The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Jerry: When you return bring milk and cookies anyway, just in case
Adler: The books are ruined because the pages are filled with cookie crumbs and milk
Adler: PUT THE COOKIE DOWN JERRY!
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Adler: Consider staying as Relda Fauxfox for the time being, to avoid all that nonsense with lord Randall, lowfolk, and their shoes.
>Relda: Or perhaps you should start a legend about a fair lady waiting to be rescued? That attracts the adventurous types, which could be very useful to you now.
Vivian Quest
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
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Quote:>Jerry, twenty chapters from now on: Return, triumphant, against all the odds. Looks like some elf booty is on the list now!
>Adler: Do you think you could set the ixies up to mass produce shoes for you? Hopefully Jerry's shoe obsession doesn't rub off on you.
Jerry: When you return bring milk and cookies anyway, just in case
>Adler: Consider staying as Relda Fauxfox for the time being, to avoid all that nonsense with lord Randall, lowfolk, and their shoes.

0102contemplate.gif

Well, that took care of Jerry for a while. How long would it take him to gather five copies of the book and bring them back, I wondered? Maybe I should have asked for more.

I thought about remaining in Fauxfox-form, since the lowfolk had been much more courteous toward me, and hadn't persistently demanded shoes. Then again, transmogrification disguises did have a tendency to become habit-forming the longer one stayed in them. And what would Jerry want from me, when and if he returned with the books? I realized with a shudder that shoes were probably the best thing he could demand from Relda Fauxfox, at least from my point of view.

Maybe I could get my Ixies to make shoes for me ... I would have to pursue that angle when the time came. But for now, it were best if I changed back to my normal self. However, I probably shouldn't do it out here in the open where somebody might potentially see.

I had pooked from the scryspace out here to the stone circle; theoretically I should be able to pook back. The only difficulty was that I had been able to see my destination out here, but on the way back I would have to do it "blind." This could be risky ... but I was going to have to learn to do it eventually anyway. Might as well try now. What did I have to lose?

I concentrated very carefully on visualizing every detail of the scrying chamber, and mentally placing myself within it.

0102didit.gif

A second later, I was in the chamber, in front of the orb, only two inches above the floor. "Not bad!" I thought, as I landed and bounced up & down excitedly. A very precise pook for my first attempt without looking!

Now that I was alone, I transmogrified back into my regular form and entered the scry-space.

Quote:>Adler: Why not go see if you can view anything other than the stone circle with the scry-doohickey. Maybe find Ethel and see if you can talk to her like you did Jerry. Tell her you've got her wish set in motion. She doesn't believe you're an elf, maybe this will prove it.

Supposedly this device had been used for remote viewing, back in the days of the DV, so I thought I might be able to extend my perceptual range if I directed my attention toward points farther away. After peering through the tree-shaped hole at the stone circle outside, I gazed up toward the treetops and willed my vantage point up there.

Almost immediately I felt a physical lurch as if I had pooked, but I was slammed back through the hole into my scry-space. Had I just collided with the edge of Edessa's imprisoning geas? At any rate, I didn't want to pook to the treetops - I just wanted to see from there. I leaned back into the hole and tried again.

0102queasy.gif

This time I shot up with stomach-churning speed to a point above the trees. I spun around and spied a village on the edge of the forest, a few miles away. Could this be Tulgeyside? I concentrated on Ethel and felt a sudden tug of yearning (by Fuma, her Wiles were potent!) drawing me toward the town.

My vision whizzed over the landscape with a speed that made me dizzy and slightly nauseated.

I seemed to pass right through the roof of a house, and into a room where Ethel was pacing nervously.

"Ahem," I said, politely.

Quote:>Ethel: Surprisingly, be pacing around fretting over whether or not this scheme to get rid of Jerry will work. Albeit, in a very surly way.
>Ethel: "Listen here, voice-in-my-head, I'm not burning down the village no matter how many times you tell me to."

0102madethel.gif

"WHOZAT??" Ethel snapped, cringing while simultaneously lunging toward a low bureau. "If you voices are back, what I told you before still stands. I'm not torching the town til you deliver on your end of the bargain."

"Uhh, top o' the blarney to ye," I stammered. "Sure an' what is it ye moight be on about then?"

"Oh, is that you, Lord Randall?" she said, standing up and visibly relaxing. "Still sticking to the accent, even by telepathy huh? Well you're determined, I'll give you that."

"Sure an' this proves oi'm an elf, does it not?"

"Not completely, but it's a point in your favor," Ethel conceded. "Jerry just rushed through and packed a rucksack for a two days' journey. Said something about a beauteous fae lady. Was that any of your doing?"

"Oi moight have sent the lad on a wee bit of a quest," I chuckled. "One he'll not foind easy to complete."

"What did you tell him?"

"He's off to collect foive copies o' the Chanson du Percy," I gloated.

