being the adventures of the Count, Morwen, Banazir, and others in the Isles of Yeehaa, the Sarcasta Desert, and Mordor
edited by Count Nikolai Vagorovich of Rogsylvania
In what follows, the Count's text is given in red, Morwen's in green, Banazir's in blue, and the others (as well as editorial additions) in black. There have been several editorial alterations, especially towards the beginning, in the interests of readability.
II. Adventures in the Isles of the Yeehaas
III. Attack of the Space Smurves
IV. Smurve Slaughter
V. Rolling in the Isles
VI. Interlude: Geographical Issues
VII. Gummitrask and the Encahtted Isles
VIII. The Sarcasta Desert
IX. Fangirls in Mordor
X. Discoveries in Mordor: Interdimensional TEUNC
Reports in ancient texts by RJR Trolkien, celebrated liar, flamer, and smurvacco addict, to the effect that the TEUNCs
originated in Mordor, lead certain denizens of Balrog Cuttings to plan an expedition in search of their homeland. In order to amuse themselves on the way, they decide to wreak destruction on the vile race of the Smurrows, the Blue Plastic Peril.
The Fellowship of Balrog Cuttings (Nine Teuncers against the Nine Riders of the Dark Lard) consists of:
Banazir the Jedi Hobbit
Ojevind the Wildschwein
Morwen, Elf of Ost-in-Edhil
Tamfiriis C. Gloruloke, Lellow Dwagin; Whups: Tamfiiris
Jon G. Hall, Ambassador to Dr. Science and The GREEN Men
Count Menelvagor, The Balrog Baritone
Sean of Many Pieces
Mirabella of Oz, Hobbit Seeress
Magenta Divine, Lord of Flames
In true E-text fashion, we will be joined in Mordor by a tenth
member of the Expotition:
His Grace Tripitaka, Duc de Nourne
The following eople were nominated to join the expotition by friends
(and perhaps enemees):
Myng (Menelvagor); that should be Myng Rabbyt-Daughter, Elf Preincess of TEUNC
Henriette the Ungnubie (Matt)
"While you're correcting," interposes Magenta, "be a darling and fully credit me as well:
Magenta 'Danger' Divine, Grand Priest of Ganja, King and Queen of
Cheese, Auggie, Keeper of Magic of Sherman, The Lactose Intolerant
Volcano God, and Lord of Flames Reincarnated.
Or simply Roberta."
"I would have liked to see more mageic on this team," says Banazir, hastily changing the subject. "But I did bring a palantir
fro consultation with MOM, our Witch Doctor (Hashberry), and BC's Wizard-at-Large (Alatar)."
"Rogs have magic in spades," points out the Count. "And Mrowen's magic is pretty respectable, a swell."
"Your words are too kind, good 'rog," says Morwen with a bow.
"Knotatakk, er, knotatall," xays the Count. "By Eldarin standards quite remarkable, really."
"But isn't a bucket more useful to keep it in than a spade?" says Morwen.
"We're allergic to buckets; prefer a blowtorch," replies the Count.
This subject leads Morwen and the Count naturally to a discussion of aesthetics.
"I don't really have an opinion on either of them, so my advice would be 'no' and 'yes':p," says Morwen.
"Well, what did you expect?"
"In my xulture, we don't prevaricate; we pre-heat."
"On one matter alone am I never indecisive," says Morwen. "And that is Smurves. The only
good Smurf is a dead Smurf."
"Deeath to the Smurrows!" agrees the Count.
"After we've been to Mordor, let's clean out the Smurrowdelf!" says Morwen.
"I saz we make Smurrowdelf the first stop," says the Count.
"We NEED to," chimes in Banazir, "so our bluesy wizard can fight the Blue Menace and come bax resurrected and stronger
than ever, see? To Smurfy-Dum!"
"Okay then, Smurfy-Dum it is," agreens Morwen.
While the Count blisses out, his head doubtless full of pleasant thpughts of smurvicide, Morwen and the Jedi Hobbit continue to make plans for the Quest. Then he receives a file permission error and wonders why computer people write such incomprehensible crap into their programs that the great unwashed don't know why the ^#$@#*$@# they're not being allowed to do whatever it is they are trying to do.
"(And here it is: 25 packs of frozen imitation crab meat," says Banazir. "I'll pax it nayway so we can have seafood salad
without naybuddy getting food p6isoning dwon in Mordor.)"
"I hope you remembered to reserve places on some form of transport,
since Balrog Cuttings is on an island...." says Morwen.
"OUR BC is an island," clarifies Banazir.
"And that is where we starting from . . ." interposes Morwen.
"Legend has it that the original BC was situated on an island in the heart of Mordor that became a hilltop when Manwe and Arien punished some of the Unfaithful (knot the Numenoreans, just a town of wreally rude eople) and drwoned them,
diverting water away from Mordor. In VI.2 of The Lord of the whatever ..., Sam, Gullible, and Frodo came across what appeared
to be this camp in the Morgai."
"Hmmm ..." Morwen is thoughtful for a moment, before adding, "Oh, and I'm not carrying the mini-freezer, either."
"That's knot a problem," says Banazir.
"We have two modular ATVs (a large one and a small one) that I got from Atoning Unifex's reserves. Aslo, I paxed:
1. a few decamole camping units (here - /me tosses a tent pax to Morwen)."
/me catches it and stows it in her backpack.
"That'll auto-deflate, too, when you speak the mageic word (it's knot 'mellon' acos too many practical jokes have been played
on me in the middle of the nught by Elves who thought a shrink-wrapped Jedi hobbit would loonk phunny),” says Banazir.
/me farspeaks Morwen the code word."
Banazir continues listing:
"2. four freezers (two for food, one for specimens, and one for dundeead - GET OUT of there, Dlanod!)
3. some small fusion power sources fro our noteboonk confuzers and comlogs, water purifiers, and the excavation equipment:
- (5) E18 CE helmets with the creativity and PK brianboards (the full rigs are too heavy to haul overland)
- (1) Matsushita fully automatic photonic carbine that bears a striking resemblance to Maya (this fro defending the buried
treasure, liberated slaves, and ourselves against 5000-yeat-old mummy wizards such as Y--------)
- (1) woodzapper (fro driftwood only)
- (1) spare lightsaber (which aslo doubles as a woodzapper, knot that I'd ever dream of harming a tree with it)
- (2) Sony transtators with speech recognition (in case Tripitaka and Oje are abducted by the natives)
"I couldn't get a Clockstopper Watch on short notice, so be careful and don't get beheeaded by nay ancient traps."
"wasn't in my list of things to do . . ." mutters Morwen.
"Knot wishing to bring nay more gnus than the one," adds Banazir, "I have left out lal the hunting gear, so if we run out of
food you'll have to go flie fishing (or deep sea fishing) with the few rods we've got stowed in the big ATV."
"Well, *I*'m taking my Belthronding replica, so hunting shouldn't be a problem . . ."
"Ah, yes. Verra goond. Nonetheless, we have nearly a couple of metric tons of fairly decent food (knot including the beer, cheese, and burplap sack of CHOKLIT truffles that Isengrim the Burrow Wight and the Three Ghasts are carrying). As I
warned, we've only got about 2 kilos of CHOKLIT, 1 of lembas, and less lutefizz than you're prolly used to drkinging in a
day, and you'll have to share that with Oje.
"Oh, and the piece de resistance:
- (3) neuralizer ducks to use against the natives if necessary
- (200) compacts of explosive rouge, packed into Pez grenades and hand charges."
Morwen is more interested in the drinks than in the explosives: "So what do we drink after that is gone?
"I'll just bring my self-refilling flask - I'm not sure what it will do to the multiverse that another me is also using it in TURPS
at the moment; we'll just have to see what happens.
"And Oje can drink the lutefizz you're bringing."
"No worries. We have ion-exchange filters: one large unit and a dozen small ones. We also have a Salter's Duck (courtesy
of Dlanod, of curse) in case we are stuck on the open sea for a while and have to process seawater. As long as we're near
SOME body of water (even those brackish streams in Mordor) we'll be fine."
"Do we stop naywhere else afor the Smurrowdelf?"
"No.pe!" replies Banazir. "Last call - let's move 'em out!"
/me stows the last of the equipment, hops on the large ATV as TEUNCs climb aboard, and pushes the "FLOTATION"
button. The ATV's pontoons fill with air and it pushes into the Brandywine near the departure p6int on the delta...
"Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!" xries Morwen, and to the horror of all bursts into song:
"#Hi Ho Hi Ho
#'tis off to kill smurfs we go!"
"Hoo, that meminds me!" says Banazir. "Kool-Aid!
"Isengrim, run bax to the smial and get a coupla tubs, would you? (I'd send the zmobie but he totters too slowly.)
Mini-miniwethil, fly over to the White Horse and get some stir sticks, too."
Possibly from smoking the wrong kind of smurvacco, the Count has apparently forgotten that he had been involved
in the plans to kill the Smurves in the first place, for he remarks:
"Y'know, I thynk Y myhgt join you guys. Killin gsmurves is too tempoting a prospect to pass up."
"Yes, join us!" says Banazir.
/me waves to Menelvagor from the prow of the departing ATV.
"(Just wade on out - you don't even have to fly!)"
"I'm a little puzzled thouhg; sience we're in BC already, don't we just staz hjere and dig?"
"We're thrying to locate the ORIGINAL Balrog Cuttings, which is said to be in Mordor (that's what the latest cahpter of
the Red Boonk that I was assigned to transtate seemed to say)."
"Sound slike a fascinating project! Count me in," says the Count. But he is less enthusiastic about the prospect of wading.
"I think I'll, er, try this fireprrof dinghy ... (handy thing about RPGing is that you can invent things ount of no where like
that, so long as one doesn't overdo it)."
On board ship, the expotitioners look forward eagerly to the Smurve Slaughter, and have some charming conversations on
" /me can't remaber naz Smurf names, or he'd add 'Bane' to it," says the Count.
"Papa Smurf's Bane?" suggests the Schweingraf, and sets Banazir off:
"'I *HATE* Balrogs!' - Grouchy Smurf
<<your treatise here>> - Briany Smurf
'Zee balrouge, eet has trasqued my masterpizza!' - Painter Smurf
'Fly, my little Smurfs! FLY!!' - Papa Smurf
'Oh, Boromir! [CENSORED]' - Smurfette
"That's it, I say, Smurve Doom is definitely called for. I have a nalp that will trask the Smurve Stone to its very core (despite
its being renewed just a couple of decades ago by the Smurfquest).
“We'll aslo need to lure out Baby Smurf (who is a Paramount Grand Master creator and PK-head and an archmage of
the first water to boot) and the Smurvelings and that little ettin-esque creature, Smoogle. The Elder Smurves (Granny
and Grandpa) present an exceptional hazard.
"We'll need to eliminate all of the allies: Puppy, Peewee, Yohan. That will at least break the transdimensional bridge
through Shade that the was opened during the Magic Flute Incident. Even Hagatha, Gargamel, and Balthazar must die,
and of curse the Druid Hondibus who 'created' the Smurves by growing them on the scion of Laurelin. If Alatar would
deign to join us, there could be a nice duel arcane in it fro her.
"Luring the allies to the Alternate Plane Material Plane where the Smurrowdelf (the fall-back Smurve Village) resides
and reading a Blessed Scroll of Mass Genocide (Human) should eliminate all of them except the puppy and perhaps
Hondibus. I'll need to d-jump out before the ultima is uttered to avoid being killed (and of curse an Elf or Rog is going
to have to read it). As you have guessed, the Smurve Stone protects the blue pestilence from genocide spells. The
Dracophobic Cyclopes (you know, the ones who chant 'BE YE DRAGONKS?!') might serve well to help capture
"Sounds as if it shouild be amuzzling," says the Count. "Hope it's not too easy, thouhg."
Tripitaka finds this banter offputting, perhaps because one of the Boddhisattvas was a notorious Smurgha:
"I feel ill.
"I hope you won't mind if I don't join the Expotition until it actually *gets* to Mordor. Pikelets, buttered toast, jam, cream,
cake, and cramsome bread will be available at the Temple of the White Mûmak when you arrive."
II. Adventures in the Isles of the Yeehaas
"What is TEUNC?" muses the Count on a slow daz aboard the Argho. "(And this time, Yahoo, if you mess up, I'll roast you
slowly and painfully in hell.)"
"I vote for that!!" says Mirabella. "We could all sit around sing our songs and EAT Yahoo!! -then spit out the pips...and
those bloody little hidden cameras."
And so they did, as Banazir's log shows:
Day One: After an auspicious launch and a goond heeadwind, the Argho (large ATV module), the Pinto (small
submersible amphibious vehicle), and the Sinter Klaas (Menelvagor's dinghy) were blown off curse and made landfall
on an uncharted Isle (at least as I was able to read on the map of Freeksaus, the Lord Cartographer). We narrowly
averted disaster when Menelvagor speared one of the indigenous creatures and our Seeress prepared it for our noonday
meal. Unfortunately, her foresight wasn't at its peak today. Truth be told, we were all so fond of her cooking that we didn't
bother to have her perform the usual rites of augury using the entrails.
