What's all this barmy stuff?
Want to find out what has been forgotten in the Styx?
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The Singey Streets of Dis
Dis: Run-Down Building
Smoat hurtles merrily through a burning doorframe out into the streets calling out, "Freedom! Freedom!"
Phona rolls out, daintily pulling up her short leather skirt as she flips to a landing.
Merj bursts out as the portal closes behind him, and lands boogying into a large heap of junk.
Smoat stands up from kissing the floor... "Eh, is dis Freedom?"
Phona chuckles, "Not by a long shot cutter."
Merj picks himself up, slipping his moldy hammer out to check if it's ok, and then slipping it back. Some piece of debris are lodged in his turban.
Smoat wrinkles up his face and spits. "Dinna think so. Dis doesn't taste like Freedom at all."
Phona looks around, walking around the old pieces of timber, "Doesn't look like they've put the fires out yet. Used to be able to get some great sparkles here."
Smoat looks up at Phona. "Sparkles, yez says? Are yez on dem drugs?"
Merj desperately tries to dislodge the things from his hat, as he wobbles around the place not looking where he's going.
Smoat scampers around desperately, dashing towards Merj. "Eh! Watch where yez'iz headed, dis isn't de Gatehouse!"
Smoat grabs on to Merj's cloak, and tries to stop his marching around.
Merj desperately tries to dislodge the things from his hat, as he wobbles around the place not looking where he's going.
Smoat clings for dear life, clenching his teeth and nearly crying. "Please! Yez don't know what yez'iz doing!"
Phona stand calmly in the middle of the building as watches Merj spins around with Smoat hanging on, "No, sparkles, gems. One of the best Jewelers this side of the Astral, until he started messing with elemental gems."
Merj flails about trying to unwedge something sparkly from his turban.
Smoat screams, "Ohhhh..." *whoosh* "Elemental..." *whoosh* "Gems. Is sparkly, yez?"
Smoat punches slightly at Merj through the robes, hoping to slow him down. "For the love of god, yez!"
Phona grins, "Yes, those sparkles were his downfall too cutter. Pretty, not worth a jink, and more flammable then a drunken Salamander."
Merj's turban explodes in small ball of fire.
Smoat looks up at Merj's flaming head and slowly climbs off. "Eh, Merj, yez'iz head is on fire."
Smoat glares at Phona. "Flammable jems, eh? What do they taste like?"
Phona pulls back her head and laughs, "Looks like you've found one Merj. I'd come over and help, but I'm a doomguard, and it's probably against my philosophy. Anyway, I think the look suits you cutter."
Merj bats at his hat, trying to put it out, the light emitted flickering over his slightly shiny skin.
Phona looks over to Smoat, "I'm not sure cutie, hot I'd wager."
Smoat sits down. "Eh. I believe we was searching for freedom?"
Smoat stands back up.
Smoat looks down at the seat of his pants, "I believe I sat in something bad."
Merj takes off his turban and beats it on the ground, eventually putting it out, but starting the nearby rubble on fire. He places the slightly charred lump back on his head, motioning Smoat to lead the way to freedom.
Smoat pulls a flask of water from under his shirt, "Here, Merjie, use dis," and tosses it up. On hopping to throw it, he starts levitating slightly.
The small leather flask holds approximately .5 oz. of water.
Phona giggles, placing a clawed hand over her dainty mouth, "Freedom in Dis, yes, we were. Quite a little quest there berk!"
Merj catches the flask in hands, the wrong way up, but this luckily allows the water to land on the nearby rubble, causing it to smoke. The heap seems to be enjoying it for some reason.
Smoat quirks an eyebrow and walks (through the air) over to Phona. "Dis is Dis, eh? And not Freedom? I taught dis was Freedom?"
Phona says, "Not freedom, no, ya sodding cutie. Great place for a party though if I say so myself." With this she grins, stirring some of the debris with her foot, "This party was nothing, cutters."
Smoat scratches an eyebrow, blinks, and reaches down to pull up his left sock. He pulls it up, puts his foot back down, initially misses the ground due to his present state of not touching it, and quickly reestablishes his relationship with gravity.
Smoat plops to the ground.
Smoat stands up and dusts himself off. "Well, I dunna care about no parties, I'z lookin' fer Freedom. Where izit?"
Smoat squints and tightens up all his muscles, and hobbles over to Merj. He climbs up to his shoulder, and whispers conspiratorially in his ear, "Was I doing it again?"
Merj giggles, and starts grooving to the beat again, though no music plays. Seeing Smoat levitating, an obviously barmy figment of his imagination, has balanced his sanity the other way again.
Phona grins, "Well you cutters could always look. Can find everything for the right jink here, though it tends to have chains, locks, and some heavy fiends attached."
Smoat frowns and stands up straight on Merj's shoulder, leaning against the ashes of his burnt turban. "Well, buggrit, praps I kin fin' some Freedom with locks attached. That way Crackers won't try and take it when we get home."
Smoat squints at a sign on the wall. "The Gatehouse: Freedom from the Heat, in the Center of Dis."
Merj nods, making ash float down onto his face.
