Story Five- Poisoned Words, Part One

<RandBrittain> Dear me.

<RandBrittain> I was dragged off by my dad and forced to fix iPods eternally!

<borogove> oh, hello.

<crusher_bob> iPods have user-fixable bits?

<borogove> we were discussing what to do next time we were short a player.

<RandBrittain> Worse, he wants to do it himself, and have me just stand behind him and tell him what to do.

<Uqbarian> Eternally but not forever? :)

<RandBrittain> Yes, exactly.

<RandBrittain> At least you're all still here.

<RandBrittain> I apologize for the delay.

  • You are now known as HollyhockGod

<borogove> how long do we have before people have to go?

<Benhimself> Half an hour.

<HollyhockGod> Oh, dear.

<HollyhockGod> Well, at least we all appeared eventually.

<HollyhockGod> I had a story that involved Wanda Lore, and Shakespeare!

<Uqbarian> Did you fix the phone in the end?

<HollyhockGod> It's uploading itself to his hard drive now.

<Benhimself> So do we want to get a bit of play in anyway?

<HollyhockGod> I don't mind if you don't.

<HollyhockGod> Today's story, which seems to be #5, is called "Poisoned Words."

<HollyhockGod> In other good news, I have my laptop back now, so I'll be able to update the logs to current.'

  • crusher_bob is now known as Ebba
  • Benhimself is now known as RyanSherbrig
  • Uqbarian is now known as Alexa
  • borogove is now known as Fiona

<HollyhockGod> It's a Thursday in the Fire Isles, and the four of you are standing in a huddle listening to Ryan read the letter that appeared on his desk today.

<HollyhockGod> It's seven tightly-written pages long, and it's signed "Vesper Ianni."

<HollyhockGod> I will quote the bits that are important.

<HollyhockGod> "Honored cousins, delight and salutations…."

  • RyanSherbrig would probably have made someone with a pleasant voice to read it for him.

<RyanSherbrig> (But same difference.)

<HollyhockGod> "…recently became aware of a situation involving one of our colleagues in which your intervention would be, if not necessary, at least very entertaining for you."

<Alexa> (Ryan doesn't have a pleasant voice?)

<RyanSherbrig> (Ryan doesn't want to read a seven-page letter written by Vesper.)

<RyanSherbrig> (He has a very commanding voice, though. Glorious, almost.)

<Alexa> (Ah.)

<HollyhockGod> "…therefore, please expect myself and the charming Lady of Regret tonight at seven. Please, do not feel the need to exert yourselves; the occasion shall be extremely casual."

<Fiona> (do you actually have glorious yet?)

<RyanSherbrig> (Yup.)

<HollyhockGod> "Wear shoes suitable for outdoor weather."

<Alexa> "What time is it now?"

<HollyhockGod> Everything else is filler, probably lies, or else wants to know about your love life.

<HollyhockGod> It's five.

<Ebba> Have we met Regret? Or is that just his roundabout way of saying Death?

<RyanSherbrig> ("Dearest Vesper: It's none of your business, you prurient creep.")

<RyanSherbrig> Yeah, she was in charge of the museum?

<HollyhockGod> Wanda Lore was the Power of Regret, who you met at the party in Timeheart.

<RyanSherbrig> Well, we didn't all meet her, but some did.

<RyanSherbrig> Pandora and Alexa and maybe Fiona?

<Fiona> I did, but I don't think Alexa was there.

<Alexa> Nope.

<RyanSherbrig> Ah, right.

<Fiona> So, effectively just me, given Pandora's absence.

<RyanSherbrig> "An outing with Vesper and Wanda. Splendid."

  • RyanSherbrig deadpans.

<Fiona> "I'm not sure Wanda gets out much."

<Alexa> "What was she like, again?"

<Ebba> And you have just enough time to summon a suitable consort from Beyond.

<RyanSherbrig> "Ah, I hadn't even thought of that."

<Ebba> I'm sure Vesper would be interested in all the details…

<HollyhockGod> Alexa: Dour, hooded, obsessed with past tragedies.

<HollyhockGod> Refers to self in third person.

<Fiona> possibly possesses an absence of tact.

<HollyhockGod> Frequently makes predictions of future failure to match prior disasters.

<Alexa> "Ah."

<Alexa> "Right, let's find some appropriate shoes."

