What's all this barmy stuff?
Want to find out what has been forgotten in the Styx?
Not enough barminess for you?
The Barmy Shorts Company Presents
A decent depiction of the Outlands, complete with cardboard Spire and someone above the stage dangling some butterflies-onna-string, decorates the stage. Standing stones are littered about the painted background, and a lone tiefling wanders merrily across the stage, whistling a happy tune about Lanning the Chant to Some Berks. He makes his merry way to center stage, as the background slowly scrolls past, and a big authentic looking arch gets rolled into place by the cutters under the stage. In front of the arch is a heavily armoured humanoid, with sharply handsome features and a very big, pointy sword.
The Tief: Heyo, blood, I'm on me way to Sigil. Important date, you know, first anniversary of my newspaper, the Lady's Sharper Eye, my fantastic list of portals to interesting places, and my codex. I need to get to a party in Sigil to celebrate, can I pass?
The Per: You? Own the Lady's Sharper Eye? Ha! That's owned by Ashenbagh, you know, really big planewalker in these parts. Don't think you can fool me, you lower planar scum. I know your type.
The Tief (Ashy): Well, let me lann you the dark... (he leans in closer to the per) I'm old Ashy, here in the flesh, me boy.
The Per: (laughing) Suuure you are. And I'm the Queen of bloody Arboria. Listen, you'd better run along, this is a very big, pointy sword I have here and I like using it to cut lower planar scum up into nice, fun sizes.
Ashy: I thought I was a fun size?
The Per: Well, it was kind of a bit of metaphor. You know those little candy bars, come in small packs that say Fun Size on them?
The Per: (grinning slyly) Ahh, well that proves it. Ashy would've known what I meant, ah hah. You can't be him then.
Ashy: I am, buggrit! Look, this is the proof for the next Batch of the LSE!
The Per: This is a proof for Batch 6, sod.
Ashy: That's the point, you know the Backissues Project?
The Per: The LSE only releases the most reliable chant on the Outlands, berk, not crummy old news like that rag in your hand. I suggest running along, if I were you. I'd like to do some cutting into fun...
Ashy: Bugger you and your fun sizes. I've got a packet of Happy Suckers and Spinal Leaches here in my bag, and I can give you a taste of either if'n you don't let me through.
The Per: (throws his hands in the air) Fine, but you need to go through a Customs inspection. We can't be letting you take anything illegal into Sigil, the city needs to be kept clean from that sort of thing, you know. Be kind enough to stretch your arms out, this'll only take a moment of your time.
Ashy: I assure you...
The Per: Hands up, me boy.
Ashy: (puts his hands up with a sigh and a roll of the eyes) I am Ashenbagh, you know.
The Per: (gazes up and down Ashy's body, humming and beeping whenever he detects a metal bit) Suuure you are. What would Ashy be doing with this then, eh? (he pulls a dagger out of Ashy's pocket)
Ashy: The same thing you're doing with that big pointy bugger there at your waste.
The Per: True, true. (he resumes his scan, and begins beeping again) Ahh, now, what's this here? A book of e-ville, is it?
Ashy: That's my Codex, like I said. Are you through yet?
The Per: (it frowns and resumes it's search, beaping again) And what of these, dangly things? Portal keys back to some sinister lower plane, I'll bet.
Ashy: They're my keys. I use them to unlock my house, the box I keep my things in, my locker in Sigil... that sort of thing. You know, keys.
The Per: (frowns and sighs) What about this sheef of paper and leaves, eh? What's that? Contraband, I'd guess. Intoxicate the masses? I'm on to you, fiend.
Ashy: It's tobacco. I smoke it. It tastes like vanilla.
The Per: (throws his arms in the air in frustration) Fine, fine! Ruin my good time, fine, see what I care. Go ahead, go through the portal. Ashy indeed, bah. Go right ahead. I'm going to be demoted for this for sure...
Ashy steps through the arch, as the lights fade out and curtains close.
The scene opens on a well decorated room, full of streamers and people wearing goofy hats. Several in particular, namely a very old looking Githzerai, an ugly little mephit, and a shifty looking bugger with an anarchist logo on his collar. The lights are dimmed, and the three are speaking in hushed tones. Sounds of thunder from outside come in through the windows, but the room seems pretty dry and comfortable. A surprise party.
The Githzerai (G): (mutters to himself a bit, and turns to the anarchist) It's getting a bit late out, I need to go back to me kip and polish up the ol' mimirs.
The Anarchist (A): (shaking his head) He'll be here soon, he probably just got a bit delayed. Don't worry, I sent out some of my boys dressed as Hardheads to bring him in, they don't usually fail in such easy duties.
The Mephit (M): If they get lost, it's their own fault for not owning a copy of Br...
The Githzerai and the Anarchist: Shutup.
