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Chapter 23 -The Key to my Heart.
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
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Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 5:01 am    Post subject: Chapter 23 -The Key to my Heart.  

Chapter 23 -The Key to my Heart.

Synopsis:
The Dark Queen Phang and her Evil Horde have invaded the Silver Lands and taken the Gnomish Capital city Chundyer, forcing the King to flee north to unknown lands. Only an artifact known as the Black Heart has the power to defeat her Dark magics, and Phang has dispatched an Evil Demon to recover this for her. Meanwhile she has turned her armies west, towards the human realm.
Duke Reg and a small party are hot on the heels of Duke’s small sister, who has been abducted by the mysterious Sorrow and his eight headed goose. Already they have had a brief and brutal encounter, which left both parties injured.
Further on, in a secret mountain lair searching for the Heart, Homer and Shanty met a talking Ass who directed them down the Path of Water and into thence into another strange realm.


Cast (in no particular order):
Evil Homer as ‘The Paladin Hero’
Chainfire as Homer’s sword.
Araex as Homer’s steed.
Shanty as Captain Shanty.
Dragon Fire as The Dragon Guardian.
Kalanna Rai as the Bad Ass.

DukeReg as Oaf Duke Reginald Percival Thunderking Harwobble the Fifth.
Key as the Magical Dignified Chamber Pot.
D-Lotus as the Elven special forces commander
Solomon Birch as a misguided AlbinoDrow.
Random as The Thing.

Sorrow as a mysterious robed figure.
Mother goose as a hydroose
Sunbellina as Duke Reg’s little sister.

Ingrothechundyer as Ingro Chundyer the Gnome King.
Reiso as Gnome Prince Reiso
Cantolope as King of the Fairies
Author as Gnomish Wizard.
Duffman666 as Duff (man).
Jack D.Mented as Darkness Mented.

Phang as The Dark Mistress
Muaddib as a wheely thing.
Lord of the Night as an Evil Demon Warrior.
Powers That Be as General Powers ‘the perverted.’
Luvd and Mr Moochie as ‘The Ravens’
Dean as the Dean the Head.
Smee as the Smee Slug.

Cryzmon as Baron Crymzon.
Ravenwing as the Elven envoy.


The Fallen – Lest we forget..
Jnmrcs as the High Commander
Hyperion as the Mage.
CowofDoom666 as the Cow of Doom
Idea Master as the Wretched minion.
Shady Stoat as the Twisted Witch.
Ethereal Fauna as Ethereal Slug.




Remains.

The tower stood silent, mist from the swamp seeping in through the lower windows and spilling onto the cold stone floor. Water dripped from above the door to a room where an intricate pattern was drawn onto the floor. In the center lay a tangled mess of bones and insect carcasses.

There was a small movement. Another. The digit on one of the stripped fingers moved a fraction. The remains of a beetle fell aside as another moved, and then another.

Slowly, very slowly, the mess of bone and insect bodies stirred until, with frightening suddenness, the carcass sat up and a piercing inhuman scream issued forth from the jaws of the empty skull.

Homer

Moving carefully Homer eased closer to the small group of water beings. There were three in the center, with four or five more standing around them. ‘A guard perhaps’ he thought.

“We cannot afford to storm the Slloi now I tell you!” said one, “they are too strong. Wait until reinforcements come from the Laeg, then we shall take them and return them to the Core.”

“And what if our brothers are too late? What if the damn Wisps hinder them, or worse still, drive them back Laegwards, away from us? We cannot afford to tarry long. I hear other Slloi may aid their brethren here, and then we would be mightily outnumbered.” The second figure turned to the third. “What say you cursethrower?”

“You are both right and both wrong. Should we dally too long we shall be undone. That needs no to scrying to see. Yet, the future is in shadow, there are other forces at work here, ones I cannot fathom.”

The first spoke again. “We should strike and strike now. I admit such will cost us much of the Mass lost to the Core, I acknowledge this, yet the prize stands beyond those walls, ours for the taking if we dare! The end to this conflict is in sight if we just grasp the opportunity!”

The second shook his head. “Yet how shall we take those walls? We lack sufficient force!”

“There may be a way” said the third again, who seemed to be some sort of mage. “Should we attack in force I may be able to slip a small party inside, whilst their powershapers are defending against our Undoing curses. A small group of heroes may succeed where an army would fail.”

The three turned to face the castle as one and the first spoke again. “It is a plan, but where would we find such heroes?”

Sorrow.

Sorrow paused a moment as a sudden cold chill swept through his body. Mother Goose, waddling behind him bumped into his leg.

“Now what?” came a voice from behind.

