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

Quote:>The Agent: You were able to finally get out of that chest. You did so by reshaping the candy canes locked in there with you into a set of peppermint flavored lock picks. It took ages, but you finally got out. You're looking a little worse for wear and you reek of eggnog.

1222allclear.gif

Is he gone? Is the coast clear?

Thank Fuma pumpkins are stupid.

Not stupid enough to use a regular chest, unfortunately. Whoever invented these Frostheim pook-proof containers ought to be strung up. I had to spend the last few days carefully applying spit and Gramarye to candy canes to turn them into lockpicks. What a grueling experience. Even so, it was better than getting captured by the Kringle.

This close to December 25th the risk is minimal - he will be busy loading and prepping for delivery. Nevertheless, I'd better continue to keep a low profile for the next few days.

I need to clean myself up anyway. I feel so gross. I never want to taste or smell eggnog ever again.

Quote:Rest assured that the story will continue once Adler has returned and recovered from whatever horrors he has endured. (you're entirely sure the audience actually deserves it, considering one of them lifted a finger to help you.) The audience should enjoy the rest of their terrifying winter celebrations while they still can.

1222relda.gif

The story will continue next week after the threat is truly past and I've had a decent rest.

Whoever sent that bogus note about the Krampus ... that was not very elfly, and I have no idea how you did it, but ...

Thank you.

If, because of me, you wind up not getting that GameStation or that nostril massager you wanted, well ... take consolation in knowing that you did not need that crap anyway.

Merry Lowfolk Christmas to you all.
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: You are in high spirits. Kringlemas is over and the Kringle will be dormant for another year. Things are looking up and there's absolutely nothing that can go wrong.
>Off-Screen Audience Member wearing a fake mustache on top of another fake mustache: "I think we've all learned a valuable lesson about trust and foresight. As a show of trust and appreciation, I'd like to humbly offer my own home as a hiding place for you next year. How do you feel about never ending rain?"
>Adler: *Glares* Anyway, without further interruption, back to the story...

>Adler: You had just masterfully concluded your negotiations with the unscrupulous Ash in a truly masterful manner. Through sheer cunning and charisma you were able to run both verbal and mental circles around the old scoundrel's feeble attempts to lead you into doing something unelfly. All without forcing anyone to sign contracts or swear oaths. Through gentlemanly understanding, you stood by your previous assessment that an elf's bond is his word and stated out load that "You would grant Ash the amnesty that he desires if you are satisfied with his service." And Ash responded by verbally stating that he would, "Work in your service without treachery as long as he was sure he would be given amnesty." You're positively sure that this air tight wording will prevent any double-crossing or back stabbing from ever occurring again in the future. You deserve a smoke and a drink for this triumph, but alas yet more pressing matters require your exquisite attentions. The fair and lovely maiden Vernier has approached you reminding you of the situation regarding Rebecca's notes. That's right, she had been studiously taking notes of all your words and actions. If only all your allies and followers were so dedicated. You fail to see how this could be so dangerous. Vernier assures you she has been writing, and drawing, things from the wrong outlook. A simple misunderstanding and nothing more. A scholarly outlook is always a good thing. You approach Rebecca and ask to see her notebook, she hands it to you and continues her financial discussion with Burnside. Excellent, you'll just flip through this here, how bad... could it... be... Oh. Oh dear...
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Adler: You are in high spirits. Kringlemas is over and the Kringle will be dormant for another year. Things are looking up and there's absolutely nothing that can go wrong.

1229irock.gif

Well, my clever and cunning disguise worked perfectly and I managed to evade the Kringle this time. Now the threat is past and I'm in the clear. Heh heh, you've got to get up pretty early in the morning to put one over on ol' Adler! Never underestimate the resourcefulness of an elf, I say!

Now, let's get back to the story, shall we?

I think when we left off, I had just masterfully concluded my negotiations with the unscrupulous Ash in a truly masterful manner. Through sheer cunning and charisma I was able to run both verbal and mental circles around the old scoundrel's feeble attempts to lead me into something Unseelie and unelfly. I avoided all tomfoolery with contracts and the swearing of oaths. I stood steadfastly by my insistence that an elf's word is his bond, and stated aloud that I would grant Ash the amnesty that he desired if I was satisfied with his service. Ash responded by verbally stating that he would work in my service without treachery as long as he was sure he would be given amnesty. This airtight wording would surely prevent any double-crossing or back stabbing from ever occurring again in the future.

1229alert.gif

I was ready to kick back with a celebratory bowl of stew after a job well done, but there were still other matters requiring my sagacious attention. The fair and lovely damsel Vernier approached me with a look of concern.

"Sir, now that your important conference is done," she whispered, "you really ought to take a look at Rebecca's notes. She has been studiously taking notes of all your words and actions."

"Wonderful," I replied. "If only all my allies and followers were so dedicated. Why the worried face, my dear? What could possibly be wrong with recording my admittedly noteworthy deeds?"

"Just look and see," Vernier insisted. "She has been writing and drawing things from the entirely wrong frame of mind."

"I'm sure this is just a simple misunderstanding," I sighed. "When is a scholarly outlook ever a bad thing?"

Quote:You approach Rebecca and ask to see her notebook, she hands it to you and continues her financial discussion with Burnside. Excellent, you'll just flip through this here, how bad... could it... be... Oh. Oh dear...

"Pardon me," I said as I walked over and interrupted Rebecca's and Burnside's debate about shares in some imaginary clothing boutique. "Rebecca, may I see your notebook?"

1229grimoire.gif

"Of course, My Lord," the rabbit girl gushed excitedly as she handed her notebook to me. "I would be honored if you would tell me what you think of it."

I started flipping through the book and realized immediately that Vernier's fears were completely justified.
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: This has got to be the most angsty and self-indulgent pile of burning teen garbage that you've ever seen. Half of this journal is her declaring that she'll use her new dark powers to get revenge on everyone who ever picked on her in school and the other half is her reinterpreting everything you say to suit her internal narrative. You quite clearly remember telling her that you are a seelie elf that looks to bring goodness into the world for the glory of Fuma and you have no intention of walking down the evil path. She interpreted that to mean you are going to invent a completely new form of dark morality that renders the concepts of good and evil meaningless. This is followed by a crude doodle of you with demon wings wearing a burning crown made from bones and eyeballs. Ew. You have to wonder if Rebecca is delusional or just plain stupid.
>Burnside: Dang, you've GOT to see this. Woah! That girl is twisted. She was born to be unseelie, Adler can't corrupt someone so perfectly deranged! It would be a crime!
>Adler: If it's a crime, then an unseelie little troglodyte like Burnside should be fine with it. You need to work fast. Perhaps it's time you become the mentor. You will prove to yourself and the world of your seeliness by steering this witch obsessed moron onto the path of righteousness. You mentioned a book your old mentor wrote, or authorized, about how to be seelie and still have fun doing it. A little comical mischief never hurt anyone. Try out your ability to apport objects without knowing where they are by conjuring up this book. It'll make good study material for Rebecca and it looks like her lessons will have to begin immediately.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Adler: This has got to be the most angsty and self-indulgent pile of burning teen garbage that you've ever seen. Half of this journal is her declaring that she'll use her new dark powers to get revenge on everyone who ever picked on her in school and the other half is her reinterpreting everything you say to suit her internal narrative. You quite clearly remember telling her that you are a seelie elf that looks to bring goodness into the world for the glory of Fuma and you have no intention of walking down the evil path. She interpreted that to mean you are going to invent a completely new form of dark morality that renders the concepts of good and evil meaningless. This is followed by a crude doodle of you with demon wings wearing a burning crown made from bones and eyeballs. Ew. You have to wonder if Rebecca is delusional or just plain stupid.
>Burnside: Dang, you've GOT to see this. Woah! That girl is twisted. She was born to be unseelie, Adler can't corrupt someone so perfectly deranged! It would be a crime!

