What's all this barmy stuff?
Want to find out what has been forgotten in the Styx?
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Chess Game in the Damp
The Gatehouse: Courtyard
Merj sits down on the grass, its dampness bending it in a rubbery curve.
Smoat glares across at Merj... "Ready to play then, or are yez just gonna be sitting there?"
Merj stares blankly at where a chess board should be.
Drevix apparently is waiting for something to happen
Merj drops chess board to the ground.
Smoat rubs his hands together eagerly, "Are yez goin' to be de white or de black team?"
Merj peers intently at the chess board for a few minutes, and then very careful moves a pawn forward. He then seems to go back to his serene contemplating.
Smoat croaks out a giggle and narrows his eyes at his Rilmani companion, "Yez're gonna lose, this time. I'm bound to win, I am."
Merj moved a black pawn to a white square, thus insuring balance.
Smoat moves his Queen's pawn forward across the life sized board with an intent push.
Merj stares ate the board, thousands of moves seeming to cross before his eyes.
Smoat crosses his arms and giggles contentedly for a bit, waiting for his opponent to signal a move. "So, Merj. How's the weather been in the Outtilands deez days?"
Drevix falls asleep instantly.
Merj waves his hands, seeming to signal it's been fair, but a bit to many rains of Slaad.
Smoat hobbles over to Drevix, tripping twice on his big boots, and kicks him. "Pay attention, yez human! Yez might be learnin somethin!"
Drevix says, "Wha.. huh? Oh, sorry, boss."
Drevix props himself up, trying to stay awake.
Merj suddenly grins with a smirk that seems to make you want to wake up and dance, a grin that fiends show just before they realize that that really is a rain cloud of holy water and /it's over the opposing army/, and with a final twisting of the brow in triumph, he moves his pawn forward again.
Smoat runs back to the board
Smoat 's face twists in anguish. "Damnit, yez'iz a true barmy! Soiled me plan on de turd turn!"
Smoat stares hard at the board.
Merj peers over at Drevix, then slowly turns his head back to the board.
Smoat says, "Don't pick on the poor boy. He's new, remember, show some manners."
Smoat shouts, "Hey! Boy! Say hello to Merj!"
Merj raises an eyebrow at Smoat , then plucks a single flower from the grass and stares deeply into its peddles.
Drevix rouses himself, says "Hello to Merj." somewhat unclearly, and slumps back down.
After many feints, tricky glares, winks, giggles, and moving around and pondering, Smoat moves another pawn forward.
Smoat looks curiously from behind on of his bishops at Merj, "What's so interesting about dat flower yez'iz holdin?"
Merj still staring deeply into the flower, rotates it counter clockwise and continues his observation.
Smoat 's ears perk up. "What's dat? There's an elephant living in it? Yez'iz barmy."
Drevix leans over to Smoat , and whispers... "Don't you understand? He can't read!"
Smoat glares at Drevix, "Respect ye elders, kid!"
Smoat asks nonchalantly, "Merj ol' buddy, yez can read, right?"
Merj blows gently on the flower, and its peddles fly around to lie before Drevix's feet, falling as to clearly spell out "Sod" as the peddles touch.
Smoat grins from ear to ear, "Told ya," he says smugly.
Drevix mutters something sounding like "Carbs for cabbies", and goes back to trying to stay awake.
Smoat stomps across the sunny courtyard to the Gatehouse's entrance, opens the door a crack, and bellows... "NURSE!!!"
Smoat hobbles back over to the board with a goofy grin on his face, tripping three times along the way. He is sodden with dew by the time he makes it back to his spot.
Merj gently placing the now bare flower in his pocket, he moves a knight, shaped as an amusing portrayal of a bariaur frothing as it head buts, forward in its normal pattern.
Smoat giggles madly, his eyes slightly bulging, and tips backward. Staring at the sky, he makes grass angels.
Smoat says, "Eh? Yez moved?"
Smoat stares at the board, thinks a bit, looks around curiously, and pushes a bishop (a humorous looking Factol Hashkar with an oversized hat) out from next to the queen.
Smoat climbs into the crow's nest of a rook (a fairly ugly model of the City Barracks), so he can better survey the field for oncoming nurses.
Merj peers at the board a bit, then leans back to stare into the Sigilian sky.
Smoat 's stomach rumbles like Arborean thunder. "Erp, excuse me. I need some food."
Smoat follows Merj's eyes up into the Sigilian sky. "That house up there looks like a rhino, I think."
A nurse swathed in grey and displaying the Bleakers symbol begins approaching.
Merj twists his head a bit as if considering this, and tries to imagine a eighty pointed rhino.
Smoat grins happily, dives off of the rook, and runs towards the nurse with open arms. "Hello, Nurse!"
Merj twists his head back slowly to peer at the nurse.
Smoat jumps into her retracting arms and knocks her to the ground. "What did yez bring me to eat today, beautiful?"
The nurse gestures, and a man emerges from behind her, with some sort of needle.
The man chuckles gleefully, advancing on Smoat and Merj.
Smoat 's eyes dilate and he tries to run back to the safety of the rook, but trips.