“Quiet witch” scowled Sorrow. He considered dumping the girl, but swiftly decided against it. He would have a use for her later on. Still, it was tempting. His arm felt like it had been crushed by the bumbling oaf and it didn’t seem to be healing as quickly as he would like. He looked around the cavern that had entered. Piles of gold and precious jewels were stacked high. He ignored them. Wealth meant nothing to him for now.

“Look at all this treasure!” Said Sunbellina, eyes wide.

“Pah. Treasure,” Sorrow dismissed the fortune as he saw the three tunnels leading out of the cavern. “Aha!” He set off again, jerking the girl behind him and, making a random choice, entered one of the tunnels with the goose and the girl close behind.

Homer

“I may be able to help you.”

The water creatures whirled as Homer stepped forth. The ones around the perimeter suddenly grew spikes from their bodies and started towards him. Homer raised his hands. “Hold! I come to aid you.”

The first creature made a gesture. “Let gu* speak.” The guards stopped their advance, but didn’t retreat either.

“What are you creature?” said the third one. “You seem to be one of us, but I sense you are not of the Mass.”

“I am just passing through, from another realm. I have a quest of my own, which my intuition tells me leads inside yonder castle.”

The third pushed its way through the guards towards him. Long tentacles extended from the mage, encircling Homer, prodding and poking him. “So strange a being. Gu is not as gu seems. Yes, gu looks like us but gu is more like a Slloi. So inflexible and solid.” The mage withdrew his feelers. “Yes. Yes. This must be what I have been sensing recently. An alien presence into our world, disrupting the balance and throwing the powers into disarray.”

“You trust this outsider cursethrower?” The First figure stepped up beside the water mage.

“I believe the factors have aligned. If gu is infact from another sphere of existence, and such have been reported before in the freezings of cursethrowers in the ages, then this coming is no accident. Our war is reaching a conclusion, for Core or for Separation, a momentous event which must have reflections in nearby planes. No, this…this thing, could be our only hope.”

“My name is Homer. My companions…” he turned and gestured at the others to approach, “are Captain Shanty and Guardian Rai. May I have your names?”

The water beings looked at each other. “I am sorry thing. I don’t understand. Are you all different races then? Like us and the Slloi or the Wisps?”

Homer looked confused as Shanty and the ass sloshed up. “Homer is my name, what I am called. My designation.”

The water mage made a gesture, which could have been an equivalent of a shrug. “I do not understand you Homer creature. It must be a strange place you are from indeed.”

Homer sighed and gave up. “What is this ‘segment’ you spoke of before?”

*Gu. In this land ‘he’ and ‘she’ are unknown. Instead they use this word for ‘people’

D-Lotus

D-Lotus moved briskly down the tunnel beyond the metal door, closely followed by Solomon with an adoring look on his face. Duke Reg, holding his chest with one hand and his giant hammer with the other, and the thing called Random followed close behind.

They stopped briefly as the tunnel gave way to the cave of treasure.

“Wow!” said D-Lotus. “Think of all the clothes that this could buy! I would dress myself in the finest silks and garments.”

“Oh, you would look dashing in anything” said Solomon edging close and clasping his hands together.

D-Lotus, who would normally have responded with something overtly disgusting paused. There was something about the Drow Elf that was making him uncomfortable. “Which way did Sorrow go?” he asked, as much to get Solomon away from him as anything else.

“I will search immediately sire!” cried Solomon, “rest your shapely legs whilst I look.” He leapt away and started scouting the cavern floor.

“Are you okay Duke?” D-Lotus turned to the big man, who was wheezing.

“Duke be okay when little sister safe” he replied simply, though he did sit down on a large pile of gems to get his breath back. “Sparkly!”

“He went this way! The path of Earth.” Called Solomon from near the entrance of one of three tunnels leading away.

D looked at the passageways. “How do you know it is the ‘Path of Earth’?” he asked.

Solomon pointed to a faint inscription above the tunnel. “It says so here.”

“Oh. Let’s go then.” D-Lotus gave the Duke a hand up and, pausing only to scoop up a handful of gems which he put in his pouch, he stepped up to the tunnel.

Rai.

Rai stood close to Homer and Shanty as the water mage made last minute preparations. From the valley below the strange sounds of alien battle rose, as the water army launched their assault against the Slloi castle.

“So let me get this straight then” said Shanty. “These water beings have been at war with the other races for, well, ever over this Key?”

“That seems to be the case” replied Rai, who was a magical creature and so possibly understood the explanation that the water mage had given them more easily. “This realm is divided into four. Fire, earth, water and air. Fire was defeated many millennium ago, and the other three have been fighting ever since. The land was once intermingled, and all the races lived together in peace. However, the Slloi wished separation from the others, and broke the Key to the Core, which is the heart of the realm, into pieces. Over the ages the pieces were separated and lost. Now two have been recovered by these water beings, the other two are inside the castle, held by the Slloi. If we reunite the segments the way to the Core will be open again and the land should heal.”

