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
>They want you to act unseelie,do they ?
>They want stew, do they ?
>Well you'd hate to disapoint, now, would you ? It's time to send a message. Besides it's not unseelie if they really earned it. And these two really really really are testing you.
>First, a grammayre (that should be very very very very simple given your stew almost alredy do this): Anyone that eat that stew (except you) will enter an altered state of conciousness and be very very pliant and suggestible.
>When you say the words "Just Unseelie desserts" these two will suddenly itch all over their body like they are inhabited by thousands and thousands of flees they can't ever get rid off (and you mean more than usual), and not a small itch, a big agonizing one. It will only abate when you say "Imperial seelie reprieve"
>When you say the words "Sweet honney treats", they will sudenly start acting in the nicest, more honnest, most pleasant way they can. They'll also want to bath. It'll stop when you say "Full Garbage flavor".
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Burnside: Looks like Ash is trying to convert Adler to the Unseelie side. That's a hobby of his. Darn good at it too. Adler should give it a try, he'll have more fun and get more done.
>Adler: Oh great, that's just what you need in your life, yet another crazy old fox trying to mentor you. That makes, what, three now?
>Everyone: Start eating stew.
>Lysander: This stew is good. You're doubly glad there's no reptile in it.
>Adler: As much as you don't like Lysander, you're always happy to recieve compliments on your stew. It's not easy making bugs taste good.
>Lysander: Wait, there are bugs in this?!
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Burnside: Looks like Ash is trying to convert Adler to the Unseelie side. That's a hobby of his. Darn good at it too. Adler should give it a try, he'll have more fun and get more done.
>Adler: Oh great, that's just what you need in your life, yet another crazy old fox trying to mentor you. That makes, what, three now?

0512chuckle.gif

"Yes, the stew is almost ready," I replied. "But what's that to you? Surely you don't think you'll be getting any."

"Ol' Ash'll convert you to the Unseelie way," Burnside chuckled. "He's a bona-fide expert. You thought you were gainin' the upper hand didn't you? Thought you were finally gettin' in control o' thangs. Nope. Ash was a-pullin the strangs the whole time. Sooner you give in, the sooner you can start gettin' stuff done an' havin fun."

"That's just what I need," I snorted. "Another crazy old fox trying to mentor me. This will be, what, the third one? No thanks. He's wasting his time."

"We'll see," Burnside remarked thoughtfully. "Might as well untie me. I done my part an' they don't have no more need of me. Just gimme some stew an' I promise I'll be good an' do your biddin. Elves don't lie, not even the Unseelie ones."

"Yes, let's have some stew," Lysander chimed in as he sniffed the steam rising from the cauldron. "You say there's no lizard in it, right?"

Quote:>They want stew, do they ?
>First, a grammayre (that should be very very very very simple given your stew almost alredy do this): Anyone that eat that stew (except you) will enter an altered state of conciousness and be very very pliant and suggestible.

I briefly thought of using a Gramarye to give the stew hypnotic properties so I could place these two completely in my thrall, but it would be hard to pull off with them standing right there watching me. Besides, it would be redundant since Burnside had already promised to do my bidding, and Lysander was still bound by a "contract" which apparently was the lowfolk equivalent of a solemn & sacred oath, which he would not dare to break. Furthermore, hypnotizing them was clearly Unseelie and I wasn't going to go down that path!

So I just apported some bowls and let Lysander spoon out helpings while I untied Burnside.

Quote:>Everyone: Start eating stew.
>Lysander: This stew is good. You're doubly glad there's no reptile in it.
>Adler: As much as you don't like Lysander, you're always happy to recieve compliments on your stew. It's not easy making bugs taste good.

"Mmm," Lysander mumbled as he doled out a second bowlful for himself. "This stew is really good. It reminds me in a way of a banana chowder my mother used to make. I'm glad you didn't put lizard in it. Not many people around here are that considerate. Yes, it really tastes great. I guess you're maybe not so bad after all, Mr. Elf."

"Why thank you," I beamed, strangely pleased by the monkey's compliments. "It's not easy making bugs and moss taste good."

0512spit.gif

"PHHHHT," Lysander replied.
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
>A Question Directly to Adler: What are the limitations of "Elves Don't Lie"? Does sarcasm or ironic statements count? You said, "More foxes trying to mentor you is just what you need." Which was clearly an untrue and sarcastic statement.

