Joined: 05 Sep 2005
|Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 5:30 pm Post subject: Chapter 2 - The undoing of Smee.
Cast (in no particular order):
Evil Homer as ‘The Paladin Hero’
DukeReg as Oaf Duke Reginald Percival Thunderking Harwobble the Fifth.
Phang as The Dark Mistress
Muaddib as a wheely thing.
Smee as ‘the victim’
Jnmrcs as the High Commander
Luvd and Mr Moochie as ‘The Ravens’
Hyperion as the Mage.
And one more. It could be YOU!
Warning: Contains torture.
Homer and the Duke strode through various corridors and rooms in the grand fortress. Duke Reg’s eyes swiveled this way and that in wonder at the structure. Evil Homer could understand his awe. The fort at Cra-yon pass was a marvel of engineering.
Built many centuries ago by the combined races, including the now-extinct dwarves, it had taken hundreds of years to construct and was the Great marvel of all the lands. It was to be the Capitol city in a new era of piece and co-operation between the Silver Kingdoms and hence the foremost architects and designers of all the races had combined their talents and skills to design it. The Fables+ of all the factions had funded it and engineers of every species had worked together to build it with the finest materials available. Finally, the greatest of all the mages from every land cast mighty spells and charms over it to protect it against harm and ensure it would ever be the wonder of the world.
Naturally, after only a few decades of enlightened co-operation the old arguments began anew, and then the disastrous race-wars left the place with only a few thousand loyal guards to hold off the Dark creatures from the lands beyond. Luckily those creatures didn’t take advantage of the dissent between the various factions, and by the time they did turn their eyes in the direction of the Silver Lands the races, minus the dwarves who had been wiped out*, were once again in a position to resist.
“This place big and white.” Was what the Duke had to say about it as they strode through the many columned Hall of Enlightened Thinking.
Evil Homer smiled at his simple remark. He rather liked this big Oaf of a Duke with his straight-forward view of the world. No evil for him to purge here!
They arrived at the eating hall. A huge place crammed with soldiers and supporting staff of all the races. Food of every type was being served at the many stalls around the main canteen and Duke Reg’s face beamed with joy at the site. “Oh! This place good!” he said and strode towards the nearest booth, which happened to be an Elf run stand which only had vegetarian cuisine. He took a tray and scooped piles of greens straight onto it.
Evil Homer watched the big man as he went from stall to stall and simply piled whatever food was there directly onto the growing heap on the tray. When it could hold no more the Duke sat down at the nearest table and began shoveling food in using his hands. A small crowd gathered around him in fascination.
Evil Homer took a more modest repast and sat near the Duke to eat his own fayre. By the time the Oaf’s tray was empty there was a crowd around Duke Reg applauding his appetite. Reg simply beamed at them all impartially, food smeared over half his face and most of the surrounding area.
A guard sidled up to Homer. “Good Paladin. The Commander of the allied forces would like to see you.”
He nodded. “I will be along shortly.” The lackey scurried away.
Evil Homer heaved a sigh and stood up. “Come on Duke, we need to go.” The Duke nodded and, wiping his mouth with his sleeve, rose from his chair and followed Homer.
“Where we going?” he asked as he fell in beside the Paladin, bits of his meal fell off him as he walked, leaving a trail of assorted foodstuffs behind them.
“To see the chief. Must have an important mission for me.”
“Ooohhh!” Duke clapped his hands together excitedly. “Can I come? Please please please?”
The Paladin smiled. “I was hoping you would say that.” And the two strode off down the hall, the big Duke skipping along happily.
Phang loomed over the poor wretch. “Your name fool. What is your name?”
The unfortunate cowered under her stare. “P p p please h h High Queen, my name is Smee and I dun nuthin’ wrong. Really, it’s all a mistake. I’m just a carriage driver, I just…”
“Quiet fool. I will be the one who decides if you are innocent or not.” She gestured to her guards. “Take this simpleton into my laboratory; I will work on him this morning.”