Morwen began to sing. Suddenly we heard a fierce and horrendous sound - it was Mandos, come to pronounce DUUM for
the slaughter of one of his Sacred Yeehaas. We spat out the small wireless cameras and made obeisance. As penance,
Mandos forced us to remember when we felt beautiful, when <GREEN>they</GREEN> looked, when we were cool, and
when (some of us) loved putting on bikinis. When I couldn't recall the latter, I was forced to play a few levels of Diablo II as
the Amazon. Mandos further threatened to enact the Fate of Orpheus upon us, but Sean saved the day by reminding the
Vala that he was laready dismemembered and scattered to the Four Winds of Kazaa.
Finally, Namo (was his Name-O) was still sore pissed and demanded stories about Muslim Jesus. Ojevind was glad to oblige
and regaled him with dozens of these, to which the Defender of The Eels and Menelvagor added some small "embellishments". They would have continued until all the mortals were turned to dust and Morwen still discoursing on the nature of kingship,
but fortunately the now-mollified Mandos demanded to know our quest. Upon hearing it, he laughed heartily (I have it on
good authority that this seldom happens) and said: "I like it! Those Smurves could USE a good trasking!" He did offer some
advice regarding my plan to channel the power of Yavanna through the Smurf Stone and use Yggdrasil's roots to crack it in
two. Apparently, that WON'T WORK.
I'll elaborate more on the alternate plan he confided to us, but Magenta is anxious to be under way so he can get back to
BC and draw and quarter all of us.
There is a dolphin breaching the water repeatedly (apparently attracted by the small burplap sack of CHOKLIT truffles).
Tamf is perched at the prow of the Argho (at the spot where the dragon figureheead usually goes) and muttering something about flying. It's quite uncanny. I do hope Meneldil will meet us in Mordor or sooner as he'll undoubtedly be able to make heeads and tails of it.
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The Questers (all or some of whom seem to be leading double lives) will note, at about the time for elevenses, a smallish
purple cloud trailing auspicious vapors heading from east to west with unnatural speed. It is, of course, Tripitaka.
Öjevind (or his Doppelgänger) lifts his hand in friedly greeting to the arhat and grunts out: "Blessed are the Boars, for
they shall never tusk."
The Count, true to his anturer, er, nature, is soemwaht less friendly: "Waht teh bzlaes si taht nad waht deos ti wnat? Band enoguh gtteing trasked by mandos and his appalling advertisements. Wehn od we gent ot tsark the Smurrows?"
Pradera, who has been chatting with the company via Palantír, interjects, "That's a good point. When do you, indeed?
And while you're there, say hello to Gummibeorns. They live nearby."
"We will! Do you mind if we eat a couple? I'm very rogane."
"Just leave enough for the population to survive! And try not to eat females, they're so rare... (and indistinguishable from
males at first sight, what a bother)"
"Oh, doxx't wrroz, we wox't wipe the gubbers ount," says the Count soothingly.
First, however, they arrive at the Island of Misfit Urls ...
A news report from around the same time (the 417th (*#@$#(@!#*#!@ in @*&#(*@#@#@*#@)
helps place the expotition within its histerical context:
Date: Thu Jul 25, 2002 4:03 pm
Subject: Our Story Thus Far
For those who came in late (as they say in _The Phantom_):
Banazîr Galbasi, the Jedi Hobbit, is currently leading an expotition to Mordor in search of the remnants of the original Balrog Cuttings. Other members of the expotition include Öjevind, Morwen, Tamf, Jon, the Count, Sean, and Mirabella. They intend
to go by way of the Smurrowdelf with a plan to trask many smurves. Their current location cannot be determined due to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
In the absence of all these NotAbles, a reunctionary revolution is brewing under the leadership of Lord Adam of the Psychos and Magenta "Danger" Divine ("Danger"'s his middle name). Their plan is to build a new castle and, with the aid of an army
of zillions of zombies, install Elf-Princess Myng upon the throne as heir to the self-exiled Queen Rabbyt I. In her absence,
they will function as co-regents of any territory they manage to acquire.
While this impends, the remainder of the denizens of Balrog Cuttings divert themselves with quaint and curious discourse about Forms of Government, and the trasky Initiation of Gnubeests.
I, Tripitaka Dharmacarya (Hsüan-tsang San-tsang Fa-shih), do record all this at a very safe distance from my lodgings on
the southern shores of the Sea of Nurnen, whence the Temple of the White Mûmak is distantly visible amid the marshes
across the water and the dismal bleating of my good friend Yahû-mul is (thankfully) inaudible amidst the spectral croaking
of the frogs.
III. Attack of the Space Smurves
Meanwhile, the Schweingraf's BC doppelganger, Olle, reports that the air above Balrog Cuttings is suddenly filled with
little blue space vessels. They are filled with baleful Smurves eager to avenge the affront their kindred suffered when they
were deprived of their ancestral privilege to function as sewage workers in the land of TEUNC. "Revenge or death!" is the
slogan they all squeak as they prepare to land and destroy everything held dear by the country's inhabitants. They are gnashing their teeth and smurfing the smurf of death. Is there any saviour from this fate?
Morwen's cats, who guard her tower while she is away questing, cast vaguely interested looks at the sky. They know how
to handle this...
The Smurves land. Gnashing their teeth and brandishing icky weapons like posioned rubber swords and explosive ducks,
they fan out in order to wreak destruction on the entire land of TEUNC...
And are accidentaly stepped on by an unaware passer-by. *squish*
"We were supposed to trask the Smurrows," says the Count. "But I think our expottiion goyt drowned in the flood."
"I think we're still stuck on some island..." says Morwen.
Meanwhile, the Smurf problem in Balrog Cuttings is far from improved, and indeed has gotten far, far worse, as is recorded
in Øjevind's doppelganger's letter to the Daily Flamethrower:
As I was walking down Main Street today, my way was blocked by 153,786 Smurves. They all hissed: "Give us your
CHOKLIT, or else we'll bite your feet with our infected teeth!" I handed over the goodies without demur.
"hmmm... replied Magenta. "It would seem you have quite a smurf problem on your hands. I would be happy to talk on
your behalf to the smurf leader, Papa Smurf. I'm sure I will be able to persuade him to stop the unpleasantness that has
befallen your settlement.
I make him an offer he don't refuse."
"A contract to sing at La Scala?" inquires the doppelganger.
"Not that kind of contract," explains MDD. "This contract would benefit our community greatly. But I might arrange a
meeting with him at a opera house, if need be."
"Please elaborate, Don Ogino!" says the doppelganger.
"A business deal," explains Magenta. He would stop the incursion on our territory and in return we'll let him and his blue
thugs live. As a token of gratitude for this generous deal we offer him, he will also give us 55% of their profits made on
holdups and other petty crime they control. I think he will find that an offer he can't refuse.
If we does...then the Smurfs could have a fish wrapped in his red hat delivered to them, see?"
"That's a significant conession on our part," says the palanteering Count. "I was so loonking forward to slooooooooooooooooooooowly brunning the blue plasticx ount of the little schmugs.
IV. Smurve Slaughter
The intrepid expotitioners have been marooned for several dazs on the Island of Misfit Toys [which used to be the Island
of Misfit URLs, but got misdirected], whose inhabitants sadistically sing corny Xmas songs without pity or remorse.
Meanwhile, the Flood threatens to cover the Island in the most dreaded of all natural products -- water. The Argho went
on strike for higher pay and free porn. Count Tildanor wouild normally have threatened the insolent vessel with fire and
the whip, but had unfortunately been a bit put out.
"Wehn od we gent ot tsark the Smurrows?" grumbles the Count, as usual.
"Soon... soon," replies Banazir. "A Compleat Eek 1 Meeport (tm) is on its way, as soon as I get a huor free and the gnu liver
the Yakuza gave me metabolizes an excess of red and white uine with hexagons..."
"Wlokaz, just meember, we went to the Island of Misfit Toys, Argho wnet on strike, I was a bit oput ount by a flood,
recovered, bullied the trasky ship into takinf us awaz from the appallingly corny xmas songs. Also, the Gumbibeorn forest
is apparently soemwhere near Smurrowdelf, but the shogun has asked us not toi wipe out the Gummibeorns, esp.
not the females. And Morwen';s chat retried to kill a space smurf invasion, bt soem guy ort other stepped on them firdst."
Tripitaka reports that this message was intercepted and decoded by a Mr. W.-K. Soon.
The exact whereabouts of Smurve Force 17 remains unknown.
SMURVE FORCE 17 to Smurve Force 20. Warning. Three incoming enemy
units have been sighted by advance scouts. Lower blast doors and prepare
for attack, Defence Plan Delta. Do not attempt negotiations. Enemy units
are to be considered armed and dangerous and are to be terminated with
Forward message to SMURVELORD. Protect Smurfette at all costs! She is
the future of our race!
The invading force consists of a hobbit, an elf, some weird tyoping monster, and various other undesirables. A bloondthirsty gleam kindles in their eyes: the gleam of pure, unmitigated hate. The Smurves perceive in their horror that these gnucomers
view them as Utter Evil, and will not stop until they have wiped the excrescence of smurfdom form the face of the earth.
But do they have the power to carry out their intention?
Yes! No! For the questers are armed with phasers and batleths and sundry ancient swords of the Eldar, which (oddly
enough) glow bright blue in the twilight. But the batleths grow slippery as Smurves are trasked into goo, the phasers (and one of Banazir's lightsabres) are waterlogged and shorted out from the swamps, and the swords of the Eldar turn aside from the strange power of Baby Smurf, Papa Smurf, and the Blue Smush Dinobaby that the Smurves have enslaved.
"Thta leaves two avenues towards our goal," says the Count. "Rog-magic, and freeing Blue Smush Dinobaby so that he can
join OUR side!"
"Free him! FREEEEE him!" says Banazir. "We need his knowledge of Egyptology to combat the even more eViol cohort of Yahoototep, Ankh-Su-Spamun."
"Sounds goond to me," half-shrugs the Count. "I'll jsut use my weird maia powers (alias, the #$^). Funny; the nicer
Yahoototep gets, the more EVIOOL Ankh-Su-Spamun gets. ‘PLease read!’ she cries out in a voice of utter iniquity.
Menawhile, the Smurves are repelling the invader with their disgustignly cute powers. But oine option remains, and I
fear to even contemplate it."
In the event, Blue Smush Dinobaby refused to join our side, and indeed was last seen in earnest conversation with a jellyfish.
A sad loss. The Smurvicide was quick and unpleasant (at least for the Smurves).
V. Rolling in the Isles
(Isle of The Rabbit-Eaters, Days 2-3 [2002-07-25:2002-07-26]
(Isle of The Cereals of Deeath, Days 4-5 [2002-07-27:2002-07-28])
(Sinking of the Argho, Day 6 [2002-07-29])
Captain's Log, Day 2 (25 Jul 2002)
Today we landed on a strange island.
It seems to be populated entirely by hares - the largest nay of us have ever beheld. They are ridden by small hominids
who seem to have hare-like features (twitchy noses, etc.). We were almost captured by a patrol of them, but TEUNCs
who have seen Monty Python and The Holy Grail were naturally chary of the steeds.
Wondering how the small rabbit-men live, we followed a brace of them to their lair. It seems they are cannibals, or
ataleast eaters of their steeds, as we saw them roasting the carcass of one of the /yingi/ on a large spit.
Captain's Log, Day 3 (26 Jul 2002)
We evaded narrowly evaded a stampede of carnivorus happybaras. After beating a hasty retreat within an inch of its life,
we kicked some sand in its face and hurried back to our camp. During the night we were surprised to see a brilliant full
moon appear in the sky like a huge palace of white jade.
The idea of staying on this Isle of the Rabbit Eaters to hunt does not sit well with me. We will set sail when the sun passes
its zenith after replenishing our water supplies.
Captain's Log, Day 4 (27 Jul 2002)
We spent most of the day at sea. Some male dolphins are bespeaking me and Morwen by Osanwe-kenta, but they are not
very interesting to talk to. Their vocabulary seems limited to requests for food and pointers to where the cool, attractive
female dolphins hang out. They meminded me of the typical Yeehaa advertising designer.
Captain's Log, Day 5 (28 Jul 2002)
We nearly lost Morwen - or, at a minimum, her sword-wielding hand - today on a strange island covered by what looked
like a sprawling wheatfield. She wanted to go out and walk in it with her eyes closed and her hand nearly touching the ripening stalks. Naturally the grains sprouted tiny little fangs and thried to take her fingers off. Pradera telefaxed an
advisory indicating that cereals can kill you. Ojevind deprecated this as hogwash, but at least SOME cereals are more dangerous than others.
Captain's Log, Day 6 (29 Jul 2002)
As we departed from the Carnicrunch Isle, we thried to tack with the wind and ran the Argho aground on a shallow reef.
"Just aswell", cursed Menelvagor, since the Argho had gone on strike nayway, but Mirabella had the goond sense to attach
a beacon in case we came bax fro it.
We spent the rest of the day weaving a fleet of three reed boats that we christened El Nino and the Arky.
Morwen also spent some of her time making AttackLembas from some of those over-aggressive cereals, since she suspected
they might come in handy (not to mention the fact that pounding the grains into flour was a good way to get rid of her frustration at her carelessness). She was
"What was she?" asked Sean.
too quick to press the 'send' button and forgetful about what she had wanted to say in that next sentence (perhaps a touch
of ergot poisoning from that aggressive grain?)
