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Chapter 26 - All Gnome.
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8879
Location: https://www.NeilHartleyBooks.com

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:57 am    Post subject: Chapter 26 - All Gnome.  

Chapter 26 - All Gnome.

Synopsis:
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, and the hero paladin Homer has finally reached the Heart. Unfortunately Sorrow reached it first, and has made off with the artifact through a portal.
Meanwhile Phang has turned her armies west, towards the human realm. She offered the Mad Baron Crymzon a chance to join her, but he rejected her in favor of the Elves of the Forest.
Now Phang’s forces are marching west, towards the human Kingdoms. Before they can reach there though, a finall Gnome army bars their path…

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.

Guest appearance
Gerfatu as the Gnome General.

Jack.

The shadowy figure prowled around the desert. If it had been a cat it would have been licking its wounds. ‘Cursed wizard!’ it hissed to itself. Still, the energy it had gained from consuming the Gnomish guards left it feeling somewhat satisfied for the moment.

It cast its senses forth. The wizard was still there, and now wards had been put in place. Well, Jack was also aware of him now. It had to think. A full frontal approach wouldn’t work, not with the spell caster on the alert. It needed another, more subtle way. The shadow smiled. It has just the thing.

Melting back down onto the cold sands the darkness slid away, consuming an unfortunate snake as it went.


Gerfatu

The Gnomish general paced back and forth on the makeshift wall, peering down the slope for the millionth time. “What are they doing?” he muttered to himself. The horde below hadn’t moved since they first put up camp, just out of range of his cannons. He scratched his head and was just about to return to consult with his Captains when a small contingent broke away from the Horde and headed their way. He squinted and then shouted orders.

The troops stirred, muskets were hefted and pointed at the oncoming figures, cannons rolled forward and the crews made sure the fuse lighters were ready. Still, no one fired.

Gerfatu watched patiently as the small party approached. Pulling out his telescope he extended it and put it to his eye. Details leapt into focus. There were three people, one riding a large stallion sitting tall in the saddle and holding a flag of truce. The second was a Drow warrior, Gerfatu paused to spit for a moment and then reaffixed his eye to the tube. The Drow seemed to be leading the third horse, on which sat a Gnome in battered armor.

The three approached slowly and stopped just out of useful missile range.

“Gnomes!” shouted the first one, his voice amplified by some magic. “I am General Powers. I am here to offer you a bargain. Who speaks for you?”

The Gnomish General looked at one of his nearby mages and nodded at him. The mage cast a small voice amplification spell and Gerfatu stepped up onto the wall to show himself. “I am the leader here. Gerfatu. What do you want?”

Powers leaned forward on his horse and looked at the gnome. “Your city is now under the protection of the Great Queen Phang. Your army is now ours, as decreed by King Chundyer himself,” he waved a document.

Gerfatu spat. “The king would never sign such a thing of his own free will, if indeed he did. We are the acting under his direct orders and until I hear him say it himself we will stand against you.”

Powers shrugged and put the document away. “In that case, let me offer you a bargain.” He paused.

“I am listening” said Gerfatu.

“We have noticed that your army is blocking our path. This is most inconvenient for all concerned.”

“Ha!” said the Gnome mage, who was listening, alone with the rest of the troops.

“We have liberated the gnomish lands and therefore do not wish to cause the current infrastructure further damage. We are willing to release our prisoners, some soldiers who were foolish enough to keep fighting a little too long. As a gesture of good faith we have a senior officer here with us, whom I will discharge into your custody.” He nodded at the drow, who freed the third horse and smacked it on the rump, propelling it forward.

“And if we agree?” shouted Gerfatu.

“You stand aside and let us pass. Your forces will not be harmed. We go through, you stay alive, everybody wins.”

“I need time to think about it.”

Powers nodded. “I will give you one hour, no more.” He turned and the two trotted back to their lines.

Gerfatu looked at the mage and nodded again.

“What do you think?” he asked him once the voice amplification spell was off.

The mage shook his head. “It is a trap. Nothing they say or do is the truth.”

“Perhaps we should play them at their own game then,” said Gerfatu, “we agree, get our prisoners back and then go back on our word.”

“Do you think they will fall for it?”

