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Barmy to
the Spire

What's all this barmy stuff?

Want to find out what has been forgotten in the Styx?

Not enough barminess for you?

Barmy to the Spire

To the Sooty Realm of Freedom!

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De Players
A Barmy- Merj (Pl / Plumach Rilmani / Bleakers / CN) played by Jeremiah
Another Barmy - Smoat (Pl / Gnome / Bleakers / CN) played by Tom
Not a Barmy this Time - Heregul (Pl / Guardinal / NG) played by Heregul
A Party Goer - Phona (Pl / Teifling  / Doomguard / CE) played by Jeremiah

The Gatehouse: Asylum
This large open room, unmonitored by any apparent security, is strewn with people and creatures of various races and appearances. Off to one side, a small door with a brass plaque marked "Tyvold's Office" can be seen. A series of windows along one wall let in what little light there may be outside, to the delight of the barmies inside, who sit and stand in small groups, or merely gibber quietly to themselves in a corner.

Merj blinks

Merj gibbers in a corner.

Smoat looks around conspiratorially, "Merj , m'dear, a game o' chess, perhaps?"

Merj peers out the sunlight escaping into the room, and ponders.

Smoat rubs his hands together, and cracks his miniscule knuckles. "Is just what I was thinkin'. A game o' chess, somewhere else."

Merj a thoughtful looks crawls across his face, like a basking lizard. In fact the ridges on his forehead give this exact appearance. A lizard looking for flies.

Heregul enters from The Gatehouse: Courtyard.

Heregul has arrived.

Heregul walks in, apparently looking for the head Bleaker on duty.

Merj slowly turns around and stares at Smoat . Yes, exactly like a lizard on a rock. A nice /hot/ rock.

Smoat hops from foot to foot, and nods quickly. "Yez? Yez?"

Heregul says, "Ah, excuse me, but I'm looking for the officer in charge of admissions..."

Smoat looks up and scrunches up his nose. He pushes an imaginary pair of glasses up his nose. "Who're yez? What do yez want? Dis isn't happening, right?"

Heregul says, "Ah, perhaps you could direct me towards the person in charge of admissions and in charge on the wards here?"

Merj drools on Heregul 's boot.

Smoat shakes his head and squints through his imaginary glasses, and scratches at his left ear. "That way!" he says, pointing erratically.

Merj peers Heregul up and down, not thinking him worth anything in the crazy balance of the Gatehouse.

Heregul walks off towards the direction that the gnome has pointed in, apparently looking for whoever is in charge here.

Smoat stands stalk still. "What's dat?" he says, pointing.

Smoat turns on his heals and runs as soon as the invader turns his back.

Merj peers around, looking blank.

Smoat grabs Merj by the sleeve of his robe, and keeps running. "Er..." *grunt* "Cmon, we need..." *grunt* "To escape..."

Merj camly is lead along by Smoat , taking his pace.

A pasty-faced Bleaker comes out of a nearby office. "Can I help you?", he says in a droll voice towards Heregul .

Smoat calls back to Heregul , "He'z barmy! Ignore 'im!" as he continues making tracks.

Heregul says, "Ah, yes, if there's anyway that I could see the file on the being "Ego" that was admitted here a few days ago?"

Merj giggles, his mind on another path.

The pasty-faced Bleaker says, "We keep files?"

Smoat huffs and puffs. After a solid ten yard run, he is thoroughly exhausted, and falls to the ground in the wall's shadow. "Did we escape yet? Are yez paying attention to see if we'z bein' followed?"

Heregul rolls his eyes, then says, "Perhaps you remember the tall female devourerlike thing that I brought here earlier in the week?"

The pasty-faced Bleaker says, "Oh, yes, her."

Smoat has left.

The Gatehouse: Courtyard
Just inside the gigantic iron bars of the courtyard entrance, the mass of people trickles down to a few small huddled groups. The tall stone walls of the court loom overhead, relieved only by four solid, somewhat more comforting oak doors that lead off to the various wings of the Gatehouse. A couple of Bleakers wander slowly through the courtyard on their faction-related duties, none in any apparent rush. Heavy fog and deep, dark grey skies make it hard to see in the gloom.

Smoat feels along the walls of the Asylum until he finds his way outside. "Eh? We're still here?"

Merj peers around, calming down with he balance of only two.

Heregul walks out of the Asylum wing of the Gatehouse, looking a little unsatisfied with the information that he has received.

Smoat rolls his eyes in his sockets, then his head on his neck, then his shoulders, then his waist, then his legs, and whispers to Merj .

Merj starts to exert slight shivers.

Smoat whispers, "Make sure yez'iz nice'n limber, escape's iz tricky business."

Heregul continues to walk out of the Gatehouse, nodding ever-so-slightly to the uncaring guards at the gate.

Smoat continues with his calisthenics, and makes sure to kick a nurse in the shins as he capers around the courtyard, in a wide orbit around Merj .

Smoat nods happily that all opposition is now gone, and wanders back to Merj . "What's the plan, din? Them's high walls, they is."

Merj examines the wall, placing his hands along it looking for kinks, finding a spot near the bushes he starts to finger across head height for likely handholds. Finding one, he peers around the courtyard and walks out the large, looming, and above all entirely open gate.

