Eagle Time

Full Version: Sublime Showdown (Round 1: Faerie)
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The Azure Dove was certainly not the most famous or even the cleanest bar in Wisteria. But, it still held a certain place in the hearts of the people. Tucked back in one of the corners, this cozy little bar was the oldest bar in Wisteria, having started up when the city was but a few elfish nomads looking for a place to settle. Nowadays, the only occupants are the odd sort of people that prefer privacy, and the bartender there was an old fart who can't let go of the past. Nevertheless, it served as a prime locale for gossip to flourish, and it was thus that Barkeep was drawn to that place.


"Hey barkeep! Some more of this Blue Brew!"

"Coming right up."

The fabled Blue Brew, a recipe handed down among the proprietors of the Azure Dove over the years. This was the first thing Barkeep heard when he walked into the run-down building. He didn't know whether it was fate or coincidence, but he knew that this fabled Blue Brew was his ticket to owning the Azure Dove.

He looked around. The bar looked like it had seen better days. The tables were all dirty, and one of them was broken. A larger-than-normal rat scurried behind the bar, and was immediately killed by a flying bottle, courtesy of the bartender. One old elf glared at him with one eye from his dank corner. He, too, had a Blue Brew in hand. The boisterous young elf who had revealed the name of the drink had received his fill, and he was now slurring insults to his employer. There were a gaggle of witches in a booth, chatting rather openly about their latest sexual exploits. They all had Blue Brews.

With his lone tankard, he walked up to the grizzly old barkeep, and requested a Blue Brew. He sampled it a little bit with his tongue, and he found it to be disappointingly bitter. Nevertheless, he continued to take sips every once in a while, as he requested stories from the barkeep.

"So, what can you tell me about this fine city?"

"Ah, yes, Our Dear Wisteria of Old. It all started here at the Azure Dove, I'll have ye know. We were but young nomads, searching for a place in the world. Here, we discovered a sparkling blue spring, like the very stars had fallen in the water. Ye should've seen it, it was like... paradise. Why, when me and my wife (to-be at the time) chanced across it, we knew that this was the place for us. And so, I said to her, 'blah blah mumble mumble...'"

He droned on in this manner for quite a while. Barkeep had only asked him out of courtesy, for of course he knew of the city's origins. He was now regretting it, but at least he could sit in relative peace and have some more of this Blue Brew. He couldn't ever remember why he thought it was bitter, as he started taking longer gulps. It tasted absolutely heavenly. When he finished, he made to immediately request another one. As the barkeep poured another one, not even so much as pausing in his Great Tale, Barkeep used this moment of brief clarity to recollect his thoughts. He jerked back, set the down tankard rather heavily, causing a bruise to appear on his left arm, and ran out.

That Blue Brew... it was not natural! I mean, of course this land was not natural at all, and he should have suspected magical energies were behind everything, but it was foolish of him to assume that a bar would not serve magical drinks. Now, he had been influenced by the Blue Brew. He supposed it was fortunate that the only effect of the Blue Brew was elation and minor addiction. Next time, he would have to be more careful around magic. And he would definitely have to learn how to make Blue Brew. It was time for him to be a magical Barkeep.

He hurriedly strode back to the Azure Dove, ascertaining that his tankard was safe. Believe it or not, the old bartender was still going on. Someone commented that, yeah he's like that, and assured him to just go ahead and interrupt him. So, Barkeep gave a polite cough, and indicated that he wished to talk with the bartender.

"Oh? Yes, what did you want?"

"I wish... to know how Blue Brew is made."

"Well, you'd have to start working here, it's a bit of a trade secret, y'see. In fact, I'm glad you asked, because I need a coupla more hands around here."

"I would be delighted to work here, actually. I came here looking for a job, after all."

"Splendid! Your shift starts in 30 minutes. Until then, why not have a drink?"

He politely declined.
Strings went taut and slack and taut again as Darling played the crowd like a violin. Switches flipped, props engaged, and that terrible rolling thunder of a voice swept over the assembled creatures. The timing was perfect. Therefore, Darling's unseen puppetmaster reasoned, any appearance of mistakes must be the fault of time itself.

