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
>Ethel and PJ: Once you understand it's Adler talking to you, calmly and patiently explain that the actual battle won't take place for a while. Everything leading up to now was just both sides riling each other up. The real fighting is a good few meals away.
>Even with the wonky time shift that sent you ahead by several days, the battle still hasn't started and won't start until the required minimum of pre-battle meals have taken place. Some things are just too sacred.
>Adler: Your eye begins twitching...
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
> You're not goofing around, you're ..uh...gathering inteligence and.. er.. building logisitics. Very important steps, that.

>Ethel: No reallly, You're actualy knitting armor for the ixies. .. Well okay it's just little whooly jumpers but at their size it' like .. chainmail, right ? Besides they gotta get cold in the winter, the poor dears.

>PJ: No really, you are reading a newspaper. Turns out there's something quite relevant and interesting on page 3.


>Addler: You're trying to make an explosive, think of it as no making it delicious, think of making it ultra spicy.

>Meanwhile in Percythrope the battles rages.....
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Shrub Army: Continue cooking your next meal which consists of a veritable feast of home fried dirt, freshly brewed water,  and only finest natural locally sourced microbeamed sunlight.
Duchess Of Daisy's army: Your meal consists of nothing but beer battered deep fried shoes, all the while Jerry is weeping in the background. For the Duchess has bought out Lady Hawk's emergency shoe reserves to serve as meal rations.
Evil Trees: Begin stripping passers by bare and eating their clothes, then rudely kick them until they leaf.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Ethel, calmly explain to Adler that he needs appear more often if he wants them to follow his orders. It's been almost a forthnight since he disappeared.

Alchemic mixture, keep slowly brewing. Produce something unexpected.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
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Quote:> You're not goofing around, you're ..uh...gathering inteligence and.. er.. building logisitics.

"That sounded a lot like the elf," P.J. remarked.

"IT IS THE ELF, YOU INSOLENT WRETCH," I bellowed.  "How dare you speak of your sovereign lord that way!"

"So I didn't just imagine it then, " Ethel sighed with obvious relief.

"Look, um, Lord Randall," P.J. began.  "We're not goofing off.  We did as you asked, and furthermore you never gave me that interview you promised."

"YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE FIGHTING THE SHRUBS AT PERCYSTHORPE!" I yelled.  "When you've fulfilled your assignment and the danger is past, then I'll grant you that interview."

0717handle.gif

"Dear, why don't you go into the kitchen and let me handle this," Ethel sighed.  P.J. got up from his chair with a grumble, and left the room.

"What's going on?" I demanded.  "Why aren't you supervising the battle?  Why are you so casually refusing to take me seriously?  You've seen the truth of elf magick with your own eyes -"

Quote:>Ethel and PJ: Once you understand it's Adler talking to you, calmly and patiently explain that the actual battle won't take place for a while.
with the wonky time shift that sent you ahead
Duchess Of Daisy's army: Your meal consists of nothing but beer battered deep fried shoes
Ethel, calmly explain to Adler that he needs appear more often if he wants them to follow his orders. It's been almost a forthnight since he disappeared.

0717lowdown.gif

"Look, 'Your Lordship,' it's like this," she grumbled.  "The battle took place more than a year ago.  We haven't seen or heard any trace of you in all that time.  You can't blame us for doubting your sincerity and assuming the whole thing had been an elaborate prank."

"Huh?" I prompted her to elaborate.

"The Ixies scattered their wood pests, but it wasn't enough," Ethel informed me.  "Where were you with your steamed gunpowder, your Elfin Fire or whatever you were going to call it?  The bugs didn't even slow them down, and without any sort of effective weapon, we had to retreat.  The Duchess's army was routed and she was driven from Percysthorpe, taking all of her advanced industry with her.  In the year since, the town's economy has collapsed and many of the residents have had to resort to eating their shoes.  Was that your intention, Randall?  Did you mean to destroy us?  Was all of this just a lark to you?"

"No, I -" I stammered.  "It was all real.  I have been working on the explosives but it's a little bit more difficult than I expected, so I took a break to come check on you .."

"You've been messing with gunpowder for an entire year?"

"No!  It's only been a day!  The time discrepancy between our worlds shouldn't have drifted that far in such a short while!"

"Pardon me if I don't believe you," Ethel smirked.

"Elves do not lie!" I exclaimed, with great umbrage.  "But you lowfolk are capable of all manner of vile deception.  What happened to the forest after their victory?  If indeed such a thing truly happened, surely I would have heard of it since I was to be their next target."