“Hah! They think we are goody goodies, they won’t expect us to break our promise.” The general thumped his fist into his palm. “Yes, it is a good plan.”


Powers.

“Yes, it is a good plan,” said Powers, “it will work.” He was back in his tent, taking some refreshment whilst he could. The rest of the day was going to be busy. He picked something up off the table and offered it to his companion. “A cake? No? Well, I will leave on your plate, we must keep our strength up.”

A glassy eyed Witch Stoat was opposite him, propped up next to the table. She didn’t appear to have eaten much. She said nothing, quite distinctly.

“How do I know they will take the bait?” said Powers. “I know gnomes. They think they are smarter than they really are. They will agree.” He bit into a large beetle, cooked in redberry sauce. “Now dear, you really must eat up. Try the chicken, it really is good…”


King Chundyer.

The wall stretched from one end of the horizon to the other. Made from some sort of solid brown rock it loomed high into the sky, a marvel of engineering, a smooth, featureless obstacle.

“Who could have built it?” he asked.

Duff picked his nose. “Been there ferever” he said. “Na one knows where it came from ya scraginess. Just there.”

The King looked at Author for a more legible response.

The wizard shrugged. “I have never heard of it, which is surprising I will grant you, though these lands are supposed to house a fearsome race of beings who are not the kindest of souls.” He concentrated for a moment. “It has magical wards on as well. It won’t be easy to climb over.”

Reiso pulled his donkey up next to them. “How do we get over it then?” He turned to Duff. “Is there a gate?”

Duff found this funny. “Ahahaa! A gate yee ses! Hahaha. Which stupid scrag wud want to be going over there now? Ye must be mad man!”

The King shifted position on his saddle. “Still, this is where we decided to come, unless we wish to travel back over that desert again?”

Reiso and Author shook their heads.

“Well then. Any ideas?”


Gerfatu

Gerfatu leaned over the wall to hear what the Drow was saying. Unlike the General it appeared to not have an amplification spell.

“We have released the prisoners, as we promised. Now you must fulfill your half of the bargain” the dark creature shouted up from the base of the wall.

The General looked around, all the gnomish prisoners were now safely inside the fort, many appeared to be in bad shape and the worst were being carried off unconscious to the infirmary. Most injuries were from torture he had been informed.

Picking up his musket he nodded to the Elf. “Here is our part of the bargain then!” So saying he took swift aim and shot the drow in the head. A roar of approval rose from the Gnomish ranks as the body slumped to the floor.

The General made a rude sign to the watching Horde and stepped down to prepare his men for the coming battle.


Phang.

“I am ready then.” Phang stepped out of her tent.

Powers raised his eyebrows. It had been many a year since Phang fought with the troops. She had a new outfit for the occasion. Black of course, made from scale armor. Strapped onto her back, over a long black cloak, was a massive two handed sword which was practically bigger than she was.

“Can we start now?” asked Powers peevishly, before he could stop himself. Phang had taken a long time to get ready, and the troops were beginning to get restless.

Phang laughed. “Oh general, one has to look good you know!” She reached around and pulled on an ornate black helmet made from the skull of some unfortunate creature. “There, ready.” She climbed onto the waiting Smee, who was also clad in a similar barding.

Mr. Moochie and Luvd croaked and circled about her. In a special ‘saddle’ in front of her Dean the Head rested. “Just keep those damn birds away from me!” he complained.

“Don’t worry Mr. Head,” said Phang, “there will be plenty of food for my dears today.” She turned to Powers. “Well I am ready, what about you?”

Powers bowed and strode off to where his horse was waiting.


Powers.

“Charge!!” General Powers raised his bastard sword high and then swept it forward, spurring on his big black stallion. His heaviest Elven infantry thundered around him, the sound of hooves drowning out all other noises. To his right the heavies, the ogres, trolls and giants raced alongside, waving clubs and other oversized weapons. Sat on the horse behind him, Stoat swayed backwards and slipped sideways a little bit as the ropes holding her in position gave a little. “Careful my dear!” shouted Powers over his shoulder.

Had anyone been watching, they may have said that the Witches’ smile seemed to be a little more strained than normal, but then some people will say anything.