"Uhh," Ethel interjected, with a disappointed look. "You do know he can just go to Percysthorpe and buy them, right?"
The Ballad of Adler Young: Silly furry elf adventure. Read the RECAP: http://adleryoung.tumblr.com
Steampup: Surreal dog-headed Victorian adventure. Winterbough Saga Wiki: Everything we know about Faerie, its history & inhabitants.
See an edited recap of Zandar's Saga, and new pages at my Patreon. Peruse original music at Bandcamp. Or you could just Buy Me a Coffee.
*Adorable plum-munching Mavis avatar by the incomparable Tronn.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Ethel: Oh right, you forgot that the "elf" is a slow-witted nincompoop. Very patiently (but not that patiently) describe the printing press, the steady approach of mass literacy, and the concept of industry. Pretty much everyone who can read (which is kind of a lot nowadays) owns a copy.
>Adler: ". . ."
>Ethel: You've read the book, and you have to say, elves, if they exist, really aren't all that impressive. Their society is kind of backwards, if you really think about it. Sure they've got magic, but that's cheating.
>Adler: Normally you'd be outraged hearing such things from a lowfolk, but hearing it from Ethel feels more like a lady turning down a bouquet you've offered. Your heart sinks and a feeling of angsty, forlorn despair overtakes you. Vow to prove to her that you are indeed an elf and to show her the wonders of elf society, what little remains anyway. Then you shall surely win her heart!
>Ethel: *sigh* Oh great, he's depressed now. It looks like you're going to have to shove the half-wit in the right direction. Half-heartedly try to reassure the smelly moron that at least the two days of traveling will give Adler time to come up with a more long-term solution.
>Adler: Going back to her outburst about voices, that would normally raise some red flags, but with Ethel, it just shows that underneath her surly, rude demeanor beats the heart of a vulnerable soul with a burden to bear. HOW POETIC! Your butterflies increase by magnitudes and your heart yearns all the more.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Adler: The bureau looks very suspicious ask what is inside
Ethel: "What?! There is nothing in the bureau, I mean what bureau? There is no Bureau, Pay no attention to the Bureau!
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Well look like lowfolks have advanced a wee bit while you were sleeping away, could be they got inspired by Faerie from the Chansson du Percy ? . .. Either that or you jsut where isolated /that/ long. (makes you wonder if/how the rest of Faerie has progresssed then..)

>Okay, Ethel, lass, would you like to talk about those voices that tell you to burn things a bit ? Happens often do they ?

>You really need to do something to better yourself while you're isolated. You lost a lot of time already. Maybe meditate and strengthen your magic ? Yuu're doing better on Pooking and Transmogryphication haven't tried Grammayre or talking to the trees in a while (the shrub squad doesn't count)

>Oh and start planing on accumulating shugar. Lots of shuggar. You can't count on the Ixies loyalty for free, for sure, but you might eventualy outbid other employers.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
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Quote:>Ethel: Oh right, you forgot that the "elf" is a slow-witted nincompoop. Very patiently (but not that patiently) describe the printing press, the steady approach of mass literacy, and the concept of industry.
>Ethel: You've read the book, and you have to say, elves, if they exist, really aren't all that impressive. Their society is kind of backwards, if you really think about it. Sure they've got magic, but that's cheating.
>Well look like lowfolks have advanced a wee bit

"Oho," I cackled, pretending not to be surprised by this new information. "So that's where the Scriptorium is, is it? Sure an' but how's our lad going to PAY for foive copies, an' how soon is it they'll be finished?"

"They aren't super expensive," Ethel shrugged. "Jerry will spend out of his secret 'Shoe Fund' if he thinks it will further his ambition. And they'll have a lot more than five copies on hand. It's their mainstay, a fairly popular book which basically put the publisher in business, so yeah, they make sure they've got plenty to sell."

"Faith an' begorrah," I exclaimed. "Sure an' have the lowfolk mastered the art o' magickally duplicatin' manuscripts then?"

This was serious! If the lowfolk knew even the most basic of magicks, it could spell trouble for elfkind!

0109femsplain.gif

"Great Auk," Ethel sighed. "I'm starting to think you might really be an elf. Nobody else could be this obtuse, and keep up the act so consistently. Look, there's no such thing as magic."

"How is it oi'm talkin' to ye out o' the thin air then?" I asked indignantly.

"No such thing," Ethel insisted. "Magic may work for you, but it doesn't work for us. So we don't laze around eating ambrosia and throwing pies and counting on some mystical force to take care of us. No, see, what we do is we apply our ingenuity to a problem, and solve it by good honest work. There's a machine that was invented way back in the old days, more than fifty years ago. You may have heard of it? The printing press?"

"Do go on .." I prompted.

"You have no idea what I'm talking about, do you? I swear, you elves are the most backward people I ever heard of. You still use the feudal system, and what do you do all day? NOTHING! Just flit around catching butterflies and singing elf-songs and playing baglutes. When's the last time you did anything new or made any progress? We make things! We innovate! We specialize! One person makes ink, and another person makes paper, and the printer sets blocks of type and uses the press to duplicate them as many times as needed. Division of labor increases production AND gives everyone more liesure time, and as a consequence more people are literate. Do you even know how to read?"