"They left Percysthorpe and entered the tulgey wood, heading toward Albric Tor.  Assuming the truth of your wild tales, we thought they must have destroyed you, and that's why there was never any further word.  Yet here you are, your disembodied voice once again pestering me with foolish nonsense while you clearly haven't been pulverized by your so-called enemies the trees.  All you have is transparent fibs about time discrepancies .."

"ELVES DO NOT LIE!" I re-iterated in a higher pitch for emphasis.  "But you do!  If, as you claim, an entire year has passed, why are you and P.J. sitting around lollygagging together?  You clearly didn't socialize before I appointed you both to official positions in my cabinet!"

"During the course of the battle and subsequent stressful events, P.J. was by my side," Ethel explained with a wistful look in her eye.  "I began to see qualities in him that I had not noticed before, and six months ago we were wed."

Quote:>Adler: Your eye begins twitching...

0717anguish.gif

WED????

I glanced around the room, and at the ring on Ethel's finger, and I knew she was telling the truth.

I pulled myself way from the scrying orb and reeled around the room in a daze.

A year!

A whole year!  How could this have happened?  There must be a way to calculate the time slippage, or even to control it!  Hadn't my mother once mentioned that Sheila na Gig had known a way to exploit the temporal difference between the worlds?  For a moment I wondered where my old Wiles teacher was ...

But no ... it was too late.  The time for plans and schemes was over.  I was defeated.  Even now, I was surrounded by hostile greenery.  That was why the forest had looked so strangely tulgey!  But why they hadn't struck sooner, why they had bided their time for an entire year?  I wasn't sure - but it was over now!  The lovely and enchanting Ethel was lost to me forever, and I was tired, so tired ...

0717takeme.gif

I stumbled out of the Gate and threw my arms wide.

"HERE I AM, YOU ACCURSED LEAFY SWINE!" I yelled in despair.  "TAKE ME IF YOU DARE!"

"You'll have to leave the circle," came the rustling reply.  "Some ancient magick prevents us from entering, else we'd have twined our roots 'round your bones ere now."
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
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Adler: You begin having a mental breakdown, all your emotions come rushing out, and you just begin hysterically laughing.... you know how They need to suffer now, Adler.
Shrubs: Become very uncomfortable watching this.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Oh, it's the Duchess. Has she come to gloat about ruining you? She lost at Percythorpe too, remind her of that. Ha!
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
(Couldn't be the duchess, if anyone, she'd be torn by the... (sigh) deadly bushes)

>Laugh insanely. Laugh maniacaly. Laugh like never before.
>Start cracking at the seams. Scream and tear your fur. Start babbling like a lunatic.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
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Quote:>Adler: Of course they can't just come in. Why would they? Why would it be easy? Why would anything in your wretched, misbegotten life ever be easy?

0724chuckle.gif

"Heh," I giggled as the irony of my situation began to sink in. "Of course, heh heh. Of course you can't come in. And I, heh heh, I can't leave the circle either, ha ha."

Quote:>Adler: Denied everything, even an honorable death. There would at least have been some dignity in being executed by elite shrub troops. Start laughing, it's not a healthy laugh.
Adler: You begin having a mental breakdown, all your emotions come rushing out, and you just begin hysterically laughing....
>Laugh insanely. Laugh maniacaly. Laugh like never before.

0724cackle.gif

"AH HA HA HA," I bellowed as I doubled over with uncontrollable mirth. "I'VE LOST EVERYTHING! HA HA HA HA HA! MY KINGDOM, MY FAMILY, EVERYONE I CARED ABOUT, ALL GONE! HA HA HA! EVEN MY LOWFOLK SWEETHEART GAVE UP ON ME AND MARRIED A NINCOMPOOP! HA HA HA HA HA HA! THE DUCHESS OF DAISIES IS FREE HA HA AND I'M TRAPPED HERE AND CAN'T EVEN RECEIVE AN HONORABLE DEATH AT THE BRANCHES OF MY ENEMIES! AH HA HA HA HA HA OH FUMA, IT'S HILARIOUS! HA HA I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING"

"Hey," the trees rustled. "Are you okay?"

Quote:>Adler: This is all their doing. Which they? Who's they? ALL OF THEM! All the people who've tugged you around on strings. Not a single action you've performed in your life has been of your own will. You're not a prince, not even a person, you have always been and always will be a puppet.
Shrubs: Become very uncomfortable watching this.
>Start cracking at the seams. Scream and tear your fur. Start babbling like a lunatic.