Smoat perks up slightly, "Eh, de Gatehouse is here, not only in Sigil too! An' Freedom! Dat way!"
Phona grins, "Great Cutters. Dis has just about everything. While I'm here I should go see an old friend, he's an expert at leather.. of all kinds. I'll see you cutters later. Lady's Grace!" with she waves daintily, and slips out between one of the wrecked walls, leaving with a crash.
Merj giggles, waving idly at Phona as she stalks off.
Smoat shakes his head and waggles a finger at Merj. "She's bloody flighty, don't yez be having dem bad thoughts about de likesa her."
Merj peers up at Smoat, doing a slight shuffle dance in defiance as he walks out the door.
Dis: Busy Street
Smoat has arrived.
Merj shuffles to a stop with the crowd passing around them, and wipes sweat off his brow, mixed with ash.
Smoat tries to see how long he can hold his breath, and lasts fourteen seconds. "Is bloody hot out here. We need ta find dis Gatehouse place, eh? Looks like dat Iron ting over there."
Merj peers at all the iron around, a look of confusion crossing his slightly opaque eyes as he tries to figure out which iron thing Smoat is talking about.
Smoat grins, "I hope it's meatloaf day in dere, it is up in Sigil."
Smoat swings around to Merj's other shoulder, and points at the highest tower in teh city.
Merj stumbles as a large fiend bumps into him, seemingly on its way elsewhere. This bumps him into the crowd around, a group of scantly clad slaves snickering at him.
Merj gains his balance, people still shoving, and tries to peer up at the tower, and up, and up. He starts to tilt slightly, almost falling down, but luckily the surrounding crowd is to tight to allow him to fall over.
Smoat looks around and starts shouting, "Hey! Any of yez know which wayda get over to dat place?"
The surrounding reddish light is suddenly blocked out, Merj and Smoat standing in shadow, as a large fiend steps over them. Only briefly though, as it moves on its way.
Merj pulls his burnt turban closer over his head, trying to hide inside it.
Smoat turns around and yells back at the fiend, "Hey, yez big red poor eggsgoose for a Ting Of Your Nightmares, watch where yez'iz goin!"
Smoat sits back down on Merj's shoulder, holding a bit of his turban that is covering the space on his head that might be ears, and chortles to himself.
Merj peers around, trying to push his way through the crowd but not succeeding. Most of the things are generally bigger, and pushing is a bad idea when it might mean suicide by impalement of pointy armor.
Smoat sighs, huffs, puffs, stands to his full height, and bellows, "Outta the way!"
The crowd starts to disperse quickly, even adventurers picking up their chain mail kilts and taking a run. Small fiends and imps quickly flee through everyone's legs, and the slave climb over themselves to get farther away.
Smoat puts his small hands on his small hips, puffs out his small chest, and laughs. "Har har har, yez buncha buggers, outta de way, wheeza lookin for Freedom!"
Merj giggles, his eyes still closed from the earlier fiendish encounter, as he hears everyone disperse.
Smoat sits down again, and leans against Merj's head. A bit of ash falls off the side and buries him.
Merj snaps open his eyes, and gulps. Smoat still standing and looking behind Merj's shoulder at the dispersing crowd, only Merj sees the large Pit Fiend standing right in front of them, with a grin.
The pit fiend, it's wings laid gracefully behind it's back, actually looks quite dignified, though a bit distracted at the moment. It hardly notices Merj and Smoat standing it it's shadow, and seems to be looking at something farther in the distance.
Merj gulps, and knew those pits and holes would sneak up on him eventually.
Smoat sneezes, and a puff of ash blows off of Merj's shoulder. He brushes feverishly at the ash. "Eh, I'm all ashy!" he blows off his shirt, "Eh, what'd dat?"
Smoat stands back up and frowns, "Hey! Yez'iz in de way, yez!"
Merj slaps his hand over Smoat, and starts crab walking to the right in the now clear and empty street.
Smoat bites feverishly at Merj's hand, but can't seem to break free.
Muffled shouts emit from the Rilmani's shoulder, as the pit fiend continues looking around.
The pit fiend ignores the crowd around it, the task of evilly manipulating all the mortals in existence obviously more important to its time. It grins evilly, and continues on it's way.
Smoat busts free from between two loose fingers, "Hey! Dat's right, yez better run!"
As the crowds begin to merge back around Merj, he takes the time to shuffle over to the next street, still holding his hand over Smoat.
Dis: Crowded Street
Smoat has arrived.
Merj walks into the crowd, and then begins hopping from foot to foot, his thing slippers not enough to stand the iron road below. In fact there actually starting to char a bit.
Merj says, "Urg!"
Smoat wobbles as he stands up on his shoulder perch, nearly falling off. "Eh! Dis isn't the time to be dancin, Merjie!"
Merj points to the ground and then to some local slave children who are boiling strange speckled eggs on the roadway.
Smoat shouts, "Hey, why is yez dancing? Straighten up, if de Gatehouse staff ever saw yez all crooked like, he'd flip!"
Smoat smells the air, "Oooh, eggggs. I 'aven't eaten sins yesderday," he hops off of Merj's shoulder, and nearly hops right back up after hitting the street with a "YOWZA!"
