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agaricus5
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I suppose it may appear rather odd, but I'm going to see if I can revive the "Construct The Story" threads and perhaps give some of the newer forum members a chance to join in on the fun.

What I think killed the first was the constraining and sort of forcing of the storyline, and what stopped the second from becoming a success was that the logic behind it was very abstract and rather strange. Only now, after the tenth or so read, do I understand it enough to make something out of it.

So I re-propose the rules again for this thread.

The Original Rules

1. Do not swear - I'll tolerate low-level rude words (avoid please), but I don't want unpleasant F-words or unpleasant slang floating around.
2. Please avoid references to explicit ideas/content - it may embarrass people or make for unpleasant reading.
3. Keep it DROD-related - absolutely anything can happen on the surface (or in) the Eighth, whether old, new, not yet in existence, logical, illogical, impossible or weird, but don't let the story leave the confines of Beethro's world.
4. Respect the creativity of other people - if you think there is something you don't like about what someone has written, or you want to make a comment, be polite about it.
5. Don't finish the story unless it's been specifically asked for - it's a story that can only be made by the contributions of as many people as possible. I'll tell you if the story needs finishing, but this is unlikely to happen, at least in the near future.
6. Finally, if two of you post at the same time, then unfortunately, it's the first that gets posted that takes precedence.

Appended Rule (Courtesy of Zex20913):

Well, the first story kinda died out. (Construct the Story). So, I say we make a new story following the same rules, but making it mainly about the Eighth, and possibly its geography as well.

I'll just add that a mix of the original story into this huge and varied world (It does have a radius of 5000 miles) would be nice, if anyone has the imagination to do it.

Okay...

The continuation of...

The Adventures of Beethro

Dirkus was genuinely shocked. He had never seen a corpse get up again and talk to him, and feared it was a ghost, come to punish him for trying to take its deceased master's sword.

The man repeated: "Well, who are you, and what were you doing with my sword?" Looking around, he noticed for the first time that he was out in the open, upon a wide plain, with steep hills rising abruptly from the flat lands in the distance.

Ages ago, it seemed to him, he had just escaped from the supergoblins' lair through a secret passage and stumbled into some sort of device that had mysteriously teleported him out far away somewhere in the Eighth.

"Where am I?" said Beethro, looking around. "What is this place?"

"I don't know either," said Dirkus. "I woke up here much like you did and found myself here." Dirkus paused. There was a short silence as both stared at each other and made sure that each was not a monster of some sort and that this was not a trick of some sort or an illusion.

"Who are you?" the man iterated.

"I'm Dirkus Budkin," Dirkus replied.

"Budkin?" shouted the man in amazement. "You're name's Budkin? I'm also called Budkin. I'm Beethro Budkin. Are you some sort of relative of mine?"

"No, I don't think so," said Dirkus. "As far as I know, there are no Beethros in my family...."

Dirkus was interrupted by a screeching sound coming from far off in the distance. A dark cloud of flying creatures was, although distant, approaching them at a very high speed. Dirkus quickly scanned the horizon. Not very far off in the opposite direction to the cloud was a tower.

"Quickly!" he said to Bethro. "Let's head to that tower for shelter from these monsters. We haven't got much time."

They both set off at a quick pace for the tower, conscious of the screeching behind them getting louder and louder.

They began to approach the great gates of the tower...

[Edited by agaricus5 on 03-04-2004 at 11:33 PM GMT]

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03-04-2004 at 10:45 PM
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DiMono
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Alright, it's time to put my writing skills to the test, and try to merge my posts in the other two threads in to this one...

They began to approach the great gates of the tower...

...when seemingly from nowhere, ten men dressed in black pajamas accosted them!

"Hmm. Ten men in front of us, and nobody knows what behind us. This looks grim," said Dirkus.

"Kind of makes me wish I'd done my calisthenics this morning."

Just as suddenly as the ten had appeared, one more appeared dressed from head to toe in white pajamas. Beethro and Dirkus looked at each other, and swiftly cut through the ten men in black.

"Hmm. One man in front of us, and nobody knows what behind us. This looks grim," said Dirkus.

Beethro looked in disapproval at Dirkus.

"Aha, I have a plan!" exclaimed Dirkus. "Quick, give me your shovel!"

Beethro reached for his pack, when something struck him: "I don't have a shovel."

Dirkus glared at Beethro, and accused him of being unprepared, before pulling out his own shovel. Fortunately, Dirkus was a Digger. He grasped his shovel, and...

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03-05-2004 at 01:15 AM
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Then a man stepped out of the gates.

"Welcome to Claythro Tower. How do you like meeting my cloud of pets? And my ten weird men in black pyjamas? Take a good look, because soon they're going to....."

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03-05-2004 at 02:56 AM
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Beethro quickly interrupted, saying "Didn't you notice? They're all dead."

"What?"

"Yeah, me and Flippy got six of them, and that guy got four."

"What do you mean I got four? I got at least seven. And what kind of a name is Flippy?"

"Well, it's better than whatever you call your sword."

"I have decided not to name my sword."

"Then how do you call it?"

Beethro and Dirkus both looked at the man who had stepped through the gates and spoken the stupid statement. They decided to put him out of his misery of being stuck in a large tower in the middle of nowhere.

Fortunately for Claythro, it was only his custodian, who kept on making highly annoying orb-door connections. Claythro had been looking for a way to fire him anyway.

After cleaning Flippy and...and...and Sword, the Man in White coughed, reminding them that he was still there. It was somewhat muffled though, as the skittering wraithwings were quickly closing in...

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03-05-2004 at 05:12 AM
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The situation was indeed perplexing.

Dirkus cried, "What do we do?"

"What do you mean, 'what do we do?' You had the master plan!"

"Plan? What plan?"

