have to gain from any deal with you? The horde will achieve what we came here to do, and even be paid for it." He discarded Cherik.
"A pick of the elven girls, afterwards, of course. And.." An oily stiletto blade gleaming with contact venom was whisked from his garments, "Maybe I won't slaughter an unarmed opponent."
"I expected no better." Gunthor spat in his eye. "And I say that to your offer. We won't leave a living soul."
Enraged, Keybish strode forward and split the clan chief's neck wide open. Momentarily, his lifeless body fell forward.

Alfryd paused within the cavernous interior of the counterfeit lounge. Noting his entrance, a stout figure scuttled to crouch behind a counter. They peered over.
"Aren't you a little... short for an elf?"
The dwarf sniffed, and looked up. "Well, I always thought of barbarians as basically semi-erect steroid-munching neanderthals. But _I_ never sank to personal comments."
"Its... it'ss, just the beard. A bit disconcerting."
"Trog see dwarf."
"Quiet. Look I'm sorry if it's just some kind of medical condition, but you must understand that I am a discerning customer."
"Trog see dwarf."
"Shut up! Can't I take you anywhere? Now, do you charge by the hour or for nightly sessions?"
The dwarf drummed his fingers impatiently. Alfryd continued. "It always seemed tacky to me to charge by the hour. You just can't rush art."
"Is he thick or what?" the dwarf turned to Trog.
"Alfryd kinda thick."
"Sorry, you do offer philosophic dialectic, don't you?" Then he licked his lips. "This decor's a bit odd."
"Yeah, the steel bolts and rivets would be a dead giveaway."
"Alfryd. Sarcasm." Trog pointed downwards helpfully.
"Oh. So the dwarf is some kind of interior decorator?"
Trog raised a finger cryptically. Then he stepped forward and grasping by the neck, rammed Alfryd firmly into the wall. He smiled, beaming innocence.
They paused, as a vast seismic rumble passed beneath their feet. A stampede of panicked heroes thundered past the entrance to the lounge. A wizard paused.
"That's a bloody dwarven settlement, so it is!.." Then he was borne off by the torrent. Alfryd shrugged.
"Thank you, Trog. I need the biggest axe you can sell me, dwarf." He turned. "And I mean now. What's your name again?"
"Nobody Bond. Let me show you into the worskshop."

"Goodness, we're getting some readings straight off the chart here."
"Nonsense. I'll recalibrate."
"Look, 8.6 on the Richter Scale."
"What the hell could be causing that?"

Alfryd was pleased. It was the kind of weapon to whom- hit or miss- the term 'blast radius' was appropriate.
"So, how much do I owe you exactly?"
"Oh, the axe. No, that's on the house- gratis, so to speak. Cooker ordered us to lend arms and aid to any of the barbarians that can reach us in time."
"Really? In time for what?"
"You weren't informed?"
"No. We left kind of early."
"Well, as I understand it your chieftain is going to lead the clan on an orgy of reckless destruction. Well, it's far from wreckless."
"But half of us are imprisoned for debt evasion, half of us are stoned on elfweed or keeled over from groin strain, and whoever's left's pawned their weapons for ale! We couldn't overthrow a limbo dancer!"
"3 words. Rage. O'. Krolm. Those imprisoned will knock out their gaolers and grab whatever usable weaponry they can find. The rest will be feeling very chipper all of a sudden. Together you'll pack the punch of a college fraternity night on bad acid." Alfryd nodded, looking unsettled.
"I've always meant to ask. Exactly what makes that whum-whum-whum *ding* noise?"
The dwarf tapped his nose. "Top secret." He whispered conspiratorially; "but we call it a whumwhumdingulator."
"Oh." said Alfryd politely, "intriguing."
Trog joined in. "We go other lounge now? Trog feeling very... ...KROLM!!!"

The barbarian wrenched apart the cells' iron bars.
Then he turned his attention to the goblins, sending them straight through three walls and a month's worth of medical insurance. He snatched a scimitar.
"Krrolmm Makes Me Sstrrongerrr!"