Merj tries to hop off the roadway, but the crowd here is even thicker then before. The heat leers at everyone, stifling into the cracks.
Smoat ows, ooohs, and eeeys over to the misshapen children. He sits on top of one's head, and pinches his ear. "Hey! I wants some o' dat roight now, yez! Respeccherelders an' soforth, cmon!"
Merj continues hopping, peering suspiciously at the crowd as the calmly walking along the burning hot roadway. The fact that they waver sideways in the heated air and up and down from Merj's perspective, is not helping.
The child whose head is being used as a perch swats at Smoat, "Gerrof me, yer dwarfer! Getcherown!"
Smoat shouts, "Hey, I told yez to all stand up straight! Yez'iz confusing poor Merjie, he's tryin' to fine Freedom wiv me!"
Merj starts to hop his way towards the children on the side of the road with Smoat, making some progress with only thin slaves in his way, and no pointy bits.
Smoat kicks his child sharply, and hops down into his egg, grabbing a bit of the yolk and carrying it, dripping hot grease, across the street to Merj, screaming the whole way.
Smoat climbs up Merj's leg and wrests in a pocket at about waist height. "Here, yez, eat summadis. It's good. Dose kids over there dinna wanna share, but I did, so I took some for yez."
Merj continues hoping towards the edge of the road, the tall iron buildings starting to provide some shade. He picks a bit of Smoat's egg, popping it into his mouth as he hops.
Smoat bounces in Merj's pocket, happily snacking on a bit of egg, and dripping slightly into the already quite muddled fabric of the Rilmani's robe.
Merj hops finally into he cool, at least not burning, shade of the iron buildings. Seeing a nice iron block sitting there, he sits down, lifting his feet in the air to cool.
Smoat crawls quickly out of the pocket before being crushed and sits down, finishing the egg.
Merj sighs, the small pupils of his eyes following the nearby people.. er, creatures here, who seem to be tearing down the building. He looks a bit panicky, then shrugs, they can't tear it down fast enough to get rid of the nice shade anytime soon.
Smoat lays back and closes his eyes. "What a..." he yawns "bloody long day. I'm gonna get some shuteye here, wake me up if yez'iz explodin', Merjie."
Smoat closes his eyes, and shortly begins levitating again.
Merj peers at Smoat finishing his egg, and pulls out a old piece of bread crust from his pocket, starting to nibble, flopping his legs back and forth from his perch on the tall block.
Merj suddenly watches the whole scenery go downward eight feet, and wonder if he's levitating too. Crawling to the edge of the block, he hangs his head down, enough to see a pair a fiendish hands gripping the block.. and carrying it somewhere else.
Smoat gets woken abruptly as the lifted block crashes into him, and kicks his gravity back in. He scuttles down the side of the block, taps a fiend on the shoulder, and asks - "Say, where're yez takin' us, den? I was tryin' to sleep."
The fiend, a barbazu with a wirey beard and very fierce, ugly teeth, looks up at the gnome, and says - "Ta make a building wit."
Merj hanging from the backside of the block, decides the view isn't too exciting, and crawls back and sits cross legged on the top. The view of Dis spreads out below him.
Smoat nods contentedly, and before returning to the top of his block, where the view is much better, asks, "We isn't gonna be a part of dis building once yez drop the block, are we?"
The fiend gives a crooked, toothy grin, as though pondering what gnomes taste like.
Smoat says, "We taste awful."
The fiend shrugs, and stops grinning. "Well, yar donna have to help the Dis Building Team if'n you're citizens, I guess, but I'm garna enlist yer if ya is."
Merj grins happily at the new circumstances, massaging his singed feet while occasionally ducking passing iron overhangs.
Smoat nods slowly. "Nononononoooo. Is we, me an' Merjie, gonna be parta dis building dat you're making outta dis block?"
The fiend squints. "Are youse tryin' to confuse me?"
Merj nods happily, only bits of the conversation three feet below coming up, and watches all the buildings passing by happily.
Smoat grins brightly and says, "Yez!"
The fiend says, "In dat case, er, no."
Smoat looks satisfied, and continues his manic grin while returning to his perch on top of the block with Merj. "Anything exciting out dere? Seen Freedom yet?"
Smoat shouts down the side, "Incey-dental-ee, yez wouldna happen to know where Freedom is, wouldja?"
Merj shakes his head, but points happily at a passing iron statue of early battorian design, circu thirteen millennia, with the tell tale straight spiky bits of the day.
Smoat ignores the muffled grunt of an answer from below, and admires the statue. "Say, Merjie, is we dere yet?"
Merj shrugs happily, just as the nearby scenery goes flying up in an irony blur, and a grunt of effort is heard from below. The Barbazu seems to have dropped the block to the ground, near a pile of identical blocks, while of course missing the important features of other Merjs and Smoats.
The barbazu grunts, wipes his sweaty hands off on some nearby pointy bits, and grunts again. "I taught I taw a rilmani up dere. Arr well, I need to keep working."
Smoat hops off the block. "So, dis is it, eh? Lets go see if it's meatloaf day, eh?"
All content copyright 1999 Jeremiah Golden or credited authors.