"Before the stupid arguments about what I say to my stupid sword and the skirmish with several silly sable-clad strangers, you asked if I could supply a small shovel, to which I shortly shouted there was none in my supply satchel, but you said--"

"Yes, I remember now. Do you provide a towel with your monologues? Please don't ever do that again."

"Sorry, I thought it was neat."

"Okay, yes, I was going to dig a hole. To hide in you know. Those Wraithwings will overtake us before we can reach the tower, and there are so many they could easily surround and eat us, so if we had an alcove, we could hop in and swing our swords above our heads till they all die."

"You can dig a hole before you can run to the tower?" asked Beethro in shock.

"Never was much at track, but digging..."

Scarcely had he said it than Beethro fell down a hole and landed on Dirkus at the bottom. None too soon for the Wraithwings were on them. Lots of Wraithwings. They took it in shifts to kill the ones at the entrance while the other cooked some of the casualties or got some shut-eye. This lasted for days.

"What about the man in white?" asked Dirkus during his hacking shift one day.

"We'll deal with him when we get out if he's still up there, in the meantime..."

[Edited by Koro on 03-05-2004 at 05:41 AM GMT]

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03-05-2004 at 05:38 AM
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agaricus5
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Apologies, Nillo, but I will append another rule to this - please no explicit silly references to playing DROD in such a way, because this takes place in the Eighth, not outside in the real world.

Actually, this is original rule #3 (See the first post).

quote:
Koro wrote:
"We'll deal with him when we get out if he's still up there, in the meantime..."

[Edited by Koro on 03-05-2004 at 05:41 AM GMT]

...arrrrrgh!"

"What happened?!" called Beethro, jumping up and accidentally squishing twenty Wraithwings that had suddenly surged forward over Dirkus.

"One of the horrible things bit me!" Dirkus replied. "You killed it just now, though."

The Wraithwing cloud had been almost eliminated; only three remained of the original several thousand that there had been to begin with. Beethro and Dirkus advanced, pinning the fleeing monsters against a wall and squashing them. The last to die was actually red, Beethro observed in the light of the torch that Dirkus had brought forward, and was much bigger than the others. It looked to Beethro as if it was the leader of the cloud, and on closer inspection, Beethro noticed that it had a small collar, smeared thickly with blood, but on which could still be read the letters: "'LEATHER".

Beethro thought for a minute. "I know that name," he thought. "Where have I heard it before?"

And then...

[Edited by agaricus5 on 03-05-2004 at 05:18 PM GMT]

[Edited by agaricus5 on 03-05-2004 at 05:39 PM GMT]

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03-05-2004 at 05:17 PM
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"Oh yes, in that weird underground factory. Hmmm....."

Suddenly the ground opened up, and they were falling.

They appeared directly in Claythro's main office. They were in a corner, and there was a guy talking on a phone to someone called "Leather".

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Slashing, whirling, diving, twirling,
Snapping, turning, rising, swirling,
Screeching, flipping, gliding, sliding,
The red hawk's dance of death.

.....the king of the skies.....
03-05-2004 at 05:25 PM
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agaricus5
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Short interruption- Apologies for this.

I have noticed that The_Red_Hawk's posts have both been modded minus 1. Now perhaps it's because Claythro was mentioned, or because they were short posts.

If it's either, then I don't think it is fair to do this as I did say that posts can be of any length you like, within reason, of course, and that Claythro Tower is part of the Eighth, and Claythro may not be a direct reference to Clayton at all.

If it isn't, then I'd be interested to see what the reasons behind the mods are. I understand that they are a little restrictive, but there's no real problem with them as far as I can see.

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03-05-2004 at 05:53 PM
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I did not mod either of Hawk's posts, but I suspect the person who did felt they were basically attempts to force the plot somewhere it didn't feel like it was naturally supposed to go. Both of them involve setting aside everything that's happened, to start something totally fresh, which may go against the spirit of the story thread.

Again, I didn't mod either of them, this is my hunch.

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03-05-2004 at 06:01 PM
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I'll fess up to the second one, but I didn't do the first one. It's no secret that I've been annoyed with Hawk in the past, but this is the only post of his I've modded down. And I wouldn't have done it if it wasn't in the "Story" thread.

I modded the post down because it was horrible storytelling, especially compared to most of the other posts. It involved a Deus ex Machina, as well as an anachronism from what I understand the Eighth to be (the phone). I feel that within themed topics like this one, moderation can be used as a way to enforce good storytelling and following the rules.

I think it is bad form to request people to explain their moderation. If you disagree with a particular moderation, then make your own opinion know by voting in the opposite direction. The system won't work very well if people only mod posts that haven't yet been modded. In any case, this will hopefully be the last time that someone has to explain their personal opinion.

Game on,

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03-05-2004 at 06:09 PM
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agaricus5
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quote:
Oneiromancer wrote:
I modded the post down because it was horrible storytelling, especially compared to most of the other posts. It involved a Deus ex Machina, as well as an anachronism from what I understand the Eighth to be (the phone). I feel that within themed topics like this one, moderation can be used as a way to enforce good storytelling and following the rules.

That's fine. I was just curious about it, that's all.

quote:
I think it is bad form to request people to explain their moderation. If you disagree with a particular moderation, then make your own opinion know by voting in the opposite direction. The system won't work very well if people only mod posts that haven't yet been modded. In any case, this will hopefully be the last time that someone has to explain their personal opinion.

Game on,


I'm sorry. I didn't realise - I'm not experienced in modding yet at all.

I apologise if I have offended you by asking for an opinion. I'll try to remember not to in future.

Looking at this, I'll add a suggestion.

Try to be imaginative and help to keep the story open. Forcing is not against the rules, except under very serious circumstances, but it is bad form and isn't good for the story.

I've got to go now, so this post is more rushed than I'd like it to be, so I can't really get this back on-topic and continue the story right now. If someone could do so for me, then it will be a great help. If not, then when I get back later, I'll edit this and add something here.

