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
>The braids are a good look for your hair, tho....

>Adler: Turn out to ends up recieving good counceling and advice (or at least highly practical one) yourself from the encounter

>Turns out to have something you're very good at, you can give in exchange of food.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Adler: You can't manage to untie the braid
Ethel: Be as belligerent as you possibly can be
Adler: Love her all the more
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

"Aw, I guess we really offended him," I could hear Trudy pouting.

"Great wishing there, Trude," Jerry quipped sarcastically. "You could have had anything, but now you've got nothing."

"Oh hush, don't be crabby. I'll send Ethel out here and maybe she can get something out of him."

1121hmm.gif

After the lowfolk left, I stood in the shadows of the dolmen and thought of ways I might be able to get the book, "Le Chanson du Percy" into the tower where I could study it at my liesure. Certainly it was possible to bring lowfolk things into Faerie; Percy himself had snuck in somehow. It seemed that this particular Gate was tuned to exclude them - which made sense, for security reasons, since this connected directly to the base of the scrying tower.

But I also knew that this same Gate connected to multiple points around Albric Tor. Generally a Gate linked you back to the same place you left, but there might be a way to re-assign the destination on the Faerie side .. if I could do that, then it might enable me to access other parts of the city, or maybe even circumvent Edessa's geas and make my escape. It would take some doing, though. I would need to know where the other access points were, as well as how to link the Gate to them.

1121youtheelf.gif

My thoughts were interrupted by a melodious feminine voice bellowing "HEY IN THERE. YOU THE ELF?"

I turned to look, and beheld the most ravishing creature I had seen outside of Faerie. Her lithe figure, her lustrous ebony tresses, her adorable glower ... suddenly I began to understand why elves of the Long Ago had gotten into so much trouble with lowfolk femmes. I gritted my teeth and remembered my Wiles training. If anyone was going to be in charge here, it would surely be me!

Quote:>Adler: When the wayward sister Ethel arrives, Goodness Gracious! She's the most beautiful lowfolk woman you've ever seen!
>Ethel: Counter to your gentle appearance, your manner of speech is very coarse and shockingly vulgar.
>Ethel: "Why do you have a fake accent?"
>You know, up close the lowfolk appeared surprisingly tall, even the female towered over you.
Adler: You can't manage to untie the braid
Ethel: Be as belligerent as you possibly can be

1121ethel.gif

I quickly bounded out of the dolmen, twirled around, and made a low bow. "Hudalaleigh," I exclaimed. "Sure an' is this the bonny Ethel I see before me?"

"Your accent blows," she scoffed. "It's faker than my sister's hair extensions. is your name really Lord Randall? What are you supposed to be the lord of? You look kinda puny, have you been eating right? You smell funny. They said you had gorgeous hair, but it looks crummy to me. How come one side is braided and the other side is straight? When's the last time you washed it? I don't think you're the elf. Where is the elf? If Gertrude was lying to me, so help me, I'm gonna pulverize her. WELL? You are Lord Randall, aintcha? You gonna grant me a wish or are you gonna stand there gawking at me all afternoon?"

I stood for a moment, completely taken aback. Being this close to her was almost overwhelming. For Fuma's sake, why were these lowfolk so ridiculously tall? That certainly was not helping matters.

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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: Your wish is similar to your sister's if more specific. You and Trudy used to be as close as sisters could be without it being creepy. Then Jerry showed up, broke your heart, and stole Trudy's. Now he's sitting pretty on what little of your family's money he hasn't spent with your sister wrapped around his finger. Your wish is simple, "Jerry has to go." Since you're not the type of person who just takes something for nothing, if the so-called "elf" can pull this off, you'll do something for him in return.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Take pity on the poor thing, it's clearly undernourished which surely explain why it's so small, weak and mentaly slow.

>Ethel: You nevr had any problem with your sister actualy, she just sort of got that weird idea in her head. I mean sure you're not quite as close but hey that's because you grew up, got your own life to worry about now.

>Buut you reckon you could do with sime excitement in your life.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Ethel: This has been a waste of your time. "Speak up, elflet or I'm gone!"

>"Lord Randall": "Elflet?" Great Fuma what an absolutely delightful nickname!

>"Lord Randall's stomach: Make your hunger known.

>Ethel: Hear the stomach growls, misinterpret it entirely.

(I think I'm liking Ethel already).

Fifi's not dead dammit!!
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Ethel: Get so annoyed by the inconsistent braid "Fix" it for him by braiding the other side
Adler: Somehow you can do nothing to refuse this beautiful femme, somehow she is able to use wiles on you without her being aware of or even trying to use it.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Ethel: This has been a waste of your time. "Speak up, elflet or I'm gone!"
>"Lord Randall": "Elflet?" Great Fuma what an absolutely delightful nickname!