Ahead of them the Gnomish army stood waiting, faces peering over their wall, muskets sprouting forth. ‘Stubborn’ thought Powers as he closed on their position. ‘Stubborn and stupid.’

Nearby Phang cried a high undulating war cry and held her huge sword up to the sky. Lightning crackled down and struck its tip, causing it to glow. Phang threw her head back in wild laughter.

Up ahead the gnomish Cannons boomed. Smoke floated into the clear blue sky, smudging it with gray, the first casualty of the battle.

Explosions roared around them, sending pieces of drow flying through the air. Powers felt the shockwave pass him by, but he remained unscathed, whether by chance of Phang’s protective magic he didn’t know.

The wall grew closer. “Come on come on” he muttered to himself. They were cutting it mighty fine.

Gerfatu

“Hah! Take that you evil scum! Attack our city would you?” Gerfatu danced about on the wall, being careful not to expose himself to enemy fire. The horde had missile weapons and were using them to good effect considering their lower position. As if to emphasis the point a nearby Gnomish rifleman pitched forward with a crossbow bolt through his eye.

Around him other gnomes fired back, the sounds of their muskets sharp cracks against the general rumble of battle.

“Fire the cannon up again! Come on!” he shouted “I want to see their insides!” He turned to see another gnome approach. It took a moment but he recognized him as the first of the prisoners Powers had released earlier. “Hey there!” The General waved him up. “Come and see us take revenge on your captors!”

The gnome smiled and moved close. “Oh general, maybe I will. Just one thing first.”

“What is it?” asked Gerfatu, “squinting at the oncoming army. Why weren’t his cannon firing again? He turned to see the gnome prisoner step close and then there was the sudden chill of cold metal sliding into his stomach.

The prisoner smiled and his face shimmered, melting like wax into a dark and thin shape. “Powers wanted me to give you a message” the shape-shifter leaned close, holding the general upright and breathing noxious fumes into the gnomes’ face.

Gerfatu tried to speak, but cold was spreading throughout his body. His throat wouldn’t respond to his commands. His legs began to fail.

“It’s this.” The general heard the assassin speak as if through a long tube.

“Kiss my ass.”


Powers.

Powers’ knew the moment that his disguised prisoners struck. There was a sudden lull in fire from the gnomish position, and sounds of fighting behind the wall. A moment later, with perfect timing, the gate to the fort blew outwards, destroyed with explosive powder from inside.

The general smiled to himself. Stealth and treachery, he loved it! Waving his sword high he urged his forces towards the now breached wall. “Come on! Let’s give our queen some more prisoners eh?”

They charged forth. A troll near Powers suddenly screamed as several fire arrows buried themselves into its flesh. The large creature wailed and fell to the floor, to be trampled underfoot by a group of ogres. The gnomes had not given up.

Powers charged through the doorway and was instantly beset by three pike-men. He ducked under a thrust and slashed back at one of them, removing half the gnomes’ head in a flurry of blood and brains. The remaining pike stabbed at his side, and he had to lean back, nearly falling off the horse before the defenders were crushed into red stains by an ogres club.

The forces swirled and mingled in a mass of confused bodies. The defenders smaller size gave them an advantage in the enclosed space, and several giants went down, overwhelmed by a mass of scrambling, stabbing gnomes.

Still, the shock of treachery and the surprise of seeing the troops in their midst took its toll, and slowly the gnomes were pushed back. The defenders managed to recover the cannons, which had been a prime target of Power’s stealth attack, but they couldn’t bring them to bear inside without hitting their own men.

Phang screamed and swung her enormous sword with one hand, as if it were a feather. She sliced through three enemy with one stroke, two more on the backswing. Arrows and missiles flew around her, but none seemed to find its mark. Mr. Moochie and Luvd flew about, distracting gnomes and pecking at their eyes.

Powers found himself at the edge of the meelee, two Gnomish crossbow men ahead of him. They both fired at the same time. The General ducked. There was a whisper over his head as one missed his head by a hairs breath. The other struck his leg. Glancing behind him he saw the bolt lodged in the Witches shoulder.