"Of course I do," I retorted, slightly offended.

"Your accent slipped," she scoffed. "But seriously, what are you doing right now?"

"Oi'm usin' a faresome powerful scryin' spell -" I began.

"MAGIC!" Ethel shouted. "LAZY! Cutting corners all the time! Never do anything with your own hands! You're too dainty to do any real work! That's why elves are LAME!"

Quote:>Adler: Normally you'd be outraged hearing such things from a lowfolk, but hearing it from Ethel feels more like a lady turning down a bouquet you've offered. Vow to prove to her that you are indeed an elf and to show her the wonders of elf society, what little remains anyway.

"We are not," I pouted. "We've got great art and buildings and culture! If only you could see it, you'd understand. Faerie was great back when you guys were still living in caves."

"Prove it," she snapped. "Right now, all you are is a floating voice in my head."

Quote:>Adler: Going back to her outburst about voices
Adler: The bureau looks very suspicious ask what is inside
Ethel: "What?! There is nothing in the bureau, I mean what bureau?
>Okay, Ethel, lass, would you like to talk about those voices that tell you to burn things a bit ? Happens often do they ?

"About that," I said. "Sure an' what is it ye were sayin' about voices an' settin foires when oi arrived?"

0109whatbureau.gif

"Nothing!" Ethel declared, as she backed up against the bureau.

"An' what moight be in that bureau that yer so protective of?"

"What bureau?? There's no bureau here!"

"Sure an' there is, roight behind ye," I pointed out.

"Crap, you can SEE me?" she blurted nervously. "How long have you been spying on me? Huh, elf? How long? Yeah yeah, I concede, you're an elf all right. Who else would magically spy on a helpless femme?"

"Sure an' oi haven't spied on you at all, at all!" I protested. "This is the farst toime oi've even seen the place."

Quote:>Ethel: reassure the smelly moron that at least the two days of traveling will give Adler time to come up with a more long-term solution.

"Whatever, elf. I've got you figured out. Look, you want food and you want somebody to ogle because you've been trapped alone in Albric Tor ever since the battle. I've read the Chanson! I know the score! I can give you what you want, but you've gotta get rid of Jerry. I mean PERMANENTLY! You have two days till he gets back, to come up with a plan. Now get outta my room and quit peeping in on me."

Quote:it just shows that underneath her surly, rude demeanor beats the heart of a vulnerable soul with a burden to bear. HOW POETIC! Your butterflies increase by magnitudes and your heart yearns all the more.

0109lesigh.gif

I quickly WHOOSHed back to my scry-space and reeled away in a daze from the tree-shaped hole. By Fuma, what a fascinating & captivating creature that lowfolk femme was! Her sass! Her temper! Her figure! Her sheer brazen chutzpah! Add all of that to the tragic secret burden she bore, the mystery of the pyromaniac voices ... and it added up to a delicious, fiesty yet vulnerable package of delirious desire!

Oh Ethel, somehow I would make you mine!!

Quote:>You really need to do something to better yourself while you're isolated. You lost a lot of time already. Maybe meditate and strengthen your magic ? Yuu're doing better on Pooking and Transmogryphication haven't tried Grammayre or talking to the trees in a while
>Oh and start planing on accumulating shugar. Lots of shuggar. You can't count on the Ixies loyalty for free, for sure, but you might eventualy outbid other employers.

0109waitasec.gif

A second later I woke from the trance ... BLAST IT! Ethel's bewitching Wiles got the better of me again! I mentally reviewed the conversation and was relieved to note that I had not made any regrettable promises. I was going to have to be careful dealing with her. Was there any way to protect myself from her seductive influence? I thought my training with Sheila Na Gig had prepared me for anything, but this was an order of magnitude beyond what I had thought was possible.

Two days .. I needed to practice my magick and sharpen all of my skills before our next meeting. She would not gain the advantage so easily again! I also needed to use the Voice of the Forest to consult with local trees and get some intel about the area which might help me come up with a way to remove Jerry from the picture. I could also perhaps use my Ixies as scouts.