“and this will help us how?” asked Shanty, casting a suspicious eye over the incantating water wizard.

“I feel the way to the Core is the way we must travel” said Homer. He opened his mouth to say more but the water mage approached him.

“These are the segments of the Key.” He gave Homer two pieces of what looked like a large green gem. “Put them together with the other segments to open the way to the Core.” He paused. “I am putting the hopes of the land with you alien creature. If you betray me I will follow you through this world or yours to take my revenge.”

“Have no fear mage, I am an agent of Good” Homer answered.

The mage stood back. “I have no idea what that is, but I see no other way to accomplish our task.” He made a strange movement. “Fair thee well!”

Homer, Shanty and the Ass vanished.

Below them, the battle raged.

Lord of the Night.

A dark hole opened up in the air, tearing it in two and offering a brief glimpse of a realm only the most unfortunate of souls would ever see. A black shape of a hideous demon stepped through, looking about calmly as he did so. “Ah, this brings back pleasant memories,” Lord of the Night said to himself as he sniffed the forest air.

Pausing only to glance towards a fallen tree where he had once thrown a dragon, he flapped powerful wings and launched himself into the sky, towards a small iron door halfway up a nearby mountain.

Sorrow.

Sorrow moved his arm about, examining it. It made a grinding sound as the rocks that seemingly made up part of his body scraped together.

“What is this place?” asked a smaller earth creature behind him. The witch had transformed into a humanoid shape of mud and stone, as had Sorrow and Mother Goose, who looked even stranger than the others.

“We are in some other dimension” said Sorrow, a little unnerved himself. At least it seemed to have fixed his arm up. He cast his senses about, having to concentrate hard in this strange environment. “This way.”

The earth witch and goose stumbled behind him down the corridor, which seemed to be made of the same mud and stone as they were. In the distance booming sounds could be heard. It sounded like fighting.

Ignoring the noises Sorrow moved along as fast as he could, stepping aside for a troop of enormous man shaped earth creatures as they thundered past in the other direction, thankfully ignoring the three intruders.

Finally the smell of power Sorrow had been trailing grew strong, and he pushed his way through a door into a large chamber. Near him was a brown dais, a green gem resting on it. Across the other side of the room was a similar dais and gem.

“Ah!” he would have licked his lips, but this form didn’t seem to have any. Approaching the dais he examined the gem. There seemed to be no traps or alarms. He picked it up cautiously. Nothing happened.

“One down, one to go” he said to himself.

Before he could do anything more though, a door nearby the other gem opened and four other earth figures entered. Sorrow stood still, not sure of who these newcomers were.

As he was about to speak there was a flash of light near the rear of the chamber. Three other creatures appeared, seemingly made of water. One held two of the green gems…

IM

A tattered figure staggered along the wall of the tower. Pausing only to scoop up some ragged remains, which it draped over itself as a kind of hooded cloak, it tottered along towards a desk covered with grimoirs and arcane instruments. One thought burned though its skull. ‘Revenge.’

Shanty.

Shanty had her sword drawn as she re-materialized inside a large room made of brown mud and stone. She looked around and gasped as she saw two other groups of what must be Slloi. “Homer!” she exclaimed pointing, “The gems!”

Homer followed her finger and saw one of the mud creatures holding a piece of the key. The other was on a dais near a group of four more figures.

One of the four spoke. “Homer? Is that you? It is me D-Lotus! We came through a path of Earth following…Sorrow!” He looked at the Earth figure holding the green gem on the other side of the room.

The transformed figure of Sorrow spoke, holding his gem high. “That’s right! Stay where you are all of you! This Key is the only way out of the realm. If you attack me I will destroy it, along with all hopes of escape and any chance of defeating Phang!”

Shanty gasped.

>>>>>>

A stand-off! Sorrow presumably doesn’t want to destroy the gem any more than the others do, but he may just do it if they attack. Then again, Sorrow is still a powerful figure and he wouldn’t go down without a hard fight.

What should they do now?

<<<<<<
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Smee



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Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:55 am    Post subject:  

Wow..Great Chapter.

Fate* has brought them all together once again... :shock:

There's nothing Good can do but attack. Any delaying or talking with Sorrow will just give him more control on the situation and chance to decieve them.

ATTACK at once with everything they have.