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03-05-2004 at 06:47 PM
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I'll make a new continuation.

Beethro and Dirkus decided ot go through the gates, and they did. However, when they walked through, the iron doors slammed shut and this made them a little scared, because they couldn't be reopened. They hopped in to a nearby elevator, just to see where it would take them, and they were taken to the rooftop.

It was a plain, round place with blue flooring, and they could see for miles that there was absolutely nothing out on the plains. Then, the elevator slammed shut, and there was a DING. They pressed the button feverishly, but it didn't open.

"We'll have to go over the edge", said Beethro. "Lucky I always carry a couple of spare ropes with me."

So they went over, Dirkus picking up a strange box nearby to investigate later, which he put in his pack. They were halfway down when they both ran out of rope.

"Uh oh", said Beethro. "My rope is starting to fray."

"Mine too," said Dirkus. "Let's hand on to that stone gargoyle."

So they hung there for some time, not knowing what to do, while their rops frayed all the way. Beethro put them back in his pack.

Then they saw something far away, getting closer. It was something, large, red, flying, and scaled, which seemed to be breathing fire.

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Slashing, whirling, diving, twirling,
Snapping, turning, rising, swirling,
Screeching, flipping, gliding, sliding,
The red hawk's dance of death.

.....the king of the skies.....
03-05-2004 at 07:06 PM
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quote:
please no explicit silly references to playing DROD in such a way, because this takes place in the Eighth, not outside in the real world.

Sorry, I removed the inappropriate post.

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“Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin' off Nantucket Sound from the nor' east and the dogs are howlin' for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the 'Ellie May,' a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin' and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests.”
03-05-2004 at 08:44 PM
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As the creature drew nearer, its eyes grew wider, and Beethro drew a boat. The fiery red monster reared up before Beethro and Dirkus, breathing a hot breath over both of them.

Below them, the man in white continued whatever it was he was doing; Beethro and Dirkus had not noticed his presense when they made for the tower, and so had no idea what he'd been up to. Apparently, he'd been busy: his robe was flowing behind him, held up by some non-existant wind, and his eyes were as saucers, glossy and semi-reflective.

The red beast reached the pinnacle of its ascent, then tucked its wings neatly behind its body and alit gracefully upon the ground, looking Dirkus in the eyes. "Have you seen my son?"

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03-05-2004 at 09:49 PM
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Yes, it was a dragon. Forty feet from nose to tailtip, snorting hot breath, with a coat of scales like armor, glittering in the sun.

"What does he look like?"

"Just like me, except smaller. About...so big. Could you help me find him?" he said, holding up his claws to show something about the size of a normal person.

Beethro and Dirkus held a hurried whispered conversation. Dirkus, apparently, had heard of them before. "You see, a dragon is very fierce, and very solitary, but very protective of their offspring. Usually they live in the far reaches of the Eighth, near Sun Island, where they can constantly refresh their fire-breath. They are extremely proud and loyal, but also vengeful. It does not do to lie to a dragon. Or even to refuse a request. This guy has come all the way from Sun Island to search for his son, and he thinks that we might help him. So we'd better agree to help."

"All right, we'll help," called out Beethro.

"Excellent!" boomed the dragon, lifting them down with his tail. "He was captured by a large group of men wearing white and I followed their tracks across these plains until I could no longer see them in the forest to the west. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go. The wraithwings that infest this area do not like me here. However, I will watch your progress, and help you when I can. The men in white passed only an hour ago."

With that, the dragon was in the air.

____________________________
Slashing, whirling, diving, twirling,
Snapping, turning, rising, swirling,
Screeching, flipping, gliding, sliding,
The red hawk's dance of death.

.....the king of the skies.....
03-06-2004 at 03:57 AM
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Beethro took his rope back out of his pack, tied it to the gargoyle's wing and used it to climb down to the ground. Dirkus followed him.
"To that forest west of here, then, I suppose," said Dirkus.
They began to walk. Within an hour they had reached the forest. It was dense and dark, and Beethro and Dirkus had to use their swords to slash paths through the vegetation. Every so often, they caught a glimpse of a white robe.
A while after they entered the forest, they abruptly came to a clearing. It was night, and Beethro and Dirkus decided to camp.
Beethro woke in the night to a muffled rustling sound. One of the men in white had entered their clearing, which was now bathed in a dim, milky light. He tried to wake Dirkus, but to no avail...

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03-06-2004 at 08:15 PM
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Beethro jumped up and drew his sword, seeing that the man in white had also done so. Beethro was just about to attack when suddenly from behind came a pair of tiny hands that grabbed his ears and pulled them incredibly hard by the lobes. Beethro shouted in surprise and fear and toppled backwards, since the force of the pull was so great on him. He looked up and saw the thing that had grabbed him had jumped onto the man in white and was methodically tearing him to bits.

"Good job he didn't do that to my ears," Beethro thought.

When the monster had finished, it walked back over to Beethro. As it approached, Beethro recognised the face.

"You again!" screamed Beethro, jumping back in surprise again. "That's the second time you've done that to me! What do you want? How did you get here?"

"You no pay! You no pay! I want money! I saved you. Give me money!"

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03-06-2004 at 09:44 PM
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"What's this?" said Dirkus, aroused from his sleep. "Little Gobby? How did you get here?"

"Who?" asked Beethro.

"Moneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoney....."

Dirkus rose his voice, drowning him out. "He's a pet of mine I captured in King Flim's dungeon. I brought him up to the surface because a couple of traders wanted to buy him, but then they disappeared. I kept him, hoping I could pawn him off, but he escaped one day."

The goblin interrupted, "No more cage for Gobby! Free, free! I get lots of money. I'm a great enterperner!" With that, he pulled a sack out of his belt and opened it, showing a pile of golden coins. "I ask, they give. Simple!"