Hmm .. I wasn't sure I could trust the Ixies. They claimed to honor bonds of kinship between us, since I was their sire (or possibly grandsire by now, depending on how long I spent moping in the tower after the battle..) but I knew they really worked for the highest bidder. What was the currency in which they were paid? Was it sugar? I knew they liked sugar. it might be a good idea for me to get some.
The Ballad of Adler Young: Silly furry elf adventure. Read the RECAP: http://adleryoung.tumblr.com
Steampup: Surreal dog-headed Victorian adventure. Winterbough Saga Wiki: Everything we know about Faerie, its history & inhabitants.
See an edited recap of Zandar's Saga, and new pages at my Patreon. Peruse original music at Bandcamp. Or you could just Buy Me a Coffee.
*Adorable plum-munching Mavis avatar by the incomparable Tronn.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Adler: Ethel's use of wiles is very odd. She doesn't seem to put any conscious thought or effort into using it, not to mention she finds you unattractive, in desperate need of a bath, irritating, and openly holds you in contempt. It's almost as if she isn't using any wiles on you at all and your feelings are completely your own. But that would be silly! Right?
>Adler: Considering how much of Ethel's life and future happiness hinges on getting Jerry away from her and her sister, whatever is in that bureau is probably something she is desperate to keep out of Jerry's hands. A family heirloom or important documents, perhaps?
>Adler: Remember, you only told Jerry that you would consider his request when he got the books. If there is a way to get him to become your traveling errand boy permanently, well, that's one way to do it. The ixies always need more sugar. Shoes tomorrow, always shoes tomorrow and never today. That could keep him going forever.
>Adler: Maybe have a quick peek on Jerry's progress. Who knows, maybe he's the kind of person that very noisily monologues all of his secrets and motivations out loud to no one in particular.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Given the time lapse, you could always send him off to somewhere inside Faerie. You should have enough glamour, wiles, and what-not to convince him to go outside this scrying tower, and then the time change should get rid of him permanently enough.

Before he shows up get the charm on. Try to make the building more impressive looking through grammarie. Make some branches into fine furniture, say, and add decorative elements to things. Make this tower like a minature palace, to make things look impressive.

I'd recommend asking him to teach you to make shoes. And then take a break while the process is going on, and lead the guy deeper into Faerie. You may have limitations where you can go, and how you can take him, but you shouldn't have issues stranding this guy. You can magically hide the path you were just travelling on, for instance.

Alternatively, you could just do something unseelie and turn the guy into a newt or something. You do have someone else who might be willing to help you, and you can communicate with her.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Adler, suspect that the lowwoman might have lied or at least exaggerated the lowfolk advancements. Try scrying a lowfolk city to verify her statements.
Find things so incredible to almost blow your mind. Also find something interesting and related to your past.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Adler: What a grand idea, these lowfolk peasants are very susceptible to superstition, maybe using your elfy mind talky power find the shop Jerry is heading to and as the voice of fuma "herself" convince the cashier to insist to Jerry the store is completely out of the Chanson Du Percy, even though he has over a hundred copies
Jerry: Get really huffy with this damnable bookstore owner, tell him "I WAS PROMISED SHOES BY AN ELF FOR THIS BOOK!"
Bookstore Owner: Nod and smile nervously, signal to your coworker to call for the guards, this man is obviously insane.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
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Two days wasn't a lot of time, especially for an elf, and especially with a slightly unstable time slip between the two worlds. If I was going to brush up on my magick, I probably should come up with a definite plan so I would know what kind of magick to practice in the limited time available.

Quote:>Adler: Remember, you only told Jerry that you would consider his request when he got the books. If there is a way to get him to become your traveling errand boy permanently, well, that's one way to do it. The ixies always need more sugar. Shoes tomorrow, always shoes tomorrow and never today. That could keep him going forever.

Thankfully, I hadn't promised Jerry anything other than that we would "talk" if he brought me five copies of the Chanson. I could perhaps hint that his reward was right around the corner if he helped me with one more thing, and one more thing, and one more thing, etc. To string him along indefinitely would require Wiles and Glamour .. hmm .. maybe I could get him to bring me sugar with which to bribe my Ixies...

But on the other hand, keeping Jerry around as my perpetual errand boy was not exactly "getting rid" of him the way Ethel wanted. I wondered what she was hiding in the bureau, but I wouldn't ever get a chance to find out unless I satisfied her.

With Jerry still around, Ethel would not be happy. This wasn't going to work.

Quote:I'd recommend asking him to teach you to make shoes.

Perhaps I could ask him to teach me how to make shoes, and then go ahead and actually make them, on the condition that he set up shop somewhere far away ... NO, what was I thinking? This would take too long, and it involved me making shoes, which was unacceptable.

Quote:you could just do something unseelie and turn the guy into a newt or something.

I could perhaps turn him into a newt or a toad. This was a classic way of getting rid of someone without killing them .. but could I master the "Transmogrify Other" spell in just two days? It was unlikely, since I didn't even have anybody to practice on.

It would probably be simplest to find out where the most dangerous parts of the forest were, and send Jerry on a quest to get lost in a quagmire or a bear's den or something. It was a little bit Unseelie perhaps, but under the circumstances I thought it might be justified.

Quote:>Adler: Maybe have a quick peek on Jerry's progress. Who knows, maybe he's the kind of person that very noisily monologues all of his secrets and motivations out loud to no one in particular.

Actually, as I began to think about it, there was no reason to wait til Jerry got back to lead him astray! Far better to get rid of him on the road so he never returns, and then I'd have more than two days; I'd have all the time in the world, and Ethel would finally smile at me ..

I shook my head to clear my thoughts. By Fuma, that lowfolk femme's Wiles were strong! I needed to concentrate on the task at hand!