"OKAY???" I yelled, suddenly not laughing anymore. "HOW COULD I BE ANYTHING OTHER THAN OKAY CONSIDERING THE WAY MY LIFE HAS BEEN MANAGED FOR ME BY THE SISTERHOOD, BY THE VULPITANIANS, BY FELF, BY THE EMPIRE? EVERY DAMN GROUP THAT HAS A STAKE IN ME HAS MANIPULATED ME TO THIS POINT! WELL THAT'S IT! I'VE HAD ENOUGH! ADLER YOUNG IS NOT YOUR PUPPET ANYMORE!"

0724branches.gif

Quote:>Adler: You've finally hit your breaking point. This is it, you're losing your damn mind. They obviously still need you alive, which is why you're still here and why this is happening. How could any of them bear to let go of their most valuable pawn. That's what you are, a chesspiece that everyone has their hands on. Well, there is one thing you can do that they can't stop. How tragic it would be for them all to have their precious plans crumble to nothing if their most valuable patsy were gone. You still have that power, you wish you could see the looks on all of their back-stabbing, conniving faces. It'll be easy...
>???: "STOP!!!"
you know how They need to suffer now, Adler.
>Oh, it's the Duchess. Has she come to gloat about ruining you? She lost at Percythorpe too, remind her of that. Ha!

"I DO NOBODY'S BIDDING BUT MINE FROM NOW ON!" I screamed as I began apporting limbs from the surrounding woods and piling them up around me.

"Ow! Hey, stop that!" the trees objected.

"QUIT COMPLAINING!" I shrieked, apporting limbs at a furious pace. "YOU'VE WON, DON'T YOU SEE? I'M DONE BEING THEIR PLAYTHING! THEY PUSHED ME TOO FAR, AND THAT'S IT! ALL OVER! THEY PLAYED POORLY AND THEY'VE LOST THEIR PRECIOUS PUPPET! AWWW, TOO BAD FOR THEM, THEIR AMBITIONS WILL NEVER BE REALIZED, BOO HOO, BECAUSE I'M QUITTING RIGHT NOW! I'M GONNA GO OUT IN A BLAZE OF GLORY LIKE A TRUE SCION OF IRENAEUS AND THEN THEY'LL REGRET MESSING WITH ME! AFTER EVERYTHING I'VE BEEN THROUGH I DESERVE THIS!!"

"STOP!!" somebody yelled.

0724flambe.gif

"IS THAT YOU, DUCHESS CATHERINE?" I snarled at the peak of my fury as I held up a sizzling fire cantrip, primed & ready to ignite the pile of branches. "COME TO GLOAT? WELL YOU'RE TOO LATE, YOUR GRACE! I'VE SURRENDERED TO THE SHRUB KNIGHTS AND THEY'RE GOING TO SUCCEED WHERE YOU FAILED. YOU HEAR ME? YOU FAILED!!!"

0724ixies.gif

"PLZ STOP," Angela Weakflit beseeched me. "Dont burn Urself up, Ur Higness! ZOMG! I luv U!!1!"

"We love thee as well, Sire," several of the other Ixies stated. "Though in a completely different way."
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: Go away, children. Can't you even die like a king?
>Ixies: But we need you!
>Adler: You would use me too? Begone, foul wretches!
>Adler: Toss off your clothes, seek a stormy moor to cry on. Where's your jester!?
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Someone, (I'm not sayin' old Marshal Rolland but that would be cool): Oh please shut up your highness, stop embarassing yourself further, boy.
>You've made quite a mess but nothing unsalvageable.
>At least the duchess plans are neutralized for the moment, so at least you achieved that much.
>Now what you're going to do next ? Mope and weep uselelssly like a drama queen for another decade ?
>Adler: ..... Yes ?
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Adler: Your fury gives way to sorrow. You collapse in a heap and inelegantly begin blubbering out everything you've been bottling up for the last few, uh, your entire life.
>Ixies: Embrace your grandfather and curse the disloyalty of your predecessors. Unlike them, you won't immediately switch sides for a thimble of sugar.
>Bonsai: Step forward and demand to speak with Adler. You had expected to find a maniacal despot bent on world destruction, but instead you find a harmless, emotionally unstable fool. Have him tell you everything that has transpired, the full story.
>Shrubs: After hearing Adler's tale, including all of the parts that make him look like a gullible moron, realize that he has always just been a mere pawn in the machinations of people he could never hope to compete with. Adler is just a hapless fool and, as such, deserves the end of one. He does not deserve the honor that being destroyed by his betters would bring. In disgust, leave him where he is, trapped forever in a dead city. His fate is in Fuma's hands now. You have bigger fish to fry: Vulpitania, the Sisterhood, Felf, what's left of the Duchess. There's going to be a whole lot less treachery in the world when your crusade is over.
>Ixies: Give Adler a pep talk. It's a bitter mercy, but a mercy nonetheless. There is one silver lining to this very dark cloud, now that Adler has nothing left to lose, no one has any strings or leverage to manipulate him with anymore.
>Adler: Receive a tender, reassuring kiss on the forehead from Angela. The effect is somewhat spoiled by the fact she uses a bit too much tongue...
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Adler: Curl up into a ball and begin sucking on your thumb, pull out your stuffed toy ant and cuddle it
Ixies: This is not the end, begin hatching a devious plan to help your grandfather bring down his enemies. No longer shall you ever see him crying like a wee baby again.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
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Quote:>Adler: Go away, children. Can't you even die like a king?
>Ixies: But we need you!
>Adler: You would use me too? Begone, foul wretches!

