It has been yet another very long week at the working place for this one, and again I found myself at the week's end denied the companionship of my sweet dear Hazel, as she was to visiting of her sister in the Ypsilanti Town. Evidently this sister has successfully spawned a meager litter of three offspring, and requires much aid with the care, feeding and protection of these offspring from predators, disease and whaling vessels. Plausibly she also is in need of protection from the ravenous hungers of the offspring; I do openly admit that my understanding of human spawning and development is, as of yet, far from complete.
I hope to have opportunities to study these offspring in the up-close so as to further enrich my vast knowledge of humanity. But all requests to see the spawned Triple-Lets have been summarily turned down due to the fact readily apparent that my visage is terrible to behold for a full-grown man-ape, and it would be doubly so for an infant-ape, and triply-doubly so for three infant man-apes.
So, as has become my own habit as of late, I have spent the weekend evening playing of The Game of Roles, wherein we venture into the fertile fields of our imaginations and conquer the foes we face therein. It is, in most regards, a touchingly Jungian activity, although none of us have yet to reach a "breakthrough" of any notable sort.
It is my greatest pleasure and shame to have this opportunity to relate to you the continuing story of my band of brothers and our heroic war upon the orcs of Agrathor, as played out in our game of Dungeons Full Of Dragons.
To recap quickly the personae dramatis involved:
Where once I was the Giant Squid, former President of these Estados Unificados and scourge of the internets, in terms Dungeonish and Endragonated, I have become Timmy Wu, mace-wielding, bipedal, mammalian, fur-bearing Priest of the Deep Ones Below.
Joining me on my quest were:
The orchestrator of our adventure and master of our destinies was, as ever, my neighbor and co-worker Donny MacPherson, though in terms of the Roling Game he is referred to by his honorific of the Games Master, or Gee Em.
GeeEm: Okay, where did we leave off? You were at a junction of two hallways. Since you fell through the ceiling, that gives you four choices of which way to proceed: Hallway One echoes with gruff voices in the distant; Hallway Two reeks of orcish cooking; Hallway Three is totally dark and quiet; and the Fourth bears sounds of clashing chains and roaring and maybe a few screams.
GeeEm: What do you do?
SlayMaster: Which ever we choose, we need to stick together.
Gandalf: Fuck that noise. We need to split up. If we stick together we're gonna get wiped out all once by some fucked up orcish torturer or trapped-chest-spiked-cockaxe-monkeything.
TimmyWu: I AM VERY CONFUSED AT THIS POINT. ONE WOULD THINK THAT WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER, LIKE THE AESOPIAN FABLE OF THE BROTHERS CARRYING THE FAGGOT. BUT IF WE DO STAY WITH THE NUMBERS-BY-WAY-OF-STRENGTH WE COULD EASILY BE ALL FELLED IN ONE STROKE OF THE REAPER'S FICKLE SCYTHE?
SlayMaster: Did you just say if we all stay together we're fags?
Orluin O'Duighhnasse: No, he's referencing the myth of the two fighting brothers. In order to get them to stop fighting, their father pulls out a bundle of sticks and shows that you can easily snap the sticks individually, but as a bundle they are too strong to snap. The bundle of sticks used to be called a "faggot."
SlayMaster: Oh, that. That actually makes sense.
Gandalf: So we stay together and we're a collective faggot? Yeah, that's a great argument. I say we go down the totally silent and dark hallway.
Orluin O'Duighhnasse: I would like to hide in the shadows and examine the roaring hallway.
Slaymaster: Nah guys, the hallway full of voices must be their guards. If we hit that maybe we can get their treasure?
Orluin O'Duighhnasse: Surely the roaring is some sort of guard beast, their plunder and riches must lie therein.
TimmyWu: MY PREVIOUS PLAN, AS ONE SHALL WELL NOTE, WAS TO POISON THEIR FOODS AND BEFOUL THEIR WATERS. THE COOKING "SMELLS", ONE WOULD PRESUME, SHALL LEAD US TOWARD SWIFT EXECUTION OF MY PLAN. I DENY NOT THAT STEALING OF THE TREASURES IS FINE AND GOOD AS A GOAL, ALL MATTERS BEING EQUAL, BUT THIS IS A CASE WHERE MATTERS ARE IN NO SUCH MANNER EQUILATERAL: THE QUAINT AND BETAVERNÉD TOWN WE BEGAN AT IS TORMENTED NIGHTLY BY THESE ORCS. IF WE TAKE THEIR TREASURE, THEY WILL ONLY ROB THE TOWN MORE FREQUENTLY, BURN IT MORE COMPLETELY, SALT IT MORE VIGOROUSLY AND RAPE IT MORE ARDENTLY, GROWING ANGRIER WITH EVERY TORCH WIELDING GRABFUL THRUST OF THEIR HORNY, THORNY LOINS. WHAT WE NEED EXECUTE IS A PERMANENT AND FINAL SOLUTION TO THE ORCISH PROBLEM. WHAT WE NEED, MY BROTHERS, IS SLAUGHTER COMPLETE!