>Lysander: Unclean! You've been made unclean! You've been tricked into eating bugs, one of your people's many forbidden foods! You'll have to make a pilgrimage to your people's holy city and slaughter an ant to purify your soul now! Oh the indignity! Oh the shame! Oh woe is you!
>Adler: . . .
>Burnside: . . .
>Adler: "Shut up or I'll turn you into a newt."
>Lysander: . . . Okay, you'll behave.
>Adler: Now that everyone has gone back to eating stew, minus Lysander who is sulking off to the side, mentally process what has happened so far. Also, remember what Ash said about cultivating gratitude. By him not doing anything you are now in a position where he is one of the very few people available to you. He's trying the same trick on you. But it's so blatant. Did he want you to realize that so he could bait you into retaliating? If you did, would that make you closer to being unseelie? Augh! He's playing mind games with you. Unless he isn't and that's just what he wants you to think. Wait, wouldn't that still count as mind games?
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

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Quote:>Lysander: Unclean! You've been made unclean! You've been tricked into eating bugs, one of your people's many forbidden foods! You'll have to make a pilgrimage to your people's holy city and slaughter an ant to purify your soul now! Oh the indignity! Oh the shame! Oh woe is you!
>Adler: . . .
>Burnside: . . .
>Adler: "Shut up or I'll turn you into a newt."

"MOSS?" Lysander spluttered as soon as he stopped coughing. "You didn't tell me there was MOSS in this!"

"You didn't ask," I pointed out. "You only mentioned lizards, and there are no lizards in the stew. Elves don't lie."

"I'm unclean!" he wailed. "Moss is forbidden! I will have to make a pilgrimage all the way to Chimpenburg and sacrifice an ant at the temple! Do you have any idea how much that will cost? I'll lose a week's worth of business! Oh woe, oh misery! You're going to have to pay for this, you maniac! What kind of meshugga puts MOSS in a stew, of all things? Ants are expensive; do you have any idea how hard it is to find a perfect one without blemish, suitable for ritual use? I'm going to need the money up front. What an embarrassment! What a hassle! Why was I put on this earth just to suffer?"

"Settle down or I'll turn you into a lizard," I scolded.

"He could do it too," Burnside added. "Elves don't lie."

"Fine, okay, I'm settled," Lysander squeaked. "See how calm I am! No need for elf magic."

0519morestew.gif

Quote:>Adler: Now that everyone has gone back to eating stew, minus Lysander who is sulking off to the side, mentally process what has happened so far.

While the monkey grumbled under his breath about antipathy and Burnside helped herself to another bowl of stew, I tried to puzzle out my present situation. There seemed to have been a time skip long enough for the rabbits of Bunkirk to do something which confined my scrying range to the forest, and also for my hairdresser cult to be scattered & disbanded. Ash must have misled me about the temporal management procedure around the Gate! Had he ... LIED? Could he do that? Could he do that without Fuma smiting him in Her mighty wrath?

Also, what had he said about cultivating gratitude? I wished now that I had paid more attention during his Unseelie monologue. Apparently, by not doing anything he had placed me in a position where I would be forced to rely on him for help. Was that his scheme? But it was so blatant! So obvious! Did he want me to realize that so he could bait me into retaliating? If I did, would that put me on the Unseelie path? Augh! He was playing mind games with me! ... unless ... perhaps that was just what he wanted me to think. Wait, wouldn't that still count as mind games?

"I am calmly and politely asking you, Mister Elf," Lysander murmured, interrupting my reverie. "To kindly defray the cost of a week's pilgrimage and the purchase of a sacrificial ant, which - no fooling - I am going to have to pay for as a result of your cooking."

"What's that??" he added, pointing in the direction of an ominous rustling in the underbrush.
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
>It's Rebecca, the wannabe rabbit witch.
>Rebecca: You received a message from Ash that Adler was back. You came out here at great personal peril to speak with him.
>Rebecca: Adler was only gone for a little over a week or two, but that was more than enough time for things to go south. There was no fight, they didn't need one. All of the hair cult's holdings where bought out from underneath them. The Shoe cult and the rabbits declared a truce, and after the rabbits were bribed, an alliance too. Using Lady Hawk's resources, the shoe cult funded a smear campaign organized by the rabbits. People refused to due business with the hair cult and they lost all their investors. Even banks refused to do business with you. The cult's members aren't even allowed to speak in public now. If there is one thing your old people are good at, it's raising a stink around moral outrage.

or

>It's Adler's old lawyer. The really bad one that can't dance. She evidently survived when she fell through a hole and was trapped in the catacombs.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

"Sounds like we've got another guest coming," I chuckled nonchalantly since the trees hadn't alerted me to any danger from whatever it was. "I guess I should extend some old fashioned elvish hospitality and offer them some stew."