*...Boom-Boom-Chish* *Boom-Boom-Chish...*
A thousand resonant voices soared to the clouded vault of the heavens, each sung to the tune of:
"Buddy you're a young man hard man,
Shouting in the street gonna take on the world some day..."
Ragno-RoK, boys and girls! Enjoy!
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 PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:34 pm    Post subject: ToF: Urban Renewal Reply with quote Back to top

*The flood of heroes rushing out of the Lounge completely destroys the Solari's cordon. Embris snatches out another black-clad Solarus from the tide as it sweeps by.*
Embris: What were you doing in there?
Eidola: Serving drinks. But I stopped when I heard Cooker had a bomb inside.
Embris: Cooker? Bomb? No wonder that this sorry mess came stampeding out of there. Those two words in conjunction could town a Golem's courage to jelly, and these scum don't have the courage of a gutted fish.
*Suddenly, the cries of "Cooker! Cooker! A bonb! The end has come!" stop. A deadly silence falls across Lost Veegas. Then it is broken by a roar of "Krolm! Krolm! Krolm!" from a hundred throats, and, shrieking stridently over that is a banshee scream of -*
Elven Lounge clientele: AIEEEEEEE! *Break around the oncoming Paladins like a melting glacier before an adamantium ice-breaker.*
Kayt: Don't worry about them! It's the Rogues we're after! Look, there, next to the Lounge.
Eidola: Oooh, look at all the pretty flames!
Embris: That's from the Rage of Krolm. Jay must have built a Temple to Krolm on the sly. Well, let's face it: all strategy melts away in RoK. *Starts berserking, with the rest of the SS Solari happily doing the same.*
Loralty: *having slipped away from Clarina, he hides beneath an overturned food cart* Oh, my. *Remembers that RoK allows him move much faster.* Finally! I can truly escape! *Charges out into the midst of panic and melee.* On the other hand . . .
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Location: Duncanville, TX, USA

 PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:55 pm    Post subject: ToF: Urban Renewal Reply with quote Back to top

(Shifty, Ytfihs, Two-Gold and Max approaches the Lounge vicinity just as everything went to Krolm.)

Max: Holy [bleep]! It's a freaking riot!
Two-Gold: Aw crap... where the hell are we gonna find that basterd now?
Shifty: Well, at least the Danse Macabre's been shut down... in a manner of speaking.
Ytfihs: But look all around!! Barbarians goin' ballistic and everyone's starting to go after the cash rewards on anything wooden!
Two-Gold: We've got even more problems.
Max: (Wide-eyed) BIG problems!
Shifty: (Glancing towards where Two-Gold and Max were staring) Holy...

(And Holy indeed. Paladins were swarming in for the kill, each and every one of them caught up in the burning frenzy of Krolm. One in particular glances towards them with a chilling glee.)

Eleanor: THERE THEY ARE!! (Pointing at them with her Jeweled Longsword)

(The swarm turns away from the Lounge and veers towards them like a giant centipede.)

Shifty: [BLEEP!] (Fight or Flight Syndrome kicks in to Fight mode) Desperation Lads, FIRE!!

(All Four start spraying the horde with their Repeaters. Streams of crossbow bolts whistle through the air. But in a disturbing turn of events, Eleanor and Kayt blurred sideways as the bolts passed through them without hitting them. It was not getting good.)

Ytfihs: [BLEEP!!] They've gone Agent Smith on us!!
Shifty: (Shaking a fist at the sky) Damn you Krolm! DAMN YOU ADAN!!
Two-Gold: Quit yer blabberin' and let's get the [bleep] out of here!!
Max: I agree! GO!!

(And so the foursome make a desperate retreat as the DDN Squad swarms in for the kill. As the devastation starts to pick up, Goblin Thugs and Lost Veegas Rogues join the fray, trying to make a stand against the EnRaged Heroes.)
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Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

 PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:29 pm    Post subject: ToF: Urban Renewal Reply with quote Back to top

Announcer: This is a CNNa Newsflash.

(screen shows buildings on fire, screams, yells and roars in the background as groups of heroes charge at each other, arrows, energy blasts and fireballs flying everywhere.)

Sister Gloom: Sister Gloom reporting live from Lost Veegas. Chaos and destruction reign here in vice city as hundreds of heroes are caught up in a massive fight that started early this evening. From casual observation, it seems that there are a total of four sides to this brawl - the Lost Veegas defenders, consisting of elves, rogues and goblins, trying to defend their town. The paladins and solarii, trying to attack the town and anyone they deem as perverts. The barbarians, trying to destroy everything and everyone. And the heroes on vacation, trying to stay alive.

