Meanwhile, over in Narumas' Tower...
"No, no, NO!" Baby complained. "We want an eagle! A giant eagle! Get that?"
*Wonk?* said the bird standing on the top of the Tower in front of him.
"I don't get this," Fish said, rubbing his scaly head. "How did a penguin even get *up* here?"
"Guess the summoning spell must have misfired." The infantine demon gave his companion a baleful look. "Could have had something to do with somebody shoving me at the crucial moment."
"But there was a dragon coming towards us!"
"Sure, sure. There's always an excuse, isn't there? Let's just try again. We'll aim for a balrog next time."
"A balrog? Do they have wings? I thought..."
"Of COURSE they have wings! The cool, bat-like, smoky kind. Yes, a balrog will be perfectly able to fly us out of here."
*Honk?* the penguin queried.
"And as for *you*..." Baby intoned, his eyes glowing a sinister red. "I'm feeling *very* hungry, and I haven't got my bottle with me..."
27th of Eleasias - Second entry
"Any more bright ideas?!" Fish shouted as the two demons ran like hell through the hallowed halls of Narumas' tower.
"How was I supposed to know that we summoned the only Balrog whose sister I slept with!" Baby shouted back as a whip of fire cracked over their heads. "Geez, and I still owe him money too! Stupid summoning spell!"
The huge wings of fire on the even larger slathering Balrog scraped across the narrow hallways, spraying embers all over the tower's interior. One of the little embers hit one of the priceless scrolls of Narumas, and in the ratty, dusty atmosphere which was paramount in the tower, it went up in smoke... unfortunately, it was lying on a rug... which in turn was close to a serie of bookcases loaded with priceless tomes of the arcane. All went up like match-sticks and were reduced to ashes in a matter of nanoseconds.
"Arggh," Fish shouted as he felt the Balrog's sword cross right over his head. The sword slammed into the wall, and embers cascaded across the portraits of Narumas' relatives : A row of long bearded relatives, all old, grey and bearded... including his mother and sisters. Apparently, the beards made the paintings firehazards. One of the paintings crashed to the floor, shattering a match-stick model of the tower of Bara'Dur which had been 200 years in the making.
"How do we lose this bloke!?" Baby snarled.
"I have an idea!"
"Oh, great, we might as well jump in his arms right now!"
"No, this is gonna work!"
I feel sick... So very sick. I feel the cold creep into my bones. My joints feel like they're made from cast-iron, my skin feels flakey, and... I got my first grey HAIRS!!!! *sobs* Whenever I look in the mirror, I get the feeling there's an 80-year old sorceresss looking back at me... Someone has cursed me, I know it!
It must be one of my enemies... Narumas is not stupid enough to curse me, so I bet it was one of my paladin relatives, playing around with magic they can't even begin to understand. Mostly because they all think books are evil because they 'hurt heads'. Well, dear brothers, you're supposed to read them, not bang them against your head!
I'll order my forces to burn down all churches dedicated to good gods to root out the culprit... but, I must trust nobody. If they see me like this, they'll lose confidence in me and my evil empire will crumble before it was even built. Yes, I need more of Snakeface's potion... maybe it will cure my illness this time around! Hey, 42nd try is the charm, right?
27th of Eleasias - Third entry
ACK! Things certainly have taken a nasty turn, Dear Diary. So, I had decided to seek out Snakeface and let him try his hand at giving me another makeover. It was very difficult to find him, what with the way my legs wobbled like those of a ninety year old crone. I...I had to...to use my staff for a STAFF! As a support I mean, not as a conduit for magical power. Oh, the indignity...at least it looked a *little* better than a walking frame. You can't very well tell anybody that a walking frame is a powerful magical weapon.
So, after some fruitless searching, I finally managed to remember the way to Snakeface's room. Very worrying it was...I could feel myself going more forgetful by the minute...mind...going. In the end, the only way I got to the right place was by following the trail of slimy grease he leaves behind wherever he goes. Such a fashion conscious man...
The door was locked, but my employees should be available to me at all times, considering the wages I pay them, so I decided to ignore that. Honestly, I only meant for a simple Knock spell, but what with my rapidly advancing age I think I must have got a little bit mixed up. Bigby's Crushing Fist is certainly a very useful spell. Once I cast it, the door came open. Actually, once I had used it, there was no door left to open.
Snakeface leapt to his feet, looking even more pale and bug-eyed than usual, and that was when I noticed what he was holding. My best black teddy, the one with all the lace on, the one that I'd been searching for for several days and thought had been lost in the laundry! And would you know, the little creep was *sniffing* it! Do you know what snakes use in order to smell, dear Diary? That's right. Their tongues. And he had a real snake tongue, forked and all, something that had escaped my notice before. Clearly he was more than he appeared to be, some sort of demon, or possibly an escaped politician.
Well, at first I thought he'd simply taken a *very* unfortunate fancy to me, but then I noticed the sickly green glow that surrounded my poor teddy. It was a curse, a very nasty one, and my beloved undergarment was being used as a focus, centering it on *me*! No wonder I'd been feeling poorly lately.