I pulled the Chanson du Percy out of my Elfintory. Since Jerry had held this book, using it as a psychometric handle should enable me to find him more easily. I placed my hands on the book and tried to picture Jerry in my mind, then leaned into the scrying hole, with the mental imperative to locate him.

I zoomed past Tulgeyside along a narrow road of hard-packed earth. Was this the lowfolks' transportation network? HA! Their roads were far inferior to our Imperial roads in Faerie! I made a mental note to mention it the next time I spoke to Ethel.

0116walker.gif

Soon I caught up with Jerry, strolling casually along with a stout staff in one hand and his traveling bag slung over his shoulder. He whistled a merry but unidentifiable tune as he walked along.

"And a foine hudalaleigh to ye," I said.

No response.

"Jerry Shoemaker, ye spalpeen," I said, louder. "Sure an pay attention when it's yer elders an' betters addressin ye."

Still no response. Could he not hear me? I tried Elfmind on him, but all I got was visions of piles of shoes .. and a scantly clad SALV Fauxfox reclining in the midst of them.

Oh, I DEFINITELY had to make sure this guy did not come back from this quest.

Quote:Try scrying a lowfolk city to verify her statements.

I decided to fly on up the road ahead of him, in the hopes that I could find Percysthorpe and perhaps figure out some sort of mischief to delay or incapacitate the questing hero. It would also give me another chance to observe this supposedly advanced technology which Ethel had bragged about.

0116mill.gif

Percysthorpe was marked (though not too clearly) with an old wooden sign by the road, and the first thing I noticed was several mills along the river.

"Pfft, we have plenty of mills in Faerie," I scoffed. Magick was, after all, a very inefficient means of grinding grain.

Quote:Find things so incredible to almost blow your mind. Also find something interesting and related to your past.

I wafted into one of these mills to see just how they accomplished their task ...

0116agog.gif

And I was absolutely gobsmacked to behold rows of looms turning out cloth at a rapid rate. The machinery itself wasn't all that impressive - Elfhamian automata were much more complex - but the sheer scale at which it was being applied to do the most humdrum & banal tasks .. it was absolutely astounding! To squander one's ingenuity on something so dismally practical was .. it was just .. I couldn't even think of a suitable word for it. No elf machinist would ever lower himself to this!

As I looked around at the ceaseless activity in the mill, I noticed that the bolts of emerging fabric bore a pattern that looked oddly like Persoc-Itoome labels repeated over and over ..

And over in one corner of the room, a machine was turning out - every ten minutes - a complete one-piece red garment that bore an eerie resemblance to the Duchess of Daisies' Regalia.

As odd and disturbing as this was, I had other, more urgent matters to attend to. I left the mill and floated around the town until I found a shop with the sign "LITTLE BROWN & GOBELET" attached to its gable. Gobelet was that annoying Percy's last name, so, based on what Ethel had told me about this publisher's fortunes, this must be his shop.

Quote:find the shop Jerry is heading to and as the voice of fuma "herself" convince the cashier to insist to Jerry the store is completely out of the Chanson Du Percy

0116bookman.gif

Inside, behind a low counter, was a well-dressed vole whom I assumed was the other partner, Little Brown, since the name suited him perfectly. The wall behind him was covered from floor to ceiling with books. I had clearly come to the right place.

"BROWN," I bellowed at him.

"Who's there?" he squeaked.

"Ah good, you can hear me. Listen, a chap from Tulgeyside by the name of Jerry Shoemaker is going to come into this shop to buy five copies of the Chanson du Percy. You must NOT sell them to him."

"Why?"

"It is vitally important that he not acquire these books, Brown," I declared, with as Ominous and Foreboding a tone as I could muster.
The Ballad of Adler Young: Silly furry elf adventure. Read the RECAP: http://adleryoung.tumblr.com
Steampup: Surreal dog-headed Victorian adventure. Winterbough Saga Wiki: Everything we know about Faerie, its history & inhabitants.
See an edited recap of Zandar's Saga, and new pages at my Patreon. Peruse original music at Bandcamp. Or you could just Buy Me a Coffee.
*Adorable plum-munching Mavis avatar by the incomparable Tronn.
Quote
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Little Brown the Vole: ". . . No really, why?"
>Adler: "Listen, when an ominous voice speaks in your head, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO WHAT IT SAYS! That's how this is always supposed to work. You read and sell books, you should know this already."
>Adler: Get into an argument with the vole about tradition and the laws of narrative causality despite his insistence that such things have no bearing in the real world.
>Onlookers: Watch as Little Brown seemingly argues with himself about narrative tropes. "Oh, this again."
>Adler: Hold on a minute. The lowfolk are mass producing items of Antglade origin. Why? Your imagination goes wild, what if she's already conquered all of Faerie and is starting to conquer the lowfolk world using their own industry against them! What if she wants to carve her face into the MOON?! PANIC!!!
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Guards: Arrive yet again to restrain the insane Vole, and force him to take his medicine
Little Brown: Try to get the guards to side with your argumen- wait PUT THE PILLS DOWN I'M NOT CRAZY!
Jerry: Your thoughts of SALV Fauxfox and shoes have disturbingly morphed together into a Fauxfox shoe hybrid, start drooling
Adler: Looking into Jerry's mind you realize this man is very very sick, ending his life would be a mercy
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Clozapine: Be surprisingly effective at blocking elfmind communication.
>Adler: This is going from bad to worse, change of plans. Connive to have Ethel's sister catching Jerry in flagrante delicto with Faufox when he returns for his reward, proving his infidelity to her.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
(Mysterious Fox Seen From Behind) Chant
(HM King Adler II) Wonder where you've heard that chanting before
(HM King Adler II) Wonder why it's coming through on the scry
(Little Brown) Also hear the chanting.
(Little Brown) Decide you may need to take some time off
(Little Brown) Close the shop. BBIAB
(Jerry) Be frustrated at the shop's closing. Especially since there's Jane scrolls in the window.
(HM King Adler II) Wonder how Jane scrolls got there.
(HM King Adler II) Try to command Jerry
(Jerry) Only hear chanting. Freaky!
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
SpoilerShow
Quote:>Little Brown the Vole: ". . . No really, why?"
>Adler: Get into an argument with the vole about tradition and the laws of narrative causality despite his insistence that such things have no bearing in the real world.