(A screaming RoKed warrior charges into view from the background and makes a swing at the priestess. Sister Gloom solemnly ducks and whacks the warrior in the shins with her staff. The yelping warrior falls to the ground, out of the screen, while the priestess pins him with her staff and casts Life Drain. Only the warrior's desperately flailing, and withering, hands are visible at the foot of the screen accompanied by strangled sounds.)

Sister Gloom: (continues primly) Amidst all this chaos, our benevolent Sovereign has invoked the Rage of Krolm, affecting all heroes and placed 1000 gold reward flags on every lounge and gambling hall, luring some heroes from every side to go bounty hunting. One might speculate that our gracious Sovereign may increase these rewards to better persuade these heroes to fulfill his grand plans of Urban Renewal.

(A 1000 gold reward flag appears on a gambling hall behind her and is bumped up to 2000.)

Sister Gloom: (blank-eyed stare) That's death's reward.. (turns and stalks towards the hall)
Announcer: This has been a CNNa Newsflash.

[ 07. July 2003, 01:55 AM: Message edited by: TaleSpinner ]
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 PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 12:59 pm    Post subject: ToF: Urban Renewal Reply with quote Back to top

As the last inhabitant bail out of elven lounge

With a thundering roar, the lounge was lifted clear of it’s foundation on a pillar of fire. The reward flag is still visible above it. Ten seconds later, the lounge fragmented in middle air and showed the fighting mass below with a meteor storm of burning splinters.

During the chaos, CSA dwarves bail out of every conceivable containers from root bag to treasure chests. Upon arrival, some joined the fury, and rest started to put up buildings with impeccable efficiency. They are building so fast that heroes would run into buildings that do not exist seconds ago.

An embassy and 3 outposts are instantly up, each flanked by wizard towers; these would provide a sanctuary for vacationing heroes. Cooker offered the rest of banquet to be moved to embassy as a victory celebration. 2 dwarf’s settlement drop out of disguise and start to fire storms of ballista onto battling masses below, this immediately created a no mans land between the sovereign’s stronghold and rest of the city. With newfound security, 4 temples to Krolm drop out of disguise and 4 warrior’s guild is put up instantly. To make everything last, Cooker ordered a construction a 4 markets and a ring of inns.

Upon finishing construction, the dwarves jumped into fray, knocking down people with 500 pound axes and demolishing building with massive explosives, Sending other reward seekers cart wheeling across the air and showering everything with fire and debits.
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 PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 1:09 pm    Post subject: ToF: Urban Renewal Reply with quote Back to top

Some time beforehand, Alfryd and Trog were surveying the pandemonium outside with a critical eye.
"I don't know what Gunthor was thinking. This place is swarming with other heroes. Heavy artillery, too."
"We will we will- RoK them!"
"The Rage is indescriminate, Trog. The blasphemers might match us. This may get awfully messy." He stepped out cautiously.
"Alfryd, Trog see bounty! We go smash lounge, then we pick up boun-ty, we go visit lounge!" This much intellectual effort seemed to exhaust him. "Oh. No more lounges. Ow..."
Stampeding heroes swarmed like ants. With a swift underarm motion, Alfryd sent his axe into a complex private orbit that downed, consecutively, three rogues and an incautious paladin. There was a quiet brittle crunch of armour.
"Or casinos, no more wine bars, and picture shows... oh the humanity. AAAARRGH!" Thus Alfryd blacked out.
Trog shook him gingerly, which was to say he would still leave bruises. He was roused.
"I can't permit this. We need the horde's attentions fast. And there's only one way to achieve that."
Nobody Bond hovered overhead like an unshaven horned apparition. "Arrange a Conga line?"
Alfryd thought for a second. "Actually, yes." He hazarded. "However, I was thinking that an assault on the temple to Krolm would do the trick."
"They'd rush away to defend home. Ingenious."
"I know, I try."
"Trog not see Krolm's Temp-le."
"Well, it'll probably be disguised as a lounge like any other dwarf-made structures here."
"Exactly." Nobody rejoined, "Mind you, I'm not exactly keen about vandalising our property. Whatever happened to the horde's no business of mine. Contract expires." He slammed the door on the settlement, and slid the bolts.
"Buggeration. Talk about short shrift. We're getting the short end of the stick."
"Truly a short-sighted decision."
"Alfryd. No."
"OK Look, the solution's simple. Sovereign Jay will not flag structures that are really his own. We'd just have to find an elven lounge or casino that appears normal but stays unflagged. That would be the Temple to Krolm." Trog hauled him to his feet, before turning into a dash.