"Knot atoll - I'm advocating whisky," said someone, à propos of God knows what.
"(Wild Turkey with Bite, Black Jack Daniels, Johnny Trasker; knot being familiar with the attax varieties of single malts I
can't think of nay more.)" said someone else.
"bha. Same thing..." said Sean, cryptically.
"I was thinking that mazbe we would come bax to find MOM being held hostage by the Smurves who have invaded our
home yurtf," metaed Banazir. "While Alatar, Arwen, Cel, Joy, and lal the other TEUNCs who stayed at home can certainly defend themelves with ease, they'd be hard-pressed to keep BC intact with hundreds of thousands of Smurves roaming
"My idea is to make like Odysseus and offer them a feast, then bring out the bottles of AttackWhiskey. It should be no feat
fro us to drink 200000 Smurves under the table, nesupasu?"
"Hmm..." says Õjevind's doppelganger, using the handy palantír. "I (the one of me that is not on a quest with you) has
hidden from them in the cauldron at the White Horse of Rohan, kicking out Helen - it's every man for himself! Perhaps I
could make it alive to the bottles on the shelf..."
Tripitaka, doubtless watching from the flying cloud, observes the Arky and the El Niño bounce along on the billows
beneath a cheerful, cloudless sky. All seems well. And look -- there are flocks of birds, and the booming sound of breakers
in the distance! The shore is near at last, huzzah!
But what's that dark speck on the horizon, growing ominously larger with every passing minute? A ship? Why indeed!
A looming, massive ship with black sails. Soon the creaking of its dark timbers can be heard: a sound like the groaning of
a thousand lost souls. A miasma of filth and stench seems to travel with it. The sun itself is blotted out by its shadow, and
the day grows dark. The ship reeks of blood and gunpowder; its towering keel is covered in barnacles, and other strange
sea-growths adhere to its sides. Dangling fromthe bowsprit is a misshapen skeleton that holds the place of a figurehead.
And all around the gunwales hang grinning skulls, oozing blue ichor, many of them still bearing their white caps on
The ship draws closer; its side rears aloft above the heads of the travellers like the side of a stinking cliff rotten with
putrefaction. The heads of the sailors leer over the sides, grinning. They are hideous, grotesque mockeries of mortals,
with skinny jaws, protruding cheekbones, and tufts of hair framing their faces. They grin and call to each other with
mocking hoots, while the cannon peep out from the lower decks.
Now they part, and make way for one of their own. 'Tis the captain; skinny and hairy, but larger than the rest, and
decked out in long sea-coat of blue cloth, with an elongating spyglass in one hand and a three-cornered hat on his
head. He scowls ferociously down at the Expotitioneers.
"Ahoy! Me fine mateys!" he calls. "I be Cap'n Soon, and Soon be a better time to answer than Late. Be ye friend or foe of
such as this?"
And with that, seizing one from the gunwales, he raises the dripping, decapitated smurf-head on high. "Arr."
("Ess," remarks MOM helpfully.)
"Rae oyu nivintg us to dnienr?" inquires the Rog politely.
The sub-human crew of the ichor-dripping frigate laughs raucously until the captain cuts them short. "Stow it!" he cries.
"If sich bilge be your fare, be welcome to it," he says, and hurls the head down to the rafts. "But if ye be worthy to dine with
the likes of us," he continues, leering, "...ah, there's much ye'll have to prove to show yourselves *that*! Look at you, adrift like maroons!" (More guffawing from the sailors.) "Ye'd be wrecked and drowned on yonder reef had it not been for Cap'n Soon.
Give us three reasons not to make a meal of *you*!"
"Htere si no three, mlorats," replies the Rog haugtily. "And unless yowsih ot eb fed ot the Ocrs, oyu wliud eb wlel advides
ot pseak more civillz to bnigs of our rnak."
He tosses holy fire at the mysterious ship, and it vanishes like one of the lesser demons of adware.
VI. Interlude: Geographical Issues
While the quest is in progress, the denizens of Balrog Cuttings discuss such questions as what to name their island, the
price of beer, and related (or unrelated) issues.
"Tol Kein," says the Count, inter alia.
"/moo likes this a loht!" says Moo. "and isle of trask... and nomanisan. i think there should be lots of names.
"also, perhaps, a lot of fabled, floating islands off the coast: moominor, where the mini-moomins guard their gigantic
diamonds (with the help of their friend and helper, mooby dick). malorka, where all the bad orcs (who love flowers and butterflies and linguistic intricacies) go. mireland, the turqoise-stone island, where everyone is happy all the time acos
they're not in mireland. and of curse, noratisan, where rodents and firweorcs dance around huge bonfires full of noras. and moonimor... ahh, moonimor!"
" *spoiler warning*" says Pradera. "Acksherly, all those names are the names of the islands consisting our Archipelago, of
which I shall tell a tale soon in my Expotitioin Diary."
"/me concurs..." says Banazir. "Or rather, this is consistent with my theory. Balrog Cuttings, north of the Sarcasta Desert and west of New Gummibeorn Forest near the center of Nomanisan (or Nomin Isen) Island, which is:
"- west (WEST, I say!) of the Confuzzlius Trench
- south-southwest of sunkn Moominor, the Lost Incontinent
- far northwest of the Isle of the Rabbit Eaters, Happybara Isle,
the Isle of the Rice Eople, and the Isle of Gummibeorns and Smurves.
"Shall the Archipelago be named Yeehaa or given the old Teuncanese name of the crustal plate (Googlelag) that it straddles?"
"Actually, your sources are wrong," (p*ss*ng-)contested Pradera. "There is nothing EAST of Nomanisan Island, only Shadowwing Seas and Encahtted Isles, whence none ever came back. And I'm not going there. I heard reports of Moominor, Land of the Comet, it's not as sunken as some would want it to be."
"One that seems to ahve gotten lost is The Last Incontinent ..." says the Count. "As for Moominor, I prefer Moo-minor –
and mazbe there's a Moo-major soemwhere, aocs that includes a moo reference that I cna realte to (not really familiar with
Moomin and all that, apart from glancing at a website a year or so ago). Had a coupoe other ideas last night; let's see if I remember them: Cahtatonia was one, and the other, hmmm ... Borkador? Or prefabs Tol e-mByrch (plural of borch, nathc). Ersonally, I incline ot the view that the more names, the merrier; buyt whatever ..."
VII. Gummitrask and the Encahtted Isles
Having trasked the Smurrows with anticlimactic rapidity, the expotitioners hit the Isle of the Gummibeorns.
The intrepid explorers barely escape from Gummibeorn Island with their lives. Who knu that the Gummibeorns would get
so upset over a couple of measley slaughters here or there (come ON, we barely killed *half* of them! I exorcized indrecible
retrsaint!), or that they had such awesome water-power at their disposal ...
After a journey of several dazs, thye arrive in the encahtted isles, where they succumb to an idling psell, from which not even teh Count and Morwen are immune. What could create such powerful magic?
Morwen can barely be bothered to listen to a question that long; why bother, the beach is white, the water is cool, the sun
"Oh, you wanted to know what's going on? Here, have some more candied Gummibeorn leg..."
"Doxx't mnid if I do ..." says the Count. "Saz, is taht a giant Bot with a shotgun coming twoards us?"
"It seems to be," yawns Morwen. "Do you think we should do anything about it? Tell the rest of the expotition or something?"
"Bropablz ..." says the Count. "Rats, now I'll have to get up and get cahnged ... And I was jsut going to slap someone with a
"You could try slapping the Bot with a trout?" suggests Morwen.
"<WORF>No effect.</WORF>" html's Banazir. "Give me my lightherring, ho!
/me activates Polchrist, conveniently stuffed inside a herring, and *sspunfs* a neat hole through the bot.
"Now, how 'bout repatriating those Gummibeorn parts afore they sic a whole fleet (bevy?) of droidekas on us?"
"hmmm? Want a candied leg too?" says Morwen.
/the languid Elf can barely concentrate on what the hobbit is saying
"Trask, the Bot just *kicked* me," says the Count. "That makes me mad! Mad enough to *do* soemthing ..."
"WHAT? How dare he!" says Morwen, indignantly.
"/me *sspunfs* the droid again..." mircs Banazir. "then hax it into 63 small pieces fro goond measure... then spins into a
fighting stance, noticing the approaching horde of several hundred battle droids...
Wlokay, whuht now?"
"We fight or run?" says Morwen.
"I'm going to trz a leetle magic ..." says the Balrog.
/me utters a terrible cry: "/msg shotgun autotrask #teunc Waldo noidon'twantfrieswiththat!"
Count's Log, 10/21/02: The goond ngus is that the Bot is gnoe. The bad gnus is taht mz crewmtaes are all blabbling
gbiberish and band ouns, and woxx't strop no mtater ho hard I trount-slamp them. Am tmepted to get on the boat nad
leave them hjere.
Meanwhile those of the others that have shaken off their strange lethargy wait for the Count to stop writing so they can continue their journey.
"Seriously!" says Banazir. "I've trasked 42 droidekas since second breakfast... that makes over a hundred including Morwen's mIRC sorcery (mIRCery?).
"Can we lpease get a move on?"
"Wlel, jee, trasking that bot was a lont of wrok, y'know ..." the Count points out.
Back on board ship, he continues his diary:
Wed. Oct. 23: Ew hvae ste saul agina. Fater a long dreary jruoney, at last we see lnad in the dsiatance. Knot smoe chintsy
ltitle island, but wreal LAND -- nice, dry, and hot by the lonks of it. I ssupect it maz be the Sarcasta Desert in Far Harad.
Eople have msotly shaken off the gibbersih attax, although cocasionallz I strill hjear sexchanges like 'Yoiur wrom, my dear,
is fuzzy -- In my arms, the deer is fussy.' But I fnid I cna bear ti."
VIII. The Sarcasta Desert
Meanwhile, back in BC, LC turned up and said: "Since I missed the gnubie qvest in a flood, are there any gnubie chores that need doing?"
"Graham exterminated most of the Smurrows that infested Balrog Cuttings, mugging people and taking their CHOKLIT,"
said the Schweingraf. "You could always make an extra check that he and his faithful Dwarves got them all. It is a terrible
task, but someone has to do it."
"Or you could join the ACKSHERLY Smurvequest, now in progress (kindasorta)" sadds Banazir by palantír. "Graham
only trasked the Smurve INVADERS and (IIRC) repelled the Space Smurves. We are thrying to locate the fabled original
home of the prehistoric TEUNCs in Mordor and bring bax half of the recently-restored Smurvestone."
"Wew were last seen alighting at the Sarcasta Desert on the mianland of Muddle-earth," clarifies the Count.
"I thought the Sarcasta Desert was supposed to be on Nomin Isen Isle?" says Morwen.
"This is the original, or mazbe this is jsut a desert taht loonks like it or smeothnig," said the Count. "we'll fnid ountn more
whne we ladn, I guess."
"It does look a bit similar," says Morwen.
"I suppose I VLOUD check and see; but I have a floond to escape atm ..." says the Count.
"A flood? Looks more like a giant wav^^^^eeek!" exclaims Morwen, getting drenched.
“BTW, has nazone used Knot Atoll xet?" aks the Count, climbing up a mast to escape from the evil liquid. "Acos if not, it
shloud bropablz coem into the queast soemwhere."
"We'll probably run aground on it," says Morwen.
IVa. Aftermath of Smurve Slaughter and Gummitrask
Pradera, meanwhile, has been engaging in a little exploration as well, and gives the following account of what happened to
the Smurrows and Gummibeorns. Probably stretching it, but what are you gonna do?
EARRING CARTOGRAPHIC EXPOTITION, Captain's Log, Stardate 21
“Three weeks, eh?
“We've been sailing along Key Chain, which is a chain of islands between southern Nomanisan and some other lands south...
it's all those places that the Mordor Expotition passed by on their journey, like Happybara Isle, Land of Yeehaa etc., and
many others. Stopped by just to ask around and get info. We've also sailed by site where Argho was left, burning...natives
build a small shrine there. Charming.
“Pretty soon we've arrived at the islands of Gummibeorns and Smurrows. I say 'islands', because that's how they look like, kind
of, because the two islands are divided by a narrow channel. This channel is usually referred to as a 'Great River', which is a
mistake, as it flows from ocean to ocean, not from spring to sea. Another name for it is 'Sauron', thus its northern mouth, where we've landed, is called 'Mouth of Sauron'.
“The western side is land of Smurrows, it is a mountainous region, where Smurrows delved their dwellings, of which greatest
was of old Smurrowdelf, also known as Black Hole (or even A**hole by some). The eastern side is a thick, dark forest, inhabited
by Gummibeorns, a jumping werebear people.
“At least that was the situation long time ago. Because now, everything's changed.
“Here's what happened, in short:
“A Smurf trasking expedition wiped out almost entire local population of Smurf. This disturbed precious ecological balance
in the region. The Gummibeorns jumped over Sauron, and conquered the western land, destroying whatever remnants of
Smurf populace there were.
“Without their main natural enemies, Gummibeorns quickly multiplied. And in a short time, they ate all Gummiberries as
well as Smurfberries - their only source of food. It was an ecological disaster.