As the guards dragged the poor driver away screaming she sniffed. “What is that smell?” Looking around she spotted Muaddib crouching in the corner, an intense look upon his face. “NO! Bad Muaddib!” she shouted. “Don’t…”
It was too late. There was a short sticky sound and Muaddib wheeled around with a relieved look upon his face, a pile of smelly brown mess behind him. He gave it a sniff and looked up at his mistress with an innocent expression.
Phang gritted her teeth. “I really am going to have to get you house trained.” She grimaced and stalked away to prepare for her morning torture.
The Dark Queen’s ‘Laboratory’ was the most feared place in the kingdom. Mothers would tell their children if they were not good they would be sent there. Unfortunately, this ended up being true for some.
Phang walked into her favorite place. Being a mage of power unequalled in living memory, as well as twisted and bloodthirsty, she had managed to combine her skills into the art of ‘sculpture’ as she put it. Along with the traditional torturers tools such as the Iron Maiden, whipping posts, the stretching ladder, knee screws, breast talons, heretic forks, her iron lock jaw and a variety of pliers and pincers she had added her dark magic powers and a surprisingly good knowledge of the human (or demi-human) body.
Smee was ready and waiting, tied to the preparation table. Sometimes Phang would have a plan, other times she just made things up as she went along. Today she stood before the whimpering wretch and mused out loud. “Now then. A driver are you? Well, according to my guards you were caught without a permit, on a road you were not authorized to use and they claim you had partaken of liquor.” She shook her head and made a tsk sound. “Oh dear, I feel I must be very stern with you. What say you my pets?”
She was talking to her pet ravens who were kept I a large cage to the side of the main work area.
“(croak) The eyes! The eyes! Start with the eyes!” screeched Luvd, the smaller of the two. Luvd was particularly fond of eyes, and many a victim’s ocular orbs had been donated for its dinner.
“Nay, the wheel. Put him on the wheel” Mr Moochie, the second raven said.
Phang cast a quick smile over at the two birds, who were hopping up and down on their stands. “Oh you two, always so supportive.” She cast a quick spell over the victim which would ensure they didn’t pass out under ‘interrogation’ and then prepared the eye gouge. Smee saw the activity and started thrashing and screaming. His thrashing was limited by the expert bonds, but the screaming started to give Phang a headache. “Now Mr. Smee we wouldn’t want to have to remove your teeth and tongue so early in the day would we?”
She approached Smee and held his head with one surprisingly strong hand, clicking the eye gouge with the other. “Now then, hold still my dear, this is going to hurt a lot.” So saying she brought the instrument to bear on his left eye. There was a brief sucking sound, drowned out by screams and the eye sprang free with a small ‘pop’, quickly followed by the right eye. Phang held one gently and swiveled it about. “Here you go, now you can see behind you without moving your head!” she guffawed at her own little joke. Smee obviously didn’t think it so funny.
“The eyes the eyes! (croak)” squawked Luvd jumping up and down on its perch excitedly.
“In time my pet, we want our guest to see what’s going on don’t we? Now then, The Wheel** did you say?” She searched amongst her tools. “Where did I put that hammer? Always misplacing things. Ah, here we are.” She picked up the large hammer with one hand. “Now then, the legs or the arms first? Mmm, let’s do the legs.” So saying she brought the hammer down upon one foot, smashing it half flat.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGG!” Said Smee.
“Oh hush, I’ve only just started” said Phang and swung the hammer again to renewed cries. Slowly and expertly she pulverized Smee’s legs, crushing them from the bottom up to his groin. Flesh and bone crunched and blood seeped over the edge of the table, to be carried away by the gutter placed there for that very purpose. Smee’s cries echoed around the castle and Phang’s servants knew their Mistress was at work.
Phang finally stood back and admired her handiwork. Smee’s still sobbing body was intact, but his arms and legs were now a crushed and mangled mess of blood, tissue and bone.
Phang wiped her brow with a tissue. “Phew, hard work this eh Smee?” She paused at a knock from the door. “Hello? Someone comes to interrupt me at work? This had better be good. ENTER!”
