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What's all this barmy stuff?
Want to find out what has been forgotten in the Styx?
Not enough barminess for you?
It all starts with a key. A simple thing, a little piece of gold somewhat in the shape of a crescent, and tarnished so bad it had developed it's own case of the spots. To those sensitive to these sorts of thing, or those tiefling types who think the sod sword eater at the Jester's Palace is a food vendor, it looks delicious. Grubby fingerprints cover it's outside and it manages to sag like a depressed philosopher's pillow, and even then no one would call it more then what happens when bubbed dwarves try and monkey around with the forge instead of making proper metal things - with spiky bits. It is this key, for those few lucky sods who manage to be given it, that leads to the most extraordinary place in the cheery land of the beasties, the Banana Nirvana. It's also important to know the dark of the dingy door, the one painted a ghastly yellow, just past Trumpeters Lane in the Grand Bazaar, but it's not nearly as interesting as the gate key, nor nearly as entertaining to nibble on.
The Banana Nirvana lies, or more likely slouches with it's feet in the air, in the vines and huge leaves of the jungle so that the only way to get a good look of it is from above, where the mortai gently sift through the air, whispering and listening to the musical symphony of there own percussion as they bump into each other with a echoy, "Sorry... sorrry, about that 'old... old chap." and a "Boom boom boom.. boom boom... boom." And within the jungle and under the booming of the Mortai, and over the little rodent scurrying through the brush, and a little to the left of an interesting plant that just gobbled up a fly, and at a parallel angle strangely enough to a rusted tin can on Baator, is a small hill, or more accurately, a infinitely big depression around a perfectly non-hilly place. Around the hill, as aforementioned as not being a hill in the slightest, are the strangely silent, but perfectly grinning, shapes of lots of monkeys who are peering intently at the top of the not-really-a-hill. The monkeys sit, as quiet and barmy as a monk contemplating why people have knobby things at the end of their feet - strange aren't they? With a little bit of shellfish stuck on the end, and they wiggle like tentacles, um - they sit and stare very carefully at the small box at the crest of what only perceptively is a hill. The box sits like a monoleth, some kind of one eyed ghereleth with a runny nose that, and is as black as Bruxian night when someone forgot to leave the night light on.
The box is a grinning modron. Blackened from the dark and highly enriched soil of the jungle encountered by modron with the elephant like habit of thinking the best way to get around is straight through the trees, it also has acquired some strange wiggly markings of white clay and a twisted staff, which presumably is a tree it forgot to let go of. The name it's given itself is unpronounceable, well, if you don't want to look like a berk howling and making rude gestures, so we will call it Howl (Pl / Rogue Modron / Monk 5 / LN). In this land of marvels and beastly imagination the barmy logic of a rogue modron could find innumerable outlets, from finding if the mortai are tickled by butterflies to what the average speed of swallowed swallow is in a hundred foot boa. Howl however, after getting hit repeatedly on the head by monkeys when the Great Modron March tried to make a super lane bypass out of the jungle and managed to flatten all the elephants, has taken it into it's brainbox to teach the monkeys to be monks.
There is a certain logic to Howl's creation of the Banana Nirvana. While you can throw gears and the innards of a cuckoo clock into Nirvana and dump a whole oil can in for good measure, you can't take the Nirvana out of the modron. Teaching the monkeys the importance of calmness, reflection, and how to hurl themselves at a man and gibber wildly while waving their hands around madly in a strange fighting style, the Beastlands has been the perfect place for this return of Nirvana - Banana Nirvana. While not madly philosophizing on how much more calm they could be while still madly hopping on peoples heads, Howl and his monkey monks spend there time bringing a strange order this lush forest of bananas. There is the noon chanting, or maybe phhttting and ooking, which could truly awe a visitor as the strange hum spreads among the trees and the occasional off kilter and sprockety hum of Howl, if not for the fact they probably slipped on a banana peel by now. There is the ceremonial noon procession, as the monks line up one by one, heads bowed, and swing through the forest in a sort of holy mambo line, and of course the swwsh, eeeejh, clunk, climb, climb, climb, swwsh, eeeeh, clunk of a modron swinging through the trees. And there is also the sacred noon - it's always bloody noon - nap where monkey and modron alike dream the dreams of the Beastlands - to make a place in the world and widdle in the bushes.
Continuing the famous adventures of Merj and Smoat, barmies still in search for the true freedom of the planes which isn't helped by the fact they seem to be enjoying themselves in Baator, drops them happily with a splash into the stinking waste of Minauros, which is lucky because there's allot worse things to land in then that, and you'd be surprised what good a little acid will do to someone who hasn't even seen a bath sense Nurse Edna lost her sponge to a crafty ooze mephit. Making a swim for it, the two barmies start there grand adventure in Jangling Hiter, city of chains, or it's lesser known but often talked about in the Gatehouse name, the burg of soggy mattress bouncing. Read then the grand adventures of our gnome and a rilmani in Gloop.
All content copyright 2000 Jeremiah Golden or credited authors.