"When you have them defenceless, backed in to a corner, I suppose," said Dirkus.

"I save you. Now I want money! And lots information for you!"

Beethro flipped him two gold coins. "There's your money. Now I've paid for the rabbit, tell me what you know." Little Gobby grabbed the coins in mid-air and darted in to the gloom.

"Oh no you don't!" roared Dirkus. He pulled out the rope and lassoed him. "What's your information! We'll keep you till we find out!"

Gobby kept his mouth firmly shut, however. They tied him to a pole which could be easily carried over one's shoulder, when Dirkus started to slump to the ground. He gasped out a few words.

"Something...happening...it's the light...a spell...the Lurpa Potion, deadly...within...four hours...get away fast...antidote..."

____________________________
Slashing, whirling, diving, twirling,
Snapping, turning, rising, swirling,
Screeching, flipping, gliding, sliding,
The red hawk's dance of death.

.....the king of the skies.....
03-06-2004 at 10:12 PM
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And then the small goblin keeled over. Both Budkins stared at him.

"That sounds serious to me," said Beethro, "whatever this Lurpa potion is, it looks like it killed him."

"I doubt it," said Dirkus. "I know him, he's probably just trying to get sympathy." He kicked Gobby hard in the stomach. "Come on, lazy, I'm not fooled. Get up and start talking properly." There was no response.

"I'm warning you! Keep this up and you'll never see your beloved wood-carvings again!"

"Errm - Dirkus?"

But Dirkus, who was now trying to pull Gobby up by the ears, didn't seem to notice Beethro.

"Dirkus? DIRKUS!"

"What?" He let the goblin fall to the ground and turned to face Beethro, who was looking deathly pale. He followed his companion's gaze.

"'Neather below!" he exclaimed. There, in the distance, he could see...

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03-07-2004 at 08:49 AM
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...a dark shadow carrying what looked like a mallet over his back walking towards them from the far end of the clearing. The clearing itself was part of a small hill, and the far end from which the figure was approaching was at the bottom, which meant that the hill's shadow obscured it in darkness.

Beethro gasped in shock, for he had vanquished the 'Neather in the deepest part of Dugan's Dungeon, and as if out of a nightmare, it seemed it had somehow come back to life and had now returned to haunt him.

"I stabbed him...I stabbed him..." Beethro said, brandishing the sword at the approaching figure. "How did it escape?"

Beethro was already tired by the effects of the deadly potion and the sight of what looked like the 'Neather approaching was too much for him to stand, for the 'Neather, the most intelligent and powerful creature in the dungeon, had almost killed him many times, and still featured in his nightmares prominently.

Beethro collapsed to the ground, shielding his eyes from the shadow about thirty paces away from where he stood.

The figure reached Beethro, and what had looked like a mallet was actually a large sack containing various bottles and herbs. The man was actually a wandering healer, not the 'Neather, as Beethro thought.

"The dragon saw what happened to you," he said. "He sent me to give you the antidote to cure you."

Beethro sat up weakly and looked at the healer in bewilderment, for he had just realised that the sack was not a mallet after all. The healer gave him a bottle and Beethro drank it, at once feeling a rush of energy into his body and he recovered almost instantly.

Beethro sprang up and turned to his two companions, both of which had fainted. He poured the antidote into their mouths and they too recovered.

"The dragon says that he has seen the tracks go on towards the north-east, towards the Unwanted Mountains." said the healer when Beethro had revived his friends. "It seems they have some sort of fast land animal with them and are heading towards a river, east of the range. The Dragon has scouted the area and there don't seem to be any wraithwings about, so he has returned to carry you and help you catch up with them."

The dragon arrived a minute laterand Beethro, Dirkus and the Goblin got on it. In the excitement of the past few minutes, all three had forgotten all about their chance meeting with "Little Gobby" and the Lurpa potion, for the antidote had a rather strange chemical inside it that caused a mild short-term memory loss in the takers of it.

The healer waved goodbye and disappeared into the forest as the dragon climbed into the sky.

Beethro gasped, for he looked round from his new vantage point in the sky and saw vast plains, mountain ranges off in the distance, hills, forests, rivers and streams, all covered in a sheen of white light. Beethro had never seen such a beautiful sight, nor even so much of the Eighth before.

They were flying at a great speed and the mountains began to loom up, dark and mysterious on the horizon...

[Edited by agaricus5 on 03-09-2004 at 12:02 AM GMT: Bad Grammar]

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03-08-2004 at 11:51 PM
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Beethro turned to Dirkus and muttered something under his breath.

"What's that?" asked Dirkus.

"Mountains..." replied Beethro. "How I hate them, at least we don't have to climb UP them... I'm not very good at going up things. The problem with mountains, though, is with the surface of the ground being so much higher, there's so much deeper one can go down. I remember one particular dwarven mine that I was asked to clear, they told me it was only a couple passageways. Little dig I know they extended well over a vertical mile, I ended up finding the goblins had built an entrance in from the bottom of a canyon a good hike away. When I got back to the mine, the dwarves wouldn't believe it was ME who cleared it, since I came from the outside. And another thing--"

"You know, I've always found them rather picturesque," interupted Dirkus, sensing a rant coming on. "Not these though, don't the shadows in that rock look like a leering skull?"

"Well, now that you mention it..."

They both were silent for the next few moments, feeling quite apprehensive, as they got closer they rounded one of the crags of the lesser peaks, and saw a glow on a ledge on the mountainside. There was a campfire of some sort, with a few strange looking figures nearby, yet they still were too far away to make out clearly...


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03-09-2004 at 02:32 AM
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Way up high in the Unwanted Mountains looms the dread Peak of Boo! To a wayward traveler that comes over the foothills this peak rises up almost without warning, and its leering skull is an unwelcome surprise, hence the origins of its name.