A small man with a damaged leg entered, he was obviously extremely nervous. “WELL? What is it???” screamed Phang.
“M m m mistress…” The man stammered and thrust a piece of paper at Phang before running for his life out of the door. Phang stared at the door for a second and then muttered a few words of magic. There was a scream from a little way away as her spell caught up with the unfortunate messenger. “Hmmf” said Phang and looked at the message. It was from her generals at the siege of Cra-yon. There had been re-enforcements on the side of Light, and they were requesting her immediate presence on the field of battle.
“Bah” said the Dark Mistress and flung the note down to the floor. She turned to Smee’s mangled remains. “It seems it is your lucky day” she said, though Smee would have argued this point quite strongly. “I need a steed to transport me, and you are the most convenient candidate.” She studied him for moment. “Hmmm, yes, that would do nicely…”
She spoke a word of command and the now pointless restraints flew open. Phang raised her hands and cast magic. The room darkened and small points of light gathered around the barely living form of Smee. Slowly his tortured body began to quiver and stretch as it began to assume its new shape…
“Enter” came the voice of the High Commander in answer to the rap on the door.
Evil Homer and Duke Reg opened the door and walked in to the commander’s office. It was a large and imposing room, walls lined with bookshelves and maps. A table was set to one side with a map of the battle area laid flat upon it. Various small manikins placed upon it moved themselves in response to the troop movements outside.
High Elf Lord Jnmrcs sat behind a large desk, which was covered in papers. He was reading from a scroll when the two walked in. Glancing up and seeing Homer and the Duke he hastily rolled it back up and sat upright. The Lord Elf was a handsome figure of an Elf. He had long dark hair and finely chiseled features, though that was normal for an elf. He wore a robe of dark green and a necklace of fine gold around his neck.
“Welcome Sir Paladin. Welcome to your friend as well…” He raised a questioning eyebrow.
“Duke Reg” said the Duke simply.
“Aahh, I see. Then it is fortunate indeed you are here, for it is the arrival of your troops that has sparked off this little meeting. Sit please sit” and he gestured at some chairs in front of his desk.
The Duke sat down heavily in one, beaming all the time. Homer followed in a more dignified fashion.
“Now then, let us get right down to business” said Jnmrcs leaning forward on the desk. “Our good friend the Duke here has brought extra forces to bear in our fight against the Dark Ones. This has resulted, so our intelligence has led us to believe, in the summoning of the Great Evil Herself: The Dark Mistress Phang. My informants have just brought me news that she will be coming to the front line in the next couple of days.”
Jnmrcs sat back and steepled his long fingers. “Now then. If she gets to the front she will be a serious threat to our forces. Her magic is the strongest we have ever encountered, and her presence will be a moral booster to those forces with moral to boost.”
“I take it you have summoned me here to do something about this?” Said Evil Homer.
“Yes indeed. If you and a small force slip out of the fortress, you may have a chance of laying an ambush and putting paid to this foulness forever. If you can do that, the Dark will have been dealt a severe blow.”
Homer stood up. “I will leave immediately” he said.
Jnmrcs held up his hands. “Hold sir Paladin, I beg you. Even your great self cannot hope to counter this wickedness alone. You will need a small force and some magical aid. I have summoned one of our most powerful wizards, High Mage Hyperion, to accompany you. He will be here before you leave. However, you should also take a small squad with you.” He made a small gesture and the door opened to reveal a figure. “Here is one of our best squad leaders, skilled in the art of tracking and woodland survival. They will lead a small squad of Rangers and will travel with you.”
Evil Homer turned to look at the squad leader. “I am honored to make your acquaintance. May I have your name?”
“Of course” the new recruit replied. “I am known as….”
+A unit of money. Ahem.
*Nobody missed them; they were always bad tempered and most people agreed the world was a slightly happier place once they were gone.
** The wheel was a real and very nasty method of torture used in medieval times. Some details here: http://www.torture-museum.com/wheel.htm