“Within a generation, almost all of Gummibeorns died of hunger.
“All this was told to me by last remaining couple of Gummibeorns. To protect them from complete extinction, I let them board 'Crimson Permanent Assurance'. I hope to find them a better place somewhere on our island... I am their Protector, after all.
“May this be a lesson to you all. You think trasking Smurves was fun, eh? Well now you know. You've trasked the entire ecosystem along with them.”
[The Count simply can't understand what the fuss is about. Who cares about trasking a measly ecosystem or two?]
“My galley is now sailing along Key Hole, another chain of isles leading straight south.
In no time I should reach a place where the Mordor Expotition was last heard from.
“Empty mountain halls
Filled with echoes
Of the blue folk”
"It wasn't US!" lies Banazir. "They were raleady trasked when we got there. We even lent them holbytlatarian aid and
forbore to take half of the Smurvestone out of pity. OTOH, we DID take large quantities of Gummi Brew in order to cull
the local populace.
"This is turning out to be a verra educational expotition (especially acos rumor has it that we are about to get a major Jeans
and Ecology grant that we applied fro). B'sides which, it is profitable, too. The Moominoreans named me a Duke of Andmoominie fater I showed them how to purify the bad, Marmite-laced CHOKLIT you sold them. Acksherly, I'm
embarrassed to say that the heirless High King offered me the Crown Preincedom of Moominor if I'd bring him the
heead of the rogue who sold it to him. I politely demurred, citing professional courtesy. #-)”
VIIIa. Sarcasta, continued.
We are now far, far to the southeast. The Smurrowdelf (or Moria Luin, as the elves call it, the Black 'n' Blue Pit) was
sinteresting but now we are finally bound for Mordor!"
"Meminder: we've arriven at the Sarcasta Desert, or something as likke it as two peas," adds the Count. "I think it will be goond
if the Earring doesn't follow us too closely, as we can map more of the wrold if separate, and also acos the regions we plan to traverse will bring deeath to naz normal hmunsa."
Shortly afterwards, Pradera arrives in BC and made some comments about the expotition.
"It toonk them 100 dazs just to clear the Happybara Archipelago, when we crossed the Tol Bridge and brought bax treasures untold in a quarter of that time," says Pradera. "What gives?"
Capt. Banazir could knot be reached for comment, but in a recent fatline communication indicated that he had made a discovery of world-shattering import and harrowing astonishment near the Anduin delta.
Morgil also comes back to BC from somehwere involving reindeer and communicates with the Mordorquest party via palantír.
"Yes, I'm back with a brand new invention," he says. "Full reopt will soon follow, /ins-tyope/.
"What here new is? Naything fpun in AFT?"
"Soem of us jsut got bax from NYCmoont, Prad foisnihed an expotition (the maop is quite nice), and soem others of us are in
the Sracasta desert being chased by a giant female spinach," replies the Count.
Banazir's log provides a fuller account:
Mordroquest, Daz 100:
Oxalatlatl is worse than Shelob! I had to slice off 15 of her giant leaves (lpease, Eru, let them be leaves) afore she would cease
and desusst her unwanted attentions. Hurgh.
Some sand trolls, local minstrels of a sort, came along and offered to make Spinach Pie out of the parts of the Aztec demi-
goddess of overamorous vegetables. Fater hearing dreadly and bawdy tales of what the natives do with pies, here, I told them
to beat a hasty retreat bax to their camp.
# On the hundredth daz of the journey
I was loonking at lal the life
There were Spinach Queens and trolls and things
There were rocks that spoke of strife #
Half a daz's march inland from the beach we found an oasis where some strange rock-like creatures told us of a war between
the Southrons and the Robot Horde. Apparently the Haradrim beat bax the robots a generation ago, and repelled several incursions since, but have been experiencing so much attrition of their male warriors that they have had to reinstate conscription and create an all-female division. We thanked the rocks for their information.
We have gotten under waz in the Sarcasta Desert. At first I could knot stop singing America's "A Boar with No Name", but finally even D6 tired of it.
# I've been through the desert with a boar with no name
Acos there ain't no buddy fro to trask and to flame... #
The Count's Diary:
Daz 101: WE got attacked, if that is the right word, by a bunch of undeead cows called moomies. Annzoing, but easily enough dealt with. Then we went throguh a long stretch inhabited only by ... Enxxts. So that species, long thought to be restricted to Nomanisan Island (as we're apparently calling it, though I seem to recall seeing better names, but wahtever ...), is in fact inddigenous to the deserts of Far Harad. A fascinating discovery ... They made decent firewood once the prickles are
removed. Mrowen seemed a bit upset when I burnt one alive that was screaming for pity, but Banazir took it in stride.
I bropablz shd have wauted till it was asleep, though.
We arrived in the evening at the City of the Kilobytes. At first they were hostile, on account of ym title "Slayrer of
Killerbytes," before I explained to them the subtle distinction between Kilobytes and Killerbytes. Thye have several
fascianting customs, including the mesmerizing The Page Cannot Be Displayed Dance.
Captain's log, supplemental: The oases of the Sarcasta Desert are prowled by blue-glowing ectoplasmic bovines. These
Blue Moomies, no relation to Blue Moomins or to Blue Meanies, seem to be related to the fabled Lost Herd kept by the
Jedi Master Yoodle, if indeed they are knot the ghosts of those cows themelves. In nay case, the fastest way to deal wih them
is to whip up a dispel potion (which requires a Troll Beard - luckily we got one from one of the Sand Trolls who called
himself YY Top).
In the driest parts of the Sarcasta Desert dwell a strange race of lille Wildschwein-like beings who seem to live
symbiotically with great hulking cacti that they call "Enxxts". Days away from here, I am told, there are even larger ones
called "EnxxtWives". In nay case, I discoved through careful researches that the Enxxts represent the semimobile stage in the
life of the Borkeninos. They can only reach this stage through the rare phenomenon called the Desert Storm, which is knot a windstorm nor a sandstorm but a FIREstorm.
Every few decades one of the Enxxts becomes senescent and completely immobile. It is plucked of prickles, then cut up and desiccated with loving care, and finally set ablaze by the Borks. Dozens of mature Borks throw themelves onto the blaze
in aritual of immolation that is quite unnerving to behold. They chant a phrase in Borkenese that I am told means:
"The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long!"
and run far away from the embers of the Enxxt. When they finally go to ground, their dried husks are covered by the warm desert sand, and within huors a small cactus springs up – the beginning of a new Enxxt.
When the Count brunt one of the Enxxts, Morwen thried to douse the burning Enxxt but was prevented by a score of
Borkses. I, too, reached for a can of halon in the bax of the ATV, but the Enxxt itself cried out passionately for me to stop.
Menelvagor took this to be a plea for mercy and reckinsed very hideously. I was much disturbed by the sight of the Burning Enxxt, and still more so by the small blazing mammals (or reptiles, or whatever order they belong to) that lay in heaps
within minits. I was surprised to learn that the Enxxts are capable of Osanwe-Kenta; the dying Enxxt farspoke some words
of comfort in its beautiful resonant voice that I am sure Morwen could hear (as could the Count if he had been listening
instead of celebrating).
Even as the Count teunced away, singing paeans to Melko into the smoke-filled Sarcastan night, I felt tears sting my cheeks. Then I realized I was allergic to Enxxt ashes and moved away.
The chants continued.
Kilobyte custom requires that the nobility be addressed according to their rank and age. Infantile kilos are "bits", juvenils "nibbles", adults "bytes", and venerable elders are called "hexen". Knights are called "megas", Barons are called "gigas",
Counts "teras" (and Archbishops "holy teras"), Dukes "petas", and the monarch is addressed as "yotta". If there is a consort
he or she is addressed as "exa". The Empress Dowager, Exa-Hexen #$*@&1%%1@ (for the kilos have adopted the ancient
tongue of the Valaraukar as spoken in Beleriand) welcomed us with gret fanfare.
"FOUR O FOUR! O!" cry the Kilobytes incessantly. his chant continues even as we are thrying to sleep. I wonder if this is just
a ploy to discourage interlopers.
What a LOUD desert!
Tamf seems, for some mysterious reason, to have been upset about our self-defense techniques as applied to
Tamf gives the reopt she is reading a dejected slap. "trask! they're at it lal over the line... TEUNCs in black, TEUNC
attack, in space, at sea -- don't they have any decency?"
her dramatic exclamation is applauded by Meneldil the fiery ent, who is smouldering quietly in a corner. she resumes
"we must stop this trasking of Aztec demigoddesses of overamorous vegetables and other beings who are being
mercilessly trasked and pfundgebened by itinterant teuncs! we have to start a campaign... raise awareness... earn
choklit..." she plans and dreams ever higher.
"now, let's see what else these barbarians have been up to."
... and undead cows:
"yark and forsooth! enough is enoghu. action must be taken!"
before Meneldil knows what's happened, the dragon has grabbed him by the leaves and is dragging him to the WHoR.
from her sikrit pouch, she pulls a thin, but extremely solid-looking, chain of gold.
"now just sit still and burn," she warns, then fastens him securely in the chain, in the door to the inn, so that none shall be
able to pass.
"if this won't open their eyes, i don't know what will!" Tamf exclaims happily. "now you just be brave, and don't let anyone gatecrash you, kay? it's all for the sake of the poor oppressed animals and nundeads, you know."
Meanwhile, at the Headless Dragon Inn the innkeeper wonders at the sudden influx of customers. . .
For further events in the Sarcasta Desert, I turn to the Count's diary (in red), and Banazir's log (in blue):
Tamf is brunning the long-suffering Dil in the WHOR, which has mysteriosuly appeated in the Sarcasta desert. Perhaps
it is a mirage.
The rest of us were enjoying a party with the Kilobytes, at least until the page couldn't be displayed.
We are travelling north, and have come across a pot calling a kettle black. This leads me to suspect we may be
approaching Alfantrol and the fabled realm of E-textua. We are somewhat concerned that the Usenetîn who infest
the borders of these realms may end up mildly annoying us.
Captain's Log, Day 102:
The kilobyte shaman Holy Mega-Hex #@%133711& noarged and told Menelvagor that the vision he saw portended
the death of a TEUNC on the quest. Either that or the finding of a lost Dwarven artifact, he wasn't exacterly sure. His
daughter, Dame Carpadia (or Mega-Byte #@%%@#), told me that if I should meet a Sith Drol in the road, I should
greet him as a nold friend. She also warned me knot to eat too much fast food.
The Kilobytes have knighted us lal fro showing them how to interface Red Hat Linux 8.0 and WinXP using
interconnectivity tools. In exchange, they have presented us with several CDs of MacOS 10.2.
The Kilobyte Empress has also chosen a brave young warrior, Kilo-Nibble $1, to accompany us on the rest of our quest.
He will come to BC and set up Norton Ghost 7.5 for a dual-disk dual-boot (Win/Lin) system, make FlexLM export a
SCSI NFS mount from our IRIX 6.5 systems, and if he survives and becomes a Byte, hunt and return with the head of a
WinXP SP1 (or a Microsoft intern). $1 seems very enthusiastic but I get the impression, from his chieftain's enthusiasm at
his being selected for the quest (and the many CD-Rs I saw him pay the queen's men in tribute), that he is a little
clumsy and is considered bad luck.
We also undertook a side-quest, to drink the health of a Southron Preince named Qenya of the Zulu (though the king's majordomo, Giga-Hex @#$$$$$#, pronounced it "Zenya of the Qulu"; my shipboard computer believes this accent
derives from the Croatian Greenlander renegades who settled in Kilobytia 900 yeats ago).
At sunset today, a great red dust storm billowed from beyond the horizon as if it were he wake of Arien's vessel. A passing sheikh garbed in red told us that this phenomenon was called the Flame of the West. The Kilobytes call it #*@&(-*@&(*#@$#*@&(*#@$#*#@$#*⭧, by which length I guess that they venerate it... or fear it greatly.
We found some bedouins at dusk. "Yo, yo, homeys, whatcher bedouin?" said I in broken TEUNConics. They seemed more impressed by my pun tribute of one glodden flokarino than by my use of the vernacular. I introduced myelf as Banazr ibn Ranughad al-Galbasi. On the morrow we will sup with the eldest son of their Emir, Aaaaaaargh ibn Aaaaaargh ibn
Aaaaargh ibn Aaaargh ibn Aaargh ibn Aargh ibn Argh ibn Walid al-Jereeza. It is said that His Majesty Aaaaaargh
is a friend of a friend of a of a friend of a friend of a friend of Preince Qenya.
Note to Elf: Must remember to set my mini-Palantir to 'no sound'during this event. Those builders call at the most awkward times for consultation. Luckily I can usually just say 'yes and no', and they will know what I mean.
Captain's Log, supplemental:
In nay case, the Zulu ambassador and the Emir and his son are closeted for the time being. Ojevind and I therefore wandered
off to explore a nearby pyramid, which seems quite out of place in this region of the Sarcasta Desert...
The mystery of this place deepens by the minit. I think there is more to Argh than meets the eye. Ojevind was able to
decipher a hieroglyph-covered wall and several cartouches on the side of a stone sarcophagus.