Gandalf: Fuck yeah! All hail Timmy Wu's Deep Ones, the gods from below!
SlayMaster: So do we serve our own interests and loot the place and run, or do we kill everything in here and save the town, but probably die ourselves in the process?
Orluin O'Duighhnasse: Is it possible to use cold-blooded murder and genocide to make the world a better place? My people believe that no orcs should live. But I, what do I believe? Unnecessary violence seems so unnecessary. Killing women and children?
Gandalf: They're fucking orcs.
TimmyWu: AND DO NOT THE HISTORIES TEACH THAT WOMEN AND CHILDREN ARE OFT THE VICIOUSMOST OF ALL?
Orluin O'Duighhnasse: And yet. Yes, in the name of the safety of this village I say we kill them. Kill them all and let the Deep Gods of Timmy Wu sort them out.
TimmyWu: TO THE KITCHENS! TO THE SLAUGHTER! TO HISTORY!
GeeEm: Keep in mind that this is all an abandoned mine. So, you walk down the mine shaft towards the cooking smells. The shafts are lit by torches spaced very far apart, so that there is plenty of darkness between the pools of light. The shaft opens onto a slightly larger room that has been messily widened to accommodate a whole series of simmering cauldrons, and wooden tables. The cauldrons are full of food, and the tables are piled in veggies that you suspect are scavenged from the village farms. Chained to the cauldron and tables are a dozen human women chopping food and cooking. Behind them, in this cramped room are three orcs, lightly armored, all with crossbows. They are awake and lively and watching the women closely. What do you want to do?
SlayMaster: Human women?
TimmyWu: PERHAPS THEY ARE THE INTENDED ENTREE DU JOUR?
Gandalf: Fucked up.
SlayMaster: Whoa, it seems really unlikely that they're gonna eat those ladies. They're probably daughters of the townspeople.
TimmyWu: ENSLAVED BY THE ORCS TO PREPARE THEIR DAILY REPASTS?
SlayMaster: Yeah. Cooking wenches. Sculleries. Err, scullion maids. Whatever.
Orluin O'Duighhnasse: We should kill them.
SlayMaster: Fuckin what?
Orluin O'Duighhnasse: We can't possibly save them, or get them out of here alive. We came here to do a job. A mission. We need to rid this mine of orcs, and we need to sacrifice the few to save the many. Who knows what horrid tortures have been visited upon them? It would be a mercy to end their short, brutal lives.
Gandalf: That's cold, my elven brother. I mean, I'm a badass wizard an all, but we can't just slaughter civilians. Can we?
TimmyWu: THERE IS ANOTHER OPTION. GANDALF, MY MIGHTY WIZARD FRIEND, YOU KNOW SPELLS OF UNLOCKING, AM I CORRECT? COULD YOU UNLOCK THEIR CHAINS OF ENSLAVEMENT FROM THIS GREAT DISTANCE? IF SO, WE COULD GIVE THESE POOR FEMALES A FIGHTING CHANCE AGAINST THEIR CAPTORS. WE FIRE ARROWS AND CAST SPELLS AND ATTACK HERE, FROM THE SHADOWS. IF THE SLAVES SURVIVE, WE CAN HIDE THEM HERE, IN PLAIN SIGHT UNTIL WE ARE DONE.
SlayMaster: What do we have to lose?
And here, Dear Readers, we engaged in a mighty battle. Many swift and terrible dice were rolled. Several of the dice came up twenties, and none were lower than twelve. The orcs fell swiftly, and no slaves were hurt at all. At one time, my deepest regret as a deposed ex-President was that I never got my proper opportunity to bombard the Il Papa's precious Vatican with nickels. Having witnessed the swiftity and efficience of this mode of dire battle, I now have two great ex-Presidential regrets: the first, still, is that I did not reign buffalo-headed death upon Vatican City, but the second—and second only by the barest inches—is that I did not have the knowledge or opportunity to introduce before those United Nations this far more gentlemanly form of combat. How many Iraqis, now dead, would yet still be alive and sipping tea had we, as a nation, elected to fight our wars with die-of-the-4s, 8s or 20s in lieu of using the carbines, stryker assault vehicles and smartly bombs? How many maimed and KIAed soldiers would still be whole and wholly alive had their largest concerns been their THAC0s and Hit Points as opposed to shoddy body armor and improvisierte explosive Vorrichtung? It is a brave, new world with such things innit. I believe, when the smoke and dust had cleared and the orcish cries died to whispers and then silence, that when we looked about and saw what we had done, that at that moment of time SlayMaster wept with the joy.
SlayMaster: Everyone lives!
Orluin O'Duighhnasse: Okay, we explain to the women our purpose and ask them to pretend they are still chained while we do our duty.
Gandalf: I want to hide the orc bodies in the cauldron. Also, are the chicks, I mean, are their clothes all tore up? Can we see the goods? Are there any hot ones, cause if so I totally want to cash in some good will later. Or now, if there are any comfortable corners around.
SlayMaster: And we can tell the women to tell any orcs that happen along that the guards just left.