Trog and Alfryd zizagged from brawl to brawl, from structure to structure, leaving a sonic boom and a doppler shift in their wake, trailing behind them each a queue of phantom selves. They eventually bent double, wheezing for breath, then raised their eyes.
"Trog see gambler place, no bounty!"
Alfryd took a running swing at the structure, from which, sure enough, the hum of war-drums echoed. The axe connected with an explosion of dust and loose stone chippings.
Flames sprang from the monoliths concealed as the building reverted to it's damaged screen sprite.
"Exhibit A: Temple of Krolm! " Shrieked Seth.
"WTF? The barb's gone -bleep-ing round the twist! There's no flag on that!" The Sovereign clicked on his reward screen...

A platoon of unoccupied heroes, and every barbarian on the map, made a sudden beeline for the threatened temple, abandoning half-nelson strangleholds and, strangely, a nascent dwarven Conga-line that was threading it's way through the carnage.
The gale of their passage left less bulky heroes airborne.
"Trog have bounty!! I has bounty!!!" he ran in slowly tightening circles like a chicken decapitated, as a 5K reward flag shimmered over his scalp. They swallowed, then the maverick pair broke into a haphazard run. Ballista towers rose behind them like volcanic spires, threatening instant death.
"Alfryd bounty too!" Their sum was bumped up to 10K.
"Trog, what on Earth have you gotten me into!?"
"Where Alfryd going!"
"To hide! Where people will least expect it!"
They collectively ducked, dove, and rolled into the newly unveiled Temple of Krolm. Then they saw the chieftain. "Ah," he said. "The odd couple."

[ 03. July 2003, 02:47 PM: Message edited by: Alfryd, disciple of Krolm. ]
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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 2:19 pm    Post subject: ToF: Urban Renewal Reply with quote Back to top

Trog hoisted himself on his elbows to get a look.
"Ladvyr! Ladvyr come back, bring Neckcracker clan! Now crush unbel-ievers!"
"Sorry to dissapoint, my lad, but that's not quite the case." The prodigal chieftain had somewhere acquired manicured nails and a ponytail, which was marginally more shocking than the armani tailoring. "I've been busily arranging a business deal with our mutual associate here."
"Hello Trog. Alfryd." The other chief seemed grim and pinched but otherwise presentable. It was no Gunthor.
Alfryd blinked. "Deftan?! What are you doing lucid? And articulate? Weren't you raving from chronic elfweed withdrawal?"
"Yes, well. The Rage has cleared that right up, and since the unexpected..." he glanced at a slip of paper, "...'premature retirement' of chieftain Gunthor, I'm back in a position to assume command." He cleared his throat. "And the first thing we're going to do is put a stop to this nonsense about demolishing Lost Veegas. Ladvyr here has made an absolute killing on the steppes market."
"In more senses than one, I imagine. 'Let Agrela Help'?"
"Now, now. There is a vast, vast untapped audience of horny barbarians out there and we, alone, have the keys to unlock that potential." Ladvyr slipped out a cellphone. "Yeah Deuce. The shipment's due in 36 hours. You do that. What do we owe the folks..? Mm-hmm. '...severe cardiac stress,' no less... Your head on a platter, they say. Mm-hmm. Life Insurance- weregild, right. Well, about 3K should do it. Ok. Ciao."
"What happen Gunthor?"
"First things first." Deftan grunted. "We are prepared to offer the Sovereign Adan a VERY substantial cash settlement annually to allow our operations to continue." Deftan made a spirited effort to unscrew his face. "Hope he answers soon because I'm going to just sleep for a week. We've dispatched an emmisary to the Palace."
"Exactly how substantial a cash settlement?"
"Yeah, exactly how -bleep-ing substantial!"
"Thank you for your kind and highly vocal attentions, Jay. My headache cannot get worse regardless. We're offering 43% of our gross profits, which, by present earnings projections..." Deftan extricated a calculator from his loincloth, "... come to some 1.3 million gold sovereigns over the next two1/2 financial quarters."
You mean a -bleepi-ing taxable -bleep-ing elven -bleep-ing red-light district! Hot mama!"
"Yes, Majesty. We point out that much of the settlement has already been levelled and hence we entrepeneurs are anxious to resume normal commerce." Ladvyr continued, in leaden tones.
"Uh, I've still got a bounty, on my head." Alfryd looks around. Barbarians thronged around stone lintels and portal dolmens, waiting for the chieftains to give the go ahead for instant dismemberment. "And I- for one, would like to have Gunthor's input on this. Wherever he is. Can't we all just- get along?" he tried grinning engagingly.
At that, the horde plunged inwards with lethal intent.
Towering dwarven installations punctured the horizon, old Lost Veegas encrusting like a scab on the periphery of the freshly cratered landscape. Cooker's stout new urban settlement had emerged in the eye of the storm. Dwarven shock-troops mopped up stragglers on the battlefield, alternately concussing troublemakers or assigning them to the undulating conga line. Alfryd sighed, then ran for it.