  • RyanSherbrig makes himself a sturdy yet comfortable set of boots.
  • Fiona wonders what counts as appropriate footwear.
  • Alexa heads off to rummage through her wardrobe.
  • Ebba laces up her steel-toed Docs.

<HollyhockGod> Anything else you want to do before seven?

<RyanSherbrig> Summon my invisible friend.

<Alexa> Check my mail; write some letters.

<RyanSherbrig> Actually, I think I'll make an entire outdoor-ready outfit, and hit the entire thing with a major preservation.

<RyanSherbrig> This is Vesper. For all we know, when he says "Wear shoes for outdoor weather" he may mean "You will be wading hip deep in acid."

<RyanSherbrig> And having a nice set of travelling clothes can't hurt.

<HollyhockGod> Remind me what your invisible friend does again? Projects an aura of fear with no off-switch?'

<RyanSherbrig> No, it's the invisibility that doesn't have the off-switch.

<RyanSherbrig> At least, I think so.

<HollyhockGod> Ah, very well.

<RyanSherbrig> It's entirely possible Ryan's wrong about that, he does have that limit.

<HollyhockGod> Seven o'clock arrives.

<RyanSherbrig> Invisible, Gloriously Scary, Flight, aspect 3, spirit 3.

<HollyhockGod> (Ohnoes, I called you on Limited Knowledge! The invisible beast has the Restriction: "passionately concerned with Ryan's love life!")

<RyanSherbrig> ("Oh, for Cneph's sake, I'm single! Get over it!")

<HollyhockGod> Vesper arrives in his origami boat, with Wanda crouched in the rear.

<HollyhockGod> "Greetings, cousins!" he cries, waving up at you. "Are you prepared for the hunt?"

<Alexa> "The what?"

<RyanSherbrig> "Certainly. What might we be hunting?"

<HollyhockGod> "Ah, did I not explain? I offered your services to the Lady of Regret, who is afflicted with a problem which I thought your skills would be well-suited to fixing!"

<HollyhockGod> "Also it will be fun."

<RyanSherbrig> "Yes, but loquacious as your letter was, the exact nature of the problem remained shrouded in mystery."

<HollyhockGod> "Woe," says Wanda, "for I am undone. Perhaps this time the Excrucians have really done for old Wanda."

<HollyhockGod> "I thought I would always have Shakespeare to console me in my old age, but now I'm losing even that."

<Alexa> "You must be Wanda."

<HollyhockGod> "Yes," says Vesper. "The Excrucians have launched an attack within the realm of literature. How uncouth."

<Ebba> "I'm still waiting for the fun part."

<RyanSherbrig> "What, breaking the fourth wall doesn't intrigue you?"

<HollyhockGod> "Everywhere I turn," rants Wanda, ignoring Alexa in her frenzy, "people are reading Macbeth and going mad! Mad, I say!"

<Alexa> "I'm Alexa."

<Alexa> "Nice to meet you too."

<HollyhockGod> "Absolutely raving," says Vesper, with one eyebrow up.

<RyanSherbrig> "Heavens."

<HollyhockGod> "All across the world, people have been reading Shakespeare's tragedies and developing not only mental illness, but a pattern of strange events."

<HollyhockGod> "I've cross-referenced this with Marley and with the Lady Love, and it seems that duplicitous murder, mistaken identity, and star-crossed loves have all experienced a 50% increase in the past three weeks.

<HollyhockGod> "Just yesterday, I was beset by three prognosticating moirae insisting that I would become Thane of Cawdor, and then replace Lord Entropy."

<RyanSherbrig> "Obviously we must put an end to these events immediately. How can we be of assistance?"

<Alexa> "We could dress up as Birnam Wood."

<HollyhockGod> "Only one explanation suffices- the Bard's tragedies have been infected with an Excrucian memetic plague, causing tragic events in the life of readers!"

<Alexa> "Only one?"

<HollyhockGod> "Yes, only one."

<RyanSherbrig> (I am, for the record, laughing out loud.)

<HollyhockGod> "And any day now, enjoying tragedy will become associated with mental illness."

<Alexa> "I'm sure we could think of more if we tried."

<HollyhockGod> "And only one possible remedy!"

<Alexa> "Uhuh. Which is?"

<RyanSherbrig> "Fire, and lots of it?"

<HollyhockGod> "We must all enter the world of fiction, courtesy of my powers, and root out the horrible spirits of madness and plague and kill them."

<HollyhockGod> "I cannot imagine a more delightful weekend."

