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 duchess was already working againt you, she awlway was. If anything, while revealing yourself was stupid, pissing her off and goading her into getting after you is a good one. No really.

>If you just wait for the duchess to gather forces, she'll end up recruiting another army or someone actualy competent to go after you and theres not much you cna do aout it (yet. keep working on making yoursef some lowfolk agants, you'll need 'em)

>But if she comes after you... that's another storry. Between the defenses, remaining clouds of Plague of battle and the frienzied crows and other animals, this city is a labyrithine deathtrap, one where you have the homefield advantage.

>Time for you to explore the ruins a ittle more, use magic to make yourself invible and protect yourself fromt he gases, reactivate the magical defenses, put some new ones, learn all thesecret passages and the best archery spots... with a bit of preparation you can outrun, outhide and outambush anyone here.

>Also you'll have to make Jerry disapear a little more permanently and gain a way to keep tabs on the duchess in Percysthorpe. Maybe that lady hawk might be a good angle. Maybe you coul cut a deal with her, via Percy's addled mind.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
You probably got lucky not hitting one of those kids. The duchess is dangerous already.. she would have been more so if you killed one of those numptys.

Make contact with Ethel again. You might not have solved the Jerry thing permanently, but you've done enough work to prove you're operating in good stead, so you should be able to get some food.

Also, a shovel! Do you think you can grammerie it into a lute by making the metal bits into strings, and the wooden handle into a bowl? Some music would even things up with Ethel.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Duchess: You are in the middle of enjoying your victory manicure, there is absolutely no way Adler has any chance of getting out of this one that you simply don't feel the need to check in to make sure the plan succeeded. As Waldorf Hans Brekenshire your manicurist continues on your nails... wait what is that noise?
Matholwch and Bodb: Running into the room, your heavily accented voices are a cacophony on Aunt-Mommas ears!
Duchess: "SHUT UP YOU INGRATES!"
Waldorf: Oh here we go again
Matholwch: Look to your brother Bodb and say "Come on brother cousin, tell Aunt-Mama what happened
Duchess: Before your nephew-son can say another word, pick up Waldorf and wield him like a bat swinging at your disrespectful son-nephews,
Matholwch and Bodb: RUN FOR YOUR INBRED LIVES!
Waldorf: "Oh not this again" continue trying to work on the duchess's finger nails as she holds you as an offensive weapon
Side Note: Waldorf is a tortoise with a fro wig
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
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I considered shooting at the Dukes as they fled, but it wasn't exactly Seelie to shoot a fleeing enemy in the back. Besides, they were probably heavily warded against harm by the Duchess's magick. That was most likely the reason why I had missed such an easy shot when I was aiming at Matholwch from just a few paces away.

Quote:Duchess: Before your nephew-son can say another word, pick up Waldorf and wield him like a bat swinging at your disrespectful son-nephews

I could at least console myself with the thought that the Duchess would probably deal with those boys harshly when they returned, having failed their mission.

Or did they fail?

I would probably need to remove that strange object they were attempting to bury, if it was indeed preventing me from scrying outside my stone circle.

Quote:>Shovel: Matholwch wasn't kidding. It really is trained and house broken.
>Adler: Use your newly acquired magic shovel
>Shovelie: Looks like you're trying to dig a hole? Click F1 for help!
Also, a shovel!

0313shovel.gif

I picked up the shovel and eyed it warily. This was the entrenching tool which Matholwch had said was housebroken. I expected it to sprout eyes and dance around in an irritatingly jolly manner, but it didn't do anything. As far as I could tell, it was a normal shovel.

I carried it to the edge of the circle where the boy Dukes had been digging.

Quote:fish that horrible thing out of the hole so you can scry again.

0313stymied.gif

The strange object was there, plainly in view, but maddeningly out of reach. It was powerfully warded against any form of tampering. I tried to apport it but I couldn't get a good magickal grip. Even though I was looking right at the thing, for some reason I couldn't focus on it; I couldn't see it clearly enough to tell what it was, how large, how heavy, what it was made of, or anything.

After staring (or at least attempting to stare) at the thing for a while, I realized that I didn't know absolutely for certain that it was preventing me from scrying. Maybe I chased off the Dukes before they could finish the necessary ritual!