[ 04. July 2003, 08:39 PM: Message edited by: Alfryd, disciple of Krolm. ]
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 PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 7:43 am    Post subject: ToF: Urban Renewal Reply with quote Back to top

(TaleSpinner and Galen were led out of the lounge by Vinnie just before the turkey meltdown. The goblin is continually cursing under his breath.)
Vinnne: Of all the -bleep!-ing people I could have hired, I had to hire the two dumbest, -bleep!-ing Wods in the northern reaches!!
TaleSpiner: (defensively) We might have brought the turkey in, but at least we tried to get rid of it.
Vinne: (exasperatedly) Yes, but by eating it!? I should have just left you two and let the -bleep!-ing thing blow you two from the inside out!
Galen: (munching) We only ate the drumsticks. Distinct after-taste of napalm.
TaleSpinner: (looking green) Urgh.. I think it 's still trying to blow up inside (winces as he massages his stomach)

(They come up to Keybish and Cherik. Keybish is holding Cherik by the collar of his tunic and is pointing a repeater crossbow to the side of the blubbering rogue's head.)

Vinnie: (surprised) Keybish! Where the -bleep!- have you been?
Keybish: (turns wearing an insane grin) At this point, I should be on the guildmaster's seat arranging your funerals, but no, someone had to mess the whole -bleep!-ing plan up...
Cherik: (sweating as the repeater digs into his temples) Help guys! He's cracked!
Vinnie: What, you crazy or something, Keybish?
Keybish: (sneers) Oh yes, the moment I want things to go MY way, people think I'm a lunatic. I'll show you and the rest of you backstabbing miscreants that this time I mean business!! (shoves Cherik towards them and points the repeater crossbow at them) I've never been partial to mass murdering with my own hands, but I'll make an exception this time.
TaleSpinner: (raises hand tentatively)
Keybish: (irritatedly) Yes?
TaleSpinner: Can I be excused? I've got a tummy ache.
Keybish: No!
Galen: Well, I think you're nuts.
Vinnie: Hear that, Keybish? Even the Wods think you've gone -bleep!-ing balonie. In my book, that makes you a certified fruitcake!
Keybish: (shouts angrily) I'M NOT A FRUITCAKE!!
Cherik: (whispers) Um, Vinne, I don't think it's such a good idea to provoke this nutcase any further..
Keybish: (dangerous low voice) Famous last words, guildmaster... (points the repeater at him)

(Suddenly, a rumbling sound is heard. They all look around for the source and find that it's coming from TaleSpinner's stomach.)

TaleSpinner: (pale) Uh oh. (opens mouth and belches a massive cone of flame that engulfs a surprised Keybish. The rogue doesn't even have time to scream before he drops to the ground. Everyone is momentarily astonished, and then the stench hits.)
Cherik: (eyes watering) Eaarrrgh!! That's disgusting!
Vinnie: (holding nose) Kno, (points at the remains of Keybish on the ground. It was hard to tell where rogue started and undigested turkey ended) KNAT's disgusting.

- The End -

[ 07. July 2003, 01:55 AM: Message edited by: TaleSpinner ]
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