0731shoo.gif

"Go away, children!" I wailed. "Can't you let me die like a king, with some dignity?"

"But Sire, we need thee," the Ixies beseeched.

"You would use me too, eh?" I shrieked, waving my hands in the air. "Begone, lest ye be burned as well in the purifying flame!"

Quote:>Adler: Toss off your clothes, seek a stormy moor to cry on.
>Now what you're going to do next ? Mope and weep uselelssly like a drama queen for another decade ?
>Adler: Your fury gives way to sorrow. You collapse in a heap and inelegantly begin blubbering
>Bonsai: Step forward and demand to speak with Adler. You had expected to find a maniacal despot bent on world destruction, but instead you find a harmless, emotionally unstable fool. Have him tell you everything that has transpired, the full story.
Adler: Curl up into a ball and begin sucking on your thumb, pull out your stuffed toy ant and cuddle it

I don't fully recall what happened after that.

0731disgrace.gif

The next thing I remember is lying naked, curled up in a ball on the ground, clutching Bucephalus and sucking my thumb. The sticks from my would-be pyre were scattered all around the sward inside the ring of stones.

"This unworthy one is quite surprised to see the Pretender to the Throne behaving thus," General Bonsai rustled from just outside the circle. "We had expected to find a maniacal villainous mastermind, but instead are confronted with the spectacle of an incompetent weepy buffoon. One is reluctant to call it a disgrace, for fear of being too generous, and yet .. this one humbly demands to hear the whole story."

"It started with -" my Ixies began.

"The testimony of Ixies is like a Vulpitanian arborist: Vague and unreliable," Bonsai quipped. "This insignificant one modestly insists to hear it from the elf, as it is known that Elves Do Not Lie."

"What do you want to know first?" I sighed as I sat up and faced the small potted tree.

"How did His Majesty King Estmere meet his end?"

"I don't know," I grimaced. "He was already dead when I got there. His magick-blasted carcass was seated in the Coronation Throne. I'm not sure what prompted him to sit there, but the Throne itself must have destroyed him due to the Vulpitanians' efforts at altering his lineage so he was no longer an elf..."

Quote:>Shrubs: Adler is just a hapless fool and, as such, deserves the end of one. He does not deserve the honor that being destroyed by his betters would bring. In disgust, leave him where he is, trapped forever in a dead city. His fate is in Fuma's hands now.

I don't know how long it took to tell my story under Bonsai's leafy interrogation, but I was starting to feel hungry when the Shrub General finally rustled his(?) tiny boughs and said: "This one's roots are now thoroughly moistened with facts, and the truth, like a spring bud, has opened forth to entice the golden bee of judgement. It is clear that Prince Adler is no worthy foe, but is instead a hapless pawn of others more deserving of our ire. He does not merit the honor of dying by our branches. We have, as the sage says, more worthwhile fruit to pursue. Some trustworthy trees shall remain to monitor him, should he try to escape his prison. Beyond that, his fate shall be in Fuma's hands. Sayonara, Prince Adler Young."

With that, the Shrub turned and rustled back into the shadows of the tulgey forest.

Quote:>You've made quite a mess but nothing unsalvageable.
>At least the duchess plans are neutralized for the moment, so at least you achieved that much.
>Ixies: Embrace your grandfather and curse the disloyalty of your predecessors. Unlike them, you won't immediately switch sides for a thimble of sugar.
>Ixies: Give Adler a pep talk. It's a bitter mercy, but a mercy nonetheless. There is one silver lining to this very dark cloud, now that Adler has nothing left to lose, no one has any strings or leverage to manipulate him with anymore.
>Adler: Receive a tender, reassuring kiss on the forehead from Angela.
Ixies: This is not the end, begin hatching a devious plan to help your grandfather bring down his enemies. No longer shall you ever see him crying like a wee baby again.