In the depths of the mechanisms and trapdoors concealed in the darkness above, a gear clicked into place. A spring began to uncoil counterclockwise. Everything went backwards. Nobody noticed.


"[Image: jb1nb6.png]ou might not think she's much to look at, but where she comes from, she stops traffic."

Moving to the final jar, Darling gestured to the [Image: 2e1hiy8.png] winged humanoid frozen inside, posed in a menacing snarl above a foam facsimile of a soulless corpse. "And finally, we have Ikhinde," she croaked, pronouncing it "Ik-hend". "This form you see here is just the shell she's currently wearing; you see, Ikhinde is a body-swapping apparition that can move soul and flesh alike. Of course, she's got to keep hers intact to use the ability, and the other five are sure to make that difficult for her."

Darling m[Image: np2csw.png]y declined.

The pin holding the spring retracted and the coil snapped neatly back to its prior position.

And the show goes on.


Guys this was me cancelling the reserve I am super sorry if that was not clear...
(06-29-2013, 04:19 PM)Elize Wrote: [ -> ]You would be hard-pressed to find a stranger crowd of beings occupying a single bar.

In the dim lights over the assorted tables of varying shapes and sizes, some of which were incomprehensible to mortal minds, there assembled a murmuring crowd. Some of them glowed with mysterious energies of variable hue. Some of them were shrouded in darkness so complete that it would be noticeable even at the bottom of the deepest cave at midnight. Others still had nothing unusual whatsoever going on with their luminance, but rest assured they were just as strange in other ways. Being a bar in the space between worlds, this place was occupied solely by interdimensional travelers, and tonight they were here for Darling's show.

The walls of bottles and tapestries containing this strange menagerie extended up into a stygian emptiness in which something stirred. Unseen hands lurched purposefully from a hidden catwalk behind the curtain in front of the stage and grasped several tiny wires. Smooth jazz began to play. Smoke machines at the back of the stage quietly clicked on, filling the space behind the curtain with a dense cloud.

The woman behind the curtain had been standing very still for a very long time. She wore something slinky and black, matching the long, curly hair that cascaded down her back. Bright red lips brought color to a frame of immaculately carved, bleached, and polished bone. The hooks connecting each delicate hinge to the tiny wires extending up into the darkness were cleverly concealed. The hands above took hold of these wires and began to sort them out. Darling clattered and shook with her first motion since the last show.

The curtains drew back. The murmuring from the crowd grew silent. Smoke billowed through the opening, and a player piano slid onto the stage along a hidden track in the floor. The jazz grew a bit louder as Darling wiggled her way through the surging smoke to cheers and catcalls. She brought her wooden ecig called tesla mod up to her mouth, and the tiny orange bulb on the end faded in and out.

Looking at this perfect little ivory marionette leaning seductively against the back of the piano, you would expect her voice to be melodious and sultry. It would seem expectation proves more important than reality, because the assemblage of beings did not seem to mind the noise that bellowed forth from Darling's puppetmaster. "Good evening, all my lovely guests," it uttered in a voice best described as a guttral, synthetic croak. "My name is Darling, and I've got a very special show for you tonight."

Backstage, six stagehands presided over six paralyzed contestants inside wheeled glass jars connected by ropes. Some fretted over their contestants' presentations, others relaxed with an air of easy confidence. One listened attentively at the door as Darling went through her opening bit to the crowd. Warming up the crowd, opening preamble, explanation of the rules...introducing the contestants! Right on cue, the first stagehand pulled the rope that would roll the lineup out onstage.

The crowd cheered as the six glass jars rolled neatly into place. Darling walked over to the leftmost jar and rapped her knuckles against the transparent barrier. The bearded man inside was unable to move in response. That is, except for his eyes. He had been propped up behind the facade of a bar, his hands frozen into place polishing a tankard. "Our first lucky contestant is called Barkeep. Where he comes from, that means he is a prime dispensary of the rumors of the land, and he can only be harmed by damaging whatever he considers his bar. Not at all like the fine folks we have keeping you in your drinks here, who can only be harmed by poor tippers."