What horror! The finders of the Necromoomicon and the writings of the Gret Race could hardly have experienced the
dread that permeated our minds in the pre-dawn hours. Oje and I pored over his work for what seemed days, just trying
to absorb the implications.
It seems that 40 yeni ago, an Avarin Elf named Amunyahoo sailed to Egypt in a craft that allowed him to journey into
the pathless Outer Void. He enslaved the local populace, forcing them to write advertisements in an all-too-familiar style
of pop-up hieroglyphs. I wondered why he used these instead of tengwar and Oje theorized that the elf must have wanted
to prevent his atrocities from being traceable to an elf if he were found out by the Gondorians or those who remembered
the high-elven tongue. Oje p6inted out several examples of phrasings and idioms that could only have come from a
Sylvan elf, but one who was lettered and had read or heard some lore of Valinor. "A late resident of Lorien," we speculated.
In any case, the elf did his damage and after three centuries of reigning as king, he founded a priesthood of Spam and named
his successors. The rest... the rest is infamy.
My mind wearies of writing and contemplating the ill origins of Yahoototep and Ankh-su-Spamun. Suffice it to say that
they are indeed as eViol as we had suspected in our worst imaginings. The unnamed elf "died" (perhaps in truth) and left
his starship to the unhold pair, but they were overthrown and mummified alive before they could bring their plan to
terrible fruition. The Gueiwu ship seems to have been programmed to hide itself in the desert at random (but long)
intervals like some teleporting pyramid.
What to do? For once I am completely baffled.
An hour and a half before dawn, I stopped to take a midnught snack and heard a sudden scuffle, a shout, what sounded
like an energy weapon discharge, a muffled "SNORFL!" and then silence.
I fear that Scubidubis, the dog-headed god of the Yahoo! underworld, has captured our redoubtable Schweingraf. I must
alert the other questers and come back to find him.
"Get me out of here! [SNØRFL]" screamed the Schweingraf. "But hurry, will you? He is nibbling at my heels."
Regrettably, however, the expotioners either are distracted by events in the Sarcasta Desert, or perhaps have had
their memories erased by evil authors, and do not get around to rescuing the Schweingraf until long afterwards.
In broken Balrog (I now have a side-quest to civilize the Kilobytes), $1 has warned me of the feared wizard Comm Ershal,
who cursed the pair Yahoototep and Ankh-su-Spamun before magically transporting them to the deserts of Nomanisan I., where they awoke several millennia later and did their deadly work. He lurks far to the North.
Had a rather frightenig moment when @#*@&(*@&(*#@$#*@&(*#@$#*#@$#*⭧ appeared
to me and said, "I am your father." ZOIX! Saz it ain't so!
Mordorquest Day 103:
TEUNCs continue to pick up titles like flatcakes. Preince Aaaaaaargh cerated Menelvagor an honorary emissary to the
Balrogs from the Emirate of Argh, Sean (who hasn't figured so prominently in this quest until now) was given the Medallion
of Napster-That-Was, and Mirabella (fater serving tea to the elder Aaaaaargh) was named some kind of potentate that my pocket transtator renders as "Grandmother of Lal Hobbits and Ruler of The Unsurveyed Deeps". I admit I was a lille unnerved
by the latter, acos it seems to me that this loose sand is knot partcularly goond smial-ground, but the Tuskens of Tatouine
have done more with less.
"Tuskeny is known for its goond tsate, is why ..." interrupts the Count.
Drive a landspeeder across the bantha pens and you might knot feel the same waz about Toskana. Oooka! Oooka-ooka-ooka! "Libera nos a malo" and lal that...
Captain's Log, Day 104 - dawn:
Apparently the transtator skipped one of Mirabella's titles: "Grandmother of Lal Hobbits, Maker of Wreally Goond Scones
and Tea Cakes, and Ruler of The Unsurveyed Deeps" She is now Head Baker At Large (ironic, nesupasu?) to the Royal
Family of Argh.
His Majesty the Emir of Argh, besides being a solicitous husband to his four wives and (from what we can see) an exemplary father to his 16 children, is a very pious man. He called a halt to our meeting three times for his prayers. Unfortunately, his children, except for the Crown Preince, do knot seem so pious. They are rather enamored of rock museic, which is all well
and goond (though as I have intimated earlier, this is quite a loud desert). They really do crank up their speakers in the
middle of the nught, though.
Halfway between dusk and dawn I heard a series of gret booming thuds outside one of the plushly carpeted tents the Emir
gave us as a welcoming gift, which I have turned into mobile command centers (complete with halogen lighting and Internet access). I thought it was the stereo system of the two youngest daughters (who favor hiphop and Christina Aguilera, respectively), but lo, it was a /mumak/ of Far Harad, bearing a messenger from none other than Preince Qenya of the Zulus!
The people of Argh are most civilized, though some of the villagers are rather quaint. As I suspected, none but the nobility
had ever been to a city with a CHOKLIT factory, so our gifts of Lindt were well-received. Fortunately for our mission they
have knot presented us with nubile young women, for I fear what effects might ensue if the Count and some of the other,
more... impetuous questers were to be tempted.
The Count is extremely irritated by the loud rock music:
I had to brun down one of their palaces before they got thje picture: no, Balrogs do NOT like noise; and yes, when annozed,
tehy cna be mildly dangerous. Or not so mildloy.
We are reallz going to have to work on civilizgin these eople. Note to elf: on our next mission, bring CDs of real music and destroy the appalling rubbish that passes for entertainment in this benighted land.
From Banazir's log:
I dashed through the halls and saved the lille ones (a half dozen grandchildren) from being bruned alive. These kids, born
to the second, third, and fourth of seven sons, like to listen to Rage Against The Machine and Far East Coast Rappers). The
young sons and daughters got out by themelves using ascension cables, though I had to cut a hole through the wall to let
the three youngest (a son and two daughters in their early to middle teens) out.
The Emir was so grateful fro the destruction of his younger childrens' Bose GigaTrask speakers (which they bought from neighboring Kilobytia) that he did knot so much as bat an eye at the immolation of the west wing of his palace. In fact, he bestowed the Argh Order of The Oliphaunt upon our Count (the medal shows a /mumak/ ear being plugged with the
slime of a kraken or balrog).
""An amuzzling bauble," says the Count politely. "I shall find some lesser beintg to give it to bax in BC."
He aslo pledged the hand of his third youngest daughter (7 of 9, ironically) in marriage to Menelvagor. The Count seems
to consider Haradaic writing beneath him, so I will waut until we get under way again to inform him of his bethrothal.
"She's attractive enough," says the Count. "But hwat the Udun happened to her denturtes?"
The Count seems blissfully unaware that the kids have been reduced to wearing headsets (which still blare at a decibel
rate that is audible to passersby, leaving me very concerned about aural damage) by his lille escapade with the flapping
The fifth son of the Emir, Arghail, a man in his early 20s and a poet, penned a Haradaic verse that ends (loosely transtated):
Go knot unto the Balrogs for peace and quiet,
For they will both grant and deny your wish.
The wives of the elder sons have taken to singing this /a capella/. The Count would, ataleast, be please to know of this positive impact on Arghian culture.
"<sneep horror of Yahoototep; it will have to waut>" half-growls the Balrog while reading the bit about Scubidubis.
Arghail aslo wrote:
Time and Yahoo! waut for no 'rog.
The Count's diary:
Daz 116: Some of the undeead tried to annoz us during the night. I told them to go to hell, and they promptly did. My only
fear now is that Flame of the West will reappear; for the further north we go, the closer to the realms of Alfantrol and E-txtua
we get. It won't be pretty.
$1 seems more worried about the land of the Giant Pez Dispensers, which is located far to the East. It is said that they are very zenophobic, becasue some of their kindred left many centuries ago, and those who remianed behind never forgave them.
"Fear Fred," $1 adjured me earnestly. "Fear Fred, for he is a terrible tyrant who will kill us all if we annoy him."
"YRAINW," I replied. "Tlel em, wyh deos 7 fo 9 keemp loonking ta me lkie taht?"
Supplemental: $1 wants for wahtever reason to get as far awaz from Argh as possible. He keeps muttering, "The killer is Argh!" and shrieking, "You iddin't come on the Argho, did you?" Perhaps he is mildly mentally challenged; perhaps he is completely insane. He says that in the North there are strange creatures that sound as if they may be related to the indigneous wildlife
of Balrog Cuttings, such as wovels, electorincs, ferrets, etc., buty thye are all much larger and more dangerous, particularly
the yopus, who wear ten-gallon hats and very loud, high-pitched, nasal voices. But first we must finish crossing this desert.
The hmunsa are getting rather weary; even I wdn't mind a bit of a change.
Daz 117: We are gettign closer to the land of Giant Pez-Dispensers. The drag is that we are also getting closer to twin kingdoms of Alfantrol and E-textua, and the depredations of the Usenetîn are becoming more and more annozing. I think I maz have
to klil some of them.
Having arrived in the land of the giant PEZ dispensers, the questers got into mild trouble when Tamf tried to devour the
innards of one of the more distinguished inhabitants of that realm.
They hotfooted it from the frying pan of PEZaz into the fire of E-textua, a land ruled by evil gnomes. These were no ordinary gnomes, but all-powerful author gnomes engaged in a bitter civl war. Their subjects seemed oddly changeable, going from straight socialists to gay capitalists with a wave of a gnome mouse. Not infrequently, it is even difficult to determine whether
an inhabitant of E-textua is alive or dead.
The intrepid explorers aren't baffled by such irrelevant details as life or deeath, and once they manage to get CivII.5 installed
on one of their mobilePalantiri they gain a modicum of control over the inhabitants of E-textua. Unfortunately, this only
lasts until one of the expotitioneers tries to sell coal to Cleopatra...
A chance remark by Count Tildanor ("Ew dmeand RTIBUTE for our ptaience!") impels the English Queen to declare war!
As they neglected to bring an army, the expotitioneers are driven back to the borders of E-textua and are currently holed up
in some caves, holding the English Army at bay in a desperate last stand.
"Fortunately, the English army are mlorats," says the Count. "Unfortunately, they are computer-generated mlorats. Where
did we go wrong?"
"Nowhere yet, I hope," says Morwen. "Did anyone remember to send for the cavalry?
"And to make matters worse, she has the Ring ..." adds the Count.
"Can't we send in a hobbit to steal it, or something?" suggests Morwen.
"Yo, Baznari! C'MERE!" yells the Count. "We have a job for you."
"..." adds Morwen. Banazir seems to have gone comatose.
"I'M AWAKE!" says Banazir finally. "I thought Terry Han was calling me."
"Trask, he's bropablz busy trading movie references with the E-textuans, says the Count. "How wlil we gent his attention?"
"One wrod: COHK-LIT" says the evidently still enchanted, or stoned hobbit.
"Go and buy soem from the Aztecs, then," says the Count.
"Lollo, you're thrying to get MY attention, memember?" says Banazir.
"Prefabs a little flame will serve that prupose .,," says the Count. "No one ahs legal authority over me, nazwaz."
"Tell that to MOM!" says someone. "She's on palantír right now.”
"MOM, no oe ahs legal authority over me," says the Count, obligingly. "PS.Make nme a Cthulhu sandwich."
<MOM gazes steadily at the Pousher d'Lucque>
"I want my samwich!" says the Count. [No source reveals whether he ever catually got the sandwich or not.]
"/me observes from a safe distance (are we still in E-textua by the way?)" says Morwen.
"we're in E-textua, but not excahtly safe," says the Count. "we did get the cavalry and they're beatign up the English or Egyptisans or soemoen bweginnign with E, nazwaz; that's the goodn news. The band news is that we're beign attacked by
an incredibly corny author gnome who never even read the previous cahpters ..."
"Just tie him up with this Elvish rope and leave him here," says Morwen.
"Now, I think we'd better get ount of hjere before the Pr*****e gnome gets us ..." says the Count.
"Everybody! RUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!!!!!! Follow me!" yells Morwen.
Unfortunately, no one seems to notice that they're running towards a forest of tildes....
Banazir the Jedi Hobbit wakes up from his nap and says:
"Who knows, mazbe even the stalled Mordorquest will start up again!"
"It may have escaped your notice that we have just escaped E-textua, defeated the English or Egyptian Queen (something
with an E, nazwaz), tied up a gnome-author with Elvish rope, and are currently ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunning away - unfortunately we are lalso running towards a forest of ~" says Morwen acerbically.
"And since he disobeyed our order to steal the ring from the E-queen, we're likely to sacrifice hmi to the first Eviol Idol
we cpome across," snaps the Count. "Jsut so you know. It wrteallz wd ahve been better to co-operate." Then, upon looking
at the disgusting forest of tildes to which they are headed, he adds, "HUrgh, don't tell me we're in Spamania!”
"Let's at least head in the direction of the Valley of Breast Enlartgements ..."
"Are you sure that's the best route?" says Morwen. "I think the Forest of Nigerian Money-Laundering is much safer. At least
if we're captured there, we will be the same physical shape when we come out again..."
"I see soem thick foliage in teh shape of dollar bills over yondeer; I *ohpe* that's the right waz," says the Count.
"I think it is," says Mowren. "And if we all remember that it's all a scam we should be okay..."
But as thye head towards the Forest of Nigerian Money-Laundering, thye are ambushed by a band of hentai-hai!