0123debate.gif

"Yes, but," the vole replied insolently, "WHY is it vitally important that this person not acquire five copies of the Chanson?"

"Listen," I scolded. "When an ominous voice speaks in your head, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO WHAT IT SAYS! You read and sell books, you should know this already."

"Pshaw," the vole scoffed. "In books, maybe. But those are contrived, artificial stories deliberately written to favor the protagonist in ways much more structured and meaningful than the random mischance of real life. I'm not bound by someone else's narrative! I'm a free vole!"

Quote:>Onlookers: Watch as Little Brown seemingly argues with himself about narrative tropes. "Oh, this again."
Guards: Arrive yet again to restrain the insane Vole, and force him to take his medicine

0123customers.gif

"You okay there, Sandy?" one of the shop's customers called nervously from the stacks. "Who you talkin' to? Have you been taking your pills? Do we need to summon the guard again?"

Quote:Little Brown: Try to get the guards to side with your argumen- wait PUT THE PILLS DOWN I'M NOT CRAZY!
>Clozapine: Be surprisingly effective at blocking elfmind communication.
(Little Brown) Decide you may need to take some time off
(Little Brown) Close the shop. BBIAB

"No, no, no," the vole stammered. "No, that won't be necessary. I'm perfectly sane. The pills stop the voices, yes indeed they do. I was just, um, thinking about a philosophical treatise I had recently read. No need to summon the guard, and no need to tell Mr. Little about this little, er, outburst of mine. Though I think I do need to get some air. If you have purchases, please bring them over so I can close the shop and step out for a bit."

"Quickly, Brown," I prodded as he totaled up the customers' orders. "Get out of here before Jerry shows up."

The vole scowled and gritted his teeth, but ignored me.

A few minutes later, he hurried out into the street, locking the shop door behind him - just in the nick of time, too. As I drifted out after Brown, I noticed Jerry sauntering up the street.

Quote:(Jerry) Be frustrated at the shop's closing. Especially since there's Jane scrolls in the window.

0123closed.gif

"CLOSED??" Jerry groaned when he reached the book shop. "What the heck, it's the middle of the day!?! AW MAN!! And they have the latest issue of Jane, too! I hope they reopen soon; I only planned to stay overnight."

"It's probably hopeless," I muttered to him. "You might as well go home now."

He did not respond. Why could this oaf not hear me?

Quote:Jerry: Your thoughts of SALV Fauxfox and shoes have disturbingly morphed together into a Fauxfox shoe hybrid, start drooling

I briefly considered using Elfmind on him again, but then I recalled the lewd image of SALV Fauxfox and shoes which I had seen before. The utterly debauched, glassy-eyed expression on Jerry's face convinced me that I would regret peeking in on his thoughts at this moment.

Ah well, he was temporarily stymied in his quest to get the books, and that was good. I just needed to think of a way to prevent the store from opening, or somehow stop Jerry from buying books, or from returning home, or SOMETHING.

Quote:>Adler: Hold on a minute. The lowfolk are mass producing items of Antglade origin. Why? Your imagination goes wild, what if she's already conquered all of Faerie and is starting to conquer the lowfolk world using their own industry against them! What if she wants to carve her face into the MOON?!
(HM King Adler II) Wonder how Jane scrolls got there.

0123worry.gif

Wait a second.

JANE??

Why would a lowfolk publisher have the latest issue of Jane, the Lowfolk Femme? I looked at the shop window and saw, to my horror, a chapbook entitled "Jane, ye Foolish Femme, nr. 17." Despite the slight change in the title, and the much cruder quality of the artwork, this was unmistakably a copy of the popular Jane series from Faerie. What was it doing here?

Furthermore, why was the textile mill producing fabric with a Persoc-Itoome pattern, along with replicas of the Duchess of Daisies' regalia?