1128scrutiny.gif

Ethel leaned down and looked me right in the eye. My heart raced and my scalp prickled! Never had I gone up against such powerful Wiles! I tried my best not to give away my state of mind by any outward sign.

"You're a nincompoop," Ethel scoffed. "If you weren't so tiny, I wouldn't even believe you were an elf. Why are you so tiny? Are you some kind of elflet? Huh?"

She called me an elflet! How precious!

"I can't decide if you're dimwitted, or .." she continued. "There's something about your looks that bothers me, but I can't quite .. it's gotta be the braid. That thing is driving me nuts. Why only one side? You look ridiculous. Hold still a second."

Quote:Ethel: Get so annoyed by the inconsistent braid "Fix" it for him by braiding the other side
Adler: Somehow you can do nothing to refuse this beautiful femme

1128braiding.gif

She knelt next to me, grabbed my other side-lock, and began braiding it. Shivers of delight ran down my spine!

"Stand still and quit squirming!" Ethel snapped. "I swear, you sure are twitchy enough to be an elf. I think you're crazy. Are you crazy? Or is that what passes for sanity in elfland?"

"It's perfectly foine oi am," I squeaked in a thin, warbly voice.

"Still doing the accent, huh? Well I think you're nuts. Okay, there, your hair's braided. Let's have a look at you."

Quote:>Take pity on the poor thing, it's clearly undernourished which surely explain why it's so small, weak and mentaly slow.
>"Lord Randall's stomach: Make your hunger known.
>Ethel: Hear the stomach growls

1128tummy.gif

She began to stand up, when suddenly my stomach growled.

"What was that?" Ethel asked. "Are you hungry? You poor thing, you're starving aren't you? Living out here in the woods all by yourself. I knew as soon as I saw you, that you weren't eating right. 'Ethel' I said to myself, 'that pitiful creature is lonely and malnourished.' It explains why you're so small and slow-witted. Once you get some decent food in you, you'll feel better."

"Sure an' oi -" I began.

Quote:>Ethel: You and Trudy used to be as close as sisters could be without it being creepy. Then Jerry showed up, broke your heart, and stole Trudy's. Now he's sitting pretty on what little of your family's money he hasn't spent with your sister wrapped around his finger. Your wish is simple, "Jerry has to go." ...if the so-called "elf" can pull this off, you'll do something for him in return.

1128thedeal.gif

"Okay, here's the deal," Ethel interrupted. "Maybe you're an elf and maybe you're not, but what I want doesn't necessarily require magic. You see, I want Jerry gone. I used to love that jerk, but he broke my heart and now he's using my sister to try and get hold of the inheritance, which he intends to use as capital to start up his shoe business, which is idiotic because I don't even know anybody who wears shoes around here. He's gonna lose all the money and we'll all wind up living under a rock, like you. So, you get rid of Jerry for me and I'll bring you food. Okay, elf. Get to work."

With that, she turned and stalked away into the forest.
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
>Lure Jerry into the sewers under Albic Tor and leave him stranded there, no way he ever finds his way back home.

Ethel's cool and kinda hot!
Vivian Quest
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Adler: Whilst flower petals and little cartoon hearts dance through your head, wonder if the tone Ethel used was a "By Any Means Necessary" Tone. How do you feel about outright killing someone in cold-blood? Even if it is for the bestest, most prettiest, most smarterest lowfolk lady in the whole wide world!
>Adler: Whatever you decide to do, you should study your mark to get a build on his personality and habits. You can always scry-spy, as a matter of fact.
>Adler: While you're poking around in the scrylight zone, you stumble across Sergeant-Major Bonsai and his shrub-soldiers. They were still guarding the magic gate during the battle and escaped the plague. They heard that the plague was your fault and, horrified by your actions and the part they played in it, have left the army to swear a blood-oath (sap-oath?) and are honor bound to hunt you down like a rabid beast. You now have the must elite of the elite battle shrubs hunting for you, and when they find you, they intend to kill you in the most agonizingly slow way imaginable. Why does your life just keep getting more complicated?
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Adler: Maybe you can make Jerry gone by sending him on a quest. Perhaps a treasure hunt. That would make him gone while not getting either of the sisters angry. And you have a scrying tower, so you might be able to find some treasure for him to hunt in the lowfolk world.

>Adler's hair: Demonstrate why elves don't usually braid their hair by re-enacting shampoo commercials. They don't want to deal with the volume.

