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
SpoilerShow

Quote:Could the Ixie move the.. thing? Or perhaps at least get a better observation of it which might give you something to grasp on.
(unless the magical protection from tempering also applies to being touched at which point yer outa luck for now)

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

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

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

0320thathing.gif

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

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

"Any idea what it's made of?"

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

"How big is it?"

"Larger than myself, forsooth."

"Do you think you could move it?"

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

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

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

I began to have an idea.

0320lugosi.gif

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Hey You!" I tried. No good.

"Whosit!"

"So-and-so!"

"Wossname!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I concentrated and did a sweep,

0320meagre.gif

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

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

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

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

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

0320nibble.gif

"No wonder you're so stunted if that's what you eat," Ethel remarked. "When you left so abruptly, I figured something was wrong, because usually you jabber on and on mindlessly. I figure you're maybe a little bit incompetent but at least you're trying, so I made some sandwiches. Looks like I arrived just in time."
The Ballad of Adler Young: Silly furry elf adventure. Read the RECAP: http://adleryoung.tumblr.com
Steampup: Surreal dog-headed Victorian adventure. Winterbough Saga Wiki: Everything we know about Faerie, its history & inhabitants.
See an edited recap of Zandar's Saga, and new pages at my Patreon. Peruse original music at Bandcamp. Or you could just Buy Me a Coffee.
*Adorable plum-munching Mavis avatar by the incomparable Tronn.
Quote


Messages In This Thread
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5 - by a52 - 08-22-2016, 07:26 PM
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5 - by a52 - 09-08-2016, 04:46 AM
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5 - by a52 - 09-30-2016, 04:05 AM
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5 - by tegerioreo - 03-21-2019, 02:42 AM