GeeEm: They agree, pulling their ample rags around their chilly shoulders, and mention that the number of orcs staffing this mine has been dramatically decreased lately. It seems they used to have proper orcish cooks, but slowly replaced them with the human slaves.
Gandalf: Yeah, I fucking hate orcs as much as I love the ladies.
SlayMaster: What? You love fucking orcs as much as you hate the ladies?
Gandalf: Fuck you, Ivan.
SlayMaster: Call me SlayMaster, you orc-o-sexual.
TimmyWu: IT WAS AN INITIAL DISPLAY OF STRENGTH THEN, TO SECURE THE TERRITORY, AND NOW THAT THE TOWNSFOLK OFFER AS MUCH RESISTANCE AS A MILKWEED OR SCALLOP THEY MOVE THE BULK OF THEIR FORCES ON TO CAPTURE A NEW TERRITORY. THE QUESTION THAT LOOMS, THOUGH, IS DO THEY KEEP ALL OF THE TREASURE HERE, OR IS IT SENT ONWARDS TO A CENTRAL FACILITY? ALSO, IF THERE IS A LARGER ORCISH GROUP THAT IS MANAGING AND CONTROLLING THIS OUTPOST, THEN DESTROYING THESE ORCS WILL BE BUT A SOP, A TEMPORARY MEASURE.
Orluin O'Duighhnasse: A larger organization? An orc-anization?
SlayMaster: So we're up against the orcish mafia?
Gandalf: The Orcfather?
SlayMaster: Grand Theft Orc-o?
Orluin O'Duighhnasse: Orcfellas?
TimmyWu: THESE ARE MANY ORGANIZATIONS OF WHICH I HAVE NEVER HEARD, BUT WITH JUDICIOUS PLANNING THEY SHALL ALL FALL BEFORE US, OR WE CAN SIMPLY TAKE THE REIGNS OF THEIR EMPIRE.
Orluin O'Duighhnasse: Consider the possibilities, fellows: With their treasure and fortifications, not to mention the substantial reputation of having slaughtered so many orcs, we'll be a force to be reckoned with. We can use these vast riches and their network of mines as a platform to rid the world of all orc kind. We'll wipe that foul, churlish scourge from the planet.
Gandalf: Righteous. We could have a secret lair? Motherfuckin' Batcave, baby!
SlayMaster: Hold up a sec, guys. Haven't we sorta jumped the rails? I mean, you're talking, like, orc genocide—slaughtering them all and taking their gold and setting up our own Anti-Orc Thousand Year Reich. That's fucked up.
Orluin O'Duighhnasse: It's us or them.
Gandalf: Yeah. They're orcs.
Orluin O'Duighhnasse: They have it coming.
Gandalf: They deserve it.
TimmyWu: ORCS CREATE NO ART. THEY CANNOT LAUGH OR LOVE LIKE OTHERS CREATURES BOTH MAMMALIAN AND CEPHALOPODIC. DO THEY EVEN THINK, THESE FOUL BEASTIES?
Orluin O'Duighhnasse: They are nasty, twisted, black brutes who can't be trusted or—
Gandalf: "Black brutes?" What the fuck!
GeeEm: Ah crap. This again.
Gandalf: No! I wanna hear the rest of what Mr. Elf-O-McFaggyPants has to say about black people!
Orluin O'Duighhnasse: Christ, Gandalf, you're only a quarter black, if even!
SlayMaster: He didn't mean it that way, dude.
Orluin O'Duighhnasse: And a quarter Chinese, and half Arabic! You're as black as I am!
GeeEm: And we were getting so far in this campaign!
TimmyWu: PERSONAL? IS GANDALF ORCISH? IT WOULD EXPLAIN HIS DUSKY HUE.
SlayMaster: Oh shit.
Gandalf: What the fuck did you just say?
GeeEm: Gandalf, he didn't mean it that way! This isn't about you being a quarter-black.
Orluin O'Duighhnasse: More like a nickel black.
GeeEm: We're just here to pretend to kill orcs and dragons and get treasure and kiss the maidens. That's it. It's a game! We're supposed to have fun and let the real world not intrude.
Gandalf: You're just here to kill dem scary ole black orcs and kiss each other and suck up to a has-been monster ex-president. I'm not here to do any of that shit, 'cause I'm going home, crackers.
And with that Gandalf left. The dice were his, and he took them also, leaving us both wizard-less and dice-less. We sat in silence for some short while, SlayMaster sipping of his sodaéd pops and Orluin meeting the eyes of all, red-faced and defiant. Slowly he blanched and seemed to deflate, like a puffer fish gone too angry too long to sustain. He sagged and slumped and did stare at his bony little monkey-man hands where they laid folded in his lap. Donny, our GeeEm, sighed and suggested perhaps we might like to play of the Scrabbles, Boggles or Yahtzees, but there was no interest. Still examining his hands, Orluin mumbled some brief explanation and then rose and left. Shortly the rest of us followed suit. We parted there, in the night, victory tasting like ashes upon our tongues.
(aka Your Giant Squid)
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