I projected my thoughts to the Royal Pantry to apport another bowl.

0526plate.gif

Instead I produced one of an extremely tacky set of cheap Vulpitanian dishes that had been acquired during the reign of Sartorius the Dissolute. I shuddered at the memory of eating lunch off of these things a few times when I was little. Why did they keep these?

"CLOWN!!" Burnside shrieked as soon as she caught sight of it.

0526smash.gif

She grabbed the plate out of my hands and immediately smashed it against the stew cauldron, then stood there panting over the shards for several awkward seconds.

"Um, are you -?" I started to ask.

"THAT WAS A CLOSE ONE," Burnside replied loudly, but with an uneasy quiver in her voice.

Quote:>It's Rebecca, the wannabe rabbit witch.
>Rebecca: Adler was only gone for a little over a week or two, but that was more than enough time for things to go south. There was no fight, they didn't need one. All of the hair cult's holdings where bought out from underneath them. The Shoe cult and the rabbits declared a truce, and after the rabbits were bribed, an alliance too. Using Lady Hawk's resources, the shoe cult funded a smear campaign organized by the rabbits. People refused to due business with the hair cult and they lost all their investors. Even banks refused to do business with you. The cult's members aren't even allowed to speak in public now. If there is one thing your old people are good at, it's raising a stink around moral outrage.

0526begpardon.gif

"Pardon me," Rebecca called out as she emerged from the bushes. "Am I interrupting a dark and demonic ritual? Please don't stop on my account."

"Nope, just having some stew," I announced as I apported a bowl (successfully this time). "My associate has an extreme aversion to kitsch, apparently, and took it upon herself to destroy a piece of royal crockery. Would you like some stew?"

"Careful, there's moss in it," Lysander warned her.

"Yum," Rebecca grinned. "I don't mind if I do. Are there any other unholy ingredients?"

"Just some bugs and wild herbs," I informed her as I ladled out a bowlful. "What brings you out here? Do you have news of my hair cult?"

"Oh, my Dark Lord," the rabbit girl declared as she dropped to her knees. "Your insect servitor has summoned me here to beseech your forgiveness. We have failed thee. You left us on our own as a test, I'm sure, but alas ... it only took a fortnight for us to be completely undone. The shoe people have money, thanks to their patroness the Lady Hawk. They spent it in bribes for local officials and donations to the Church of the Blessed Baby Bunny. With the Church on their side, they made short work of our hair salons."

"Was the battle short and bloody?" Burnside interrupted with sudden interest.

"Nay, there was no battle at all," Rebecca sighed. "They bought our holdings and foreclosed our mortgages and verily we were out on the street. The hair cult is outlawed. No-one will do business with us, and upright citizens will not even converse with us. We are all social pariahs, and most have fled the county to escape persecution. Persecuting, you see, is something my people are especially good at."

"Why are you still here?" I asked.

"I am from Bunkirk and so I have the option to repent and rejoin the faithful," she explained. "I was considering it when your insectoid arrived, and that's when I realized that my true Lord is one who has loathsome buggy servants to do his wicked bidding! You turned my father into a poodle! Surely hairdressing was just a ruse for a being wielding such power as that! You have summoned me out here into the middle of the woods where you are hanging out with unsavory persons like Lysander the Merchant and what appears to be the Demon Raccoon Monster of the North Glen. I passed unscathed through the tulgey wood which is impenetrable to any other rabbit! I am chosen! Now I wish to partake of your sacrament of stew and embark on the dark path of evil!"