Smoat screams madly, "Merj! Look out!"
Merj peers at the needle, and then swiftly, a bit too fast to discern, places himself sitting peacefully /behind/ the approaching man.
Smoat kicks Drevix for good measure as he runs past.
Drevix falls over, asleep.
Smoat clambers between the pieces on the lifelike chessboard, hiding between 2 pawns.
The man looks around a bit for Merj, and then continues advancing towards the chessboard.
Smoat turns all red (his normal colour), climbs atop a knight in a fit of madness(?), and from the foaming bariaur's head screams, "Yez'll never take me alive, copper!"
The Bleaker says, "We'll see. Either way, I get paid," and tries to jab Smoat .
Merj still seems to be ignoring everything around him, for a small caterpillar seems to have grabbed his attention as it crawls up his arm.
Smoat gargles out a scream, and leaps from the knight's head over the man, and tries to run and hide under Merj's robes.
Merj peers down at his robe, then continues to watch the caterpillar as it climbs to the top of his finger, which he holds forth to catch the light on the insects fuzzy back.
The Bleaker shrugs, and heads back to the sanctum of the Gatehouse, following the footsteps the nurse took several minutes ago.
Smoat crawls out from under Merj. "You're a bit smelly, you know. You should go wash."
Smoat wanders back to the board, and looks irritably at it and then back at Merj. "Your move."
Merj gently placing the caterpillar to loft in one of the rooks, he moves the knight back to where it started.
Smoat mutters, "Typical Rilmani move..." and wrinkles his brow staring at the board. "Yez know, I'z bloody starved. I wish that nurse wasn't trying to stab us."
Merj slowly pulls an old slice of bread from his 'smelly' pockets, and tosses it to Smoat .
Smoat grabs a pawn, and slams it impulsively 2 spaces forward. "Ha ha, balance that!"
Smoat 's eyes light up as he gobbles the crust, "Tanks, buddy!" he manages, between mouthfuls.
A bit of drool leaks down Merj's mouth, seeming to break his smooth composure
Smoat quirks an eyebrow. "Yez gots something on yez'iz face, Merj. Some manners, please."
Merj taps his nose, points to the nearby door, and holds up three fingers. This seems to signal something, but at his present state of mind, who knows?
Smoat leans forward, pulls a snotty old hanky from his pocket, and wipes Merj's face off. "Er, 3 syllables?"
Suddenly the door smacks open, the nurse appearing with a single bowl of soup, and coincidentally a napkin draped over her arm. Seeing Smoat spray crumbs all over the place, she places the bowl by Merjs feet.
Merj whips up the napkin, wiping the corner of his mouth in a smooth gesture.
Smoat 's eyes widen and slightly fill with tears. He goes back to his sodden mound of grass, and stares sullenly at his silent, dining companion.
Smoat sniffs, "Yez tricked me."
Drevix says, "Not to worry, Boss... I snuck you away some pudding from lunch."
Merj peers at the soup as if not comprehending its existence, and then turns back to the board.
Merj peers at Drevix's pocket, pondering if he's barmy enough to put pudding in his pocket.
Smoat sneaks quietly over to Merj's soup bowl...
Merj suddenly flashes out his arm... and moves the far right pawn forward once.
Smoat glances out at the board and groans.
Drevix fishes a dripping brown-stained cloth sack out of his pocket.
Smoat scowls at Drevix as he walks back to his spot. "Show some manners, boy. You need a clean napkin to eat pudding with."
One of Smoat 's eyes concentrates on the chess board, while the other invariably swings back to look at the silver bowl of soup in front of Merj, as of yet untouched.
Merj ponders if Smoat has realized that the asylum-safe-curved-spoon is slowly vibrating as it sticks out of the grass at Drevix's feet.
Smoat gets behind his queen, a downscaled version of the Lady herself, and grunting, forcibly pushes her diagonally outward.
Smoat 's yellow, gnomish teeth show through his slightly scruffy beard, as he grins happily with his surefire plan.
Drevix fishes a clean napkin out of the same pocket as the one previously holding the pudding. "There you go, boss."
Merj peers at Smoat and then, showing no concerns for time or space, he slowly picks up the small black queen and moves her diagonally, mirroring Smoat 's move.
Smoat glares first at Drevix's pudding, then at his earnest face, reluctantly taking the pudding.
Smoat quickly throws it clear across the courtyard while the boy isn't looking.
Smoat 's eyes bug slightly when he looks back at the board. Seemingly ignorant of his opponent's silent move, he umphs, picks up a knight, and moves it out of the ranks.
Merj scratches at his chin, then peers at the board until his eyes unfocus.
Smoat glares at Merj. "Yez'iz move, oh distracted one," he says, still glaring at the now cold soup.
Merj peers intently at the board, the deftly checkmates with a fiendishly complicated rilmani move.
Smoat gets up on an unmoved rook and shouts, "Bloody cheater!"
Smoat falls over into the grass and stares up at the sky, nodding off to sleep.
Drevix wakes up, looks over at Smoat already asleep, and falls asleep again.
All content copyright 1999 Jeremiah Golden or credited authors.