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Chapter 24 - Travel Troubles.
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Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 3:58 am    Post subject: Chapter 24 - Travel Troubles.  

Chapter 24 - Travel Troubles.

The despicable Queen Phang and her dark Horde have invaded the Silver Lands and taken the Gnomish Capital city Chundyer, forcing the King to flee north to unknown terrain, pursued by an evil shadow creature.
Only an artifact known as the Black Heart has the power to defeat Phang and her magics, and she has dispatched a monstrous Demon to recover this for her.
Phang is not the only one searching though.
Duke Reg and a small party are hot on the heels of Duke’s small sister, who has been abducted by the mysterious Sorrow. Finally they have caught up and at the same time been reunited with Homer, Shanty and a talking ass in a strange dimension.
Meanwhile Phang has turned her armies west, towards the human realm, offering the Mad Baron Crymzon a chance to join her hordes.
Baron Crymzon though has also been approached by the Elves from the great forest. Sandwiched between the two he must now make a decision…

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.
Idea Master as the resurrected minion.

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.


Reiso half fell climbed, half fell off his mule, he was so saddle sore and weary from traveling. His makeshift hat rolled off as he slumped to the floor in exhaustion. “Just kill me now! I am done!” He said to Author who was dismounting nearby, looking annoyingly fresh.

“Lay there if you wish, I for one am off to see this water hole our small friend has found,” his wizard friend said, taking both mules and leading them a little further on.

Reiso grunted and slowly climbed to his feet. They had stopped as the sun was hovering low on the horizon, throwing red patterns into the evening sky. Reiso shuddered at the sight of it. He had seen too much red flow in the battle for his city, now lost to Evil, to enjoy the color anymore. He staggered forward down a slight slope to a small pond of water which the rest of the party was gathered around, replenishing their supplies.

To one side some guards were lighting a fire. The King was speaking with some of his aides and there was general bustle as camp was set up. Reiso stumbled over to the water and thrust his head into it. It was refreshingly cold.

Pulling himself upright once more, he helped set up the camp, tending to his mount and then unrolled his sleeping mat so hastily thrust onto the mule barely only a couple of days ago. It felt like another lifetime.

He chose a spot near Author, who was peering through some sort of book, squinting in the low light.

“A little bedtime reading?” Reiso said, flopping down onto the mat with a great sigh.

“I am trying to find a suitable masking spell to hide us from Phang’s scrying, or at least make it harder for her.”

“You think she is checking on us?” asked Reiso alarmed.

“I am sure of it. I have detected spells directed at us several times already.” He suddenly stabbed at a spot on the page. “Aha! Here we go. Yes, yes, that should do it.” Without further ado he rummaged around in a small pouch at his belt and then, stepping forward suddenly, plucked a hair from Reiso’s head.”

“Ouch! Did you have to use one of my hairs for your spell?” Resio rubbed at his scalp.

“What? Oh no, but I hate pulling my own out. Now hush a moment.” Author made sweeping motions in the dirt, making a clean patch. He placed the hair on the ground and sprinkled some powder over it, chanting as he did so. Moments later Reiso saw a blur in the air rise up and disappear into the encroaching night.

Author closed the book with a slam. “There, that should confuse her for a while at least.” He looked around. “Now then, what do you suppose is for dinner?”

Dean the Head.

Phang jumped off Smee slug and picked up Dean by his hair. “Good job I decided to go for a ride isn’t it Mr. Head? Otherwise you could have been stuck in that slime still!”

Dean was wondering if the slime was not more preferable. Phang’s little pleasure ride had been to explore the countryside and a nearby farming village, where several barn animals and a couple of peasants had amused her by performing certain lewd acts with each other. It had taken the death of several young children and babies to convince them to follow her ‘suggestions’ but Phang had been mightily amused once they started co-operating. She had even let some of them live afterwards. Perhaps that wasn’t an act of kindness though.

Having returned to the army camp Phang headed back to her tent. She put Dean down on a low table as Muaddib came rolling up to her in greeting.

“Hello there my little wheelie toy! Have you been a good thing? There there, mummy has brought you a new toy!” Phang threw the broken creature a man’s hand, still fresh, which Muaddib leapt on and dragged to a corner to chew on. Dean was glad for once he didn’t have a stomach, even so he felt rather nauseous. Then a new threat appeared. Landing next to him a large raven peered at him.

“Eyes eyes!” it said excitedly, and pecked at Dean, missing his eye but knocking the head onto the floor.