To the sky-strutting traveler, such as our four strange companions now journeyed, the sight was less abrupt, but nonetheless disconcerting. All the travelers fell silent as they approached the Peak of Boo!

Suddenly Dirkus broke the silence. "Take us down in yonder clearing, Clancy!" he commanded the dragon, who had since reavealed that his parents were not in fact too poor to give him a name.

"Who do you think you are? A dragon stunt pilot?" barked Clancy, "I'll put down where I darn well can, and I need a bit larger of a runway."

Any dragon will tell you, that flying a couple ton mass of fire-breathing flesh around on wispy thin wings is far less glamourous than it sounds, and many prefer walking if they aren't in a hurry. Any other citizen of the eighth would agree the spectacle does look physically impossible from down below, particularly of the fatter ones, and Clancy was a bit thick in the middle.

These jagged mountains were particularly aggravating, and the dragon would not have chanced it if every passing moment didn't further worry him about his son in the hands of the white pyjama-clad men. After some consideration, Dirkus's clearing was decided on, but only after it was substantially expanded by a fire downpour on the first pass. Still this made things a bit worse as the smoke was bad for visibility. Gobby clutched Beethro around the neck hard in terror as they made the decent.

"Here goes..." said Clancy.

"Gulp." said Dirkus.

"Wahhhhhhh!!" said Gobby.

"Gagh, Cough, Sputter!" said Beethro.

---

The dust cleared. Dirkus opened his eyes, got up, took off his burning shoe, and looked around. Clancy was nursing a sprained ankle (and could not continue further), Beethro was trying to remove a petrified Goblin off his face, and the Peak of Boo loomed up before them. Beckoning them forward to mystery...

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After Gobby was calmed down, and Beethro and Dirkus had risen painfully from the ground, they wrapped Clancy's ankle in a cast (with about three tons of leaves) which took several hours.

Clancy said, "I'll guard this area in case someone appears. It looks like the tracks lead into a cave on the Peak of Boo. Do you see?" But of course they couldn't, for dragons have much better eyesight than humans (always being high in the air).

"Well, thanks," said Beethro. "Do you think you could keep Gobby for a while too?"

"No, it would be better if you had them. Goblins have an excellent sense of smell and turn grey when there's any danger, even if they're not aware of it."

"Really?"

"And also take this torch," he said, pulling out a short thick branch and lighting it with his nostrils. "Dragon-fire is very hot and gives light only to its holder and his friends."

With that, and a goodbye, Beethro and Dirkus departed, still dragging Gobby on a long pole just out of reach of the torch (so that he could go first, and they could see if he turned purple, and so he wouldn't attack them).

They walked up to the mouth of the cave, and, on inspection, they found fresh dragon-prints. Beethro poked the pole down into the opening as he and Dirkus prepared to descend.

Then, in a split second, Gobby turned purple. Beethro jerked him back, but a dark blur appeared out of nowhere, grabbing Gobby and splintering the pole. They were able to retrieve the torch, but nothing else.

"What was that?????"

"Remember that 'fast land animal'? Maybe that was it."

After a few moments, they pulled out their swords and walked forwards.

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03-09-2004 at 07:07 PM
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Striding forward with the confident yet cautious air that only the most experienced of smiters has, Beethro and Dirkus rushed after the rapidly retreating sound of footsteps, yet to no avail. Even burdened by the odd color changing goblin this blurry creature was faster than the our intrepid duo. As they reached an intersection in the tunnels, they were unable to tell which direction their quarry had ventured off towards. "Bloody goblin! Why were we trying to rescue him anyway?" muttered Dirkus.

"I don't think I was concerning myself with the goblin," replied Beethro "I'm just so used to killing everything in sight, just a habit of the trade, y'know."

"Yes, yes, quite understandable. Any idea which way back to the surface?"

"That's a very good question, one which I cannot answer right now," said Beethro.

"Oh," said Dirkus, looking quite crestfallen.

"Don't worry, there's nothing here that we can't handle," boasted Beethro gesturing out over the darkness.

Just then, a dozen or so short and hairy figures jumped out from behind some rocks and tackled Beethro and Dirkus, and Beethro, contrary to his smitemaster's training lost a grip on his sword, and they were both pinned to the ground.

"Tie them up tight boys," came a cool, malicious and feminine voice out of the darkness.

"Yes'm! 'E wont be gettin' out o' this one easily I tell you" said one of the little hairy men. And swiftly the set about to tying tight bonds about their wrists and ankles.

Beethro met Dirkus' eyes, and saw they were filled with panic, and tried to appear confident, because a panicked comrade is no good when it comes to a daring escape. Dirkus did not seem quite reassured by Beethro's wink and grin. But soon they were distracted from each other as a tall, slim, very pale, and very beautiful figure stepped into the torchlight.

"Excellent," she said "Oh yes, She will be very pleased... very pleased indeed."

"What do you want with us?" Beethro demanded.

"Patience, patience, my brutish one, all will be revealed soon enough."

"H-how did you see us?" asked Dirkus "Our torch was supposed to give light only to friends."

"'e told you that, did 'e? Layin' it on a bit thick, 'e was," laughed one of the small men. "We's paid 'im to lie, not to test yer gullerbilli--"

"Silence!" snapped the lady flashing pure rage from her eyes, and perhaps something a bit more evil. Beethro thought he glimpsed-- something else in those beautiful orbs, but perhaps it was just the light. "This are no ordinary prisoner, these are Budkins! We must be especially watchful of them, and until they have been to meet Her I will tolerate no more loose lips around them, who knows what they may do with that knowledge. These brutes are not so dumb as they look."

The little men cowered, awed by her rage, and went about their duties of dragging Beethro and Dirkus off to another chamber, large and hallowed, with a wide pit in the middle, so deep they couldn't see the bottom. They were both bound tightly to large stalagmites, then the little men hurried off, seeming quite on edge, leaving the two of them alone.