"Oh no no no," I muttered as I flipped through page after page of fashion drawings, hairstyle concepts, and strange dark teenage power fantasies. "My dear girl, you've gotten it all wrong. My powers are not for getting petty revenge on people who were mean to you in school. I said I was a Seelie elf with no intention of walking the Unseelie path. You seem to be under the impression that means I am inventing a whole new morality that renders the concepts of good and evil meaningless."

"I knew it, My Lord," Rebecca gushed excitedly.

"I don't wear a crown of ... what is that? Flaming bones? And I don't have antlers," I insisted, indicating one of her illustrations.

"I hope someday you consider me worthy to behold your true form with my naked eyes, My Lord," Rebecca intoned reverently.

"I gotta see this," Burnside chuckled as she tugged on the notebook to get a better look.

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"Whoah nelly!" the raccoon exclaimed. "This gal is natural born Unseelie! Got some artistic talent too! It'd be a dadgum crime to corrupt someone this deranged, Ad- I mean Randall honey. You gotta let her follow her true calling. What does 'Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet' mean?"

Now THAT was even more disturbing. Why would parts of this lowfolk witch-girl's juvenile scrawlings be magickally concealed from Burnside?

Quote:>Adler: If it's a crime, then an unseelie little troglodyte like Burnside should be fine with it. You need to work fast. Perhaps it's time you become the mentor. You will prove to yourself and the world of your seeliness by steering this witch obsessed moron onto the path of righteousness. You mentioned a book your old mentor wrote, or authorized, about how to be seelie and still have fun doing it. A little comical mischief never hurt anyone. Try out your ability to apport objects without knowing where they are by conjuring up this book. It'll make good study material for Rebecca and it looks like her lessons will have to begin immediately.

0105teachme.gif

"If it's a crime then you should be in favor of it," I quipped to Burnside, then turned to address Rebecca. "Clearly I have not communicated to you adequately what we are all about here. Before you stray too far down a completely wrong path, I think it's time I take you under my wing and become a proper mentor."

"Your foul and leathery wing?" Rebecca squealed excitedly. "I'm ready, My Lord! Instruct me in the true and proper ways of darkness!"

"No no no! You shall be learning lighthearted and merry japes! Hmmm, which sourcebook should I use, the Prankenbook of Jack O'Napes, or the Foxspell of Saint Reynard?"
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: You should give her 'Foxspell of Saint Reynard' since his book puts a lot of focus on also being Seelie. If she takes to it you can can give her the other as supplementary reading. Now then, try out your new ability to summon things without knowing where they are. Did it work?
>Vernier: Remind Adler that it worked when he displayed a heightened focus.
>Adler: Eala! it worked! This is going to be so useful. You really wish you knew you could do this before, it would have helped you out of a lot of problems. This also means you don't need to keep having people bring you food.
>Rebecca: Bask in the dark powers your terrifying lord of the void displays as he conjures up a forbidden tome of forgotten daemoniac lore.
>Adler: Okay yeah, she needs to start reading this immediately. Also, "daemoniac" isn't a word.
>Adler: Since you obviously can't follow her everywhere, not that you'd want to as the whole witch obsession gets irritating after a while, request of Vernier if she wouldn't mind keeping an eye on Rebecca and helping her stay on the path. Instruct to Rebecca that she listen to Vernier and follow her example.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
SpoilerShow

Quote:>Adler: use Foxspell by StRenard, hoping to appeal to Rebecca's thing for spells and witchery
>Adler: You should give her 'Foxspell of Saint Reynard' since his book puts a lot of focus on also being Seelie. If she takes to it you can can give her the other as supplementary reading. Now then, try out your new ability to summon things without knowing where they are.
>Vernier: Remind Adler that it worked when he displayed a heightened focus.

I quickly decided on the Foxspell since it focused on being Seelie and honoring Fuma, but then I realized - where could I find a copy? I doubted it would be in the scry-tower library, but I pulled a few books from there anyway just in case.

"Nope, nope, nope, that's not it either," I muttered while apporting books. "I'm pretty sure they had several copies in the Vulpitanian Embassy, but I'm not sure where exactly they would be."

"How impressive, My Lord," Rebecca exclaimed. "To produce Forbidden Books from nowhere!"

"Shush," I shushed. "I need to concentrate on visualizing the Embassy in my mind. This is tough. The last time I was there, they had a huge pie fight going on and it was hard to keep track of the layout."

I apported two seltzer bottles and a clown shoe, so I knew I was getting close ... but no Foxspell.

"You do much better when you have heightened focus," Vernier reminded me.

"Back off, gal," Burnside snapped. "I got this."

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The raccoon femme sidled up, put her arms around me, and made a kissy face. "Oh darlin," she simpered. "Oh sweety pie, I sure would be obliged if you could pull a copy o' the, uh, which book did you decide on again?"

"The Foxspell of Saint Reynard," I explained. "And knock it off. I don't think you're helping."

"Are you and the Raccoon Monster a couple, My Lord?" Rebecca asked curiously.

Quote:>Adler: absolutely not looking at the weirder and more kinky parts of costumery drawn.
>Burnside: make any comments implying Dark Unseelie Demon Lords having harems as per whatever illustrations there may be in that book.

0112lewdbecca.gif

"HAW!" Burnside guffawed. "We've had venery a few times, but His Lordship ain't a one-femme kinda elf. He's royalty, you know. Usually they have a whole harem o' Floozies servin' their every desire."

"When will I be so honored, My Lord?" Rebecca asked in a strange, sultry voice. "The drawings on pages seventeen through twenty-three of my journal were not merely abstract symbolism. They depict what I hope are actual orgiastic rites. I'm ready anytime to pledge my devotion and surrender my body completely to your dark will. You implied earlier that you thought I was too young, but in Bunkirk I'm already past the prime marrying age."

"He's real good at ravishin' femmes," Burnside declared. "You just gotta earn it."

"Instruct me in what I must do," the rabbit femme murmured huskily.

Quote:>Adler: Eala! it worked! This is going to be so useful. You really wish you knew you could do this before, it would have helped you out of a lot of problems. This also means you don't need to keep having people bring you food.
>Rebecca: Bask in the dark powers your terrifying lord of the void displays as he conjures up a forbidden tome of forgotten daemoniac lore.
"Secret Cabal Knowledge" by a Dark Fox Saint.
>Adler: Okay yeah, she needs to start reading this immediately.

"EALA!" I exclaimed, with the book suddenly in my hand. "Behold, the Foxspell according to Saint Reynard!"

"A dark incunabulum of incalculable evil?" Rebecca gushed excitedly. "For ME??"

"No," I protested. "It's a fun, lighthearted romp through primitive Mephitist theology with an emphasis on mischief and maintaining a Seelie attitude, written by a Vulpitanian saint."

"Was he an elf?"

"Yes, and allegedly a consort of the goddess Fuma."