“Arg! Get away from me you foul chicken!” cried Dean, blinking his eyes as the raven, and then another one swooped down at him. The two birds landed next to him and hopped close.

“Go on! Shoo!” Dean cried, frightened for his sight. “Phang! Call them off!”

Phang simply laughed though, watching the drama unfold as she poured herself a glass of wine.

Just as Mr. Moochie was about to peck at Dean, another form came from nowhere and batted the raven out of the way.

“Muaddib! Oh my wheelie friend thank-you!” Dean shouted in relief as Muaddib chased the birds away.

“Ah! Want eyes! Eyes!” cawed Luvd, flapping up away from the wheelie toy’s gnashing teeth.

Muaddib looked around, glaring at the ravens who had attacked his plaything. Satisfied they weren’t going to come back he sniffed at Dean, then dragged his friend back to the corner, where he resumed gnawing on his new hand. Dean sighed. “Out of the frying pan…”


Author awoke with a start. Something was wrong. He could feel interference in the wards he had placed around the camp. He concentrated. Whatever it was, it was not from this world. A summoning!

He leapt to his feet, shouting at Reiso to get up. Pausing only a second to try and feel where the intruder was, he ran off towards where the king was sleeping. The guards around Chundyer shouted at him as he approached.

“Be on the alert!” cried Author, something comes! With that he leapt away, rolling his arms up and pulling the Power to him.

The camp was stirring as his shouts awakened the sleeping guards. It awoke a lot faster as a piecing, bone chilling cry echoed around the camp. It came from somewhere infront of Author. He stopped running and walked more carefully. On top of a slight rise he saw something lying on the ground. It was shaped like a gnome, and as he moved closer he could indeed see it had once been one. Now it was a pile of stripped and steaming bones wearing the armor of a sentry.

Author whipped around as more shouts came from one side. He ran towards them in time to see a black shadow starting to engulf another struggling guard like black water. He raised his hands in battle magic stance and spoke words of Power.

The shadow thing stopped its attack and turned white eyes to glare in his direction as the wizard loosed a blast of white magic. It screeched in pain as the light rent its form, forcing it to retreat quickly into the desert night. The unfortunate guard remained alive, screaming in agony with both his legs now nothing more than glistening bone.

Author scanned the area as guards began to run up, lead by Reiso, his sword drawn. Sensing the shadow creature had retreated, for now at least, he knelt over the screaming guard, wincing at the mess. With a pass of his hand he cast a quick spell, rendering the gnome unconscious.

“What happened? Oh by the gods!” Reiso saw the guard and turned to throw up.

“Bring a healer, quickly!” shouted Author. “Though, I do not know if he would thank me if he lives” he said to himself, turning back to the deformed soldier. He cast a few healing cantrips, as much to staunch the flow of blood as anything, but more than that he couldn’t do. Healing was not his art.

A gnomish army medic ran up, closely followed by the King, who had managed to persuade his guards he would be safe. “What happened?” he asked as he took in the grisly scene.

“A summoning, sent by Phang no doubt. Some sort of vile shadow creature, no doubt it was sent for you your majesty. Fortunately, for you, these creatures are rather uncontrollable at times. No doubt it was carried away by the chance of an easy feed.” He gestured at the dead sentry and the injured one.

“You destroyed it though?” said the King.

Author shook his head. “I injured it, they are devilishly hard to kill these shadow creatures. It will be back, I assure you.”

The King frowned. “Not an assurance I would have looked for wizard” he said, then looked around. “Come on everyone, back to your stations. The creature has been driven back for now. Oh, hello Duff, didn’t see you there.”

“Nasty piece o’ work that,” the little man said. “Yeel be wanna get out o’ here fast I am thinking?”

“No doubt you know the best route north? For a price of course.”

“Aye, no doubt I do. Stick with Duff and yer neh go far wrong ya big scunna.”

Author sighed. It was going to be a long trip.


Phang stalked into the general’s tent with Mr. Moochie and Luvd, her pet ravens, perched on her shoulders. She was feeding them bits of… well, it was probably better not to look too closely at what she was feeding them.

“There there my pets, you have grown fat I swear, yes you have! All those lovely gnome eyeballs!” Luvd jumped up and down excitedly when Phang mentioned her favorite food.

The general was putting on his battle armor as she entered. He looked up and bowed slightly, pausing whilst tying off a strap. “My Queen.” He said in cautious greeting. The last time he had seen Phang was in the tent, when she screamed at him to get her army moving again.