0731hugs.gif

"Well, I failed again," I sighed miserably. "I guess I'll just starve to death here, now that they've got me blockaded. Apparently I can't even kill myself right. Why did you jerks stop me?"

"Because we love thee, Sire," the Ixies responded in chorus. "Come on everyone, group hug!"

"Where are my clothes?" I muttered. The sensation of dozens of Ixies nuzzling my fur wasn't making me feel any better.

"Cheer up, Sire. This may seem a bitter mercy, but mercy it is none the less. Now the Shrub threat is gone, thou art safe. Now thou'st hit bottom, there is naught to lose! Thou hast no way to go now but up!"

"I can't do anything," I moped.

"By thyself, maybe not - but thou hast us!"

"No thanks," I sniffed. "The kind of help Ixies provide is help I'd rather do without."

"Though your scorn wounds us," one Ixie declared somberly, "tis not undeserved. But take heart, Sire - or more correctly Grandsire. Thou'lt find us less craven than our dams. This I swear! I'll not turn and serve thy enemies for the price of a mere cup of sugar! Sisters, who'll pledge with me?"

"AYE!" the rest of the Ixies shouted in unison.

"Now then, what thou needest right now is a conquest, to boost thy confidence."

"I volunt33r!!1!" Angela Weakflit squeaked excitedly.

"I meant a military conquest. Our enemies will be expecting nothing, so anything we do will take them completely by surprise."

"What I really need right now is my clothes, and some food," I pointed out.
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
>Ixies: Inform Adler that it will take a while to find him some replacement clothes. He had a complete freakout earlier. He tore them to shreds and threw the pieces at the surrounding trees while calling them traitors.
>Angela: Ask if Adler can use the scry tower and magick food into his hands like he did that book. (the ixie who saw him do that told her)
>Typantron: Adler should continue his steamed black powder project. A streamlined, more compact, and more powerful version of the stuff would give his forces an undeniably huge advantage. Not everyone has gonnes yet, but at the rate they're being produced, these things are definitely the wave of the future. It would also help if there was a way to control, or at least predict the time skips. That's really the only major obstacle here.
>Adler: Dry your eyes and blow your nose. This hopeless weeping is unbecoming of a Scion of Ireanus. But you're not Ireanus, are you? You're dumb and worthless Adler Young. No... No, you're not. You're Lord Randal now. BAH! Clothes, food, and weapons? What you really need is to be able to Leave This Damn Circle! You could lift the curse placed on you if you were the emperor, but you need another elf to crown you. You've become the single most hated elf in history second only to the Duchess of Daisies. No sane elf would help you. You need an elf who has never heard of you or what you've done. You need... *mental click* You need that Xanadu woman your brother was supposed to marry! If she's still living amongst the lowfolk, she's probably never heard of you! She could do it!
>And then it starts to rain.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>You need new henchmen, of course, and the worsening temporal disjunction can work to your favor. Spend a couple days hiding in the tower while years pass by in the lowfolk world. Your loss fades and you turn into a story attracting new fools to do your bidding. Maybe a spider girl and her boyfriend...

When you started the Ballad did you envision such a fate for Adler? The mysterious elven lord turned out to be played by everyone around him, reader naivete or part of a bigger plan?
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Okay, you can't leave the cricle and yu're not good at ploting so time to rely on what you do best ! Sit on your ass and be lucky.

>Also you can still contact Ethel and PJ .

>They may be skeptical of you (rightfuly so) and it might sting your pride (what little's left of it anyway) and your broken heart (oh so much) but that doesn't change the fact they can do stuff out of that stupid circle and you can't, so they 're still usefull for anything your ixies can't do, at least untill you get new pasties.

>You still have your elf magic, you can still grammayre and elf shot like a pro, so that's a bargaining chip.

>You can make them fool's gold to do groceries for you (and for themselved as incentive) , as long as they're smart about it it shouldn't be a problem.