Quote:Make contact with Ethel again. You might not have solved the Jerry thing permanently, but you've done enough work to prove you're operating in good stead, so you should be able to get some food.
grammerie (shovel) into a lute by making the metal bits into strings, and the wooden handle into a bowl? Some music would even things up with Ethel.

I pooked back to the scrying chamber with mounting excitement as I thought of Ethel. Surely she would see that my intentions were good, and would help me get rid of Jerry in a more satisfactory & permanent manner .. but in the meantime I could charm her with music played on the shovel, and we could share a romantic picnic..

I realized how hungry I was, and it became doubly imperative to contact Ethel right away.

After three attempts I realized that the Duchess's horrible totem was indeed preventing me from scrying out of the circle.

The Dukes had not failed their mission after all - at least, not completely.

Quote:>Adler: The consequences of what you've just done begin to sink in. The Duchess is not going to be happy. At all. Fairly upset, even. It might be a good idea to look into putting some form of protection around the circle.
while revealing yourself was stupid, pissing her off and goading her into getting after you is a good one
You probably got lucky not hitting one of those kids. The duchess is dangerous already.. she would have been more so if you killed one of those numptys.

At this point I began to realize that the Duchess of Daisies was more likely to be angry at ME for shooting at her son-nephews than at them for bungling their assignment. The idea of Duchess Catherine's active enmity was chilling at first, but I reminded myself that she had been my enemy all along; the only difference now was that I knew it.

But why this? Why just prevent me from scrying? I knew the O'Daisies had formidable weapons at their disposal. Why not try to kill me? Was that the next part of the plan? Had I merely interrupted them before they could get around to an assassination attempt? But in that case, why bother with the scry-blocker?

I had to conclude, for some reason, that the Duchess had not been intent on killing me, and only wanted to keep me trapped here.

Quote:>Adler: Muse that the Duchess's actions seem entirely to keep you from asking for your favor. It sounds like if you can get your demand to her, she won't have a choice.

Was it perhaps because she was bound by honor or some sort of geas, and would have to grant my request for aid, and was therefore going to great lengths to prevent that question from being asked? This was exactly the sort of convoluted elf-logic which would have been the basis of a marvelous tale!

But alas, it was no longer the Long Ago, and I doubted that the Duchess of Daisies was bound by anything so old-fashioned as an honor geas.

The greater likelihood was that she wanted to keep me penned up so she could come and destroy me in a more satisfactory manner herself, in person, at her leisure.

Quote:Between the defenses, remaining clouds of Plague of battle and the frienzied crows and other animals, this city is a labyrithine deathtrap, one where you have the homefield advantage.
>Time for you to explore the ruins a ittle more, use magic to protect yourself fromt he gases, reactivate the magical defenses, put some new ones, learn all thesecret passages and the best archery spots... with a bit of preparation you can outrun, outhide and outambush anyone here.

Well, she would not find me sitting idle! Albric Tor was a fortress, especially now that it was surrounded by toxic fields contaminated by the Plague of Battles. I could establish a defensible position. The Duchess would have a hard time getting to me here!

Unless the plan was to starve me to death .. but I had the feeling that the Duchess would want to play a more active role in my demise.

I needed to survey my domain! I strode out onto the scrying tower porch and looked around.

0313aghast.gif

The vista which presented itself was appalling in the extreme. Decomposing bodies lay strewn everywhere, and the stench was nauseating. Oddly there were no scavengers to be seen. Even the horrible crows which had been assaulting me earlier must have succumbed to the Plague. The field was eerily silent, and there was no sign of life on the city walls beyond. About a mile distant, I saw a gray bank of fog which looked remarkably like a Gap.

I slowly rotated a full 360 degrees, noting the gray curtain above the horizon in all directions.

If I was completely surrounded by Gap, that meant an assault by land would be impossible - but also unneccessary, since I was trapped more effectively than any siege could accomplish.

Trapped, starving, with the mouldering remains of thousands of elves! Elves who trusted me; elves I had once known and counted as friends, some even lovers .. they were all gone ..