A: He'd know not to buy a copy of your dirty volume - the ads you print in my newsrag are bloody awful.
M: (sullen silence) Well, it's my rotten ads that pay for your spit news. 2 stingers indeed, that's because people won't pay much for poor quality.
G: (grins slyly) Both of you, please. Neither of you would be here right now if it weren't for my lovely mimirs, and you know it.
Thunder crashes as the Anarchist is about to speak.
M: Anyway, they should be here soon...
The lights darken completely, and the curtain closes.
The curtain reopens again, showing three hardheads wearing slightly ill-fitting armour walking down a dark street, on the still poorly lit stage. They look a bit shifty, and quite moist from the rain - which is pouring.
Hardhead Impersonator 1 (1): Thank the powers we're bein' payed for this, I'm getting bloody soaked.
Hardhead Impersonator 2 (2): I wouldn't worry about it, it's just a bit of rain.
Hardhead Impersonator 3 (3): That's the point. Sigilian rain can eat flesh, if the conditions are right. Especially if you're a gnome, I hear.
2: Regardless, we need to find this Knickerbocker fellow and take him to his party. The poor bloke, probably thinks his friends in Sigil've forgotten it's been a year since he came onto the big planewalking scene.
1: It's Ashenbagh, and ya, he's in for a surprise.
3: Definately, yes.
Invisible Speaker: Yes, hehehe, definately a surprise! Yez'll be sure of it, heh!
The lights dim, and struggling can be heard. Shouts of "ow!" "not in the face!" "damn, I hate custard, I said not in the face!" and the like are heard, as the curtains close.
The curtains open a few minutes later, the background now painted to show the collapsing and reerecting of buildings of every type of architecture imaginable. Tall, white humanoids with large hairdos float around towards the back of the stage, speaking holding up signs with rebusses on them - apparantly as an effort to communicate. Fake rain fills the stage, due to a bit of magic employed backstage. Ashy walks on from the left, whistling another happy tune about Bashers In The Rain, as three shadowy figures in Hardhead uniforms police-walk in from the right, bumping into him in center stage.
Ashy: Well, hello officers! Lovely day, no?
Officer 1 (1): (Officer 1 is curiously very, very short) Hey, bumping into people in Sigil is an offence, yez'iz guilty! Isn't he, Number 2?
Officer 2 (2): (a bit of drool trickles out from behind number 2's mask, and bits of a dirty robe hang out from the cracks in his armour. He says nothing.)
Officer 3 (3): Uh... boss...
Ashy: Ahh, against the law eh? Too bad. I'll just be off then, eh?
Ashy begins walking to the right, but with a quick flash of light and a sudden reality shift, bumps into number 2 - who is standing directly behind him.
1: Are yez mocking me? Yez did it again! Yez're under arrest, right now. Number three?
3: Uh, ya boss?
1: Put him in chains.
Ashy: Wha? I'm here on anniversary, I'm Ashenbagh, big planewalker? I assure you, I'm no threat at all!
1, 2, and 3: Suuure you are. Just come with us.
Officer Three slaps a pair of cuffs on Ashy, and the four march off back into the darkness. Officer 2's armour falls off to the ground, revealing the staring, drooling rilmani within... it walks off in the opposite direction of it's companions.
The streets of Sigil, the next day. The weather is nice and bright, though big muddy puddles riddle the streets. A githzerai is talking to some primes, as Ashy walks all bleary eyed back on stage.
The Githzerai (G): Ashy! How was the party last night? You were a madman, definately not yourself my boy.
Ashy: My company was a bit mad, I'd say.
G: Ya, we have a tendancy to get a bit barmy at parties, I must say.
Ashy: You planned that whole bit with the Hardheads?
G: Quite clever, eh? You were surprised as hell when you arrived at the party.
Ashy: You might say that. You guys capered and danced and screamed at me all night.
G: Ahh, it was definately fun. How did you like Magnum's singing?
Ashy: (blinks and rubs his eyes) Magnum? Opus? She was there last night?
G: Well, she did do her special snake dance just for you... surely you remember?
Ashy: Not a thing. I do remember getting choked by a marilith though.
G: That wasn't her. You're sure you don't remember that? Or when old Brix had his book blow up on him?
Ashy: Brix had in on all that too? You're kidding, I thought that would be below him.
G: Nothing is below Brixxie. You laughed quite hard. And our chess game, that was grand.
Ashy: We didn't play chess.
G: Yes, we did...
Ashy: I don't think so. I remember last night perfectly, almost, and don't remember you or Miss Opus or Brix.
Ashy: What happened last night?
G: We had a party for your one year anniversary.Ashy: Yes, I definately attended
one of those. Was it in the Gatehouse, or surrounding?
All content copyright 1999 Jeremiah Golden or credited authors.