Quote:When you started the Ballad did you envision such a fate for Adler? The mysterious elven lord turned out to be played by everyone around him, reader naivete or part of a bigger plan?
( I genuinely wonder that too.
I assume Addler will eventualy start growing into ...semi control at least, like the character he seemed to be in the saga. It's good old narrative trope to have your hero reach a low point before they get better (And of course he needed to get trapped into the ruined city for a couple cnturies at least.) but he seriously bounced from failure to failure there. )
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Ixies: Inform Adler that it will take a while to find him some replacement clothes. He had a complete freakout earlier. He tore them to shreds and threw the pieces at the surrounding trees while calling them traitors.
>Adler: Dry your eyes and blow your nose. This hopeless weeping is unbecoming of a Scion of Ireanus. But you're not Ireanus, are you? You're dumb and worthless Adler Young. No... No, you're not. You're Lord Randal now.

"It may be a while on the clothes, Sire," the Ixies replied.  "During thy fit, thou ripped thy garments to pieces and flung them - with some glorious invective - at the surrounding forest."

"Gather the pieces and bring them to me," I instructed.  "Meanwhile, what have you got to eat?"

"We have some tasty aphids and a few succulent caterpillars," Typantronn declared proudly.  "And I'm sure I can find more if thou desirest."

"Um, no thanks," I sighed.  "Let's hold off on that for a while."

I may have been cursed to have to stay alive despite my wishes, but I wasn't about to stoop to eating bugs!  Not yet, anyway.  How could a scion of Irenaeus have fallen so low?  Naked and hungry, trapped in the woods with only Ixies for company .. the Lacktail would have fought his way out of this situation!

But I wasn't Irenaeus.  I was Everybody's Puppet .. worthless, incompetent Adler Young; probably the last of the Irenaeid line.

Tsk.  I shook my head to dispel these gloomy thoughts.  Nobody around here knew me, except for the Ixies, and they still seemed to be on my side.  I could re-invent myself!  My failures up til now were in the past!  I had tricked the lowfolk into calling me Lord Randall .. why not take this opportunity to make a fresh start?  I could become a new elf!  Henceforth I could be Lord Randall!  Never mind that the real Randall was poisoned by his lowfolk mistress!  I would do things differently!  All I needed to effect a change was a symbol; something to show myself AND the world that I was different!  And hadn't my fingers brushed against the very thing, as I was replacing Bucephalus in my elfintory just a few minutes ago?

Carefully, reverently, I took out the fake mustache and stuck it on my face.  Immediately I began to feel its strange power coursing through me.

"These are all the pieces we could find, Sire," an Ixie informed me.

"Excellent, my lovelies," I chuckled.  "It'll do."

0807stashpower.gif

I quickly composed a Gramarye to assemble the tattered scraps back into a glorious green satin suit.  Then I put it on and stood for a moment, radiating confidence.

Quote:Adler should continue his steamed black powder project. A streamlined, more compact, and more powerful version of the stuff would give his forces an undeniably huge advantage. It would also help if there was a way to control, or at least predict the time skips.
What you really need is to be able to Leave This Damn Circle! You could lift the curse placed on you if you were the emperor, but you need another elf to crown you. You've become the single most hated elf in history second only to the Duchess of Daisies. No sane elf would help you. You need an elf who has never heard of you or what you've done.
the worsening temporal disjunction can work to your favor. Spend a couple days hiding in the tower while years pass by in the lowfolk world. Your loss fades and you turn into a story attracting new fools to do your bidding.
>Also you can still contact Ethel and PJ .
>They may be skeptical of you (rightfuly so) and it might sting your pride (what little's left of it anyway) and your broken heart (oh so much) but that doesn't change the fact they can do stuff out of that stupid circle and you can't, so they 're still usefull for anything your ixies can't do

"Thou lookest like a new elf, Sire," the Ixie observed.

"I am brimming with newfound resolve," I admitted.  "I now know what I must do.  The only problem is figuring out how to accomplish it."

"We will help in any way we can," the Ixies declared.

"I shall continue my experiments with the exploding powder.  I think it will prove invaluable, especially if the Antgladers' noisy weapons become popular among the lowfolk.  I also need to figure out a way to control or more effectively exploit the time discrepancy between the lowfolk world and Faerie.  It could be quite advantageous to skip ahead to an era where I am but a dimly-remembered legend."

"Some of those books in the Tower might contain the information, since the structure sits atop a Gate," an Ixie suggested.

"Good point.  I shall have to study them in detail.  But more important than any of that is my need to escape from this circle of confinement!"

"What is the nature of the geas that holds thee here?"

"As near as I can recall, it was a Royal Edict issued hastily by Queen Edessa just before she made her escape.  If I were High King, I could easily overrule it .. and I SHOULD be High King .. but without access to the Coronation Chamber, and without an elf to crown me .. ah well, that puzzle will have to wait til later.  Right now I need food."