0313dryupsire.gif

"Ah here thou art, Sire," an Ixie interrupted my grim reverie. "Dry thy eyes and cease thy royal blubbering. Where hast thou been these past few days agone?"

"Scrying around Tulgeyside and Percysthorpe," I replied. "Where have YOU been?"

"Gathering intelligence," the Ixie smirked. "And indulging in a bit of sabotage. Bonsai's troops shall find it difficult to pollinate this spring."

"Are they still massing at the Gate?" I asked nervously, having forgotten all about the Shrub army in my excitement at finding the Antgladers still alive & at large.

"Aye, but tis no concern of thine. It seemeth that the Capital Precinct is closed off from Gate access except through the Lowfolk world, and in Faerie thou art surrounded by a Gap, which serveth to keep the Vengeful Forest at bay."
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
Well.. that is.. less than ideal.

Could the Ixie move the.. thing? Or perhaps at least get a better observation of it which might give you something to grasp on.

Or maybe those books on scrying theory will have some insight?

Maybe the thing needs to be better defined. Perhaps it blocks scrying due to being incomprehensable, and if you make it become something specific it'll lose power. Isn't the first step a Name?

Wilson. Call it Wilson.

Although maybe having a good cry about now would be more reasonable.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Consider the possibility of using gramarye to turn inedible things into food. Would they still provide nutrition?
>Try apporting foodstuffs blindly into your location. How hard can it really be, pumpkins and such just lie all around the place anyway!
Vivian Quest
Tale of a small lizard, crime, and weird biology!
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Adler: Hold on a moment. A wonderfully devious scheme is forming in your head. Bonsai's troops, if you were to use the Ixies as agents to subtly plant (pun intended) some information, events may roll in your favor. Perhaps if, say, you spread such information that the gap makes the only route to reach you go through lowfolk land, and that you have an interest in Percysthorpe (which is true), and that a lowfolk named Jerry Shoemaker is in your service (also true, as he went on an errand by your bidding) the Shrubs might take action. Perhaps they would be moved to travel through the lowfolk lands and stop to investigate Percysthorpe, wherein they would take Jerry into custody for questioning (and probably be none too gentle), and discover the Duchess's sinister machinations. Regardless of what the shrubs think of you, once they see what she has cooking, they will be honor bound to interfere. Then the outcome will either be the Duchess being driven from the city and the Shrubs suffering enough losses that they must postpone attacking you, or the Duchess wipes them all out to the last twig but suffers enough damage to her schemes that it will take ages for her to recover. There is no possible outcome that would not benefit you. It's brilliant, Brilliant, BRILLIANT!
>Adler: The dark unseelie laugh comes back. You do it well.
>Ixie: Be simultaneously impressed and unnerved. He does it a little too well...
>Adler: Can you not simply reach the thingy in the hole with the shovel? You technically wouldn't be leaving the circle, the shovel would.
>Ethel: *SIGH!* He's dumber than a sack of exceptionally moronic hammers, but he is trying, emphasis on *trying*, to solve your problem. It won't do to have him starve before the job is done. Better take him a sandwich so he doesn't keel over. Just make sure to only use the stale bread.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Ethel: Looking around for meats for the bread, you find old skunk meat, there that should be good for the high and mighty elf.
Trudy: Grab that picture of Jerry that was taken of him standing next to the world's largest shoe, draw devil horns, and a pencil thin mustache on him. There that'll show him!
Bonsai: March forward in perfect shrub unison, your on the warpath, and all enemies shall die at your branches! You have no idea where you are going.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Quote:>Adler: Can you not simply reach the thingy in the hole with the shovel? You technically wouldn't be leaving the circle, the shovel would.

> Yeah, you should be able to just scoop it out. (unless the magical protection from tempering also applies to being touched at which point yer outa luck for now)
>If you can't, you'll have to wait for someone else to come to the gate, be it a stranger, ethel or even... *shuder* Jerry, to pick it up for you.

Quote:>Adler: The dark unseelie laugh comes back. You do it well.

>If the events have taught you a nything it's that you should keep the laughter for after the plan has suceeded or at least until it is in motion because right now they have a tendency to fail or even not happen on regular basis.
(Turning the bushes and the duchess gainst each other is a pretty good plan though...)