"Are they ink or pencil-drawn? Quick!" says Morwen.
"They're CGIs. EEk!" says the Count.
"Quick! Email them a virus!" says Morwen.
/me hastily starts Photoshop on her Palantir and tries to erase the hentai-hai.
The Count: "/me hax into hentai site; who knu firewhips were so versatile?"
"I think it's working!" says Morwen. "They didn't expect that firewhip...
"Keep running! We're nearly in the Forest!
Where are the other expotitioneers?"
/me looks bax from the edge of the forest and sees how Banazir is dragged off by some of the hentai-hai.
"Uh-oh...this can't be goond..."
Although it does have the salutary effect of removing the dope or enchantment or whatever that had come over Banazir:
/me slices through the power calbes of the CG hentai-hai's render farm, and keeps running into the Nigerian Money Laundering Forest.
"Hez, waut up!" yells the reinvigorated Jedi Hobbit. "We hafta go bax fro Ojevind! If Scubi-Dubis eats him, who's going to transtate with the Arghedain and the Zulu fro us? I've lamost got the E-textuan pyramid working."
"But he got us into trouble in the first place by trying to sell coal to that queen of wherever (something with an E... England, Egypt?)," says Morwen. "<sigh> You're probably right, though; we have to go bax for him..."
"That means going through the thickest and most dangerous horde of hentai-hai," says the Count. "Trask, I was wreallz hoping we could keep our G rating."
Morwen: "/me looks at the approaching hordes.
"Argggghhh! Not bloody likely! These are the most vicious, depraved, sick, filthy etc. NC17 hentai-hai around!"
"Don't loonk now (serially), but those are no ordinary hentai-hai," says Banazir. "They are black junei of Mordor."
"My eyes! I need bleach to wash them in!" cries Morwen.
"Frotunately, I blinded myelf with snowballs afore I loonked," says Banazir. "(Memember Luke and the training helmet?)"
(No one does.) "And now they are gone, acos I turned off the computers which were generating them."
"Trask, I mi... I mean, goond!" says the Count.
"I see some Alfantolian trolls luurjking in that forest," adds Banazir.
"That maz actuallz be a goond sign," remarks the Count. "If we can ever get ount of hjere, we'll be in Alfantrol, which isn't far from Mordor - though it's much more dangerous."
"I saz we need to nuke it from orbit," says Banazir.
"Do we still have a link to our space defences?" asks Morwen. "Or have the Smurrows taken them?"
"What if, when we nuke the Trolls, we end up nuking *us*? I saz it's topo dangeropus," cautions the Balrog.
"Hmm, you may be right, let's not be hasty," says Morwen.
"Whaddaya meen, hasty? It's been 2 months since we came to Far Harad!" says Banazir.
After a moment's reflection, Morwen says, "Right, so we rescue Oje first, and then make a run for it through the troll-infested Forest of Nigerian Money Laundering, on the off-chance that it's indeed close to Alfantol.
"Sounds like the best plan we've had so far on the whole expotition... Let's do it!"
"Wat are we wauting fro?" says Banazir.
/me dashes bax to the Etextuan pyramid and demands parley with Elizabeth. She doesn't laugh, she just drops us into a pit
of stropions. Nassty tail stingers.
/me bruns them off with a few well-placed Force blades (didn't know I could do that, didja?) and heads into the lower
chambers, setting off booby twaps in my haste to get to Ojevind afore Scubi-Dubis devours him.
Oddly enerf, even though Ojevind has been the prisoner of the rog-headed lord of the Udnerworld fro several eeks, Scubi
is STILL fattening him up. The plucky Oje has been taking the aquavit and the smoked eel, but has disdained the man-flesh and fried stropions. He loonks much the same, having neither gained nor lost weight.
/me strides froward and pix him up (*ooph nermine about knot gaining weight* how much fat is IN those eeels?!)... STAGGERS to the straggling Morwen, Menelvagor, and others of the Company, and hands him into their keeping.
Some freed Extextuan prisoners, including (surprisingly) Preince Qenya of the Zulu, the young Kilobyte $1, and Aaaaaaaargh ibn Aaaaaaargh, the young grandson of the Emir of Argh, come froward.
"Cllo, cannon fo.. lozal comarades!" says the Count.
"Now..." says Banazir. "On the top level of this pyramid there should be a control room. If we can defeat lal the Nazis,
Al-Qaeda operatives, Stromtroopers, Stellar 7 / Quake III / Diablor II bosses, and the Super SIKRIT Pokemon Master
Boss (wlokay, a smurrow, but a wreally powerful giant one), we can take control of the ship and fly it to Mordor."
"Or we cloud jsut use Rog-power," says the Balrog, shaving with Occam's razor.
The ship takes off and flies for a bint, until suddenly, it receives hostile fire ffrom the ground! Is it ... yes, it's the Alfantrolls!
"Hey, we're not in there yet!" says Morwen, before slapping herself on the forehead. "Oh wait, of curse, it's a decoy... Very
good. Now we should be able to walk out of here easily."
"Let's don these spam-fells," recommends the Count. "That waz, the Alfantrolls will think we're spammers and leave us alone."
"If it was good enough for Finrod, it's good enough for us," says Morwen. "As long as no one suspects we're not what we seem..."
"Oh, trask, we're surrounded by Alfantrolls ("Icky Parton", "SoCalGnus", "Ewen", "Riverdale")..." says Banazir. "They want us
to recite the Spammers' Creed! 'Bend knot your brows! Recite your vows...'
'Trask to peace, bandwidth, Iraq!
TOSed be regulars and FAQs!
May everlasting OT floods
Drwon Trolkien psots in their own blud!'
(psst, help me out here!)"
"They want us to advertise tilde enlargemnt crudoola?" gasps the Count, horrified.
"Yes, you must -- or die!" says the leader.
"It's Ankh-Su-Spamun, vampire-consort of Yahoototep! This is a foe beyond nay of you!" cries Banazir.
/me activates lightsabre and slays the orc-guard, Force-jumps over the Miniwethil-wannabe, and skewers the sparkly hussy squarely in the middle of her bax.
/me notices that his green lightsabre blade is protruding right through Spamun's heart, but she doesn't seem to be dusting, brunning, or bleeding.
Oh. A hologram. Trask.
FLY, YOU FLLOS!
/me turns Polcrist on and prepares to fight two-bladed against a horde of Olog-Hai clad in Mandalorian battle armor and wielding BTG-9000s (Beeg Trasking Gnus)...
Meanwhile the Count, trying to blag the Spammers, says, "Um, er, sure, just let us, um, get to that thread voer there, where
the regualrs will least sus ..."
"No! You will spam them NOW!" yells the spammeister."
"Psam tihs!" yells the Count.
*BRUN BRUN BRUN BRUN BRUN BRUN BRUN BRUN*
Sean, Morwen, and the other questers who have made it out of Elizabeth's complex, where most of the bad guzs are still trapped, notice that Banazir is in a harrowing situation. Still they stop to admire Menelvagor's aesthetically lpeasing brunning of
Ankh-Su-Spamun's wreal moomy soldiery (I guess she couldn't afford to make THEM holomoomies). Fater a VERY leisurely period of observation, they draw swords and bows and enter the mêlée...
"Hoy, Count! *ffzzzhrt-TZRAP* Get the Boonk of the Deead *fww-PYIZN-fww-PYIZNPYIZN* and read it *fFFFRRHZHRt*
so you can control the moomies *fww-PYIZN-ffwwww-PYIZN* and make them attax these Olog-Hai Troopers *ffzzzhrrk-kkKKN*"
The Count does.
At this p6int, Ojevind trots up with Mirabella...
IX. Fangirls in Mordor
But the peace is only of short duration, as Gondhir, watching events via palantír, observes:
“IN DA LAND OF MORDOR WHER3 DA SHADOWS LEI1!1!!1! WTF LOL
Hmm. We should fear this, for it is eViol.”
"God, yes," says the Count. "The Fangirls ahve taken over Mordor! Just when you thought Mordorqueast was gettign
As the E-textuan pyramid settles gently into the cracked, dry soil of South Nurn, a mob of Sk8ter-Hai is seen approaching
it at speed. They are lal dressed like Enrique Iglesias and wield shurikens made from AOL, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears CDs (coated with deaadly p6ison).
Trask, these things can only be dispelled by a weapon of mass destruction such as the singing of a CHOKLIT-fed Blarong.
*sigh* /me parts grudgingly with the last of his CHOKLIT ration...
Count: /me munches.
2RÉADOR 3N GARDA!1!1! OMG WTF LOL 2RÉADOR 2RÉADOR
ET!11! OMG WTF LOL SONGA BEIN OUI SONGE EN COMBATANT
QUUN O3UIL NOIR T3 REGARDE
3T!1!!11! WTF LOL QUE LMOUR TAT3ND 2RÉADOR
LMOUR LMOUR TATEND!!11!
"WTF?!?" yells the Count. "Why am I sisning like this? Some naszty wizard has ENCHANTED me!"
For indeed, the fanfickers are all powerful hjere. Not even a Balrog can completely escape their eldritch spell.
"At least I drwoned ount Crittany Spears and Christijna Agiliera, however .." he says.
But still, i wd like to get my old, like, WTF waz of talking and singing bax, y'know, an' stuff.
A loud, annozingly high-pitched voice resounds: "WE R SUE MARY N MARY SU3 N WE R LIEK TAKING OVR
N STFF! LOL WTF!!!11! 2 OMGDOR W3 WIL TAK U!!1!11!!"
"Oh no! *No! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"
Morwen, who had been otherwise occupied trying to keep the E-textuan refugees who joined the Expotitioneers on the
trip to Mordor from panicking, comes running up to see what the fuss is all about.
"Oh no! Fangirls!"
Morwen picks up her palantirphone and talks to someone for a few minutes while the others face off with the fangirls.
"I've just spoken to MegaHAL about this. We're probably doomed, but there are a few things we could try. This is what MegaHAL said:
MegaHAL: I don't think of fangirls if i have any appointments. Because
that's just the way Dru acts around Angelus, and wants Buffy help kill
him in the deceits of his servants that have ever been to this place?
Had any of the palace in Amber, in the smoke and dust was a
frightening spectacle to behold, and my stomach tightened within me as
i struggle to complete this thought... Have some respect for someone
more forgetful than yourself.
User: So how does that help against fangirls?
MegaHAL: Buffy: they say how he's gonna kill me? Do you think of fangirls?
User: I see. I'll just have to kill them myself
MegaHAL: "You," he called out. "Is that the line which separated the
black road. You would have to kill you. And nobody wants that!
User: No, indeed not.
MegaHAL: Yes... So, what do you f****** mind your own f******
business!! This is my first story so give me a break!!! Okay; i'll
better ask you about what you said about the most heartbreaking line
ever: "giles, i'm sixteen years old. I don't handle rejection well.
Funny! Considering all the deep waters about the Maiar. It seems to me
that he could not subdue it. It struck me then that he would use,
until he became a liar without shame. He began with the ends of worms
and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it
to sit down on or to avoid that one!
User: We have to dig a hole?
MegaHAL: In a hole in the deeps, of all the needs and griefs of Arda,
and filled it with these silly questions? Anyway, let's talk about
something a little more interesting. So how does that help against fangirls?
User: I don't know. Can you tell me?
MegaHAL: May I say this clearly? I don't like the first. His hair was
dark and dripping stone, with a subterrene voice or intelligence
shouting monotonously in enigmatical sense-impacts uninscribable save
User: Yes, that's definitely fangirls you are talking about there
MegaHAL: I don't think of fangirls if I have any towels?
User: Would that help?
MegaHAL: For those of you who've already read so far, you already know
you don't succeed, don't take any more time here than I can help it.
Morwen hits herelf over the head with a bound edition of LotR as soon as she realises she's falling victim to Fangirl Syndrome. This seems to help.
"We must decide quickly if we're going to fight or run. We can't hold them back much longer! I say we fight."
Morwen pulls a crossbow and an endless supply of bolts from a convenient plothole (there are *walays* plotholes near
fangirls), and starts picking off random fangirls in the menacing crowd. This doesn't seem to bother the remaining
fangirls though, and they advance on the Expotitioneers...
The Elf then notices that her fellow Expotitioneers seem to be falling under the spell of the fangirls and she starts
whacking them over the head with her copy of LotR to cure them at least briefly.
Suddenly the fangirls stop advancing. The ground trembles. The fangirls run as a screechy voice sounds from nowhere and everywhere.
"Leggyyyyyyyyyyy-chan!!!!11111111!!!11!!1!! Where aaaaaaaaaaaaaare youuuuuuuu!?!?!?!1????
Your Falalalalalalalalalalalalaikaiel is looking for youuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!!!1111"
Stenghtened by a gulp of choklit-mocha lava and a few whacks on the head with LOTR, the Count BRUNS the
slashier Mary Sues ...
Meanwhile, a lot of plotting is going on in BC. The Count, while glancing casually at the palantír, overhears the following:
Gillo: "(I turn off the fire-alarm, you get the Rog)."
"VERY sinteresting!" remarks the Count. "we were wodneirng abpunt UFAT agents in our midst; we kneed wodner no more!