"We're SCREWED!" said Dirkus.

"Calm down, calm down. I'm sure there's a way out of this." said Beethro, seeming ponderous. "Although I must admit, my plans all revolve around me having my sword."

"Your SWORD?" exclaimed Dirkus incredulously. "How would you use your sword with your hands bound?"

"Well, to start with I'd--"

Just then the chamber started to shake just a little, and acrid smelling vapors began to rise from the pit in the center of the room. Strange moaning sounds, most definitely not of human origin could be heard emanating from below. Most people, faced with smells and sounds of this sort, especially bound and trapped underground, with the only light coming from some sort of phosphorescent moss, would probably panic and start to scream; Dirkus was at least whimpering. Beethro felt slightly shaken. Just as he was beginning to favor the more popular route of full-fledged panic, he felt something scratching at his wrists.

"What the--?" thought Beethro, yet the next thing he knew his arms were free, and he immediately fell forward, and since his arms were asleep from being bound so long, smashed his nose hard on the stone floor. "Always the legs first! ALWAYS the legs!" growled Beethro, and then his legs were free, and he was able to roll over and see his benefactor.

"Gobby!" exclaimed Beethro. "I never thought I'd be so glad to see a goblin behind me! But how--"

"No time! No time! Me help him now!" and the goblin rushed over to untie Dirkus, who seemed absolutely unaware that Beethro had been freed. Instead he was staring fixedly at the pit in the center of the room, his lower lip trembling. Beethro followed his gaze, and immediately wished he hadn't.

A tentacle, far larger than any serpent Beethro had ever seen was extending out of the pit, and in the dim light, Beethro could swear he saw figures protruding from the sickly flesh. Arms, legs, faces of various creatures all seeming in extreme agony and as if they were trying to escape, yet at the same time conjoined with this tentacle. Beethro had never wanted his sword so badly before, not even when he had to go to his cousin Wussthro Budkin's wedding and had to go without the touch of cold steel for nearly half a day. All at once the eyes of the figures trapped in the tentacle locked on Beethro, and the massive extremity swung itself at him.

Durkis, though, was free now, and Gobby yelled "We run now!" Beethro needed no further encouragement, and quickly set off after them down a cramped passageway, barely avoiding the swing that surely would have ended his smiting right then and there.
A loud unholy howling came from behind them in the pit room, shaking the tunnel and loosing some dirt.

"I never thought I'd be saying this to a goblin," said Beethro, "but... thanks."

"Dead Beethro no give money." said Gobby in a matter-of-fact tone "Now we go see new friends."

"New friends?" said Dirkus suspiciously but Gobby had already set off down the tunnel and they had no choice but to follow.

"We just better find my way back to my sword..." muttered Beethro under his breath as he journeyed onward into the eerie dim light, feeling quite naked, and very much not himself...


[Edited by Drizzo on 03-14-2004 at 11:50 AM GMT: format, consistency, spelling, emphasis]

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03-14-2004 at 09:06 AM
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.... Meanwhile.

Lady Tiendra was feeling quite pleased with herself as she inspected the two fine pieces of Budkin steel before her. "Oh ho! This is too good! Never have I seen such workmanship, and they're so... so..." she paused, feeling somewhat flustered, "... big."

"Aye, yer ladyship!" groveled one of the hairy little men nearby, "We did well--- I mean yer brilliant plan did well 'n capturin' those dirty Budkin scum, true genius 'f ev'r I sawr it."

"Yes," said Tiendra lounging backwards in her opulent chair, a look of triumphant contentment on her face, "it was true genius, if I do say so myself." Turning her attention back on the swords, she began speaking softly to herself. "I can't believe it, these blades are so alike... the verses only spoke of one, yet both of the swords seem to radiate the power which one should I destroy? It would be a shame to ruin two when only one is mentioned in the proph--."

But her reverie was just then interuppted by and earthshaking howl. "Mother!" gasped Tiendra "But how--?" Tiendra felt her blood drain away from her face, as she realized that "Mother" was very displeased, and that there was only one possible explanation on what should have been so triumphant a day. The Budkins must have escaped!

"They've escaped from Her lair! Quickly! QUICKLY! Get the others and after them! They must not survive to fulfill the prophecy! She must have a chance to dine on their souls!" But those last words fell on thin air, for the little men knew better than to dawdle in obeying Lady Tiendra's orders when she was in a state of agitation, and they had never seen her so agitated as this.

"Well at least we still have their swords," said Lady Tiendra, "and they will be back in our clutches soon enough, after all these caverns are deep, confusing and dark, and they have no way of finding their way around. Oh, Mother, we shall prove that seer wrong yet!" Yet she did not feel quite as confident as she sounded, for the final words of the prophecy, the ones whose meanings were all too clear, still rang clear in her mind.

By a very big sword, and Budkin Blood
Light shall come and end the years,
Where Chbit rules the from the abyss mud,
And controls man's world with pure fears.


* * *

"I can't believe you were whimpering back there," mocked Beethro, "I thought you called yourself a Smiter!"

"I wasn't whimpering!" growled Dirkus, "I was-- I was clearing my throat so I could cast aspersions on that creatures mother I was. So as to make it rageful, and not so concentrating on proper defense and all."

"Mmmhmm," said Beethro, with a wry grin, "Whatever you say."

"I was!"

"I wasn't calling you a liar," said Beethro "I'm only sayi-- Quiet! Did you hear something?"

They quickly ducked behind some rocks and listened closely, and sure enough in the distance there were hurried footsteps and muffled sounds of orders being given. "Little hairmen," spat Gobby, whose Goblin ears were more sensitive underground, of course, and could recognize their accent at this distance. "Quick. We move now!"

"I think we can take them," whispered Beethro confidently, hefting a very large rock "with surprise on our side, I bet I can brain a good dozen of them."