Phang nodded and then walked over to the bed, where the still cooling corpse of the witch lay. “So, this is where she ended up. How touching.”

Luvd and Mr. Moochie squawked excitedly and hopped down onto the bed, ready for a spot of Eye dessert, but the general shouted and rushed over to intercept. “Get away from her you damn birds!”

“Her?” Phang said as the ravens fluttered around the tent in panic. “You do realize she is no longer breathing General?”

The general covered Stoat’s form with a sheet. “Well! Just because she is dead doesn’t mean she doesn’t have feelings you know!”

“I see,” said Phang, putting a finger to her lips delicately. “Well, who am I to stand in the way of love? Even dead love. Now, if you have quite finished playing, finish getting dressed and go and lead my army!”

The General bowed again, and Phang stalked out of the tent. “Come on you two,” she said to her pets, “you wouldn’t like those eyes anyway, far too old. Let’s go and find some nice fresh ones shall we?” She headed for the stockade, where they kept the prisoners.


Ravenwing paced restlessly up and down the room she had been assigned. She was impatient to be away from this place, back to the great forest. She always felt uncomfortably exposed away from the giant trees, and the Mad Barons’ unpredictable behavior wasn’t helping. She had waited a day for him to make his mind up. Already he had summoned her twice and quizzed her on about the deployment and power of Phang and her forces. Ravenwing had told him what she knew, trying to emphasize the danger of the evil sorceress. Baron Crymzon had also asked her about the Elven capability, and she had answered more vaguely on this score, not willing to divulge information to a human, and one who may yet become an enemy at that.

Her thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door. “Come!” she shouted, rather louder than she had intended. He nerves were getting to her.

The door opened to reveal a nervous page boy. “Please Miss Elf” he said, “the Baron wishes council with you.”

Ravenwing nodded. “I shall be there in but a moment” she replied, and the page nodded and backed away.

She took several deep breaths to calm herself. It wouldn’t do to be flustered in the interview. The Baron may be mad, but he was far from stupid.

Composed, she straightened her tunic and walked out of the door, following the page boy as he lead her along the corridors of the castle. Instead of going to the Baron’s private study though, as she had the previous times, the page turned right at the bottom of the stairs and headed towards the double doors of the throne room. ‘This is it.” Thought Ravenwing. ‘He has made a decision.’

The guards at the doorway stood to attention as they approached. The great doors opened and she heard the herald announce them.

“The Esteemed Elven emissary Ravenwing Goeth Mar-Syneth, speaking for the High Elf.”

Ravenwing strode into the hall, head held high. It was a full house. Crymzon sat on his throne in full regalia, purple cloak arranged artfully behind him. His sword though, Ravenwing noticed, was the same battle-worn one he always wore. Standing around the hall were a variety of court lackeys and important figures in the land. Arrayed on either side of the Baron’s throne were several of his most powerful wizards.

The reason for the wizards become apparent a moment later, as the image of a young woman appeared before her. The woman was clearly a projection and Ravenwing gaped for a moment as she realized who it was. Her protest died unspoken on her lips as the Baron spoke.

“Lords and Ladies” his powerful voiced boomed clearly over the hall. “Emissary from the Elves, mighty Queen Phang” he nodded his head to the two petitioners. “I have been approached by both of you with a request for an alliance. I have given the matter much thought over the last day.” He paused a moment and turned to the image of Phang.

“My dear queen, whilst I admire your accomplishments so far, I have decided that you overreach yourself. Furthermore, should I ally with you, several of my own enemies would ally with the elves, and they are on my western doorstep, an approach I feel is not so well fortified as we have been on friendly terms for many years. It is with deep regret then…”

He was cut off by Phang. “You will regret your decision Baron. I will stand by your dying form and deliver the final tortures myself!” She pointed an ethereal finger at the Baron, but the nearby wizards leapt into action, casting defensive magics. From afar Phang was no match for their joint powers. She cried out in frustration and disappeared.

The Baron relaxed visibly. “Phew! Not a pleasant loser!” He turned to Ravenwing. “Now then my dear elf. Shall we discuss strategy?”


Powers stood over his map and rubbed at his chin.

The horde, marching west away from a fortified Chundyer, a sizable garrison left manning the city defenses, had encountered the remaining Gnome forces arrayed in their path, waiting for them. Despite their numbers they were out-matched by the army Powers had at his disposal, and that was without bringing Phang’s magic into the equation. However, this disadvantage was somewhat countered by their defensive position.