>Addler: search the city for what little cooking ingrdeint you can find, water, spices, slted meats , anything dry.... Once Ethel bring you some food rather than wolf it down you will unleash the ACE UP YOUR SLEEVE
>By which I mean make stew.
>Given the effect it had on elves, wat it's gonna be on lowfolks ? She'll be hooked and become yours as will any others, you will have your army and minions !
>Okay maybe that's worth an unhinged giggle at least.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Adler, perhaps you could try reverse apportation. Instead of trying to bring the undescribable object to you, perhaps you could teleport something on top of it. A burning torch, perhaps?
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
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Quote:Could the Ixie move the.. thing? Or perhaps at least get a better observation of it which might give you something to grasp on.
(unless the magical protection from tempering also applies to being touched at which point yer outa luck for now)

"Oh," I said. "Well .. good to know they don't pose an immediate threat then. Thank you, Ixie. Good work."

She buzzed happily and seemed to be much more pleased than I thought the compliment fully deserved.

"Come with me," I added after an awkward pause. "I could use your help with something."

0320thathing.gif

"Can you tell me what that is?" I asked, pointing at the Duchess's totem lying just outside the stone circle. "The Boy Dukes were attempting to bury it, and I think its presence prevents me from scrying beyond."

"I am not sure, Sire," she answered as she hovered curiously over the object. "It seemeth to be a poppet of some sort, but it is heavily warded and I cannot see it clearly."

"Any idea what it's made of?"

"Could be straw, flax, hemp, hair, or wood, for all I can tell."

"How big is it?"

"Larger than myself, forsooth."

"Do you think you could move it?"

"Oh no, Sire, I dare not. It is heavily warded."

Quote: use the Ixies as agents to subtly plant some information.. that the gap makes the only route to reach you go through lowfolk land, and that you have an interest in Percysthorpe (which is true), and that a lowfolk named Jerry Shoemaker is in your service (also true, as he went on an errand by your bidding) the Shrubs might .. travel through the lowfolk lands and stop to investigate Percysthorpe, wherein they would take Jerry into custody .. and discover the Duchess's sinister machinations. Regardless of what the shrubs think of you, once they see what she has cooking, they will be honor bound to interfere.
>Adler: The dark unseelie laugh comes back. You do it well.
>Ixie: Be simultaneously impressed and unnerved.
Bonsai: March forward in perfect shrub unison, your on the warpath, and all enemies shall die at your branches!
Turning the bushes and the duchess gainst each other is a pretty good plan

Drat. Well, it seemed the Ixie wasn't going to be any use for this problem .. but at least she had brought me valuable news about the Shrub army and my tactical situation relative to them ..

I began to have an idea.

0320lugosi.gif

"Oh Sire, I begin to see why our Dam fell for thee," the Ixie murmured reverently. "Thy sinister chuckle both chilleth and thrilleth me. Hast thou an idea, the fiendish cleverness of which would do justice to the Lacktail himself?"

"If you were to spread some misleading intelligence among Bonsai's troops," I giggled, "to the effect that I can only be approached through lowfolk country, and furthermore that I have an interest in the town of Percysthorpe, and a character by the name of Jerry Shoemaker is there on a mission from me - all of which is true - then they would be compelled to investigate, and would discover the Duchess of Daisies' unseelie operations. They would have no honorable choice but to take action against her, thereby taking a great deal of pressure off of me."

"Very clever, Sire. Who is Jerry Shoemaker, and what business is he conducting for thee in Percysthorpe?"

"Never mind that, just go and spread the word among the Shrubs!"

"It shall be done!" she saluted and buzzed away.

Quote:Maybe the thing needs to be better defined. Perhaps it blocks scrying due to being incomprehensable, and if you make it become something specific it'll lose power. Isn't the first step a Name?
Wilson. Call it Wilson.

With luck the Shrubs would neutralize the Duchess - though it seemed to me far more likely that they would only slow her down. Either way, that would be one threat removed and the other delayed, giving me more time to plan my defense.