“Attack my beloved would you?!!” he screamed and spurred his horse forward. Swinging his sword down with all his might he split one of the attackers down the middle, splattering himself with gore. He ignored it and looked around at the other Gnome. He had fallen on his back and was trying to crawl away from this raving madman with a stuffed old woman at his back. “I don’t think so!” Powers swooped down on the unfortunate and performed bloody deeds.

Reiso.

“Okay then. We must hurry.” Author slumped down on the ground, the spell casting had taken all his energy. “We don’t have long, the wards will recover soon.”

Several guards fired special crossbows into the air, over the wall. Attached ropes trailed behind. The ropes were quickly pulled back, some fell back, but three held.

“Okay” Reiso gestured at two soldiers and they scrambled up the ropes. Resio felt his slipping, but he made the top before it came loose. He secured the rope and then barked a few quiet commands down to two more soldiers on the floor.

Swiftly solders scaled the wall and slipped over the other side. Reiso looked around, but the dark concealed any detail from the other side of the barrier. They had decided night would be a better time to do this, more cover. The all clear came from the other side, and Reiso quickly gave the pre-arranged signal. The rest of the party began to climb up the ropes.

“Hurry,” he heard Author say. “The wards are beginning to recover from my nullification.”

The others scrambled up with more urgency. Author came up nearly last. “Just one more” he panted to Reiso. The prince nodded and then helped him climb down the other side. He leaned over then and whispered down to the last remaining soldier. “Hurry up!”

There was a muffled bump, but then he could make out the last shape climbing up the wall. Without waiting he half slipped, half fell down the other side, landing heavily on soft grassy ground. The final soldier nearly landed on top of him.

“Careful!” Reiso hissed.

“Sorry!” Said the soldier, straightening his helmet.

Before Reiso could say anything else the king called him over. “Come on son, stop messing about.”

Reiso nodded and the party moved as quietly as possible up a small hill. The land here seemed totally different from the desert on the other side of the wall, cool and fertile. Lush trees provided plenty of cover as they crept forward.

“Well” he said as they looked down onto the other side.

Below them was a small village, quiet and still in the depths of the night. In the center a small square could be seen, and standing in the middle was a strange archway of white stone. Above and beyond the village they could just make out a sturdy looking castle, sitting on a higher hill than they were on. All around was lush countryside. Reiso thought he could make out fields off to one side.

“Interesting,” he muttered to himself. “Very interesting…”

>>>>>>

Pheeeeeeww!

That had to be the hardest chapter to write so far for some reason. Nearly 3000 words, sorry for the length, I had to round it all off. And don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten the Mad Baron or the Elves, just didn’t have room for them this time.

Okay, so D.Point is what should the King’s party do now?

Do your stuff people! :D

<<<<<<
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Solomon Birch



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

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 1:11 am    Post subject:  

Great stuff Chinaren! :biggrin:

I was wondering if they had any idea where they were and if so, would they have any idea who might be in that village? If they do, then I think they would either approach if they think they are friendly, or go around it if not.

They could head toward the castle, but again, if they think that the inhabitants might be hostile, then they should avoid it and maybe get the mage to try and use some magickiness to find out where they are.

*holds breath* :shock:
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8879
Location: https://www.NeilHartleyBooks.com

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 1:14 am    Post subject:  

Quote: I was wondering if they had any idea where they were and if so, would they have any idea who might be in that village?

They have no clue as to who resides here, except what Author said. And you posted first here! Congrats! ;)
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Shady Stoat



Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 2950
Location: England

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 1:23 am    Post subject:  

Good chapter - and [irony]Chinaren! 3000 words! Your storygames are getting far too long![/irony] ;)

I don't think they should head straight to the castle. It seems the obvious direction, but there's a darned great wall shutting them out of this Kingdom. Perhaps it's been there forever, and perhaps the locals don't think of themselves as isolationists... but the fact is that a wall can be used to shut people out and shut people in. We may not be welcome here.

Go and find a small settlement, or a travelling merchant or something. Find out what we can before we march up to the castle and become ready-served prisoners :shock:
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Solomon Birch



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

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 4:21 am    Post subject:  

Heh, thanks Chinaren. Always nice to be on the ball, eh? :D

And I think that they should cautiously investigate the settlement if they don't know who might be there. They might be hostile, but then again, who's not gonna like those cute little Gnome fellas! They so CUTE! KAWAII!!