It is time to DO SOEMTHING aboutn this meance!"
The Count is somewhat distracted by a party, but fortunately remains paranoiac; his oaranoia is merely transferred to a
"Now that the fangirls have fallen into disarray and Morwen seems to have the fanrog grisettes under control, the preince
of the Zulu, Qenya, has thrown a feast in our honor!" says Banazir. "I plan to pour a libation to honor him and the Emir's son, Aaaaaaargh.
"Menelvagor, let us go to the pavilion of the preince to plan my speech. The first night of feasting is tomorrow!"
"Excellent!" says the Count cunningly. "Do you like 'guuf' [fugu]? I insist!"
"I dknot know, what is it?" says Banazir. "Some kind of flaming blarong dessert?"
"It is a very sinteresting cocnction served by the servants of Tyope for seven gnerations of Rogs."
Banazir: "/me tastes...
How delicate! Knot liek pate atoll... it's so thin... it's knot hmunsa, is it?"
"LOL, no ..." says the Count.
"Delicious!" says Banazir. "I want you to thry a very 'young' vintage of Chateau D'Yquem that I put away for a special
occasion. I'm thikng of serving a bottle to the Arghidi at their opening reception tonught."
"BY all means! But I must insist that first you try THIS vintage ..."
"/me pours a glass, sniffs, tastes.
“Nexcellent bouquet! Where is it from? And what yeat?"
"It's a UNIQUE vintage. "Just let me know if nazthinghappens to the neuorns; we ahven't tested it xxet ..."
"You think mazbe we could have a rice puding dessert too?" suggests Banazir.
"I ahve a ricin .. er, rice alergy ..." blags the Count.
"This struff was just sent to me by air mail, apparently from Asia - the sender is signed 'RNA' but it is psotmarked from
"Feed it to a smurrow first and see waht ahppens. Or better xet, to a UFAT!"
X. Discoveries in Mordor: Interdimensional TEUNC
His paranoia reaching fever pitch, the Count teletransports back to BC and, along with Morgil and Magenta, takes over
BC in a coup d'état, and imposes a Fascist dictatorship. After the overthrow of the M-junta, MOM punishes Count
Menelvagor by having him clean up after the carnage. Morwen, who has also teletransported back to BC, waits more or
less patiently ... Banazir leaves the queast and moves to LJ-land instead.
"Wlel, I was waiting for you," says Morwen.
"MOM ahd me sweeping up skulls and struff," grumbles the Count.
"But now I'll finish mowing the lawn on Castle Hill first, if you don't mind," continues Morwen.
Count: /me hides behind his shadow and ohpes MOM doen'st set him more chores.
"You cloud give me a hand..." says Morwen.
"Whose?" asks the Balrog, politely.
"I don't know; just pick one," says Morwen.
Count: /me fishes aboutn in his unrefrigerator.
"Will that be mummified or fried?" asks Morwen. "And NO brunning!"
"But brunt is beuatiful!" protests the Count.
"Not when you're tlaking abount my lawn."
"Waaah! You're NO FUN AT ALL! *sulk*"
"Damn, he saw through me!" says Morwen.
"Nazwaz, teh lwan is done now; maybe we should get bax to Mordor....
Did nayone else come here as well?
And what shall we find when we go bax?
Will the Sues have regrouped?
Have they assimilated the E-textuans?"
Will we get to do naz catual digging?
Staz tuned ...
The intrepid explorers find themselves in the Mordorian province of Kansas. Is that a cyclone coming?
Morwen: /me shrugs and ignores the special effects as yet another weird side-effect of a week spent drinking lutefizz
in the WHoR.
Regrettably, it is not. But neither it is a normal manifestation of a brutal, uncomprehending, and uncaring nature.
It is a Sue-clone, a dreaded result of the confkuence or rather clash of Sue-interference with Sauronicity.
"That's why we're going to be in trouble here," says Morwen. "Unless someone can pronounce the true name of the
Sue-clone that is now coming at us."
"In the howling of the Sue-clone I hear words," muses the Count. "They sound like ... teen-aged attempts at obscenities.
They seem vaguely familair: I think I read soemthing like them around Xmas-time, in some kind of fanfic 'review' ..."
"Not again..." Morwen comments.
The shrieking of the wind can now be heard clearly, and its howls of "LOL!!!1!!WTF" echo eerily across the empty plain of
Mordor. Our intrepid explorers are buffeted by strong gusts as they look in vain for a place to shelter, when suddenly the
wind gets hold of a small sand dune and deposits it on the expotitioneers.
By the time they have dug themselves out again, the Sueclone has moved away, to their great relief. It is not until they get ready to move on again, and Morwen nearly stumbles over a small protrusion in the ground where the dune was, that they realise that there was something buried underneath the dune. Their rapid first efforts at clearing more reveal the corner
of a building.
Could it be...?
"It looks like a castle ..." says the Count. "Hmm, there are words carved on this stone: "Lhauerd Addam wæs hieere"? ZZZZZZZZZZZZTHat *can't* be right .."
"I know enough," says Morwen. "This *must* be the original BC. Either that or we've wandered through a rift into a
"I'm not detecting nazthing Rifty ... but there ARE some weird magical patterns around," says the Count.
/me sets the peons to work digging ...
"Interesting ... we're finding a somewhat dingy indestructible bubble, a thoroughly trasked sarcasmometer, and ... a very
mouldy piecrust?" amuzzles the Count.
"In that case, we're definitely in the right place... and beware the pie!" warns Morwen.
One of the E-textuans fails to heed this warning, and starts scraping off the mould. This somehow revives the piecrust and suddenly it's raining pie ...
This ain't no noirmal pie, this is *sentient* pie! And it just devoured the E-textuan, who unfortunately is one of the
E-textuans who can't be killed. Must be unpleasant ...
"I'm brunning several of these pie monsters, but they're too mnaz for me to face alone," says the Count, singeing a
peculiarly tasty, er, nasty cherry pie.
"mnnnnnnn...... pie a'la mind," murmurs Barahirion, who had turned up in the middle of the Quest somehow. "i'm coming,
vagor! i'll helf!"
*grabz fork and nife and takes off for wherever it is that vagor is busily brunning pies*
"don't toast them too much!" he pleads. "i likes the crust jsut slightly golden browned!"
"I'll have ine sauteed ..." says the Count.
A beautiful symphony of pie mass deeath fills the land.
"Why aren't the pies gettign any less?" confuses the Count. "If nazthing, they're increasing."
And some of them sneal in from behind and seize a hostage ....
"Because pie are squared, of course, intervenes Denise via palantír. "If one is destroyed, another takes its place. If two
disappear at the same time, four appear to replace them.
"Obviously, the solution is to eat half a pie at a time. Then there'll be only a quarter left."
"It seems to be wroking, except tht I accidentally ate half of the hostage a swell," says the Count. "I ohpe he wssn't
"Don't worry about it until someone turns up to complain about it," says Morwen.
"Soudns cllo to me," says the Count. "Whoever they are, they go very well with paprika."
Morwen: /me nibbles on her third half-pie, and looks round.
"Looks like we're defeating this thing, people... Shall we continue digging?"
"Yes, get bax to work, minions!" orders the Count. He watches the laborers' progress with interest.
"Hmm, they've found ... a Constitution?"
While the Count’s attention is focussed on the digging, the Pie R Squared sneaks in from behind ...
Morwen: /me examines the filthy, torn, half-burned piece of paper that one of the minions has recovered.
"Hmmm, 'Ye olde Chonstitution of TEUNC'; lemme take a look....
"'To become a member of TEUNC you must be a giraffe, or have 3 dollars'
'There is no eight'
'Urple is a gret colour'
'Weapons are strictly forbidden'
'CHOKLIT is the ultimate eViol'
'No one shall disobey our gret leader, the mighty MM'?!??!?
"What is going on here? Something is very wrong ... "
Suddenly Morwen turns round fast and chops the Pie that tried to sneak up on her into several interesting fractions.
Meanwhile, the Count looks at the Constitution and then tries to explore the dimensional #@^*^@^#@#^@#@^#@#
to get a sense of what is happening. "Aals, I freaed it was so," he says at length, sombrely. "The battle with the Fangirls propelled us into the wrong dimension, a lpace where MM and his follwers (the TEUNCs) were driven ount by Conrad Dunkerson."
Suddenly a figure appears out of nowhere and says, "Greetings, mortals. I am the Enforcer. Submit to my will."
"I'm knot a mlorat!" yells the Rog, indignantly.
Morwen is still going about how TEUNC never followed MM in her dimension and that she wants no dealings with this dimension if TEUNC here followed the eViol One, when the stranger interrupts.
"Yeah, who are you calling mortal!" she snaps at the self-styled Enforcer.
The stranger, who is wearing a long cloak with a cowl that covers his face - though it would perhaps be slightly more menacing if it wasn't that particular shade of pink – seems to be taken aback by the fierce reaction of the entities he just addressed. He
adjusts his tone, and continues talking. "Please, forgive my mistake; one does not see many people in my kind of job, and I believed you to be archaeologists; and they are not allowed to come to this shrine of the Great MM, whose name we honour."
"We wlil frogive oyu if you tlel su the histroz of tihs lpace, and wyh rachaeloogists are knot allowed," begins the Rog. Then,
on getting a closer view of the stranger, he breaks off. "Fred?? What teh Udun ahhpened to you?"
The stranger blinks, and adjusts his pink cloak. "Fred," the stranger repeats, as if recalling from old memory a long disused
word. "Yes, that was the name. I was Fred." He shifts and looks around nervously. "But you should not call me that. No
names. He will know; and his servants will find you. Do you wish them to find you? They are terrible!"
"I cloudxx't crae lses wehtehr htey fnid us ro knot," humphs the Count. "We are mroe tahn a mtach fro tehm."
He creates a ring of fire around the "Enforcer," Morwen, and himself (and whoever the Udun else is in there).
"I fear flames are of little use agaisnt HIM," says the stranger in a low voice. Nonetheless, he plucks enough courage to
whisper, "Archaeologists are evil because they plumb under the surface to understand the causes of things. The Truth is
all on the surface of the Uncreated Text of Otlkien." The Count scratches his head.
"Oh, please, do not feed us that Martinezian nonsense," Morwen says.
The "Enforcer" ducks and looks around nervously at the mention of that name, but relaxes again when he finds that no bolt
of lightning or other divine retribution visits them.
Morwen encourages the others to continue digging, guessing that if this place is worth even the zero protection offered by
this so-called "Enforcer" there must be something here, no matter how small.
Thorin starts singing of gold.
More time passes.
"What's that dwarf doing here?" someone asks.
Meanwhile, one of the E-textuans has dug deep enough to reach the door of the building they have found, and he goes to
work on opening it with some of his fellows.
"Egad!" says the Enforcer. "Please do not open that door. I will pay you gold!"
The Count snorts disdainfully at the mention of gold, and yells: "Gent outn fo my waz, mlorats!" When the coast is clear, he
blasts open the door.
"Hmmm, tehre smmes ot be a lont fo struff in hjere,” simmers the Rog, and sends the minions in to investigate. (The Enforcer
looks as if he were praying for this horror to end.) They find, among other things, a boar mask, several bars of soap, the shards
of a CHOKLIT sword, an umbrella, a pipe, a pez dispenser, and a tattered paper document.
"Do not read it!" says the Enforcer. "To see those words is certain death!"
Not bothering to ignore the stranger, the Rog reads aloud: "TOP SIKRIT Revilutionary Cnostitution of ... UFAT!?!? 1.Tehre si
kno htree ... Waht the UDUN!?!?!?!?"
He stops reading and hands the document to Morwen. Suddenly, from somewhere deep inside the building, comes the sound
"No htree? Well, at least they got that part right," Morwen comments, and continues reading. She seems highly amused by
what she finds, and occasionally has to repress a giggle.
However, the voices from inside the building are now quite a bit closer and she reluctantly folds up the document and tucks
it in her boot.
She casts a suspicious look at the "Enforcer", who is now huddled in a corner, trembling. She draws her sword and tries to gain
the Enforcer's attention by tapping him on the shoulder with the point of the CHOKLIT sword, but all that happens is that
he cowers even more.
"Is this trap of your doing?" she asks, but he fails to answer, and realising that she will not get an answer from him under
the current circumstances, she shrugs and turns her attention back to the room, just as a dark shadowy shape emerges from
a doorway leading deeper into the building.
"LEAEV NOW BFORE I KIL U AL AND EAT UR PUNY SULS!1!11 WTF LOL FEAR MA FOR IM TEH MOUTH
OF MM111 OMG WTF LOL U WIL OBY M3 OR DEI!111 LOL," the creature screeches in an oddly high voice.
"No wnoder," murmurs the Rog. "Tihs msut be teh Wrold of Fna, of wihch Gthomog once warned me. One fo the msot
hrroible strozes he enver hoxha tlod us sazs that MM weeded Mary Sue nad begat teh race of Fangrrls, fro wihch eviol
Tyope expleled tehm into the Viod. TI seems taht nisteand tehy cmae to tihs dimnesion nad befloued it ..."
"LIEK SHUT UP N WERSHIP M3 N STUF LOL OMG WTF!!1!!!!11" yells the hot-pink-clad monstrosity that looms before them.