'M-m-mistresssss!' he stammered, his voice taking on a hissing note as he trembled in fear of his miserable life. 'Thisss isssn't what it l-lookssss like...'
At that, some of my old strength returned to me. My last spell had made me quite mentally exhausted, but I still had my staff after all, and I do know how to use one for more than a spell focus. At least I got *something* out of picking all those fights with my older brothers, such as an extensive knowledge of just where to hit a man for maximum pain. 'DOWN, WORM!' I screeched, and then I gave him a good smack. And would you know, his 'worm', which had been quite excited by my pretty teddy, and quite visible through his robes, *did* go down. So did Snakeface. In fact, he rolled up in a fetal position, moaning loudly in a soprano voice.
'The sssstaff...' he moaned. 'I knew I should have got rid of the sssstaff...'
The green glow receded as the spell was broken, and at once I could feel my strength returning to me, the imposed years shedding away like dandruff. My vision cleared, my skin became smooth and creamy again, my hair returned to its normal pitch black. 'Speak, filth!' I ordered him in my best Evil Sorceress voice. 'Whose thrall are you? Who put you up to this? I know that spell is beyond you.'
For a moment it seemed he didn't want to answer. Then I smiled at him and raised the staff again, this time with the end ignited so it burned with a properly Evil Red flame. 'Narumasss!' he shrieked, protectively clutching his groin. 'It wassss the wizard Narumasss! Pleassse don't hurt me!'
Narumas. The word burned in my soul, seared my heart like acid. Of course. I should have known. 'Who do you take me for?' I sweetly asked Snakeface. 'A paladin? Or a *good* wizard? Did you think I'd let you run off to join your Master? Why not ask me to supply you with a horse as well?' He made a fairly nice little adder, actually. Never waste recourses, that's what I always say, and I badly needed to refill my supply of snake liver. At least he'll be good for something.
That dealt with, the main culprit remains. Narumas. His scheme has provided me with an excellent plan, and I will turn his own trickery against him. Vengeance will soon be mine, and very soon only one Tower will stand in this neighborhood.
28th of Eleasias
Well, dear diary, let me toast my victory tonight! The forces of evil triumphed over, errr, well, the forces of evil that were less evil than my evil so that my evil was able to beat his evil, at least. Tonight will be a big bonfire-barbeque. There were, after all, a lot of surviving orcs in the service of Narumas who had to be dealt with... hmmm, I can smell the cooking meat now.
So, how did it go? Well, I hobbled into Narumas' tower, under the illusion that I was an old crone like he had intended the curse to bring upon me and was greeted by noneother than the old buzzard himself. Though he still had his long white beard, but he had shaven off most of his hair, leaving a mohawk, and was wearing a great amount of gold chains around his neck. "Aha!" he spoke. "I pity the fool, who falls for my magic. Now that we are of the same, toothless age, I bid thee to marry this crazy fool!"
"HAH!" I said, fighting my revulsion and revealing myself as unspelled and strong. "I'm going to shove this staff where the sun don't shine, old man!" I retorted.
So, we aimed our staves at each other and threw each other across the room for a bit... and I am ashamed to say that my curse did take its toll. Narumas ended up having me spinning across the floor, I'm sad to say... and he kept trying to stare up my robe too! Argh, the indignity!
But my faithful, competent demons saved their mistress! They came out of the living quarters, screaming at the top of their lungs (undoubtedly trying to scare Narumas with their howl), and lo-and-behold, a Balrog shot after them. Narumas barely had enough time to shout 'wipe your feet!!' before the Balrog crushed him up under its hoof! Immediately, the Balrog had a sour look on his face and started to wipe his hoof against the staircase.
The spell now broken, I quickly resorted to the most powerful spell in my repertoire : Thermonuclear Chili! Just as the chili reached the Balrog's mouth, I used my magic to whisk myself and my two demon compadres back to my own tower. Before we left, we saw the Balrog's mouth crumple up to release a massive fireblast!
The next thing we saw, was the Tower of Narumas, slowly rising off the ground by the giant flame! It shot up through the stratosphere... and wherever it is, it's not coming back!
I have won on all counts! My paladin-powers have fled me, my evil reign has been restored and any usurpers to my power destroyed! Hah, let the world tremble before the power of Petronella Pious!
Excuse me now, while I go to party downstairs... There's free food to be had!
Kirk : Captain's Log, stardate 5120.4. We are enroute to the Argolis Cluster to investigate a number of pirate attacks which...
*A strange structure passes in front of the viewscreen. Further inspection shows it is a tower being propelled through space by a gigantic eternal flame. As soon as it entered range, it was gone.*
Spock : Fascinating.
Kirk : Tell me I didn't see that...
McCoy : You didn't see that, Jim.
Kirk : Thank you, Bones. Now, as I was saying, we are enroute to the Argolis Cluster to...
Secret Diary Of Petronella Pious 8
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