"Thou canst still contact P.J. and Ethel," Typantronn pointed out.

"Not them!" I yelped, feeling my mustache confidence suddenly start to wane.  "Going back to them would be so humiliating."

"Who else dost thou know?" Typantronn asked with a shrug.  "We have neither the access to, nor the ability to carry viands fit for an Irenaeid prince.  Let not thy qualms master thee, Sire.  Be an elf!  Beg not for their assistance, but instead demand it as thy due!"

"Yes, of course!" I exclaimed.  "You're absolutely right!"

I pooked directly into the scrying tower, and guided my vision toward P.J. and Ethel's house.

0807dinner.gif

"Just in time," I declared as I saw them sitting down to dinner.  "I need food, and you must bring me some immediately."

"Where do you get off, ordering us around like that?" Ethel snapped.

"SILENCE, FEMME!" I commanded.  "How dare you presume to sass Lord Randall!  Just wrap some roast mutton and a few pies up in a bindle, and bring it forthwith to the stone circle known as Albric Tor."

"For one thing, Mister Bossypants," Ethel sneered, "the forest around Albric Tor has become impenetrable.  IM-PEN-A-TRABLE.  Do you know what that means?  We tried to come check on you last fall, but there was no way through.  And for another thing, you don't get to disappear for a year and then show up and command us like we're your servants.  Screw you.  Go find your own food."

Quote:Adler can use the scry tower and magick food into his hands like he did that book.
>You still have your elf magic, you can still grammayre and elf shot like a pro

Oh no, this wasn't going well!  I struggled to blink back tears of anger.  How could this lowfolk femme constantly get the better of me?  I'd show her!

0807yoink.gif

"HEY!" P.J. squawked as I apported his plate of food away.

I quickly backed out of the scrying hole, to look at the plate right there in my hands.  HA HA!  YES!!  This had to count as Lord Randall's first substantial victory!

I pooked back out into the stone circle.

"How long was I gone?" I asked.

"Only about half an hour," my Ixies replied.  "Where didst thou get the food?"

"I appropriated it from some insolent lowfolk," I stated proudly, as I began to eat.

Quote:>Okay, you can't leave the cricle and yu're not good at ploting so time to rely on what you do best ! Sit on your ass and be lucky.

I had scarcely taken a few bites before I was distracted by a loud commotion of rustling and loud banging in the woods.

0807foundyou.gif

A few minutes later, the underbrush parted and a familiar-looking sandy colored fox emerged.

"A difficult time of it getting here I have had," he called to me.  "Well guarded you are."

SpoilerShow
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
>Angela: Eep! Quickly make yourself scarce. You recognize this guy and he might recognize you.
>Adler: "You! YOU!! You're here to manipulate me aren't you?! Well, not if I manipulate you first!" * run in circles around him while waving your hands around* You have confidence, which is good, but not much else.
>Sam: "Good at this, you are not." Heavily sigh and come clean, yes you have manipulated Adler in the past. You weren't fooled at all by his disguise. You went along with his ruse as it served your plans, but, you serve Fuma before all others. Since Adler is paramount to Fuma's divine plan, you must assist him in any way you can. And from the looks of things, you will be doing a herculean amount of assisting. You've been manipulating the Vulpitanian government for a very long time. Sheila na Gig taught Adler wiles, you're going to have to teach Adler the fine art of manipulation and not being stupid.
>Adler: NO! NO! NO! This is how it always starts! Someone steps out of nowhere and offers you something, then you get dragged along for miles, and when things inevitably go sour, you take all the blame. Not this time! Continue trying to manipulate Sam... Damn it, waving your hands around isn't doing anything.
>Adler: The next time you check in on Ethel and PJ, find out that PJ died in a house fire started by Ethel, and she is in jail as a result. Ethel may have been clever and pretty, but she was still a dangerous pyromaniac. It might be for the best things didn't work out between you two.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Sam: It's not manipulation if there's a fair exchange of services. For example, Adler's vixen form was very attractive to you, very attractive indeed...
>Adler: Isn't he supposed to be a monk?
>Sam: Be one of those  fallible monks with little resistance to Temptations. The spirit is willing but so is flesh, and monastery has, like zero game.

While Adler being incompetent is funny, he should learn from his experiences and be more cautious in the future.
Vivian Quest
Tale of a small lizard, crime, and weird biology!
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
(08-08-2019, 04:04 AM)typeandkey Wrote: »>Angela: Eep! Quickly make yourself scarce. You recognize this guy and he might recognize you.
I'm okay with this.