Had the Duchess already conquered the lowfolk world? I could feel a cold panic start to grip me as I wondered what she would be capable of with these kinds of resources at her command.
The Ballad of Adler Young: Silly furry elf adventure. Read the RECAP: http://adleryoung.tumblr.com
Steampup: Surreal dog-headed Victorian adventure. Winterbough Saga Wiki: Everything we know about Faerie, its history & inhabitants.
See an edited recap of Zandar's Saga, and new pages at my Patreon. Peruse original music at Bandcamp. Or you could just Buy Me a Coffee.
*Adorable plum-munching Mavis avatar by the incomparable Tronn.
Quote
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Adler: Hearing voices seems to be an alarmingly common malady around here. Hopefully it's not something in the air. Remember, if you hear any voices in your head, just cover your ears.
>Adler: It has to be Percy! You need to find Percy and see just exactly what he's up to. Maybe he's cooked up some kind of deal with the Duchess. If he has, he's an even bigger fool than you thought.
>Percy: Have so many protective charms and spells attached to you as to be virtually untouchable. Even scry-proofed.
>Adler: Don't forget what you're here for, getting rid of Jerry. He wants shoes, maybe use his desires against him. If there are any cobblers nearby, you can convince the proprietor to give Jerry an apprenticeship. He's a bit old, yes, but when a voice in your head says to do something or else, you'd best do it.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Jerry: Begin foaming at the mouth in your quest for shoes and smash the window, no closed sign shall impede your holy shoe quest!
Jerry: You've lost your mind you mad bastard! Run off into the woods singing about shoes!
Guards: Be too busy making sure the vole takes his pills to notice Jerry
Adler: Oh shit!
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
SpoilerShow

Quote:>Adler: Don't forget what you're here for, getting rid of Jerry. He wants shoes, maybe use his desires against him. If there are any cobblers nearby, you can convince the proprietor to give Jerry an apprenticeship.
Jerry: Begin foaming at the mouth in your quest for shoes and smash the window, no closed sign shall impede your holy shoe quest!

"Oho, Jerry me boyo," I tried, on the chance that he could hear me but wasn't acknowledging it. "Sure an' a town this size must have a cobbler. You ought to apprentice yerself to him and become a shoemaker in more than name only."

"SHOES," Jerry muttered, with a faraway look in his eyes. "Beautiful elf-made shoes. Beautiful elf snow-vixens."

"Tish, lad," I scoffed. "Sure an' why bother an elf when you could have pride in yer own workmanship, ye could?"

0130smash.gif

"I will not be stopped," Jerry declared avidly. He hefted his rucksack and yelled "FOR SHOES!" as he swung the sack at the bookshop window.

The window shattered. Jerry quickly grabbed all of the books, along with several sizeable pieces of glass, and shoved them all into his sack.

Quote:Jerry: You've lost your mind you mad bastard! Run off into the woods singing about shoes!

0130dash.gif

He dashed madly away, giggling and singing "SHOES, SHOES, SHOES!"

Quote:>Adler: It has to be Percy! You need to find Percy and see just exactly what he's up to. Maybe he's cooked up some kind of deal with the Duchess.

0130ohcrap.gif

Fuma's Whiskers! I bit my nails as I fretted over what to do next. Should I pursue Jerry? I pretty much knew where he was going if I didn't intervene .. but how would I prevent him from returning to Tulgeyside and Albric Tor? Then again, since I knew where Jerry was going, it might be worthwhile to tarry and investigate these industries here at Percysthorpe, to see exactly how involved the Duchess was in lowfolk affairs. For that matter, perhaps I should find Percy le Gobelet and cut off the supply of these slanderous books at the source ..

0130little.gif

I had only pondered these matters for a second or two when an enormous, richly-dressed boar came dashing up.

"HEY!" he snorted. "Why is the store closed? Where's Mr. Brown? HEY! Why is my window all smashed? Where are the books? HEY! Why's that guy running away down the street?
The Ballad of Adler Young: Silly furry elf adventure. Read the RECAP: http://adleryoung.tumblr.com
Steampup: Surreal dog-headed Victorian adventure. Winterbough Saga Wiki: Everything we know about Faerie, its history & inhabitants.
See an edited recap of Zandar's Saga, and new pages at my Patreon. Peruse original music at Bandcamp. Or you could just Buy Me a Coffee.
*Adorable plum-munching Mavis avatar by the incomparable Tronn.
Quote
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Wealthy Boar: Call for the guards.
>Adler: A-Ha! Fortune smiles on you! Give a detailed description of who stole the books and where he's going. He won't make it out of town.
>Guards: Be eerily familiar, for some reason. The older of the two has an unhealthy and unnatural attraction to grass and an obsession with model carts, the younger rookie spends his every breath complaining about his overbearing mother.
>Guards: Despite the exact description given to you by the magical voice, decide to arrest the boar for disturbing the peace instead.
Quote
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Jerry: As you sprint down the street singing about your deepest desire, accidentally run into a very wealthy hawk femme!
Noble Hawk Femme (With Hooks for Hands): Be very angry at this pauper for knocking you down, but upon seeing that glazed crazed look in his eye, be reminded of your 13 dead husbands who all died for being too boring. Fall in love with this disturbed fellow because in your own view he is so ugly that it loops back around and he becomes beautiful.
Big Fat Noble Boar AKA Fatus McFato: Enraged by this turn of events, begin stuffing raw potatoes down your gullet as you call for the guards! Act like a complete ass.
Quote
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
SpoilerShow

Quote:>Wealthy Boar: Call for the guards.