The crowd chuckled as Darling moved to the next jar, containing a cyan-clad bald man with a dark complexion, frozen in place in the middle of a ferocious sword swing. Coiled around his shoulder and equally paralyzed was a snake whose eyes glowed with a bright yellow light. "These two here are Clombd and Snake. Clombd is a magic man with a magic sword and a magic snake pet. The fun part is that the part of his body that makes the magic doesn't work too well, so we'll get to see whether it's more fatal to the other five or to him!"

Darling sidled over to the third jar, which contained a begoggled cyborg punk girl decked out in green. She had been posed making a rude gesture with her hands while skating over a dirty chunk of asphalt. "This rowdy little firebrand is Dahlia Belstrap," Darling explained. "She's spent her life working for bad people on the bad streets, so frankly, this contest won't be much of a change for her. She's mean, green, part machine, and, oh, right, has a laser-powered rocket launcher on her shoulder. It doesn't rhyme, but I thought you should know."

The fourth jar contained a vicious-looking demon. He was frozen while rocking out with a guitar mid-powerchord, with stylized flames painted on the jar all around him. "You'd expect this heavy metal demon to be called Bloodrage or Bezelebrawn or something, but no, his name is Humbert. Humbert Kinnaird is a rockstar with a curse. The curse makes him look like this when he performs, but gives him a weakness to music he can't rock to. We'll see whether this contest is his masterpiece or his final tour!"

Darling gestured to the fifth jar, containing a stone statue of an angel. Her wings were spread out wide as she knelt in prayer over a stop sign, with the glass jar painted like a stained glass window behind her. "Meet Mariel. Somehow I don't expect her and the last one to get along too well, even though they're both made out of rock." She paused, briefly, for laughs. "What is there to say? She is pretty sure she's an instrument of some god or another, and has a lot of copies of his holy books stashed away in there. You might not think she's much to look at, but where she comes from, she stops traffic."

Moving to the final jar, Darling gestured to the green-feathered winged humanoid frozen inside, posed in a menacing snarl above a foam facsimile of a soulless corpse. "And finally, we have Ikhinde," she croaked, pronouncing it "Ik-hend". "This form you see here is just the shell she's currently wearing; you see, Ikhinde is a body-swapping apparition that can move soul and flesh alike. Of course, she's got to keep hers intact to use the ability, and the other five are sure to make that difficult for her."

Darling moved upstage as projector screens lowered over the backdrop. "So, I suspect these six poor saps are wondering what they're doing here, huh?" Gears turned noisily, and the six jars and their contents rotated the other way to face the screen. "Well, you lucky lot are all going on a trip around the multiverse, all expenses paid. What's more, you're all going to be stars of your own reality show while you're there. You'll go to up to five exciting locations, and at the end, one of you wins a prize and a trip home. The rest of you will be dead or double-dead, as the case may be. That's right folks, the only thing I ask in return for this exciting opportunity is that you kill one another. Each time someone dies, the rest of you get swept up into a new location, until there's only one of you left. Let's see where you're going first."

Somewhere, a projector began to whir. The screen lit up with an image of a dusk sky. Stars twinkled in decidedly non-star-like colors, the moon was much too large in the sky, and the ground was covered with a mixed forest of trees and giant mushrooms occasionally interrupted by strange and magnificent structures. "Neverland. The Between. The Twilight Forest. Faerie. This place and the folk who live here have had many names and stories told about them over the years. Some of those stories were accurate, and some weren't. If the story had a happy ending, it was probably the latter. One of you is about to find that out firsthand. One more thing, if you plan on waiting around for sunset or sunrise, I suspect you'll be waiting for quite a while. The less I say about it, the better, so without further ado, let's get this show on the road!"

The six jars emptied in the blink of an eye. The image on the screen split into six different images showing different locations, and a contestant suddenly appeared in each.
Exceptional explanation.. Well I just love those crowdy dark places..You can enjoy a lot.My jar is empty now and need to get a new one..
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