"Don't be foolish," snapped Dirkus, "We don't know how many there are, and if we find Gobby's friends, then perhaps we can get some backup and some real weapons." Nevertheless, he too hefted a large rock, just in case.

"You decide quick." said Gobby, "They getting closer."

Indeed they were, now even the Budkins could make out the peculiar accent of the little hairy men. "After 'em, they must be this way!" one of them, apparently the leader, shouted.

Gobby looked imploringly down a small darkened tunnel, away from the voices, "We go? Please?"

Beethro looked at the tunnel, thoughtfully weighing the benefits, while wondering how much brain splatter this very large rock of his could create... "Hmmmm..."

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03-23-2004 at 06:49 PM
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Then, they came around the corner, most of them holding torches and large clubs with spikes. Beethro and Dirkus needed no more urging, and they dove into the nearest tunnel after Gobby.

As the noises of the hairy men faded, they kept on running in a large half-circle, around to the area at the back of "Mother's" lair.

Gobby whispered, "Food Chamber! Wait for hairy men to leave!"

Indeed, there was a group of about fifteen walking down the passageway, which was lined with cages which couldn't be seen into. They stopped at three small cages, and opened them up. Three small ferret-like creatures were pulled out, squealing, and the men dropped them down a hole below the place they were looking out. An awful sucking sound was heard.

One of the men shouted down, "De main course, e's coming in a minute, yer ladyship!" The men hung around for a while when three more appeared, towing a cage larger than them.

"Yer got 'im, did yer?"

"Come on, lets get 'im in the 'ole before SHE gets angry."

"E's tied up, is 'e?"

"Yep."

"Let's get 'im out an' sling 'im down."

Beethro, Dirkus, and Gobby noticed that all the hairy men drew their clubs out of their belts. As the side opened, a snarling sound came from within.

"Time ter go!"

They ran inside and grabbed whatever-it-was. However, a huge cloud of smoke jetted out, and they reeled back, coughing.

"Where's ther muzzle?" one screamed.

There was a sound as a chain snapped in half. A young dragon, claws still not yet half grown, lunged out and into the pack of hairy men.

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Screeching, flipping, gliding, sliding,
The red hawk's dance of death.

.....the king of the skies.....
03-24-2004 at 03:58 PM
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As the men scrambled to get up, the dragon decided this was a good time to practice its fire-breathing skills. The nearest few hairies screamed as they burst into flames and fell backwards down the hole. The dragon looked vaguely surprised and pleased with itself, and sounds of contentment came from below as SHE crunched through her very first roasted meal. The hairs of the rest of the hairy men went on edge, and they started fleeing from the dragon in all directions. As four men homed in on the tunnel of Beethro and co, Gobby squealed and started pulling at them.

Dirkus started moving, but Beethro held him back. "It's only four, we can take them easily. Besides, they're busy fleeing."

"But we left our stones back at the other end of the tunnel!", said Dirkus. "We can't take them out without any weapons!"

"Sure we can," said Beethro, just as Gobby entered a new state of panic, grabbed the earlobes of both Budkins, and dragged them both into the middle of the tunnel with amazing speed. There he stopped dead, and let go of their earlobes. Dirkus looked around, and saw the outline of more hairy men running towards them in the tunnel. "We're trapped!"

Gobby turned purple. Pretty nice shade, actually.
03-24-2004 at 04:50 PM
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The dragon reared back, and roasted the front line of hairy men. As the four of them started backing up slowly, the men fell back, resorting to the bow-and-arrows method. However, the dragon, who was in front, was immune to the arrows because of his scales, and the rest of them crowded in behind him.

"I've got an idea," said Dirkus.

He pulled a small dart with a barbed point out of his bag and looped it on to a thin rope. He threw it with practiced excellence, and it hooked around the handle of the largest cage of them all, directly beside where the hairy men were.

"PULL! PULL" shouted Dirkus. As they did, the sliding lock pulled back, and the door snapped open. A roar sounded from within.

"Now RUN!" Beethro paused to get another large rock, then followed him and Gobby. Behind them, the dragon covered their retreat for a few seconds, then followed.

Their path wound along the side of a deep chasm. A deep stench came up from far below, and to make matters worse, the path was slowly going down.

Eventually they came to a thin side-passage, and went up. The dragon, not exactly small, followed only with great difficulty and a few blasts of fire here and there to melt the rocks.

However, the passage narrowed and ended. Then, Beethro heard something.

"Shhh! I can hear someone talking!" he said. "It sounds like that weird Tiender or whatever she called herself."

"Their swords'll be melted in 'alf an 'our, yer ladyship!"

"Hmmm. Maybe I should let you live. Even so, you have failed me. The Budkins escaped. However, no thanks to your stupidness, they will not live. Those that enter the abyss do not come out."

Beethro and Dirkus looked at each other for a second, thourougly spooked. Then Gobby nudged them.

"Look, look, side chamber! Space." They went in, and sadly, it did not lead to anywhere, but they were no longer crushed. Even the dragon got in eventually.

"So, who are you, dragon? And how do you come to be here?"

"Speak with respect, for I am the revered son of the great Clancy of the North."

"Uh...sir. How did you get here?"

"I was napping in the forest one night when a large number of men dressed in white ambushed me and knocked me out. I woke up in a cage. From the talk of the little hairy men, I have found that this mountain is a legendary place of great evil. However, a prophecy is written on the walls of a great abyss in their realm, that one day will come one who will defeat the dark and mysterious ways of this realm."

"Uh...sir. Is that writing on the wall over there?"

(Okay, guys, I know that sounded really lame. Still, it's important to my continuation.)

The dragon said, "It is written in the old tongue. I will try to decipher it."

After a few minutes of scratching symbols on the floor, he said, "Not all of it is here. The rest is buried under this rock. The original, I believe, had four hundred and fourteen verses. Only Lady Tiendra knows them all. However, the last three and most important ones are here."