0206guards.gif

"GUARDS!" the boar bellowed. "GUARDS! I'VE BEEN ROBBED!"

Quote:>Guards: Be eerily familiar, for some reason. The older of the two has an unhealthy and unnatural attraction to grass and an obsession with model carts, the younger rookie spends his every breath complaining about his overbearing mother.
Big Fat Noble Boar: Enraged by this turn of events, begin stuffing raw potatoes down your gullet

With a clanking and a jingling of chainmail, two fellows with pikes and helms came scurrying down the street.

0206siezehim.gif

"What's the trouble, Mr. Little?" the bovine guard asked. "Is this going to take long? I can't let the glue dry yet on my model cart."

"We're not going to have to charge you with disturbing the peace again, are we?" the lupine guard inquired. "My mother, she says -"

"NEVER MIND YOUR MOTHER AND YOUR MODEL," the boar yelled as he angrily gnawed a potato which he pulled out of his cloak. "MY STORE HAS BEEN BURGLED AND THE THIEF IS ABSCONDING WITH A SACK OF BOOKS AND POSSIBLY MY PARTNER AS WELL. DON'T JUST STAND THERE, YOU IDIOTS!! HE'S GETTING AWAY!"

Quote:Jerry: As you sprint down the street singing about your deepest desire, accidentally run into a very wealthy hawk femme!

0206collide.gif

The two guards had barely begun their pursuit, when an elegantly-dressed hawk femme stepped out of a doorway, directly into Jerry's path! The stampeding book thief collided with the noble avian, and they both went down in a tangle of fur and feathers.

Quote:Noble Hawk Femme (With Hooks for Hands): Be very angry at this pauper for knocking you down, but upon seeing that glazed crazed look in his eye, be reminded of your 13 dead husbands who all died for being too boring. Fall in love with this disturbed fellow

0206unhandhim.gif

The guards rushed up as the femme was dusting herself off.

"Lady Hawk, are you all right?" the bovine guard asked nervously.

"I'm fine," she screeched melodiously. "Your services are not required."

"Um, we have to arrest that man," the lupine guard pointed out. "He's suspected of stealing books and a vole."

"Nonsense," the hawk replied. "I've captured this fascinating morsel, and he is mine. I've not met such an interesting man in a long time, and I intend to get better acquainted. You may assure the odious Mr. Little that if I find any of his property, I shall promptly return it to him."

"But this guy's a suspect," the bovine guard insisted feebly.

"Shoes," Jerry cooed, in a daze.

"Yes, I think he shall make a fine pair of shoes for me," the hawk declared. "Now leave us."

I breathed a sigh of relief. It looked like my problem was solved! Now I could investigate the Duchess's activities .. or I could return to Ethel, inform her that Jerry had been dealt with, and claim my sweet, sweet reward!
The Ballad of Adler Young: Silly furry elf adventure. Read the RECAP: http://adleryoung.tumblr.com
Steampup: Surreal dog-headed Victorian adventure. Winterbough Saga Wiki: Everything we know about Faerie, its history & inhabitants.
See an edited recap of Zandar's Saga, and new pages at my Patreon. Peruse original music at Bandcamp. Or you could just Buy Me a Coffee.
*Adorable plum-munching Mavis avatar by the incomparable Tronn.
Quote
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Lady Hawk, have plans for Jerry. Nasty plans...

Adler, follow Jerry for a short while, just to make sure he doesn't escape. Then go take a scry-flight around town.

Inn, proudly disply a poster advertising a certain bevarage quite familiar to Adler.
Strange concraptions, be seen at several places.
One strange building, have a platform just outside of it with a small crowd of people and what appears to be multiple rows of iron bars laid next to it, that seem to stretch to the horizon. A strange cloud of dark smoke, be visible in one direction. Adler, be puzzled and a bit alarmed that the smoke cloud appears to be comming closer...
Quote
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Adler: He'll be fine... Probably...
>Hawk Woman: Suffice it to say, it's surprising you turned out to be a hawk instead of a "Black Widow".
>Adler: Finish your investigations first so you don't have to later.
>Adler: When your investigations are complete and you go to declare your success you scry in on Ethel comforting her sister Trudy who is in tears.
>Adler: Considering what an emotional wreck Jerry turned Trudy into, it would appear that Jerry was definitely NOT a good person.
>Adler: You actually feel like you've done a good deed.
Quote