The first thing I needed to do though, was to get rid of this weird poppet or whatever it was. Perhaps I couldn't get a solid grip on it for apportation because it was simply too numinous. Gramarye was all about breaking things down to their simplest symbolic definitions. Perhaps if I gave the thing a name, that would enable me to control it.

"Hey You!" I tried. No good.

"Whosit!"

"So-and-so!"

"Wossname!"

After about a dozen similar attempts, I concluded that the object must be specifically warded against this kind of approach. Had the Duchess truly thought of everything?

Quote:>Adler: Can you not simply reach the thingy in the hole with the shovel? You technically wouldn't be leaving the circle, the shovel would.

I bet she hadn't considered a crude physical assault, since I was supposedly confined within the stone circle, and the poppet was located without .. but there's no way she could have known that I would take possession of Matholwch's pet shovel! The poppet was near enough, I should be able to reach it ...

But I discovered, to my dismay, that the geas did not permit me to reach outside the circle with any kind of physical tool. When I attempted to extend the shovel, it was stopped by the same invisible barrier that had stopped my arm. I had to admit, this did make a certain kind of sense .. but wait - I had been able to shoot an arrow out of the circle!

I tried throwing the shovel, and it was stopped by the barrier. I backed up and tried again; and again, until I discovered that at a distance of about twelve paces a thrown object would pass through the barrier. This was useful information, but not particularly useful for my present situation. Throwing a shovel with accuracy was not easy, especially when the target was warded so I couldn't even see it clearly!

Quote:Adler, perhaps you could try reverse apportation. Instead of trying to bring the undescribable object to you, perhaps you could teleport something on top of it.

Perhaps if I dropped the shovel on top of the poppet? No, how could covering the thing possibly have any effect, when the Dukes had obviously meant to bury it? But maybe if I apported the shovel underneath the poppet, and then lifted the shovel, it would carry the Unseelie object with it!

I tried manipulating the shovel into position, but each time I was a little too far off in one direction or another. After dozens of attempts, I finally got the shovel centered underneath the poppet, but then when I lifted the shovel the damn thing twisted and slid off.

I beat my fists on the ground and wailed in frustration. This was accomplishing nothing but giving me a headache! I was feverish, tired, and hungry. I regretted not sending the Ixie to find food before setting out on her mission to the Shrub army.

Quote:>Consider the possibility of using gramarye to turn inedible things into food. Would they still provide nutrition?
>Try apporting foodstuffs blindly into your location.

Then again, the forest was full of food - wasn't it? There should be nuts and berries in profusion! I didn't even need to know precisely where they were located; I should be able to think of edible things and apport them from my surroundings!

I concentrated and did a sweep,

0320meagre.gif

and got a few crumbs of bark, a spongy lump of something that might have been fungus, and a dry straggly weed. Was this food? If it wasn't, I could perhaps use Gramarye to persuade it to be edible .. but would it actually have any nutritional value?

I commanded the bark and the fungus to not be poisonous, and gave them a cautious nibble. BLEAH! They were not very appealing.

I tried the same procedure on the weed, then bit it. The pith inside the stem was moist and sweet, but the husk was incredibly tough & stringy. I supposed this would do in an emergency, but I would have to find a lot more if it was going to sustain me.

I sat down with my back against one of the standing stones, and proceeded to gnaw the fibrous stem of my semi-edible weed.

Quote:>Ethel: *SIGH!* He's dumber than a sack of exceptionally moronic hammers, but he is trying, emphasis on *trying*, to solve your problem. It won't do to have him starve before the job is done. Better take him a sandwich so he doesn't keel over.

0320nibble.gif

"No wonder you're so stunted if that's what you eat," Ethel remarked. "When you left so abruptly, I figured something was wrong, because usually you jabber on and on mindlessly. I figure you're maybe a little bit incompetent but at least you're trying, so I made some sandwiches. Looks like I arrived just in time."
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
Eat sandwiches, talk about things, do what you can to enlist the pyromaniac. Go for the music at least.

Maybe there's something you can give her as a gift magically? You said fabulous hair was out, but you could certainly change ordinary clothing, even if you can't make shoes.

A shame you don't know how to set things on fire with magic.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
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