"Its time is done, fate is strong,
The chain will snap, the rope stretch taut.
It will flee to the underworld, long and long,
But not from destiny long ago wrought.

and

The chosen ones shall pursue,
Four they are, three they will be.
One fire, two strong, one weak born anew,
All noble, unsuspecting, but free."

and

By a very big sword, and Budkin blood,
Light shall come and end the years.
Where Chbit rules from the abyss mud,
And darkens man's world with pure fears."


[Edited by The_Red_Hawk on 03-24-2004 at 07:31 PM GMT]

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Screeching, flipping, gliding, sliding,
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.....the king of the skies.....
03-24-2004 at 07:30 PM
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"Not a very good poet, whoever wrote that," remarked Beethro. "Still, she's got a good choice of subject matter, although I would have preferred it to say Budkin stud instead of Budkin blood..."

"We don't really have time for this," said Dirkus, urgently, "They're still looking for us."

"Well now," jibed Beethro "I've always found that there's as much time as I need to consider my next step, and it's far better to be careful that be trapped on some dungeon trapdoor. But that's neither here nor there, and I certainly wish we had some here, leave those hairy buggers behind a deep pit, that'd be nice. Of course, my sword is still in their clutches."

"We can always find another sword!" said Dirkus "Let's go see Gobby's friends and get some supplies and reinforcements, they wouldn't have sent him to us if they weren't on our side and against her."

"There's no time for that, you heard them, they said my... my..." Beethro's voice started to crack, "my Flicky would be melted in half an hour."

"Your Fli-- oh, oh your sword. Well, not quite so tough now are we?"

"You were whimpering about a mere accursed demon rising up from a pit to devour your soul, I'm talking about losing a friend here!"

"I wasn't whimpering!" snapped Dirkus.

"Alright, well, have it your way," said Beethro, feeling cheerier as action came to mind. "But we need to retrieve this sword, and quickly at that... I've got a question for you, what was your name, sir?"

"Elmer, good Budkin" replied the Dragon grandly.

"The hairy men, said something about having paid your father to bring us here, I had assumed until now, he had betrayed us."

Elmer's eyes darkened, which is quite a terrifying thing to see on a dragon. "No mortal man, or even an immortal evil sorceress has enough wealth to bribe a dragon." Elmer gave a little dragon snort, small gouts of flame singed Dirkus' eyebrows. "He was paid with my life, which obviously they were about to renege on."

"Why didn't Clancy just burn them all to cinders?

"No one can fight in the face of Chbit, the abyss demon, she projects such pure fear, that all are helplessly paralyzed to challenge her in her presence."

"Zuh?" said Beethro, obviously confused.

"True, I was a little... unnerved" said Dirkus, "but I certainly wasn't paralyzed by fear, were I not tied up and had my blade, I gladly would have vanquished her. Perhaps that's why the poem mentioned Budkin blood."

"You could have left me tied up, as long as I had my sword." boasted Beethro "I would just have--waitaminit! We don't have time for this idle chitchat! LET'S GO SAVE FLICKY!" And with a roar, Beethro bounded off down the passageway, back towards conflict.

Dirkus rolled his eyes but followed him, muttering "Well, I guess the sword was in the prophecy as well..." The dragon gave Gobby a reassuring look, and gestured for him to climb upon his back, and they to rode off down the tunnel in order to save... a sword?





[Edited by Drizzo on 03-24-2004 at 08:26 PM GMT]

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Whew! I've finally had the time to return to the Forums. What a lot you can miss in three weeks!

The story is getting very interesting and exciting, although a little abstract again, so I'll see what I can do with it. (I'm also a little rusty at story-telling, so I apologise.)

The four slowly squeezed to the end of the passageway. They listened again and the sound of a roaring furnace could be heard behind the wall.

"We've got to break through this wall," said Beethro. "It's the only way we can get to the swords in time."

Under normal circumstances this would have been a relatively easy task for a dragon, but a few kilometers under the peak of Boo, inside a very tight passageway of rock, this proved to be very difficult for the dragon since there was so little space. After careful re-manouvering so that Beethro, Dirkus and the goblin ended up behind the dragon, the dragon tried to breathe fire at the dead end. At first he could only send jets of smoke out as he couldn't inhale enough air, but the rocks to either side of him soon melted and he was able to breathe properly. A few minutes later, the dragon had melted a hole through the rock wall. The dragon squeezed through and the rest followed after the rock had cooled down sufficiently to be walked on. The four found themselves in a large cave containing a giant furnace of some sort. The dragon, using its hard head, smashed the furnace open and withdrew the two swords, glowing white hot. He carefully dropped them into a container of cold water nearby to cool them down and then proceeded to consume the fuel inside the furnace, for he had not eaten in a whlile and was very hungry. Presently, the swords were cool enough to handle and both Beethro and Dirkus retrieved them.

"Good old Flippy," said Dirkus. "Why, you're even in better condition then when I found you."

Beethro also inspected his sword, and found that like Flippy, it too was imbued with some strange substance that seemed to have made it resistant to melting - even the point was still intact and almost as sharp as it had been previously.

Having gotten back their swords, all four decided that they had now better try to find a way out from this underground maze of passages.

"I don't care what the prophecy says," said Beethro. "I'm not going down an abyss to look for this demon, especially if it has such strong supernatural powers. I think we would need help if we want to assail her."

All the rest agreed that this was the best course of action, for none of them, in spite of the prophecy, particularly wanted to go down to find Chbit either.

The four set off down the tunnel at the other end of the cave and began to follow passages that seemed to lead upwards. Soon, however, the group noticed that the passage they chose in the fork they had come to a few minutes earlier was actually now sloping downwards and the substance of the walls had turned from granite to a very dark substance.

Beeethro began to wonder if they should turn back now...

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03-28-2004 at 09:26 PM
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