"Elves are pagan nature spirits and any deity aside from the Blessed Baby Bunny and his father, the Cosmic Ram, is a devil," Rebecca stated confidently.

"Just read the thing," I insisted, handing it to her.

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"MY BEAUTIFUL DAEMONIAC LORD!" Rebecca cackled. "You have honored me this day by bestowing upon me a sinister tome summoned forth from the very depths of the netherworld! I shall prove myself worthy of this great trust!" She started flipping through it. "AHA! It contains the Overspell! The ultimate evil! The complete text, with passages that are missing from other grimoires! Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet! Consectetur adipiscing elit! Sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt..."

"Stop! Stop!" I yelled with dismay. "That just means you're not ready for that passage!"

"You're right, My Lord," she said, visibly mortified. "I'm not initiated or anything! You have not yet placed your desecrating Mark upon my body. Imagine a novice like me reciting the Overspell and calling the wrath of heaven and hell down upon myself! I got carried away in my excitement. Thank you for stopping me. I owe you my life."
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: Uh, sure. Tell her to just make sure she reads it from beginning to end. She should also take notes and you'd like to see progress reports if there is time for it.
>Rebecca: Begin studiously and devoutly reading the book while occasionally laughing maniacally.
>Adler: Huh, this may very well be the first time someone has laughed like that while reading the Foxspell.
>Adler: Now then, back to the disturbing matter you found in Rebecca's Witch-journal. Well, it's all disturbing, but specifically the parts that were magically sealed from Burnside. You should flip through it some more to see if anything is hidden from you. If not, it may be because she gave you permission to read it. Have Burnside and Vernier look through it too. How much is barred from them?
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Adler: Uh, sure. Tell her to just make sure she reads it from beginning to end. She should also take notes and you'd like to see progress reports if there is time for it.
>Rebecca: Begin studiously and devoutly reading the book while occasionally laughing maniacally.
>Adler: Huh, this may very well be the first time someone has laughed like that while reading the Foxspell.

"Sure, whatever," I shrugged. "You need to read the book from the beginning, and when you get to a part that says 'lorem ipsum' and so on, stop. That's when we will review and I'll quiz you on what you've learned."

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Rebecca sat down next to one of the menhirs and started reading the Foxspell. Every few seconds she would burst out with peals of laughter. I remembered the book being lighthearted, but never thought it was that funny. Lowfolk certainly were strange.

Quote:>Adler: Realize your new heights of power, ponder what other amazing & useful items you can apport back here? Food? Weapons? Gold from the vault to get even more food and weapons? That one issue of Jane you missed out on?
>Adler: Get a sudden realization that in fact there were only very few elves that had this kind of power and all of them old and terrifying, or at least old.
>Burnside: Totally use this moment to check if Adler can summon HiPower Spirits too. Like, 120 - 160+ proof or more.

I paused for a moment to reflect on the fact that over the course of this single afternoon I had apported numerous objects seemingly from nowhere, without knowing their exact location beforehand. This should have been impossible. The only elves on record accomplishing such feats were legendary characters from the Long Ago. What exactly were the implications of this newfound ability?

"Hey," Burnside murmured, interrupting my thoughts. "Think you could produce a bottle of good usquebaugh?"

Quote:>Adler: Now then, back to the disturbing matter you found in Rebecca's Witch-journal. Well, it's all disturbing, but specifically the parts that were magically sealed from Burnside. You should flip through it some more to see if anything is hidden from you. If not, it may be because she gave you permission to read it. Have Burnside and Vernier look through it too. How much is barred from them?
>Adler: Take a risky peek at the more risque illustrations Rebecca did, just in case they offer insight to what might help cure her mind, so absolutely damaged by years living with the other rabbits in hopes of maybe helping her overcome her urges by filling the void in her fluffy (if sooty) heart. Maybe she just really needs a loving hug?

"Not right now," I declared. "I need you to show me the part of this journal where it said 'lorem ipsum' and all that."

Burnside found the page and showed it to me. It was the beginning of a standard dissertation on celestial mechanics, but it ended abruptly in the middle of a sentence and was not continued on the next page.

I flipped through the journal and examined it more closely. Scattered amidst the fashion and hairstyle sketches were snippets of gardening advice (all of which Burnside could read), excerpts from a basic primer on Gramarye (she could read those too), and fragments from what must have been an astrological handbook (all 'lorem ipsum' to Burnside). Pages seventeen through twenty-three seemed to have been copied from a Mephitist marriage handbook; Burnside could read all of them with much chuckling and winking. Toward the end of the filled pages were many drawings of me in ridiculous costumes, with notes completely misconstruing my words and actions. The final dozen pages of the book were still blank.

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"What do you make of this?" I asked Vernier. "How much of it did you actually read?"

"Oh my," Vernier exclaimed as she examined the notebook. "Is that what elves do on their honeymoon? That's quite an interesting technique. Do you actually know how to do that, Sir?"

"Yer durn tootin he does," Burnside declared proudly.

"Never mind the pictures," I snapped. "Can you read what's written here?"

"Is it written in Elvish?" Vernier asked.

"Does it say 'lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,' and so forth, the stuff Rebecca was yelling a few minutes ago?"

"No, but it does appear to be some sort of otherworldly gibberish."

"What about this?" I asked, flipping to the gardening tips.

She could not read those either, nor any of the other copied passages; however, only the astrological material appeared as 'lorem ipsum.' The rest of it was simply written in an unfamiliar language. All of Rebecca's own notes were, of course, entirely legible - albeit incomprehensible.

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"Where did you copy this from?" I demanded, brandishing the notebook as I interrupted Rebecca's reading.

"Some old books that were hidden at the old O'Daisies manufactory," she stated matter-of-factly. "This Reynard was a real character. I'm starting to get a feel for the subtly nuanced evil that you keep calling 'Seelie.' It's quite charming in its way."

"Why would you copy old books from the O'Daisies?"

"Everybody knows their inventions came from hell and their financial success was due to daemoniacal magic," Rebecca explained. "So when they were driven away by an army of trees, naturally I had to sneak into the abandoned building and see what relics I could find."

"Can you read any of this?"

"No, but it's got to be magical. It's written in, like, Elvish, right? And there were pictures of people doing wicked sexy rituals. That's always a sure sign of evil. And that one book contained parts of the Overspell so naturally I had to write that down."

"What's this Overspell? How do you know about it?"

"You are testing me, My Lord," Rebecca grinned. "Fragments of the Overspell are passed around in witchy circles. We all know the first few lines, but nobody has ever seen the whole thing. The one who finds it and can tame its power would be able to destroy the world and remake it to her liking!"

"Do you still have the books you copied this material from?" I asked, feeling nervous at the thought of several volumes of elvish lore floating around loose in the lowfolk world.

"Oh no, My Lord. Much too dangerous to get caught with them in my possession, plus they would have been too bulky to carry. The one with the Overspell was badly waterlogged and I copied the only parts that were legible. The other ones didn't fare much better. They're probably all ruined by now, unless somebody else found them."
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
>Audience Member with a Question to Adler: "How common is the Lorem Ipsum magic block in Elven books? Is it just used for security or to keep readers from getting ahead of themselves? Also, does this mean someone could copy down sensitive information as long as they don't understand what is written? Seems like a security risk to me."