>Adler: If Ethel gives you trouble in your future, maybe you can defend yourself by dancing with her.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Adler: Ethel's wishes must be met, REDRUM! REDRUM! REDRUM!
Ethel: Hope that your sister can get over Jerry "leaving" her.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
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Quote:Ethel's cool and kinda hot!
wonder if the tone Ethel used was a "By Any Means Necessary" Tone. How do you feel about outright killing someone in cold-blood?
>Adler: If Ethel gives you trouble in your future, maybe you can defend yourself by dancing with her.
Adler: Ethel's wishes must be met, REDRUM! REDRUM! REDRUM!

1205aghast.gif

With mixed feelings of awe and dismay, I watched Ethel leave. That femme was dangerous! She was devastatingly beautiful, adorably cold-blooded, and her Wiles abilities were beyond compare! If she came back, I was definitely going to have to go on the offensive, just for my own protection. Perhaps if I whisked her off her feet with some elvish dance moves, she would be too overwhelmed to try manipulating me, and then I'd have the upper hand!

But for now, I had to try to parse her wish. When she said she wanted Jerry gone, did she mean .. did she mean for me to kill him? I wasn't sure if I could do that. On one hand, he was just a lowfolk, so it shouldn't be a problem .. but on the other hand, I had never killed anyone before - well, except for an entire city full of innocent elves, but that wasn't on purpose! Nor was that gang of brigands on the road to Athstead .. come to think of it, I guess I was rather deadly after all. Just like a true heir of Irenaeus!

Quote:>Lure Jerry into the sewers under Albic Tor and leave him stranded there
>Adler: Whatever you decide to do, you should study your mark to get a build on his personality and habits. You can always scry-spy, as a matter of fact.
>Adler: Maybe you can make Jerry gone by sending him on a quest. Perhaps a treasure hunt. That would make him gone while not getting either of the sisters angry. And you have a scrying tower, so you might be able to find some treasure for him to hunt in the lowfolk world.
>Adler's hair: Demonstrate why elves don't usually braid their hair by re-enacting shampoo commercials. They don't want to deal with the volume.

1205unbraid.gif

But no, I thought as I pulled the braids out of my hair. No, I could not kill Jerry. Not because I cared about him at all, but because of how such an Unseelie action might affect me. I was going to have to find a non-lethal way to get rid of him.

My first idea was to lure him into the Maze of Mirrors in the Albric Tor Underworks, where he would get forever lost and never return. On further reflection I realized that this was basically the same as killing him; I would be abandoning him to die in an underground maze. Also there was the logistical problem of getting him through the Gate which was tuned to reject anything from the lowfolk world - and even if I could do that, how would I get him across the poisoned field, into the city, and into the maze without entering it myself?

For all that, if I could get him into Faerie, it would be far simpler to just shove him out the door and let him breathe a nice lungful of the Plague of Battles. But then, that would be the same as killing him.

Maybe I could send him on some kind of quest, since he seemed like the type who was always chasing after wealth. Hmm, yes, this idea had possibilities, but I would need to identify some sort of treasure for him to find .. or else concoct some way to send him on a wild goose chase without actually lying (because ELVES DO NOT LIE!!) .. and how exactly was I going to communicate with him?

The problem was too complex.

I needed to focus on something simpler and more immediate.

1205howtodoit.gif

I walked under the dolmen and pulled the Chanson du Percy out of my Elfintory.

Now then, how could I get this object into Faerie?

I stepped over the threshold of the Gate, and I could feel the book pulled from my hand as I passed through. I stepped back across and looked at the book lying on the floor of the dolmen chamber.

Hmm. Clearly, it was impossible to physically carry a lowfolk object from their side to my side .. but what if ..

I studied the ground carefully and tried my best to memorize the size and location of the book. Then I stepped through the Gate, into the room underneath the scrying tower. I concentrated and visualized the book just as I had seen it a moment ago, then reached out mentally, as if to apport it ..

1205bookpook.gif

EALA! The book materialized in my hand!! I did it!
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
>And then the book explodes. Surely you didn't think it would be that easy? Evidently you weren't the first to try.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Book, do a nasty thing as soon as Adler attempts to open you.

Adler, remember that you heard of certain elves that could copy the contents of books. You could try copying the Chanson to a blank elf-made book, or switching its contents with one of the manuals in the tower... It's unlikely any lowfolk could make any sense of those, anyway, even if they do read it...
Of course, you'll still need a second copy of the Chanson in order to try...

Maybe you can send Jerry on a quest to retrieve another Chanson book... Particularly, if they turn out to be rare. Or just pretend that you're testing his questing abilities by having him provide you with another book, before you send him off to do something more difficult...