"I like this'un," Burnside chuckled. "She's a keeper for sure."
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
>Rebecca: You have of bowl of the Dark One's unholy stew of malevolence. Yes! Its flavor is far beyond what would be possible! Truly the Dark One has infused it with concentrated evil! You can feel the dark energies pulsing within you!
>Adler: Actually, it's not... You used unorthodox ingredients, but it's not evil...
>Burnside: Direct Rebecca's attention to the book Adler set down on the ground instead of putting it in his elfintory since he didn't want it.
>Rebecca: For real and for true!? A dark grimoire! "How to be Unseelie and Look Good Doing It". A set of dark instructions on how to be evil. With this, you can spread the ways of Ramble the Dark One. A new age of suffering and despair shall begin!
>Lysander: (You're getting nervous.) Hold on! You thought Adler's organization was just a goofy and harmless club for hairdressers. What's all this talk of spreading evil and ages of suffering? Are they going to put moss in every meal?
>Burnside: Keep egging Rebecca on. This'll be interesting to see.
>Adler: Eek! A deranged cult of evil doers spreading unseeliness and suffering in your name is the last thing you need. Everyone needs to hold on and take a deep breath. You need to lay down a game plan before these idiots get out of hand.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Rebecca: You have of bowl of the Dark One's unholy stew of malevolence. Yes! Its flavor is far beyond what would be possible! Truly the Dark One has infused it with concentrated evil! You can feel the dark energies pulsing within you!
>Adler: Actually, it's not... You used unorthodox ingredients, but it's not evil...

"Mmmm, it smells heavenly - I mean hellish," Rebecca murmured as I handed her a bowl of stew. "OHHH it's delicious," she added after her first mouthful. "Moss and bugs shouldn't taste this good! It's clearly a result of your dark powers, isn't it? I can feel its dark energy pulsing within me, taking me over and subsuming my will, replacing it with unholy desires! What was gross is now delicious! Pain is pleasure! Good is bad and bad is good!"

"It's just stew," I insisted. "I used unorthodox ingredients but it tastes good because I happen to be a good cook. Not because of evil."

Quote:>Burnside: Direct Rebecca's attention to the book Adler set down on the ground instead of putting it in his elfintory since he didn't want it.

"Aw, sugar, he's just bein' modest," Burnside chuckled. "Why don't you take a peek in yonder book?" She pointed to the copy of Ash's book, which Lysander had given me and I had tossed on the ground because I didn't want it.

Quote:>Rebecca: For real and for true!? A dark grimoire! "How to be Unseelie and Look Good Doing It". A set of dark instructions on how to be evil. With this, you can spread the ways of Ramble the Dark One. A new age of suffering and despair shall begin!
>Lysander: (You're getting nervous.) Hold on! You thought Adler's organization was just a goofy and harmless club for hairdressers. What's all this talk of spreading evil and ages of suffering? Are they going to put moss in every meal?
>Burnside: Keep egging Rebecca on. This'll be interesting to see.

0602evilbook.gif

"How to Be Unseelie and Look Good Doing It?" Rebecca read from the frontispiece. "How COOOL!! Unseelie means evil, right? Is this a dark grimoire? Full of instructions on how to wreak wickedness? Can I blight crops and curdle milk? Can I bring plagues? Cast curses on any who displease me? Grant me powers, Lord Ramble, and I will use them to make everyone fear me - and by extension, you. A new age of suffering and despair is at hand!"

"I like the way you think, gal," Burnside cackled. "You an' me are gonna be best friends."

"Wait a minute," Lysander protested. "I thought your little group was just a club for hairdressers. What's all this talk of spreading evil and despair? Is this actual witchcraft? I can't be part of that."

"You worked for Ash Marten," I pointed out. "Surely you know that he kills people."

"Only when it was necessary," Lysander clarified. "Ash is just looking out for his bottom line. He doesn't pull crazy stunts for the thrill of it. Everything he does is carefully considered, and always good for business. This is different. Giving powers of destruction to a teenage girl, that's reckless. I'll have no part of it. Give me the money for a sacrificial ant and I'll be on my way."

Quote:>Adler: Eek! A deranged cult of evil doers spreading unseeliness and suffering in your name is the last thing you need. Everyone needs to hold on and take a deep breath. You need to lay down a game plan before these idiots get out of hand.

I could not deny that the monkey had a point. I definitely did not want a bunch of maniacs running around spreading Unseeliness in my name. That would pretty much prove Queen Edessa right, wouldn't it? I needed to nip this in the bud, and steer the conversation back toward a proper and Seelie course of action! But how?
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: Use logic to dissuade her from this course. Specifically her logic. Earlier she said, "good is bad and bad is good." By that logic, if she wishes to commit evil acts, then she must commit good acts.
>Rebecca: The logic is sound, but something about that doesn't seem...
>Lysander: That doesn't make any sense at all. Only children use the "opposite day" logic. This is silly.
>Adler: Take Lysander aside and tell him to shut it. He contributed to this problem by bringing that stupid book, so now he gets to help fix it. You will only compensate him for his pilgrimage if he does. (Sending Lysander on a journey would deprive Ash of his most useful agent. A step in the right direction. You can figure out the next later.)
>Lysander: Correction, it is the most sound logic you've heard in a while. Rebecca should definitely listen to Adler. Can you please have your money now?
>Burnside: "You're all no fun."
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Adler: Use logic to dissuade her from this course. Specifically her logic. Earlier she said, "good is bad and bad is good." By that logic, if she wishes to commit evil acts, then she must commit good acts.
>Rebecca: The logic is sound, but something about that doesn't seem...
>Lysander: That doesn't make any sense at all. Only children use the "opposite day" logic. This is silly.