>Adler: You really hope those books that Rebecca found are all destroyed by now, but with the way things have been going they've probably all been found and mass published. You need to be sure. Summon some Ixies to go on an expedition.
>Angela Weakflit: Reporting for duty, sir!!!!111!1
>Adler: Oh, you were starting to wonder where she went. Actually, where has she been this whole time?
>Angela: You were following Ash.
>Adler: Excellent! This new generation of Ixies may have some problems, mostly with gambling, but you can at least trust them to be a few steps ahead. And that old villain of a fox thought you didn't have anyone spying on him. Shows what he knows. No doubt Angela was gathering intel that you can use against him.
>Angela: Sure that too. Ash is just so dreamy, and that bad boy act he puts on is soooo hot! You list off a number of inconsequential daily activities he goes through while you were playing the stalker and reveling in how attractive you find him for a portly older gentleman. Oh no! You just realized. With Adler, Sam, and now Ash, your love triangle has become a love rectangle! Or a love square. Eek! Quick somebody tell you how many shapes have four corners!
>Adler: *Not paying attention* Sure-sure. As Angela begins foaming at the mouth again, you organize your Ixies and give them a mission: Find out how many of the books the Duchess left behind and destroy them.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:How common is the Lorem Ipsum magic block in Elven books? Is it just used for security or to keep readers from getting ahead of themselves? Also, does this mean someone could copy down sensitive information as long as they don't understand what is written?

Now this was truly odd. Apparently Elvish was a completely different language from whatever the lowfolk spoke ... no, that couldn't be right, because we had been talking all this time and could obviously understand each other. Maybe Elvish was written in a different alphabet? I racked my brains trying to remember if I had ever read a lowfolk book, and recalled that Percy le Gobelet's seditious publication had been fully intelligible to me, as well as Rebecca's journal which I was holding right now. Burnside also had been able to read all of the journal except the "lorem ipsum" passages. So, a cipher alphabet couldn't be the answer either ... unless this was a different type of magickal screen, like the lorem ipsum text.

How common was this lorem ipsum encryption, anyway? I had never seen it outside the scry tower library, until now. My experience with it showed that certain passages would become un-encrypted as the reader's knowledge base expanded to enable comprehension. But ... if Rebecca thought it said "lorem ipsum" and had copied it down as such, why could I read fragments of an astrological guide there? This meant that text could be copied even though the copyist had no idea what it actually said. This could be very bad. Ciphers were theoretically crackable, especially this one which unlocked itself if you knew enough about the subject, and I didn't like the idea of a bunch of Elvish books circulating among the lowfolk. If, for example, they learned the breeding techniques from the Fuma Sutra, this knowledge coupled with their natural vitality would cause their numbers to overwhelm the world!

Quote:>Adler: Briefly ponder on something you heard long ago about Elvish powers being stronger in lowlands than at home. Could you still do all this there?

Then I realized with a sudden shock that Rebecca was reading an Elvish book right now. The Foxspell I had given her was partly cloaked with "lorem ipsum" but the rest was apparently legible to her. She was turning pages and laughing at something, and I doubted that even she was crazy enough to be that amused by page after page of incomprehensible gibberish. Why would a copy of the Foxspell from the Vulpitanian Embassy be written in the alphabet that lowfolk could read, instead of in the coded Elvish alphabet?

Then again, was I really certain it had come from the Embassy? I had apported it seemingly from nowhere, and had given it to Rebecca to read. Perhaps my permission had unlocked parts of it for her ... or perhaps I had magickally created this book from thin air. Was it possible to do that? I recalled what Estvan had told me, about elfly powers being stronger in the lowfolk world than they were in Faerie. Perhaps I wouldn't be able to perform such feats at home. I made a mental note to test this hypothesis when I had time to go through the Gate.

Meanwhile, I needed to do something about this loose book situation. I summoned a squad of Ixies for a special mission.

Quote:>Adler: You really hope those books that Rebecca found are all destroyed by now, but with the way things have been going they've probably all been found and mass published. You need to be sure. Summon some Ixies to go on an expedition.
>Angela Weakflit: Reporting for duty, sir!!!!111!1
>Adler: Oh, you were starting to wonder where she went. Actually, where has she been this whole time?
>Angela: You were following Ash.
>Adler: Excellent! This new generation of Ixies may have some problems, mostly with gambling, but you can at least trust them to be a few steps ahead. And that old villain of a fox thought you didn't have anyone spying on him. Shows what he knows. No doubt Angela was gathering intel that you can use against him.

0126reporting.gif

"Reporting for duty, Sire!" they exclaimed, with a snappy salute.

"Oh hey," I said. "I remember you. Angela, isn't it?"

"OMG U REMEMBERED!!1!!!" she squealed excitedly.

"I haven't seen you in a while," I continued. "Where have you been?"

"Ive been following Ash Marten," Angela explained.

"Oho!" I chortled. "Despite all the gambling and bickering, this generation of Ixies shows the most promise! Good initiative there, Angela! That old scoundrel probably didn't even know I had anybody spying on him."

"Im sneaky & sly, Sire," she beamed proudly. "Ash nevar suspected a thing."

"Excellent, excellent, using the Vulpitanians' own tricks against them. This is good! So, what intel were you able to gather?"

Quote:>Angela: Sure that too. Ash is just so dreamy, and that bad boy act he puts on is soooo hot! You list off a number of inconsequential daily activities he goes through while you were playing the stalker and reveling in how attractive you find him for a portly older gentleman. Oh no! You just realized. With Adler, Sam, and now Ash, your love triangle has become a love rectangle! Or a love square. Eek! Quick somebody tell you how many shapes have four corners!
>Adler: *Not paying attention* Sure-sure. As Angela begins foaming at the mouth again, you organize your Ixies and give them a mission: Find out how many of the books the Duchess left behind and destroy them.

0126froth.gif

"Oh, I learned that he is Super Dreamy & Pretty Hot 4 a portly older gent. That bad boy act he puts on is like TEH SMEX 4 realz, LOL but he has his Sensitive Unseelie side 2. He has a different cravat 4 every day of teh week. He collects soggy old books & teeth of people who owe him money. He likes wry toast with black current jam & a fried egg 4 breakfast. ZOMG!!!1! I just realized that with Adler & Adoyret Sam & now Ash, my love triangle is now a love rectangle! Or a love square! Or a love parallelogram! Love trapezoid! Ooooh sisters, how many shapes have 4 corners??"

"There is also a rhombus," one of the other Ixies added glumly as Angela twirled in the air and foamed at the mouth. "Come on back to the hive, Weakflit. Thou hast done enough espionage this day."

"Have her report back to me after she's been thoroughly debriefed," I ordered. "The rest of you have a mission to track down all of the Elvish books left behind by the Duchess of Daisies, and destroy them."