Also, take note that lowfolk seem to be far better at wiles and trickery than elves. Perhaps that's why so many elves that dealt with them met most unfortunate ends...
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Adler: "except for an entire city full of innocent elves, but that wasn't on purpose! Nor was that gang of brigands on the road to Athstead .. come to think of it, I guess I was rather deadly after all. Just like a true heir of Irenaeus!" Adler that is not something to be proud of.
Adler: Try using the Scrying Tower to find a treasure for Jerry to desperately hunt for.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
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Quote:>And then the book explodes. Surely you didn't think it would be that easy?
Book, do a nasty thing as soon as Adler attempts to open you.

1212flinch.gif

"GREAT AUK AND FUMA!!" I exclaimed as I fully realised what I had done. Lowfolk artifacts were barred from this Gate for a good reason! Probably!!

I quickly dropped the book and cringed away from it, just in case it wanted to explode, or melt, or burst into a puff of poison gas or something.

The book lay quietly on the floor where I had dropped it.

1212nudge.gif

After a long pause, I poked it carefully with my foot.

Nothing happened.

Still, better safe than sorry. I whispered some Gramarye instructing the book to remain inert & harmless. Then I carefully picked it up, dusted it off, and placed it in my Elfintory.

Quote:Maybe you can send Jerry on a quest to retrieve another Chanson book
lowfolk seem to be far better at wiles and trickery than elves. Perhaps that's why so many elves that dealt with them met most unfortunate ends...
Adler: Try using the Scrying Tower to find a treasure for Jerry to desperately hunt for.

With this, I theorized I would be able to forge a sympathetic link with other copies of the Chanson du Percy, and locate them with the scrying tower. Then, perhaps I could send Jerry off to collect them, thereby accomplishing two goals at one time.

I would have to be very careful in my dealings with him. Though he may have seemed like a simple-minded goal-oriented lummox, I had to keep reminding myself that lowfolk were deceptively clever. They could lie whenever they wanted to! They were smarter than they looked! They had powerful Wiles! My ancient predecessors had been no match for them!

1212caution.gif

But before I had any dealings with treacherous lowfolk, I was going to have to run the gauntlet of plague-infected crows again. Carefully I peeped out from under the trap-door cover, and looked around.

No sign of belligerent crows.

I picked up the large magickal tome I had dropped here earlier, and tucked it into my Elfintory alongside the Chanson. I could put them on the shelf in the tower later.

Cautiously I emerged from the trap-door hole and stood on the upper porch. No crows to be seen. The field all around was eerily silent. I tried not to look too closely at the ground, but my quick, furtive glimpses revealed no movement except for an occasional wisp of greenish vapor curling up from .. no .. I wasn't going to think about that!

I strode resolutely toward the tower and grasped the door handle. I heard a soft pook behind me, followed by a familiar rattly buzzing.

Quote:Sergeant-Major Bonsai and his shrub-soldiers. They were still guarding the magic gate during the battle and escaped the plague. They heard that the plague was your fault and, horrified by your actions and the part they played in it, have left the army to swear a blood-oath (sap-oath?) and are honor bound to hunt you down like a rabid beast.

1212ixie.gif

"Ah, Sire, thou art safe," the Ixie addressed me, without getting any closer. "How art thou feeling? I love what thou'st done with thy hair."

"Where exactly have you and your sisters been since the battle?" I asked, trying to sound calm.

"Sorry for our protracted absence, Sire," the Ixie replied, still maintaining her distance. "The area was beset with angry birds, and that is a game which we of the Ominous Orse do not play."

"The birds are gone," I observed, hoping that maybe she could explain it.

"Thus I am here," she stated uninformatively. "I bring ill tidings. Sergeant-Major Bonsai of the Shrub Knights, being their highest ranking surviving officer, is now Supreme Commander of all Imperial forces. He hath heard of what he assumeth was thy treachery here at Albric Tor, and his battalion hath sworn a sap-oath that their Emperor shall be avenged. They lie in wait, amassing their forces beyond the Gate toward Gladsome Antglade."

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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: More bad news?! No! You've had an entire lifetime's worth of bad news in just the last few days! NO MORE! Command the Ixie to reword her report and give you the bad news in a good way.
>Adler: What else is there to do but panic?
>Adler: These little pests really do seem to have an agenda different from your own. You're not really in a position to tell them to scram, but watch them like a hawk, and the moment you catch them doing something, then they'll be in for it!
>Adler: Um, oh- Also trip on something in a humorous way.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Pfft, what are they gonna do, throw shade on you? Let them grow their forces for all they want, odds are they end up rooted on the spot!
>Send the ixie to gather your friends to your help! Well, allies. People you know. That one guy who was polite to you once?
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Tale of a small lizard, crime, and weird biology!
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