Then something snaps. "#$%$%^#%$#%$&#^$@!!! HO DRAE OYU TLELE ME TO SHTU PU!" bellows the Count.
He rushes forward and strikes the Mouth of MM with his firewhip.
The MoMM dodges the attack of the enraged Rog, and the Count hits nothing except the edge of the monster's cloak, which smolders briefly, giving off a noxious pink smoke that quickly fills the room.
The Count seems unbothered by it, but Morwen, the Enforcer, and several E-textuans beat a hasty retreat into the fresh
air, or at least try to, as they come face to face, or rather face to point, with an assortment of very sharp weaponry of the
projectile kind. Somehow they all manage to dive back inside before the archers outside recover from their surprise at
the sudden emergence of the coughing hordes.
Morwen and one of the E-textuans quickly slam the broken doors shut and start blocking them with some of the rubbish
"He betrazed us?!" yells the Rog angrily. "Si tihs oyur donig?" He waves his firewhip in the direction of the Enforcer.
"No!" cries the amguished Enforcer. "I never meant for this to come to pass. I hoped that by allyign myself to the Power, I
migth attain the noblest of ends: Order, Peace, Wisdom. I would have steered it in the direction of good, regretting evils
doen along the way, but applauding the end re..."
Bha, oyu tlask topo mcuh!" interrupts the Count. "Ottehrs can interrgoate oyu if they want. I'm gonig to deal with this
rbable!" He finds an alternate exit, leaves, and lets his rogfire go amuck!
While this certainly is an effective way of dealing with those outside, it leaves Morwen holding off the MoMM on her own.
She is putting up a good fight, but is slowly being pushed back by her opponent, until the MoMM cries out in horror. "You've broken a nail! I am lost! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"
The Elf presses her advantage, and soon she has driven the MoMM against a wall. "Unhide your visage, creature of dark..
umm pinkness," she hisses at the monster she is keeping at swordpoint. The monster raises its hands to the cowl of its cloak,
while the Enforcer, now forgotten by all, whimpers and tries to crawl even deeper into the corner he is hiding in. The MoMM draws back its hands, and reveals ...
Having driven off the enemy (at least for now), the Rog returns to see what Morwen has unmasked ...
"Tyope? bTU HWO did she trun tino a ... an ... wlel, *taht*?!" He then addresses MoMM: "Oyu llok lkie smoeoene who knwos somthnig," he remarks. "Tlel us what's gonig on hjere and hwo we gto bax to oru ralitz! Whjere we cmoe from, MM wsa teh
enemz fo TEUNC )ro al teast the aerly TEUNC(."
"TEUNC, you say?" MoMM asks, and laughs hollowly (and rather carefully, since it is never wise to make sudden movements with a sword at one's throat). "TEUNC is a lie, and only the most depraved of the Great Lord's enemies now believe it ever existed. There is no TEUNC. Don't you liars and trolls ever learn? Next you'll tell me that Balrogs exist and don't have wings. Flamers!"
Morwen observes the creature she's holding at swordpoint with interest and amazement. "Liars, you say? Trolls? Flamers? In
our world, your master is nothing but a bad memory; as you will be soon, if you don't answer the Valarauko's questions very quickly. Speak!"
"This," the MoMM replies with great dignity, "is the world of Fandom, brought into being by Our Master, the Great Fanboy,
and Mary Sue, the Great Fangirl. They hand down their wisdom unto us through the sarced Palantír, and we govern the
world according to their laws. It is said indeed that thye used the Palantír to create this world."
"I *ohpe* this info si fo smoe sue ot us," mutters the Rog. "Latouhg yuo pseak flasehoond. Fro verilz I am a Blarong. Nad I have preveiced taht noce oyu ahd "teunciness," afore oyu anabdoned ti. Now tlel me: Where si tihs Planatír?"
But the MoMM only blurts out, "Ai ai! You can't exist! You are an illusion, a computer-generated virtual projection? There
ARE no Rogs, dwerrows, jedi hobbits, etc. The hardmouse, who remembers the ancient time, will confirm what I say."
Morwen shudders at the mental images called up by the MoMM's explanation of how this world came to be, and presses
her sword against the creature's throat a bit harder.
"Never mind, just answer the nice illusion now, and I won't turn you into sushi. And the hardmouse? Only fools believe in
him. He is a legend, a fairy tale, nothing more."
At this moment the Enforcer interrupts. "I can take you to the Sacred Palantír. It will be dangerous, but not as dangerous as staying here is about to become." As he finishes his sentence, a sound of drums echoes from the spaces below where the
MoMM had come from.
DOOM. DOOM. DOOM.
An enormous CGI of a metallic rodent comes into sigth, and horrible is its squeak. It is still a fair distance away, but even
the Rog thinks it the better part of valor to get a move on. "I thnik this mnoistre *cmoes* from the Plaantir, nazwaz."
"The Palantír has terrible guardians, of which the hardmouse is only one, albeit the most dangerous," says the Enforcer. "But
they may allow me in undisturbed. Or they may not."
"I think it's time we get moving, guys," says Morwen, ignoring her earlier comment that the hardmouse is just a legend.
The Enforcer thinks about calling her on it, but his will to live is a lot stronger than his desire to taunt the strangers, and he wisely decides against it. Instead, he asks the two what they want to do about the MoMM, pointing out that it may be useful later on to have a prisoner.
"Or we may be betrayed by you and the other creature," one of the surviving E-textuans says softly.
The Enforcer ignores the comment, and tries to get the group to move quickly to the back of the building.
"And we can't do anything about it; so let's get going, NOW!" Morwen says, and her words finally manage to get everybody moving, or maybe it's the fact that they can feel the hardmouse's footsteps shaking the earth (which, if you think about it a bit longer, is a nice trick for a CGI projection).
As soon as everybody is standing around at the back of the building, the Enforcer mutters some words, and the edges of a trapdoor slowly become visible on the floor.
Out of the trapdoor comes an enormous orange griffin with three toes on each foot.
"Tmaflan!" screams the Enforcer in terror.
tamf, who has up until this time been hiding in the balrog's spare pair of slippers, wakes up and ywans. she is arrested, mouth
still opened wide as the taps in the White Horse of Rohan on a saturday, when she sees the orange monster.
"moomf!" is all she finally manages to utter, and then mutters: "I thought it was supposed to be green."
"Thou hast summoned me, Fredda Tarkaan," says the creature. "I am come. What hast thou to say?"
"tmaflan!" the dwagin gasps, and makes a great leap toward the griffin. stumbling in the fluff of one slipper, her majestic jump
is somewhat cut short and she lands audibly prostrated before the creature.
"alll my life i have served you, tmaflan!" tamf starts gibbering. "every piece of CHOKLIT i ate, i ate it for you. well, sort of."
the griffin merely gives her a cold stare of lizard-like hostility.
"Tsark, mroe werid flcuntuations in the tmie-psace cnotiuunm," growls the Rog. "TRhye maker em dizzy."
The Enforcer faints.
meanwhile, the three-toed griffin dances a curious dance. it seems to be attracted to the balrog's flames, and is starting to
circle him, but is as yet unwilling to enter their warmth.
"coo?" it says at last.
"#$*&#*&$ &#&*$ #$*(#$# $*&#," grrrs the Count, falling back into his own tongue (neat trick if you can do it) in
his general annoyance. To his surprise, the griffin seems to understand him quite well.
"^@^@#@^#?" she inquires. "#&$ #*&#&*$# 587 &#&*$#. #& #$*&#$?"
"@@#(*&*&%$ &$#* &#&$# #&$ &*$&*#$#," replies the Balrog somewhat tersely.
"#$#^&$#$ #&*$ #&$(&# ^$#$#^$#%#$*#& #(^$^#$#$#," says the creature. "$#^$^#$ #$&#$^#$# *&$*&$*&@#$ #$*&#&$*#$# ##^#$*&$# #$*&*&$#. ^$#^# #($($&$&# $##& (*&#($*$ *&$#."
"#*&$#," grunts the Rog, and then turns to his companions.
"Seh sazs seh's wliling ot jion uro side agianst teh hradmuose," he explains. "Nad ot hlpe us gent ot the Plaantír. Tehre's nolz
"And what's that?" asks someone or other.
"Seh wntas to mrraz me," says the Count ruefully. "I sppuose ti's a step up frmo hmunsa and psinach, btu strill ..."
Morwen snorts at the whole ridiculous situation.
"A creature with a virtual number of toes wants to marry you and you don't think it strange at all?" she asks. "Has any of
you esteemed creatures noticed that every single time we attempt to leave this place there is some strange disturbance
that keeps us here? And does anyone happen to think that is in any way suspicious? Just how real is this place?
The Elf steps towards the trapdoor and attempts to jump in, but just as she does so, a sudden earthquake shakes the building and collapses the tunnel under her, so that instead of jumping down a hole she finds herelf standing on a pile of rubble about
a meter high that just happened to fall down from the ceiling an instant before she jumped.
"See? That pile of rubble should have buried me, but instead it fell into the hole, and I landed on top of it... I think we walked
into a trap the second we came through that door at the front..."
"And here you will stay, and rest from your many labors, you lying, flaming trolls!" cries a voice. "When I saw in my Palantír
that you lamers were set upon finding the hell-hole you originally crawled out of, to infest the world with your CHOKLIT-bedazzled inanities, I was ready. There is, after all, but a dimensional shift or two separating Proto-TEUNC from TUNC. So i f
irst used my Palantír to gain control of TUNC, and then planted a dimensional portal at the doorway of the proto-Castle
Hare. Simple, yet effective, no? And here you are!"
"I maz be a lfamer, btu M'i kno trlol!" bellows the Rog. "So hswo yuorelf!"
A thunderbolt reverberates throughout the entire ... whatever it is. A computer appears suspended in mid-air. The Enforcer
and the griffin tremble, and kneel before it. Count Tildanor laughs.
Morwen briefly wonders whether the 'Rog has gone insane, then realises the question is meaningless for any values of 'insane' that the current universe might contain.
"Yes, here we are," she addresses the computer, "and now what are you going to do about us? I suppose you could just keep us here until we escape, or until your power source runs flat, but if that is the whole of your plan, I'm disappointed. Even without
us, the Teunce will go on!"
A nasal monotone emerges from the bowels of the computer: "Your quest to discover the original TEUNC is an illegal
operation and will be shut down."
"YRAINW!" retorts the Count. He throws a fireball straight at the machine. The Enforcer looks horrified, while the griffin
makes googly (at least they're not yahooy ...) eyes at the Balrog.
Then, suddenly, everything goes grey, including the hourglass that now hovers overhead ... and hovers ... and hovers .... and
hovers ... and h...
"#&$##$*#$^#&$& &&#$@#*@(*# #&$&#$#$@ #$#$#$#* #$#(*$# #&$#$#&$(#*$ $&#$ #*&$#$& #$#$#*$ #*$ #*$ &$&$&# #$#$#$#(*$ ($# *#$#$#&$#$!!!!!!" roars the Count; and the grey
"Great," comments Morwen from somewhere in the nothing that is left, "I don't know where we are now, but at least we are
no longer in the previous trap... Hey, people! Everybody who can hear me, shout out! Or whimper, or whatever..."
She is greeted by a deafening silence.
"O-kay... this is NOT funny. Come on, guys!"
"Oh, bother," she mutters, "stuck in the Void. On my own. How tedious. I might as well sing a song to keep up my spirits."
5683 bottles of beer on the wall later, there is still no sign of any life form, and by now Morwen is convinced that she is alone,
for anything even remotely alive would have reacted to her singing by now.
Count Tildanor likewise finds himself alone in an empty white ... nothing. "There is ntoghing more annozing to a Blarong,"
he growls, "tahn to be stuck in a 404."
He tests the place with various spells, and eventually discovers that behind the nothingness there operates an abominable, inexorable Will.
"I shloud hvae knwon ti ws oyu," he growls. "Nwo bnirg us bax to our dminesion, vlie mummz, ro I'll BRUN oyur davertising revenue!"
Meanwhile, he tries to send a telepathic message to Morwen: "Use oyur sgifle ot #$#$&#$ the mummz wihle I #$*&$#&*($&#$#*$ the dimnseional portal -- fi I cna *fnid* it ..."
He is very angry to find that his telepathic message is being blocked ... But no mummy could be *this* powerful! So it wasn't Yahoototep at all; it was the Demon of the FAQ!
"Waht a neviol frotune," he murmurs. "Nad I ma lareadz trasked."
Morwen is getting bored with the bleakness of her surroundings and is writing bits of metaphysical graffiti in Rumilian
letters, just to keep busy, when suddenly she faintly senses another presence, somewhere.
"Count? Is that you?"
The Count hears this, but only as a faint whisper. He replies at the top of his telepathic voice, in the hopes that at least some
of his message will get through the psionic barrier: "WE RAE NI AN INTERDMIENSINOAL FAQ, AND TEHER IS BTU ONE OHPE FRO ESCAPE. FRIST WE MSUT WREAD TEH FAQ, AND TEHN BRUN IT. FATER TAHT, I OHPE WE WLIL BE BAX IN ORU ROIGINAL DIEMNSION. BUT TEH TASK IS TOPO DIFFICLUT FRO ONE OF US TO DO ALNOE."