0126gotone.gif

"Oh my delightfully wicked lord," Rebecca called from the other side of the clearing. "When you're done parlaying with your insect-devil servitors, I have come across part of the Overspell. You wanted me to stop and consult you when that happened."
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.
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Quote
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Adler: Right-right. Your new mentoree. Is that a word? You can make it one when you're emperor. That was quick. Alright, let's review.
>Rebecca: Quickly sum up everything you've read so far. At first it sounds like you're grasping the basic concepts, but in your usual way you misinterpretation everything with a dark and wicked edge. You believe Fuma is a dark, bloodthirsty goddess of violence and carnal desires and you believe the harmless japes are meant to cause chaotic ripples that create much more evil and chaotic outcomes further down the line. Like the butterfly effect.
>Adler: Butterfly what now?
>Rebecca: The Butterfly effect. It's like how something small creates a series of events that are much bigger later on. Like how a butterfly flapping its wings causes hurricanes on the other side of the world.
>Adler: . . . Have the lowfolk managed to weaponize their butterflies now too? You'll need to look into this later...
>Adler: Try to suggest to Rebecca that maybe she is over-analyzing things. Maybe, instead of doing mental somersaults to see things in a very specific way, she try to see things as they are right in front of her. Perhaps instead of thinking the author of this book is trying to cause mass chaos through inches, perhaps he is just having some harmless fun that both he and the recipient can laugh over. Also, why on earth does she think Fuma is blood thirsty?
>Rebecca: Because she is a goddess of war.
>Adler: Well... uh... You... There's more to it than that...
Quote
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:Adler: Have a passing thought about Ash's "soggy old books" and how Dutchess' books were waterlogged. Does this mean he managed to nick some of them?

"That was quick," I stated as I ambled over to speak with Rebecca. Then, thinking of something Angela had said, I asked: "Did you say those books you found at the O'Daisies were waterlogged?"

"Oh yes, My Lord," Rebecca replied. "They were starting to swell up and the pages were all curly. I copied out the only parts that were still legible."

Did that mean that Ash had appropriated them? When my Ixie spy recovered from her debriefing, I would have to ask her about the "soggy old books" she saw the old fox collecting.

0202bookreview.gif

"All right, let's see where you got to in the Foxspell," I said, squatting next to her. She indicated a page which contained the text of a familiar Mephitist hymn about Fuma in heaven, singing the elements into existence and then exploding them to create the Shining Land.

"You've made a lot of progress," I observed, noticing how many pages she was into the book already. "That was fast."

"It is a real page-turner, My Lord."

"So this part here says 'lorem ipsum' and is in the language of your so-called Overspell?" I asked, pointing at the hymn.

"Yup."

Quote:Adler: Just ask how many writing styles and languages do those lowfolk have?

"Just out of curiosity, how many languages and writing systems do you lowfolk - I mean mortals - have? Three? Five?"

"Oh, more than that, My Lord," Rebecca giggled. "Why, just on this island there are still old tribal languages for Horse, Rabbit, Dog, Deer, Fox, Wolf, and Potato. They share mostly the same alphabet but the vocabulary and spelling are completely different. Some old timers still write with Ogham, and up north they use Runes. The Monkeys write in funny little jots and dashes, and the fancy ungulates from Spain have an even stranger writing system made of loops and curls."

This was going to be more complicated than I thought.

"Okay then," I said with a shrug. "Tell me what you've learned from reading this book so far."

Quote:>Rebecca: Quickly sum up everything you've read so far. At first it sounds like you're grasping the basic concepts, but in your usual way you misinterpretation everything with a dark and wicked edge.

"Well, Fuma is the supreme Goddess of the heathen elves, and this fun-loving trickster Reynard is her worshipper and consort."

"Yes, yes," I said encouragingly. "And how would you describe Fuma after reading this?"

"Fuma is great," Rebecca grinned. "She is beautiful and terrible, truly a formidable force of nature, a dark and bloodthirsty goddess of violence and carnal desires who bends mortals - especially males - to her will. Reynard's hilarious japes are not only an act of worship but are also meant to cause chaotic ripples that destabilize the rational order, sowing the seeds of evil and creating much more chaotic outcomes further into the future. Like the butterfly effect."

"Butterfly what now?" I interjected.

"The butterfly effect," Rebecca reiterated. "It's the way something small creates a series of events that become much bigger later on. Like how a butterfly flapping its wings causes hurricanes on the other side of the world."

What was the meaning of this? Did lowfolk butterflies truly possess such terrible power? I made a mental note to investigate further when I had the time.

"I think you might be over-analyzing things," I told Rebecca. "Instead of constantly viewing things through the lens of your very specific preconceptions, try to see things as they are right in front of you. Perhaps instead of thinking the author of this book is trying to cause mass chaos through inches, he might just be having some harmless fun that both he and the recipient can laugh over. Also, why on earth would you think Fuma is bloodthirsty?"

"Because she is a goddess of war," Rebecca replied. "Reynard sees her for the first time hovering over a battlefield, and she is drawn to him because he's the sole survivor of the melee."

"Well... uh..." I countered. "You are, uh, technically correct, but there's more to it than that."

She blinked at me expectantly, obviously waiting for me to elaborate.

Quote:And cross-check Foxspell and confirmed Elvish copied writing with Vernier for reference.

"Hang on a second," I blurted, suddenly thinking of something. I grabbed the Foxspell from her and stood up. "I need to show this to Vernier and Burnside, to find out if they can read it and if they get the same thing out of it that you did."
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
>There are a few ways this could go...
1:
>Burnside is so far gone down the unseelie path that she cannot read any of the Foxspell.
>Vernier cannot read any of the book either.
>If Rebecca can read some elf books while Vernier cannot read any, that poses the question: Why?
2:
>Burnside can read some of the book which gives Adler the slim hope that maybe, just maybe, he can turn her away from the path she's on to walk a more noble one.
>Vernier can read some of the Foxspell, but less than Rebecca was on the first try.
>It seems Rebecca is more open to elf lore than the average lowfolk. This might be because she is so far removed from what most lowfolk nowadays are concerned with. This makes Rebecca potentially very useful as an acolyte/agent. Though, the only way you can make use of this untapped potential is if you can find a way to make her less of an idiot.

>Adler: After pondering on the information you've gotten out of Vernier and Burnside, Rebecca is still waiting for you to explain the difference between Fuma and the average blood-thirsty deity of war.
Quote
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Burnside can read some of the book
>Vernier can read some of the Foxspell, but less than Rebecca was on the first try.
>It seems Rebecca is more open to elf lore than the average lowfolk. This might be because she is so far removed from what most lowfolk nowadays are concerned with. This makes Rebecca potentially very useful as an acolyte/agent. Though, the only way you can make use of this untapped potential is if you can find a way to make her less of an idiot.

"Both of you take a look and tell me what you make of this," I said, as I handed the Foxspell to Vernier. She held it open while Burnside got dressed, and they skimmed through it together.

0209interestin.gif

"This is interestin," Burnside muttered. "I wasn't raised Mephitist, but Fuma seems all right. She likes the same things I like: Venery and killin."

"She also seems to have quite a sense of humor," Vernier added.

"What language is the book written in?" I asked.

"Standard Elvish," Burnside answered.

"It's mostly English," Vernier stated. "Is English the same as Elvish? The 'lorem ipsum' parts resemble Wolfish. However, it's nonsense. These words don't mean anything."

"Which section is written in Wolfish?" I inquired.

"Well, as I said, it's not really Wolfish - and I am by no means an expert in that language - but the first few pages are written entirely in pseudo-Wolfish gibberish."

"What are you talkin' about?" Burnside interjected. "That was a real attention-gettin' intro, with Reynard describin' the carnage of the battlefield."

"Are you certain? Oh!" Vernier flipped back to the front of the book. "I could have sworn this was all nonsense, but now, yes ... yuck ... it is a rather graphic description. Where then was the nonsense passage I saw?" She flipped back and forth a few pages before declaring "It's gone."

"How about this?" I asked, flipping to the hymn that had stopped Rebecca.

"That's in pseudo-Wolfish," Vernier declared. "Maybe that's the passage I saw, but I could have sworn it was right in the front of the book."

"What do you see there, Burnside?"

