Thursday, April 9, 2009

From the Mist of Hell: Chapter the III

You probably want to check out FTMOH 1 and 2 before you read this, otherwise, you will leave befuddled and enraged!

“Har, har, har!” one of the pirates screamed. “Har, har, har!”

He began dancing, knocking mugs and stools over with reckless abandon. The chants of his crewmates spurred on the drunken venture.

Mike and Andy winced at the appalling nature of these lawless dicks. Long had pirates been sweeping through this land like a virus, killing, kidnapping, and raping whoever they wanted. Finding close to 100 of them in one stop would normally be considered an unfortunate incident. But these 100 had a particular bone to pick with the dwarf and his wererabbit companion, thanks to their formerly alive third party member ruthlessly murdering their captain before their very eyes.

Andy lets the door to the tavern close and looked Mike in the eye. “I kind of still want that drink.”

“Outnumbered 50 to 1 with our best fighter dead.”

His reply coming almost immediately, Mike had recognized the level of desire for alcohol on Andy’s face, and knew that it would take more than 100 vengeful marauders to squelch it.

“They’re pirates,” Andy shrugged. “And they’ve been drinking. We’re going to be matching wits with whatever brains they have left after several dragon stomachs full of ale in them.”

“What do you going to be?” Mike demanded. “This decision has not been made.”

“Okay,” Andy replied, alcoholism taking over. “Wait outside.”

Without a pause, Andy proceeded inside the establishment and grabbed a seat at the bar. Noticing the bartender’s predicament, he reached over and poured himself a drink. The pirates all but ignored him.

“Shit,” Mike muttered. This town probably had a squad of guards keeping the streets safe, so he’d no doubt have to start searching for a barrel to sleep in for the night. Guards never took too kindly to wererabbits roaming the streets at night or at all.

As he turned around to begin the quest, he noticed a good deal more pirates coming up the road, heading straight for the tavern. “By the pubes of Zeus,” he said, frustrated.

With nowhere to hide, the crew noticed him almost immediately, and encircled him with curious stares and slow reaches for their weapons.

“Hello,” Mike started, hoping the growling and slobbering accompanying his voice wouldn’t put them off.

“Let’s gut the freak!” one of them yelled.

“No, let’s listen to what he has to say!” Mike responded, throwing his voice. The pirates all looked in the direction they believed the voice had come from and, for some reason, listened to it. A pirate near the front of the crowd gestured to Mike.

“Go on then, creature. Speak!”

Pirates are idiots, Mike thought. I should remember to kill some of them.

“My friends, forgive my appearance. I was once a dashing buccaneer like you. But, in the search for, um, booty, I found myself imprisoned in the Fell Wood and completely lost. Starving, I was grateful to find a dead rabbit beneath a tree, unaware that its death had been a direct result of the wererabbit infection. I tried explaining this to the pirate crew inside, but they cast me out as a freak! And now I must seek out other accomodations…”

Silence greeted the sob story. Then, one of the pirates took off his hat and hurled it to the ground in disgust.

“Sons of unholy hellfire! Ye saying they won’t let ye in the bar because they’re disgusted by ye?! We’re pirates! We’re always disgusting!”

A cheer went up from the crew and Mike smiled at his new support team. As he looked in the windows of the tavern, he could see Andy enjoying a mug of ale amidst the idiocy of the pirates around him and a thought entered his head. Maybe they could rid themselves of the pirate’s desires for their heads in one fell swoop.

“I say, gents,” Mike continued. “Maybe you’d like to aid me in getting even with the scurvy turncoats?!”

While Mike was making friends outside, Andy was about to realize his enemies were making themselves apparent. He felt a hand on his shoulder that felt like it spent ten months of the year on the ocean.

“Ye there, boy. What be your place of origin?”

Andy couldn’t even stomach a response to the horrid man.

“I ASSSSSSKED YE A QUESSSSSTION!” the pirate continued, increasing the size of his balls by a factor of 10.

One of the pirate’s friends strode over and placed his hands on the man’s shoulders. “Come now, leave the dwarf to his drink. He’s just trying to—”

The pirate flung his mate’s arms off of him and pointed accusingly at Andy. “He was with the she-bitch that tore off Cap’n Slaughterhouser’s head!”