He had sent scouts out around the area, and checked with some of the Horde wizards as well, scrying out the surrounding terrain to ensure the gnomes hadn’t some other forces waiting in ambush. With all reports negative he checked the lay of the land and though about a plan. A straight on attack would probably break them, but it would cost the horde too many men. There had to be a better way. Use the resources you have available, was one of Power’s less disgusting mottos.

The gnomes had picked a good defensive spot, a pass between a low line of hills. Their barricades were mostly boulders and local stone, ramshackle, but effective enough. The general had considered just going around them, but that would have added a good week onto their travel time, plus put the army at their back. ‘No. Finish them here and now’ he thought.

He looked again at the reports from his men. There was no going around them in any force, not without a sizable delay anyway. The hills here were steep and not suitable terrain for any but the more specialized forces, most of which were assigned on other duties at the moment, and were not numerous anyway. The scouts had reported some cannon as well, though not too many. Then again, there didn’t have to be. The gnomish barricade was built at a more narrow point in the pass, up a hill and between two cliffs. Phang may well be able to destroy the cannons, but it depended on how many mages they had with them, as well as Phang’s mood. She had been busy playing with the prisoners when he had approached her on the matter, and had told him to sort it out himself. Powers had dared not argue. The army mages may be able to do something, but usually the wizards were too busy fighting each other to do much damage in a battle.

“What do you think my dear?” He asked.

The stuffed form of twisted witch Stoat, glassy eyes glinting in the torchlight, stood leaning against the table. Her expression was an ambiguous one. Some that had seen it had thought they could see a strange look of approval. Others just thought it looked like she had sat on something painful.

“Yes yes, I know a full frontal assault would cost us dearly” Powers answered a voice only he could hear. “We have flying creatures, perhaps some sort of aerial assault? What? No, no we don’t have very many I know. It is a tricky one. How about a little… No? No, you are right, now is not the time, best stick to the business at hand. There must be a way, if only I could see it…”

Watching from the tent flap, Muaddib backed slowly out. Sat on his back, if sat could be the correct word, was Dean the Head.

“Looks like someone else needs a head doctor, eh wheely thing? Ah well, let’s go and have a chat to the slug shall we?”

Muaddib nodded and rolled away…


Okay all. Time to help Powers, no, not with psychiatric help, with strategy. A plan is needed to attack the gnomish positions. Let’s hear your ideas!

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Joined: 16 Oct 2004
Posts: 5215
Location: UK

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:50 am    Post subject:  

Great chapter :D

The Baron - despite his delay, appears to be a useful ally for Good, but it appears right now I need to but my "slightly-less-Good" hat on.

I think Powers should go for an all out attack, but with some preparation first.

Get whatever he has that is capable up into the hills ready to attack from the sides (And behind if they have enough numbers).

Prepare the aerial forces for a distracting display in the skies, and arrange all the normal forces in front of the fortification (but out of range of the cannons).

Then - using the flying creatures as a signal - attack all at once. The aerial and magical forces concentrating on the cannons, and the front force making as much noise as possible to hide the attack from the sides.

Kill, Kill, Kill. :D
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Shady Stoat

Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 2950
Location: England

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:59 am    Post subject:  

I like it (hence the strange look of approval in the eyes...) ;)

Smee's ideas seem sound. On top of that, though, do we have mages on the side of evil? Some sort of stealth attack or decoy might be arrangeable by dint of a little well-used magic. Then we can attack at their weakest point, with a small hard-striking force, and maybe the aerial attack to back them up.

The frontal assault will leave them ill-prepared to take on any further battles, and I can't see that suiting our dark mistress Phang. No, not at all... :D
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Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 2567
Location: USA

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:25 am    Post subject:  

Good chapter...and all that. :cool:

Hate to chime in with the f5ing but I do agree with what has already been suggested by the slimy and the twisty dead. A decoy does sound like a great idea as well- a little distraction to buy time.
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Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5276
Location: Hell

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:19 am    Post subject:  

Maybe think about searching for the assassin as well, just because I hate to see people I've paid for disappear.
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Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:36 pm    Post subject:  

How about burrowing? The Gnomes'll get a nasty suprise if the enemy appears from beneath them.

Burrowing creatures would be a hand tool ... preferably big nasty ones ... if not most army can tunnel. (Hence undermining your opponent.) :D
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Joined: 08 Feb 2004
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Location: The Royal Palace

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:06 pm    Post subject:  

Are the flying creatures large enough to transport troops? How about we distract the gnomes while the flying creatures secretly ferry a force of drow or mages behind them. Then we mount a frontal assault while our rear force surprises them from behind.