Also...
>Angela: Also be unsubtly disappointed that Adler is clothed again...because by Fuma, you wanted a piece of that.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Adler: Crap! Sam is here! Quick run from this terrible linguist, hide behind a nearby rock!
Sam: Pinch your forehead in disdain, you know this idiot is part of Fuma's divine plan but seriously question your faith for half a second
PJ: Begin arguing with Ethel over who needs to stand up to get a new plate of food.
Ethel: Your getting fed up with this badly accented bird, smack him over the head with your plate and storm out of the house. Interesting Terry's Tar and Kindling is having a clearance sale.
Quote
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Angela: Eep! Quickly make yourself scarce. You recognize this guy and he might recognize you.
Adler: Crap! Sam is here! Quick run from this terrible linguist, hide behind a nearby rock!

0814recognize.gif

"OH NOES," Angela squeaked. "I think I totes know this guy & it will B super awkward if he recognizes me! L8R, Adler." She fluttered away behind me.

I too recognized Adoyret Sam, but did he know that I knew who he was? Either way, he was undoubtedly here on a sinister mission on behalf of whatever remained of the Vulpitanian government. Assassination perhaps? I needed to hide!

I stuffed the plate of food into my Elfintory and dashed behind the dolmen mound, where I crouched down and started thinking of mushrooms.

"Pick another hiding place!" Angela whispered from a tuft of grass. "I already got this 1! Or @ teh very leest U should strip down, Bcause who ever herd of a mushroom w/ clothes on?"

Quote:>Sam: Adler's vixen form was very attractive to you, very attractive indeed
>Angela: Also be unsubtly disappointed that Adler is clothed again

0814seenyou.gif

I didn't have time to consider this, nor ask how she could see me, before the Adoyret poked his head around the side of the mound.

"Now just embarrassing this is," he muttered. "Completely see you, I can. Up from there you must get."

"No way," I muttered in what I hoped was a mushroom voice. "How could you possibly have noticed me?"

"Ham, all is," Sam declared. "In the light of the Ham-Seeing Eye, like a sore thumb mushrooms stick out. Especially wearing clothes."

"Told U," Angela whispered. "U should of stripped."

"Only in your Fauxfox disguise," Sam muttered, looking around suspiciously. "SALV Weakflit I hear, but see I do not. Abandoned her mission, we assumed she had."

What was he insinuating?? Was he suggesting that Angela was a Vulpitanian agent?

Quote:>Adler: "You! YOU!! You're here to manipulate me aren't you?! Well, not if I manipulate you first!" * run in circles around him while waving your hands around*
Sam: Pinch your forehead in disdain, you know this idiot is part of Fuma's divine plan but seriously question your faith for half a second

"ALL RIGHT!" I yelled, jumping to my feet. "ENOUGH FUN AND GAMES! I can guess why you're here, Sam! Either to kill me or manipulate me .. but what if I manipulate YOU first?"

0814woowoo.gif

I proceeded to run in circles around him, waving my hands in a bewildering manner and projecting my Elfmind as hard as I could.

"HOW DO YOU LIKE IT, EH?" I demanded. "NOT MUCH FUN, IS IT, BEING MANIPULATED LIKE THIS?"

Quote:>Sam: "Good at this, you are not." Since Adler is paramount to Fuma's divine plan, you must assist him in any way you can. And from the looks of things, you will be doing a herculean amount of assisting. You're going to have to teach Adler the fine art of manipulation and not being stupid.
While Adler being incompetent is funny, he should learn from his experiences and be more cautious in the future.
>Adler: Start a cult

0814ceasethis.gif

"This foolishness, cease at once!" Sam barked. He reached out, and with one deft motion snatched the false mustache off of my face. I stopped, mid-caper, and stared at him in shock. What had I been doing? What madness had overtaken me?

"That SALV Weakflit was indeed here, this mustache proves," Sam said, as he wagged the item scoldingly at me. "But to the Ham-Seeing Eye, The Plan reveals much which to the lowland SALVs it does not. Still vital to The Plan you are, Adler. Bumble you must not! Flail like a nincompoop you must not! So, teach you I will! Learn to fight you must. Learn to influence lowfolk you must. Get started right away we shall!"
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: Oh I've already have had a training montage with Sheila Na Gig, is this gonna be like that?
>Sam: Yes.
>Adler: Exactly like that?
>Sam: Time to learn some male wiles, son.
Vivian Quest
Tale of a small lizard, crime, and weird biology!
Quote