<HollyhockGod> "Woe," says Wanda, feeling left out.

<Alexa> "Of course."

<RyanSherbrig> "Splendid! We are prepared for a journey already. Let us commence at once!"

<Alexa> "Wait. How do we get to the world of fiction?"

<HollyhockGod> "Indeed! Three groups of two, I think, will be best, in order to cover the most ground."

<HollyhockGod> "I have long waited for a chance to visit Romeo & Juliet with the lady Fiona."

<RyanSherbrig> (I call the Tempest with Alexa.)

<RyanSherbrig> (j/k)

  • Fiona looks kind of confused

<HollyhockGod> "Wanda and Alexa may cover Macbeth, I think."

<Alexa> (?)

<HollyhockGod> (The Tempest is a comedy.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Ah, fair enough.)

<Alexa> (Ah. I was going to suggest Henry V, but that's a historical.)

<HollyhockGod> "That leads Ebba and the Lord Sherbrig for Hamlet. Once we've finished there, we can move on to the rest."

<Ebba> "so what exaclty are we to do once we get there?"

<HollyhockGod> "The actual entry is quite simple from the mythic perspective; I'm surprised people don't get lost more often."

<Alexa> "Before we go, where *are* we going?"

<HollyhockGod> "All you need to do is seek out lurking spirits of Excrucian plague (I'm sure they're visibly disgusting) and kill them without mercy."

<HollyhockGod> "Ah, I'm glad you asked."

<RyanSherbrig> "Sounds simple enough."

<HollyhockGod> "As many people don't know, the worlds human authors create in books actually have a kind of existence in the mythic world."

<HollyhockGod> "I find that world very useful for bringing skilled servants to like or to imprison nuisances."

<HollyhockGod> "Interesting fact: Arthur Conan Doyle was famous for writing the Dr. Watson mysteries until I wanted a place to lock up an annoying investigator. Frankly I think he's much better off in there."

<RyanSherbrig> "Interesting. Will our actions within these worlds alter the fiction itself in the prosiac reality?"

<Alexa> "Ha. I just realised that today is Thursday."

<Alexa> "I mean, I already knew, but, you know…"

<HollyhockGod> "Yes, but you break anything I can fix it later- unless you improve things, obviously."

<HollyhockGod> "It's much like wandering around a movie set- things stop existing about a mile away from wherever the narrative is."

<HollyhockGod> Vesper brandishes his portable Shakespeare library.

<RyanSherbrig> "Very well. Come along, Guildenstern! To Denmark!"

<RyanSherbrig> (And I gotta be off.)

<Alexa> "If it's accessible via the mythic, can't people just walk out again?"

<RyanSherbrig> (Later, all.)

<Alexa> (Ciao!)

<HollyhockGod> "You simply need to concentrate and let yourself enter the narrative."

<HollyhockGod> (Ciao.)

  • RyanSherbrig is now known as Benhimself

<HollyhockGod> "Yes, it's quite simple to leave the same way."

  • You are now known as RandBrittain
  • Fiona is now known as borogove
  • Alexa is now known as Uqbarian
  • Ebba is now known as Crusher_Bob
  • Benhimself has quit (Disintegrated: )

<Crusher_Bob> guess it's time to read up on macbeth…

<RandBrittain> Well, hopefully this story will prove entertaining.

<borogove> I'm glad I got the only one I've actually seen performed.

<Uqbarian> Hey, I got Macbeth, you should read up on Hamlet!

<Crusher_Bob> I remember merchant of venice, more or less, but not to much of any of the others

<RandBrittain> Now Fiona will have to cope with Vesper's advances, maybe, poor thing.

<RandBrittain> While Wanda fends off Alexa's attempts at conversation.

<Uqbarian> Ha!

<borogove> I should go now too. hopefully Uqbarian and I won't be an hour early next week. that is a lame super-power.

<Uqbarian> Isn't it just?

  • borogove has quit (Disintegrated: borogove)

<Uqbarian> See you all later!

<RandBrittain> Any comments or requests?

  • Uqbarian (~ua.ten.tenii.nyd.63C1D361-ratScigaM|nairabqu#ua.ten.tenii.nyd.63C1D361-ratScigaM|nairabqu) has left #childrenofeve

<Crusher_Bob> will have to try to think of how to apply ebba's ability to become something of a memetic disease herself

<RandBrittain> RESOLVED: "To be, definitely."

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