0609logic.gif

"Take a moment to consider," I declared to Rebecca. "If, as you said a few minutes ago, my stew has caused all values to reverse and bad is now good and good is now bad, then by that reasoning, in order to do evil you would have to do good."

"Your logic is sound," Rebecca replied thoughtfully. "But something about it doesn't seem -"

"THAT'S PREPOSTEROUS," Lysander blurted indignantly. "Only children use that kind of opposite-schmopposite rhetorical construct! This is silly!"

Quote:>Adler: Take Lysander aside and tell him to shut it. He contributed to this problem by bringing that stupid book, so now he gets to help fix it. You will only compensate him for his pilgrimage if he does. (Sending Lysander on a journey would deprive Ash of his most useful agent. A step in the right direction. You can figure out the next later.)
>Lysander: Correction, it is the most sound logic you've heard in a while. Rebecca should definitely listen to Adler. Can you please have your money now?
>Burnside: "You're all no fun."

"Pardon me a moment while I confer with my colleague," I said as I grabbed Lysander's arm and pulled him away. When we were on the other side of the dolmen, I whispered, "what is wrong with you? I thought you were opposed to letting that femme practice witchcraft! Here I am trying to dissuade her from the path of evil, and you're undermining my argument. You brought that book from Ash, so this situation is partly your fault. You've got to help me fix it. If you want to be compensated for your pilgrimage then back me up here."

As the last sentence came out of my mouth, I realized that sending Lysander on a trip would deprive Ash of a henchman. This could work to my advantage. I kept quiet as we rounded the dolmen and faced Rebecca again.

0609proven.gif

"I was, of course, using opposite-logic myself just then," Lysander explained. "By arguing against Mister Elfypants here, I was actually arguing in support of him. It's totally sound reasoning and not childish at all, and you should definitely do good deeds in order to be bad."

"There you have it," I stated with an air of finality.

"Yall are no fun," Burnside pouted.

"But it would be simpler to just do evil directly," Rebecca protested.

"Durn right it would," Burnside concurred.

"You ate the stew and reversed everything," I shrugged. "It's out of my hands."

"I still don't know," Rebecca whined. "What about this book? Being Unseelie and looking good sounds pretty awesome."

"You should know, that book was written by Ash Marten," I informed her. "A boring businessman. Lysander here works for him. He can tell you."

"Ash is focused solely on profit," Lysander chimed in. "Even his power plays are for the purpose of securing resources or getting the most advantageous deal. He's a real mensh, one of the best in the business."

"It says here the book was written by a Dr. Owter Cesawonki," Rebecca read suspiciously from the title page.

"That's his real name," I explained. "Ash Marten is a pseudonym. Elves don't lie. Ask him yourself and he would have to admit it." Or evade the question, I almost added, but then another line of reasoning occurred to me. "Consider all that the Seelie side has to offer: I can grant you fabulous hair. The stew, as you know, is delicious. I can transmogrify anything into anything; rabbits into poodles is just the tiniest sample! And when you're just a bit older, there is a whole world of pleasure in store if you're interested. Burnside can vouch for that."

0609warstory.gif

"Everything he said is true," Burnside admitted. "But lemme tell you about the glory of the Unseelie side! They say murder is a crime, but the Seelie sure are eager to do it too, when they get a chance. They just call it 'justice' instead. Us Unseelie, we call a thing what it is, and we flee from their so-called justice. The thrill o bein' hunted like a wild animal across the countryside just can't be beat. Settin' snares for your pursuers and guttin' em like a fish while they're still breathin' ... oh mercy, when you see the look on their faces you'll laugh an' laugh! Then you can eat their liver an' crawl inside their carcass to keep warm at night."
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
>Rebecca: Remember one little detail: You're not an elf. You can do both ! And look good and having wonderfull hairs while doing it ! And also lie.
>Also the still living carcass crawling thing may be a taaad intense for ya.
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