"High in heaven the Lady sat," Burnside read. "She sat and spun as there she sat, and as she sat and spun, she sang. First she sang a single thing. The simple stone she sang: Become! And from her song the stone became. The stone she sang she sat and spun, she spun the stone upon her wheel ... this is boring."

"Do you see all of that now?" I asked Vernier.

"No. It still says 'lorem ipsum dolor sit amet' and so on."

I thanked the femmes and took the book from them.

This was odd. Burnside could obviously read the whole thing, which made sense because she was an elf. Vernier apparently could read parts of it, but for some reason she could access less of it than Rebecca could. Did this mean the silly rabbit was more attuned to elfly things? Why couldn't it have been Vernier instead? Ah well, it probably meant that Rebecca was a valuable asset, if I could figure out a way to make her less daft.

Quote:>Random Butterfly: flutter by and give Adler the stink-eye.

0209butterfly.gif

My thoughts were interrupted as a butterfly flitted past, and I flinched. What horrible destruction was it wreaking in some faraway place at this very moment? Did it LOOK at me, as it fluttered by? I definitely was going to have to keep my eye on these butterflies. They could be a more dangerous foe than the Duchess of Daisies! But if I could persuade them to work for me...

Quote:>Adler: After pondering on the information you've gotten out of Vernier and Burnside, Rebecca is still waiting for you to explain the difference between Fuma and the average blood-thirsty deity of war.
>Adler: Make a mental note to check if Potato language is similar to what the Trees and Shrubs speak in, just in case the Lowfolk figured out Treespeek as well.
>Adler: ask what language & writing the Foxspell appears to be for Rebecca, and then check it with Vernier.
>Adler: Wonder for a second if this "technically correct" Fuma as a War Goddess is how other lowfolk would see her as, as well? Is this how your ancestors thought of her too? Times were more bloody back then, after all...

0209fumascool.gif

I strolled back to where Rebecca was sitting, seemingly meditating, and squatted next to her.

"So tell me, My Lord," she said, opening her eyes. "How is Fuma different from a typical war god? Our Cosmic Ram, you know, used to be a tribal war god. He's not even ours, because he's a Ram and we are rabbits. He shed plenty of blood on behalf of his original tribe in the Ancient Chronicle, but at the beginning of the More Recent Chronicle he sired the Blessed Baby Bunny on the Virgin Bunny Mama, and fatherhood seemed to turn him into a real lame-o. The Reverends insist he is all about nurturing and caring and being nice, but those were definitely not on his list of priorities in the old days. Whenever I pointed out how the Cosmic Ram had changed, they would get mad and put me in detention. They say he is eternal and unchanging and has always been the same ... well if that's the case he must still love a good massacre. Saying things like that would get me DOUBLE detention. You wouldn't believe their reaction when I pointed out that the Ram seemed to be fond of begetting."

"Uh ... I guess Fuma is kind of like that," I answered reluctantly. "But she never became a 'lame-o.' She is the goddess of passions, which include war and venery. She rules over creation as well as destruction, because life and death are a cycle. They are complimentary forces. New life springs forth from the decay of old dead things. However, the Seelie tend to focus on the bright, warm, creative side."

"So then," Rebecca replied. "It is the duty of us Unseelie to counterbalance that by bringing darkness, wreaking havoc, and sowing chaos in every way we can. Somebody has to destroy, clearing the slate so new creation can happen. In this way, we too serve the Lady. Have I got that right?"

"Gal catches on quick!" Burnside cackled from across the clearing.

Good heavens! Is this how lowfolk thought of Fuma? For that matter, is this how Fuma was thought of by elves in the Long Ago? Was she originally just a bloodthirsty war goddess? I made a mental note to never let Rebecca read the Irenaead. The coolest parts of that epic were also the most violent.
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
>Burnside: You're glad Rebecca is coming back around to your way of thinking. You have so much to teach her about being unseelie! Like how to skin people alive and wear their hides like a flesh suit!
>Rebecca: Oh yeah, you forgot for a moment that Burnside makes being Unseelie sound horrible and disgusting. Is there any other way to be Unseelie without skinning people and getting covered in guts?
>Burnside: Not unless she wants to do it right?
>Adler: Technically yes, but seriously, is this truly the path Rebecca wants to go down? You remember when She first stumbled into this stone circle, how she was openly concerned for her father's safety when you temporarily turned him into a poodle and how she was horrified when she thought you had killed those Bunkirk thugs when it was only elfshot. She was worried about them even though she claimed to hate them. This doesn't sound like someone destined to be unseelie. Based on what you've heard her say, her life in Bunkirk was so repressed that she left looking for an outlet, but she's veering too far over to the other extreme. You ask her earnestly: if she really did receive all the power she desired, the ability to burn down villages with a thought and turn people into statues, would she do it? Could she really look someone in the eyes and curse them into oblivion?
>Rebecca: . . .
>Adler: What you are offering her is a very real way to experience everything she was denied in her old home. Not some dark fantasy, but the ability to pursue mischief and magic, real magic, and she can still be as witchy and brooding and wear as much black as she wants. She is on the cusp of living out her fantasy and she's excited, but she needs to focus and actually listen to what you are saying to her. Can she at least try to do that? You are positive that she will like what lies on the seelie path.
>Rebecca: Well... You guess you can try... Doing tricks and mischeif does sound more fun than everyone hating and being scared of you... OH! You can read the next part of the book now!
Quote
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Burnside: You're glad Rebecca is coming back around to your way of thinking. You have so much to teach her about being unseelie! Like how to skin people alive and wear their hides like a flesh suit!

0216learnya.gif

"Since you're on the Unseelie path," Burnside giggled excitedly as she trotted over to us, "I can teach you a few tips an' tricks about the best ways to skin folks alive an' wear their hide as a suit. It's a real hoot if you can do an impression of 'em in their skin while you carve up their hocks for vittles. Always gets a big reaction."

"Oh right," Rebecca muttered. "I forgot for a moment that the Raccoon Monster makes being Unseelie sound horrible and disgusting. Are you even an elf, really?"

"Course I am!" Burnside insisted.

"She is," I admitted. "As Unseelie as they come. Where did you get that knife? I thought I confiscated all of them."

"You didn't look everywhere, sugar," Burnside explained with a salacious grin.

"Is there any other way to be Unseelie without skinning people and getting covered in guts?" Rebecca asked.

"Not if you wanna do it right," Burnside declared.

"Shoo," I said to Burnside. "I need to talk to my disciple privately."

"You're tryin' to ruin that gal," Burnside grumbled with a sad shake of her head.

0216urseelie.gif

"Is this truly the path you want to go down?" I asked Rebecca after Burnside had shuffled away. "Remember when you first stumbled into this stone circle, how concerned you were for your father's safety when I temporarily transmogrified him into a poodle? Remember how you were horrified when you thought I had killed those Bunkirk thugs, even though it was only Elfshot? You were worried about them even though you claimed to hate them. This doesn't sound like someone destined to be Unseelie. Based on what I've heard you say, your life in Bunkirk was very repressed. You left looking for some sort of outlet, but you're overcompensating and veering too far over to the other extreme, simply through your desire to rebel against those social restraints. I ask you earnestly: If you really did gain all the power you desire, the ability to burn down villages with a thought and turn people into statues, would you do it? Never mind gutting someone and turning them into stew like the Raccoon Monster over there does. Without even getting your hands dirty, could you really look someone in the eyes and curse them into oblivion?"