*smacks* Sorry.. *ahem* Yes. Good job Chinaren, wot wot. Marvellous stuff this. Cheerio.

*holds breath all manlike* :shock:
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ethereal_fauna



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 2567
Location: USA

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:40 am    Post subject:  

Must F5 the Stoat...don't march straight up to the castle without knowing more. Stick to the outskirts. Observe and when possible approach someone who looks common. Find out what you can. You might want to disguise yourselves someway- although perhaps difficult unless you happen to convince a gaggle of conveniently same-sized people to exchange clothing with you.
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Ovrlndnsea
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Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:02 am    Post subject:  

Refering to Etheranl_Fauna's post (incase someone posts inbetween us), why can't Author disguise them is magic? Hyperion could, and he's also a mage. Mabye Author doesn't have enough power, or it takes a strong wizard to do such things.
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Key
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Posts: 2652
Location: The Royal Palace

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:41 pm    Post subject:  

Yes, I agree that we should be sneaky and disguise ourselves. In fact, maybe we could kidnap one of the inhabitants and torture him for information -

Oops, sorry, thought we were the Dark Horde for a second there. :P

I say be above-board. You are a King, after all, and your goal should be to win asylum for yourself and alliance against Phang. You're not going to do that by skulking around mingling with the commoners. Go to the palace, as befits your station, and present yourself with honesty and dignity to the ruler.

:-)
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ethereal_fauna
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Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:59 pm    Post subject:  

Key :cool: kidnapping is going a bit too far for the dignified king. But strolling royally up to a group of isolationists that fervorently wish to remain that way could prove fatal. Of course they might welcome us with open arms...

We could be a little more confident in our reception if we just played it cool and found out a little info first.
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LordoftheNight
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Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 3:09 pm    Post subject:  

Don't forget, being gnomes, finding someone their size to exchange clothes with might be difficult as well.
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Key
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Location: The Royal Palace

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:25 pm    Post subject:  

ethereal_fauna wrote: We could be a little more confident in our reception if we just played it cool and found out a little info first.

Maybe. But if they're really isolationists they're likely to recognize us as strangers and spread the word quickly in any case. We have a better chance of winning their trust if we approach them openly than if they hear about us sneaking around their land like spies.

o-)
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ninja baloon
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Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 5:49 am    Post subject:  

Its a big city right? They have to have a sewer system of some sort. If not for the people then for the castle. Otherwise the city wouldn't be that big. People would leave and die before they where old because of things like disease. If you could find a sewer system I think you should d the scooby doo thing. Some gnomes can go into the city while some could go spy.
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Chinaren
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Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 5:58 am    Post subject:  

Nope, it's only a village. It is at night and there are no people (or whatever lives there) around.
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D-Lotus
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Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:15 pm    Post subject:  

Well, they've been isolated, so maybe they know nothing of modern warfare, etc. If we show them some modern technology, they should acclaim us.
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ninja baloon
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Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 4:56 am    Post subject:  

Or maybe they know a lot about warfare, not just modern. Think about the Zulu's. There army in the 1800's was anything but modern compared to the english yet they still won many victories. My favourite manoeuvre is the buffulo horns. They charge in a kind of U shape and envelope there target. I'm talking off topic again aren't I?
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DukeReg
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Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:29 pm    Post subject:  

To extend the comment that disguise might not work because they wont find clothes the right size, I suggest disguising themselves will fail: 1)because in small villiages everyone knows everyone else, and 2) because they are short and everyone will notice this.

I think the idea of marching up is dangerous. Since there is no way of not being noticed, they should send in a small group to arrange a meeting to determine good faith. You know, standard we-don't-trust-you-yet-but-we-want-to-talk deal.
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Chinaren
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Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 11:55 pm    Post subject:  

Okay then. Lots of options this time, which is a nice change, though that usually means a five way tie. ;)

I think I covered all the suggestions.
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Chinaren
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Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 1:41 am    Post subject:  

Okay, the following chapter will be posted in a minute, so locking this one down.

Results were to send in a couple of Gnomes to recon.
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