Happy Writing :)

*Well chinaren anyway ;)
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LordoftheNight



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Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 7:55 am    Post subject:  

find out just what it is - so far all he's done has been to kidnap sunny, but e hasn't hurt her in anyway...yet

i think homer shuld try to find out just what sorrow is up to, and if he's telling the truth about the key - otherwise they may never deafeat phang - not that i'd mind that

on second thoughts - attack, and let sorrow destroy it
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ethereal_fauna



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Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 8:14 am    Post subject:  

Secure the other piece, and then Good will have three sections of the Key. Don't attack Sorrow right away, but try to figure out a way to buy time- with a little more time you might be able to get the other piece without attacking Sorrow or risking its destruction.
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Sorrow_A
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Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:07 pm    Post subject:  

Bow down before the almighty Sorrow so that he may kill you and deal with his reformed wretched minion.
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Key
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Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:43 pm    Post subject:  

Sorrow_A wrote: Bow down before the almighty Sorrow so that he may kill you and deal with his reformed wretched minion.

:lol:

I agree with LOTN's first impulse. We don't know why Sorrow kidnapped Sunny, but we know that he's saved Homer once, and he may want to defeat Phang. Find out who he is and what he's trying to do. We don't have much to lose by talking; we've got three pieces of the Key already, so he's not going to get them all from us.
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Solomon Birch
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Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:56 pm    Post subject:  

Way to go Chin, good chapter! But then again, has Greed ever gotten bad.... *scratches head* I don't think so. :D

I agree with Smee, that Sorrow is too powerful and deranged to try and talk with about getting the key-piece. They should charge, all 'guns' blazing and try and finish him quickly. Duke certainly would...

Alternativly, I suppose that if someone can hold Reg back, Homer might try and use some of his paladinic brains to diffuse the situation, but I just can't think how. I mean, he's just a paladin; he bashes evil things... That's about is... :?

*holds breath* :shock:
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LordoftheNight
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Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 1:25 pm    Post subject:  

Quote: Way to go Chin, good chapter! But then again, has Greed ever gotten bad.... *scratches head* I don't think so.

i dont it
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Shady Stoat
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Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 2:11 pm    Post subject:  

Sorrow will no doubt betray Homer and the rest of 'Good' eventually. We can't trust him, but that doesn't mean we can't form a temporary truce or even an alliance with him.

I agree with Lordy. What does Sorrow want? He's after something - is it something that Good could offer him, if they won? We need to find out.

Talk to him. Study him. In the meantime, go after the fourth piece of the Key.
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D-Lotus
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Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 5:16 pm    Post subject:  

Nice.

Sorrow doesn't have much of a choice...he can't do much with one piece. Offer him to give it to the good side...and if not...well, charge...
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Suneila
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Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:05 pm    Post subject:  

They need to form some uneasy alliance. You know, agree to work together to leave this place, and separate once you're out. They'll have another dilemma as to who gets Sunny when they separate, but at least we can stall for a while.

~sunny
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jess1561
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Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:17 am    Post subject:  

Yeah, something definately needs to happen... A truce would be good... Maybe there is a way to make Sorrow not so sorrowful?

No matter what happens we need to get the other piece of the key back and and Sunbellina too...
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Chinaren
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Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 6:51 pm    Post subject:  

Okay then, poll is up.

Vote away you twisted individuals!
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DukeReg
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Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 7:01 pm    Post subject:  

Duke at least has Sunny as a first priority, and would lie, cheat, beat up, betray, threaten, cry and/or browbeat anyone to get her back.
Once he has her back, he'd start to worry about secondary things like the fate of the world and all these shiny beads everyone seems to want so much.
I think he at least should try to avoid involving Sunny in a pitched battle. He wouldn't be very trusting of Sorrow though...
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Chinaren
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Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 7:01 pm    Post subject:  

Continuity error alert!

I have just realised that I lost Key, the magical but dignified chamber pot, somewhere along the way! :oops:

I will do some back editing to fix it!

Sorry Key!!
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Key
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Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:54 pm    Post subject:  

That's OK. I'd lost track of where I was too. :)

But I'm glad that I'm back. :D
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Shady Stoat
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Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:33 pm    Post subject:  

I had been wondering about the friendly-neighbourhood chamber pot. But I thought the author must know what he was doing.

Trusting fool I am :P
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LordoftheNight
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Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:21 am    Post subject:  

Well, being evil I think they should attack him, watch as he smashes the stone and traps them their forever.

However, voting for what they would do I went with negotiate with him.

Maybe someone kidnaped Key, as an act of revenge for shitting on him...
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Solomon Birch
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Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:08 am    Post subject:  

Voteeeeeed! :biggrin:
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Suneila
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Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:18 pm    Post subject:  

I voted for a truce (at least temporarily). And I broke the tie (at least temporarily)


~sunny
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Chinaren
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Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:33 pm    Post subject:  

Okay then, truce takes it. I will start work on the next chapter.

I know where things are leading (believe me, it's complicated) but I need to figure out the details, and I am struggling with a few key points. Ah well, something will turn up, it always does.
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Chinaren
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Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:59 pm    Post subject:  

okay then. Chapter 25 is up, so locking this down.
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