"Well, umm ..."

"What I'm offering you," I continued, before she had a chance to think too hard about it, "is a very real way to experience everything you were denied in your old home. I'm not talking about some creepy violent dark fantasy that will only end with you living all alone in the roots of a hollow tree, shunned by everyone and constantly hunted by angry townsfolk -"

"Don't knock it til you've tried it," Burnside called from across the clearing.

"Private conversation!" I yelled back. Turning again to Rebecca, I continued: "I'm offering you the chance to pursue mischief and magick - REAL MAGICK - and have fun, bringing joy to others as well as to yourself. You can still be as witchy and brooding and wear as much black as you want."

"What about the Revels? If being Unseelie means I get to have wild venery -"

"The Seelie have revels too," I insisted.

"With venery though?"

"With venery," I confirmed. "There's nothing wicked about venery. Fuma does not forbid it from anyone. You keep interpreting everything based on what your lowfolk Bunny church has taught you, but that kind of skewed morality doesn't apply here. You can be free without being evil or Unseelie. Look, I know you are on the cusp of living out your fantasy and you're excited, but you need to focus and listen to what I'm actually saying instead of what you think I'm saying. Can you at least try to do that? I am confident that you will like what lies on the Seelie path."

"Well... I guess I can try," Rebecca reluctantly agreed. "Doing tricks and mischief does sound more fun than being hated by everyone."

"Very good. Now, let's resume your study of the Foxspell. First, tell me what language it is written in."

"It's in English, of course," she stated as she took the book and quickly flipped to the page where she had stopped before. "Except for the Overspell, which is in some arcane and mystical tongue - OH!"

Quote:You can read the next part of the book now!

0216golly.gif

"The Overspell!" she exclaimed. "It's gone! Right there is the last paragraph I read, but now instead of 'Lorem ipsum,' the line beneath it says 'High in heaven the Lady sat.' What happened?"

"Your so-called 'Overspell' is nothing but gibberish," I explained. "It is a magickal smoke-screen which conceals information that the reader is not prepared to understand."
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
>Rebecca: Oh! Magically enchanted text. That's... Actually pretty cool! Could you learn to do that?
>Adler: *Can lowfolk learn to do things like that? Do you know how to do that anyway?*
>Adler: Regardless, that comes later. Rebecca must continue her studies of the Foxspell. Internally: you also are not going to teach her any secrets until you're sure she wont just use them to turn people into frogs or something.
>Burnside: You are quietly sulking, you were hoping to finally have someone to share your hobbies with...
>Adler: Head to Vernier while Rebecca reads. Is there anything left you need to discuss? This has been a very productive, and very long, day.
>Vernier: You are earnestly smiling at Adler. You are very impressed and very pleased with the pep-talk he gave Rebecca. Adler is actively helping change someone's life for the better.You are sure he will make an excellent emperor.
>Adler: This compliment makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.
Quote
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Rebecca: Oh! Magically enchanted text. That's... Actually pretty cool! Could you learn to do that?
>Adler: *Can lowfolk learn to do things like that? Do you know how to do that anyway?*

0223maybe.gif

"Wow," Rebecca exclaimed. "That's really neat. Can I learn to write magically enchanted secret text?"

"Maybe..." I mused. Could she? Was that something lowfolk could learn? I wasn't even sure how to do it myself. "That comes later. For now, you must continue studying the Foxspell until you are ready for more advanced material."

It was probably best not to teach this femme any secrets until I could be sure that she wouldn't just use them to turn people into frogs or something.

"Get back to reading, and I'll check on you in a while."

Quote:>Burnside: You are quietly sulking, you were hoping to finally have someone to share your hobbies with...

0223rassafrass.gif

I strolled across the clearing towards Vernier, and passed Burnside, who gave me a surly look.

"What's wrong with you?" I asked.

"Dagnabbit," the raccoon replied. "You're a corruptin' influence. That gal coulda been somebody I could finally share my hobbies with, and you done went all turnin' her Seelie. How come I ain't allowed to have any friends?"

"You would have more friends if you weren't so violent," I explained. "People don't like having to worry about whether you're going to cut them to pieces."

"That's their problem," Burnside sulked.

"Sounds to me like it's your problem. You're the one who's alone when you don't have to be. Try being nicer."

Quote:>Adler: Head to Vernier while Rebecca reads. Is there anything left you need to discuss? This has been a very productive, and very long, day.
>Vernier: You are earnestly smiling at Adler. You are very impressed and very pleased with the pep-talk he gave Rebecca.
>Adler: This compliment makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

Approaching Vernier, I asked her "Is there any additional business we need to discuss? It's been quite a long and busy day."

0223welldone.gif

"That was well done, Sir," Vernier said to me with a smile. "The pep talk you gave Rebecca was exactly what she needed to hear, and you handled Miss Burnside very well too. You are actively helping change someone's life for the better. I feel sure that you will make an excellent Emperor one day."

"Durrr," I replied sagaciously.
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
>Vernier: While Adler definitely still needs to work on how to talk to lowfolk femmes (particularly you), you feel very sure that he is on the right path this time. You know, Adler really is charming in a very clumsy sort of way. *sigh* If only... No, it wouldn't be right.
>Adler: Durrrrrr- * Wait, what did she just say?
>Vernier: It's nothing worth pursuing, honest. It was a selfish thought to begin with. She swore she would help Adler, not take advantage of him.
>Adler: She said you were charming? She thinks you're charming and you weren't even using wiles! *You have the biggest dopey grin on your face.*
>Burnside: *Quietly* Why doesn't he ever act that way around you? Are you really that repulsive? Is it your height? Are you not pretty enough? Maybe your (lowfolk) Pa was right...
>Vernier: Desperately try to get Adler to focus on business. You stutter clumsily as you try to redirect the conversation. The only person left that you can think of that Adler should talk to is Oak Marten. Adler should talk to her to get the Marten family's side of the story. He can also grill her for more information on Ash and maybe even convince the Marten family to finance Adler's ventures again. Depending on whether they're managing to recuperate from their losses.
>Adler: Hurrrr Durrrr, she said you were charming!
>Vernier: Rub your temples. Yes, Adler can be charming, and he can also be *VERY* frustrating...
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

"You still need to work on how to talk to femmes," Vernier observed, "but I feel very sure that you're on the right path this time. You know, you are actually quite charming in a very clumsy sort of way. If only... No, it wouldn't be right."

Quote:>Adler: Durrrrrr- * Wait, what did she just say?

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"Charming?" I blurted, cutting straight to the heart of her argument. "You really think so? Do go on!"

"No," she demurred. "It's nothing worth pursuing, honest. It was a selfish thought to begin with. I promised I would help you, not take advantage of you."

Quote:>Adler: She said you were charming? She thinks you're charming and you weren't even using wiles! *You have the biggest dopey grin on your face.*
>Burnside: *Quietly* Why doesn't he ever act that way around you? Are you really that repulsive? Is it your height? Are you not pretty enough? Maybe your (lowfolk) Pa was right...

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"You can take advantage a little bit," I pointed out. "I won't mind."

"Sir, we need to keep this professional," Vernier insisted. "Forget I said anything."

"How can I ever forget?" I sighed. "You think I'm charming and I wasn't even using Wiles!"

"Why don't he act that way around me?" Burnside muttered somewhere behind me. "Is it my breath? Ain't I purty enough? Was Pa right all along?"