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Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:09 pm    Post subject:  

Mmm, this is all good stuff.

There are not many arial troops available, but something may be launched that way as a distraction, or maybe an attempt to drop in a couple of commandoes. I rather like Cymzons tunnelling idea, I think that may work.

Actually, a combination of all these ideas is probably the best. Oooh. So many ideas! I want to start writing this! *rubs hands together*
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Joined: 21 Oct 2004
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Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:26 pm    Post subject:  

Key wrote: Are the flying creatures large enough to transport troops? How about we distract the gnomes while the flying creatures secretly ferry a force of drow or mages behind them. Then we mount a frontal assault while our rear force surprises them from behind.


Damn, you tok my idea! :D

Also, to add to this, maybe have the flying creatures carry the mages, who can disable the cannons from above, without even having to drop down.
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Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:40 pm    Post subject:  

Maybe I should give a bit more info about the Gnomish army!

It is, despite desertions, still a good size and in pretty good shape. Powers doesn't know anything about their supplies, it may be that a human kingdom to the west is giving them aid, in return for buffering them from Phang. Of course, they may not, this is speculation!

In a 'normal' battle between forces of relatively even power, the mages of each side are usually too busy countering each others spells to really affect the troops much. (Phang is unusual because of her power). Hence usually the troops are left alone to fight each other. If you took the mages out of the equation on one side, the other side would be free to cast spells on the troops, which would not be good.

Remember also, this is the main gnome army sent out in a failed attempt to lure Phang away from the city*, with its best troops and battle mages. They will not be a pushover, and they do have war machines, though the exact number isn't known to Powers.

Flyers will be attacked by AA weapons, especially in daylight.

*Which you lot didn't fall for, you cunning SOBs. ;)
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Solomon Birch

Joined: 22 Nov 2005
Posts: 1562
Location: England..... but Japan beckons.....

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 5:12 am    Post subject:  

Quote: Others just thought it looked like she had sat on something painful

Lol! :lol: :biggrin: Good chapter Chinaren!

Now, I'm not one for tactics usually, but I'll have a go... *scratches soily head* :?

Does Power's army have some sort of big bashy shock troop? Like hard-as-iron trolls that carry tree trunks and lob boulders? Or giant animals (like scorpions or something)? Could any of these used to head an frontal assault that would draw away fire from war machines, while flyers came in and dropped some commandos on the heads of the pathetic Gnomes! At night of course... AA guns! That's scary! :shock:
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Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5276
Location: Hell

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 4:22 pm    Post subject:  

You mentioned desertions, which gave me an idea.

Before the battle starts, but after the surprised tunnellers and ect are in place, call a meeting with the leaders of the gnomish army, offering them their lives, power and ect if they join her, and death if they don't.

At the same time have the offer shown to the waiting troops, find out if any of them would rather live in wealth than die in the mud on this day
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Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:26 am    Post subject:  

MMMmmm....eye's *drool* Lovely on a fresh slice of toasted wholemeal.

Great chapter :biggrin:

A frontal attack will only lead to pain, suffering and massive death. Which sounds nice in theory...mmm....No, no, best not do that. So if you can't attack openly then how about attacking sneakily. We need to cancel out their advantages. How many prisoners have we got left? If we can't get any more information from them, then how about using them as "Knome" shields for small exploration attacks testing out their defences. Or how about a small infiltration unit to sabotage the cannons and basicly confuse those little guys :grin:
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Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:38 pm    Post subject:  

Ohh yes! The Gnome prisoners! *rubs hands together evily*
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Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:42 am    Post subject:  

Shouldn't this thread be locked by now? I mean, hasn't this chapter been over for a while?
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Posts: 8879

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:09 pm    Post subject:  

Hello Over, welcome to the story, and IF indeed.

Quote: Shouldn't this thread be locked by now? I mean, hasn't this chapter been over for a while?

Nope, this story is written in two 'halves', and Chapter 26 (which I will be working on from today) will carry on from this chapter, so nope, it isn't quite 'over' yet. :)
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Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:10 pm    Post subject:  

Oh. Ok. I feel stuipid.

Anyway, great job on the storygame and please let the good side win!
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Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8879

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:49 am    Post subject:  

Well, no need.

Chapter 26 is going up in a minute, so locking this one down.

Thanks for your ideas, they were a big help!
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