The place went silent as a sheet of recognition was stretched over all pirates present. Andy now saw how dangerous alcoholism can be. Completely surrounded, his mind began to race with a possible escape route. He’d forgotten that Layla would not be around to skull-fuck their way out of another bar fight this time.

Throwing on a big smile, Andy suddenly jumped up on the table and began dancing, drinking heavily from his cup. In a circle he went, thrusting about merrily, until the pirates seemed to forget what they were even doing there. A chorus of claps came up, and, soon enough, the place was lively again, with Andy at the center of attention.

From outside, Mike eyed the situation peculiarly. Was this supposed to be some sort of sign? Andy always made sure, when necessary, to make his signs very obvious so that there was no confusion after the fact of when a key moment had been upon them. The pirates behind Mike drew their blades, laughing evilly.

“Just give the signal, matey,” one of them said. “We’ll follow yer lead.”

“Any… uh… second now…”

Andy stopped dancing, and the bar went up with applause and drunken rants. Several glass bottles hit the wall behind him out of celebration.

Uh oh. The combination of hard alcohol and heavy movement was not part of Andy’s usual “getting drunk” regiment. He felt the swelling and gurgling of unhappy booze begin in his lower stomach and travel up his rapidly opening throat.

The vomit came up with alarming velocity, hitting the first four rows of pirates and, as the sheer force propelled him around in a circle, managed to hit many more of them than necessary. Mike watched in disbelief from the window as the episode continued.

And then, as suddenly as it hard started, it was over. Andy wiped a hand across his mouth and looked around. The pirates were back to angry. He tried dancing again. It was met merely with dead silence and stares fueled with the fires of vengeance.

The whole thing would have been pretty bloody, too, if it hadn’t been for the CRASH of Mike and his pirates bursting through the glass windows of the tavern.

“Hi there,” Mike said. He was always jealous of Layla’s ability to say something threatening before the start of a fight. Unable to come up with a better comment, he let his powerful rabbit leg spring forward and kick a nearby enemy pirate in the head, separating his jaw from the rest of his skull. The pirates following Mike’s lead charged toward their brethren, whose confused terror caused one of the swashbucklers to wave his hands for mercy in the air.

“Whoa, whoa, what be yer thinkin’?” he asked. “These lubbers are the ones that sent Cap’n Slaughterhouser to his early, headless grave!”

The pirates turned back to Mike, inquisitively. One of them reached an epiphany. “Ye don’t sound like a pirate at all, actually…”

Mike decided that now was as good a time as any to shapeshift. The others, save Andy, looked on in horror as the wererabbit became an old man in a navy blue cloth cloak, with cold, ghostly eyes and white beard. Using the shocked silence to pull the hood up onto his head, Mike’s eyes became all that were visible of his previously all too-descriptive were-face.

“Who wants to see a magic trick?” he asked, much more satisfied with his snippy insult. Thrusting his arm forward, he sent a line of flames across the doorway to the bar. The pirates had gotten over their shock and rushed both Mike and Andy, who assumed combative positions to fend them off.

Until a small figure bursts through the wooden door and across the sea of flames Mike had created. The screams of several pirates unlucky enough to be in the flames path were drowned out by the screeching, raspy voice that called out from the middle of the room:


A shrill scream penetrated the air, and before anyone could blink, breath, or die, the world was full of daggers. Like a flock of seagulls descending on a muffin, the pirates fell, screaming, and blades, materializing from nowhere, met their targets with the most horrifying accuracy. Mike and Andy tried to offer their own attacks, but it was over so fast they became less than necessary.

By the end of it, all that were left were pieces. The figure sat down calmly in the middle of the bar, breathing heavily. Andy took a closer look at the pulsing, blue sections of it’s arm and upper chest, the most well-known after effects of--

“Spider poison,” Andy stated. He turned back to the bar and poured himself another drink. “Hey, Layla.”

“Eat glass,” she replied. "'Dagger scream' requires a few moments of recovery time, or I'd hit you."

Mike found a pirate still alive on the floor. He looked around shiftily and fired a small magic missile out of his hand and into the pirate’s head, exploding it.

“Ha! Got one!”

Layla ignored the achievement and stood up off the floor, looking around.

“Let’s search the area for gold.”

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