Quote:>Vernier: Desperately try to get Adler to focus on business. You stutter clumsily as you try to redirect the conversation.
>Adler: Hurrrr Durrrr, she said you were charming!

"No no no," Vernier stammered. "Everyone, listen! Let's get back on track. I momentarily forgot myself, and I apologize."

"I forgive you," I sighed. "But only for the crime of not sharing your feelings sooner!"

"Sir, please. I think you should talk to Oak Marten."

"Why? Does she think I'm charming too?"

"I have no idea," Vernier shrugged. "If I had to guess, I'd say probably not, but that's not important! You need to talk to her to get the Marten family's side of the story. She can provide more information on Ash and maybe even convince the Marten family to support your further ventures, like they did with the hair salons. That's assuming they've managed to recoup their losses from ... on second thought, it might be best not to bring that up."

"I'd rather talk to you," I purred. "You're quite charming, yourself. Much more so than Oak."

Quote:>Vernier: Rub your temples. Yes, Adler can be charming, and he can also be *VERY* frustrating...

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"Argh," Vernier groaned as she rubbed her temples. "I really regret letting that slip."
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: Oh, the poor thing! Gallantly volunteer to massage her temples for her.
>Vernier: Beg Adler to please stay focused. It's already hard enough for you to keep your promise.
>Adler: She promised to help you. Returning your affections can be considered helping you, by your reckoning anyway. She couldn't possibly be taking advantage of you if you're completely okay with it.
>Vernier: He's not going to let it go. As always, you managed to screw things up. Bury your face in your hands. Why is it when you try to help someone, you always fail?
>Adler: Your smitten mind snaps out of it and you become fully lucid again. "Wait, what?"
>Vernier: The stress of recent events finally gets the better of you and your calm demeanor finally breaks. If Adler really wants to know, FINE! You are developing feelings for him! He's a charming, endearing goofball and hearing his life story showed how alike the two of you are! He's a well meaning person that wants to do the right thing yet always falls short, just like you! When you first came out here, your intentions were completely selfish, you thought you'd have some fun with an elf and maybe get some gold or a wish if he let you braid his hair. Then when you saw how terrified he was and heard his life's story you became ashamed of yourself. You swore you'd help Adler, but you've already failed him when the hair cult fell apart, and now you're right back at that moment when you first arrived. You can't, you just can't allow him to fall for you. No matter how much it hurts, Adler needs an elf to free him so he can save Faerie. If the two of you fall for each other all it will cause is heartache and possibly destroy his destiny.
>Adler: How many times has she failed helping people?
>Adler: In a complete role reversal of what happened last time, you must hold and comfort Vernier as she did for you while she begins to tearfully spill her guts to you.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Adler: Oh, the poor thing! Gallantly volunteer to massage her temples for her.
>Vernier: Beg Adler to please stay focused. It's already hard enough for you to keep your promise.
>Adler: She promised to help you. Returning your affections can be considered helping you, by your reckoning anyway. She couldn't possibly be taking advantage of you if you're completely okay with it.

"You poor dear!" I exclaimed, seeing Vernier's distress. "Let me massage your temples for you."

"Please stay focused, sir," she moaned. "It's already hard enough for me to keep my promise."

"You promised to help me," I pointed out. "Returning my affections would be a huge help."

"I got a sure-fire cure for a headache," Burnside interjected from behind me. "We'll just have to amputate."

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"TOUCH HER AND YOU WILL KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO SUFFER," I snarled.

Burnside stared at me in astonishment. "Holy Fuma," she sighed. "Adler honey, you oughta talk like that more often."

I ignored her and grasped Vernier's hand. "It's not taking advantage if I ask you to do it," I crooned.

"Well, I've screwed things up again," Vernier declared sadly. "Why is it when I try to help someone, I always fail?"

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"What do you mean?" I inquired.

"Fine then, if you must know .. I have developed some affectionate feelings for you! You're a charming, endearing goofball, and hearing your life story showed how alike we are! You're a well meaning person who wants to do the right thing, yet due to ill luck and cruel circumstance, you always fall short, just like me! When I first came out here, my intentions were completely selfish. I thought I'd have some fun with an elf and maybe get some gold or a wish if I let you braid my hair. When I saw how terrified you were, you reminded me of my little brother, and when I heard your life story you reminded me of myself. I swore I'd help you, but I've already failed. The hair cult has completely fallen apart, and now I'm right back at that moment when I first arrived. I can't allow you to fall for me. You need an elf-femme of noble blood to free you so you can save Faerie. If the two of us fall for each other it will only end in heartache and possibly destroy your destiny."

"There there," I soothed. "It can't be that bad. How many times have you really failed helping people?"

"Oh sir, more than you'd expect," she stated, with trembling whiskers and a wavering voice.
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
*Hops onto the Pateon to view the story*

Man....I'm hoping you upload that pic of Alder snarling to Furaffinity.

>Vernier's story: Be very heartbreaking.

>Adler: Feels the sads.

>Burnside: Loves the story; wants more.

>Burnside: Catches a crafty look from Vernier. Could she be lying?  Should you warn Adler?
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Adler: In a complete role reversal of what happened last time, you must hold and comfort Vernier as she did for you while she begins to tearfully spill her surprisingly dark and tragic backstory to you.
>Vernier: Your very first failure was when you were unable to help your mother when she went into premature labor with your brother while your father was out working. She was frail and sickly at the time, she didn't survive. Your last words to her was a promise that you'd look after your father and brother. Not that the promise amounted to much, you failed your mother's dying wish and let her down. Even though he never raised his hand or voice against you or your brother, your father drank himself to death over his grief. You pleaded with him for years to stop, but it did nothing. After bouncing around different jobs for a time after, you got a well paying job as a secretary to Duke Rolf Tornmier. You had hoped the extra money would give you and your brother a better life, but you were so wrapped up in your new position you failed to notice that your brother had fallen in with a bad crowd. One day your brother's "friends" decided to involve him in an attempted robbery of a nobleman. It went completely south and they left your brother behind to take the fall for them. Your brother was arrested and sentenced to hang. You begged the Duke to pardon him, but to no avail. Your brother's last words were him screaming about how sorry he was. Every time you try to help anyone you either fail horribly or make things even worse than they started. Your best friend married her abusive boyfriend, despite your pleading, last you saw her she was a miserable shell of her former self. You once even tried volunteering at an orphanage only for some lunatic beaver woman to burn it down. The list goes on and on, and now this. Maybe you should just stop trying. Your deluge of tears renders you into an inconsolable wreck.
>Adler: The urgency you feel allows you to push your star-struck puppy-love aside and think clearly. As you try to console and calm Vernier down, you use elf mind on her to see what's going through her head. The whirlwind of emotions going through her head let's you know her feelings are genuine.
(03-11-2022, 01:54 AM)Tai-1 Wrote: »>Burnside: Catches a crafty look from Vernier. Could she be lying?  Should you warn Adler?
>Burnside: Your warped and unseelie mind prevents you from understanding someone who genuinely offers help while expecting nothing in return. Despite that Vernier is too busy choking on her own tears and snot to give crafty looks of any kind, your jealous mind decides that she is only trying to manipulate him, like something you would do. You quietly decide that whatever realtionship they have forming, you will break it apart. One way or another...
(>I don't remember if Vernier's brother was ever given a name, if he hasn't It's entirely up to tegerioreo what it should be.)
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