Hive Ward: Barmy Run
More open than most of the Hive Ward, Barmy Run is packed with bodies, be it day or night. Cheap peddlers, bubbers, dubious-looking characters, artists, barmies, and more assorted folks give the road a morbidly festive air. Atop a nearby hill, a long line of people and creatures zig-zags up the to the top, where a large low-lying building sits. Light grey clouds cover the sky, mingled with a sooty smoke.

Smoat has arrived.

Smoat smells the air and coughs, "Freedom! Haha, what a hole yez found in their defenses!"

Merj looks both ways sternly as if sanely figuring a way to go, then stand stills and giggles.

Smoat glares down the street. "Hmm. Yez've got the key, right, Merj ?"

Merj pulls out an old bread crust, pointing to it.

Smoat holds his stare, until he sees the husk of bread, which he runs to like a child towards something sticky.

Smoat whines and hops on one foot beneath the husk, "Give it to me, yez! C'mon! I haven't eaten in ages!"

Merj blinks, and drops the crummy (and did I say moldy?) bread crust into Smoat 's outstretched arms.

Smoat gobbles down the husk of bread, crumbs covering his face, he shouts, "That way!"

Smoat has left.

Hive Ward: Dark Spiral Lane
Twisting, winding alleys intersect and writhe in strange patterns within this area of the Lower Ward, walls of the ramshackle buildings overhanging the street. A wooden sign for Darkwell Court points rimward, but as far as can be seen, no designation for this street exists. Toothless, misshapen beggars sit slumped against walls, or haltingly walking along the streets, begging in mumbled voices. Light grey clouds cover the sky, mingled with a sooty smoke.

Merj peers into the gloom at the nearby Gatehouse.

Merj brushes crumbs off his robe from the crust, then looks about quizzically in the sooty smoke of the Cage.

Smoat squints, "Is dark, yez? Confusing streets. I thought freedom would be more easily negotiable.

Merj moves his head back and forth in the gloom, then accidentally trips over the small sooty figure of Smoat , "Urf."

Smoat ughs. "Eh? Get off me, yez big oaf! Ehhh!"

Merj picks himself up from the dirty streets, and peers at the reddish light emitting from the nearby entrance of a tavern.

Smoat peaks in through the crack beneath the door to see what's inside. "Eh. I dunno if that's Freedom, in there. Remember that guy? Crackers the nurses called him? Used to say "dont talk to him, he'z crackers?" well, he gave me the key to freedom, righ here I've gawt it!"

Merj looking closer at the entrance, he sees the sign "10th pit". Quickly he jumps back, looking at the ground for any large holes to fall into.

Smoat holds up a little iron nail. "Crackers said this'z the key to freedom, it is, and he used to say some right insightful stuff, he did. I wonder if he got a brother named Cheese. His parents could call him Cheese and Crackers. Har har." Smoat grins, and falls down into a lump.

Merj giggles, accidentally loosing his balance. He quickly recovers though, managing to not let any large holes sneak up behind his back.

Smoat frowns. "Now, I just wonder where dis key fits, eh? Yez got any ideas?"

Merj squints as a look of puzzlement comes to his face, then he scrounges around his pockets and pulls out a hammer.

Smoat quirks an eyebrow and circles Merj 's ankles, getting lost for a few seconds in the folds of the robe. "I'm not sure yez can just make a keyhole wiv it."

The hammer looks to be quite old, and is of the normal Sigilian variety - spiky on every side, and covered in leather - this ones a bit rusted though, and has mold on it. It's more a long greenish lump with spikes.

Merj holds the hammer shakily in his left hand, still looking for sneaky holes in the ground.

Smoat runs quickly from between Merj 's feet. "Careful yez don't drop dat thing, it'd poke me full o' holes."

Merj nods, and with arms still slightly shaking advances toward the entrance with the hammer outstretched in both hands, incidentally pointing it the wrong way.

Smoat scampers quickly around Merj , unconsciously beginning to levitate slightly. "Eh! Careful! Where're yez goin?"

Smoat looks down, "I'm levitatin'! Imagine, I haven't done this in years!" he says, and falls with a heavy thud.

Merj peers back at Smoat uncertain, before a fiendish, but dainty, hand pulls him fully into the pit.

The Tenth Pit: Commonroom
Ragged-edged stone walls form a circular room, barely lit by the dim flicker of candles and glowing demonic eyes. At the center of the room is a circular platform, raised about a foot off the ground. A series of pulleys and restraining devices hang from the ceiling above it, ready to be lowered at a moment's notice. Two harsh beacons focus upon the platform, bathing it in stark, blinding light, but leaving the room edges dark and sinister with their unfamiliar sinuous and pointed shapes.

Smoat has arrived.

Smoat shivers. "Uhh.. I dunno nothin.."

Smoat looks around and squints, "Oh. I thought dis was the Gatehouse."

Merj seems to be dancing with a fiendish lady of the tiefling with leather kind, though he seems to be just shuffling his feet while she leads him around the place.

Merj looks desperately, down, in the direction of Smoat , a slight look of panic coming to his smooth rilmani features.

Smoat grins broadly up at his floundering rilmani companion, and climbs up the woman's leg, up her back, onto her shoulder, and works his way around so he's holding her neck and staring into her eyes.

Smoat quirks an eye and says, "Mind if I cuts in?"

The tiefling lady squints at the gnome gripping her well... dress, and says "Why hello there cutter!", before giving him a kiss on the cheek.

Merj giggles, still shuffling his feet and shaking his hands, seemingly into the fiendish music in the background.

Smoat closes his eyes and puckers up his lips, like only a barmy gnome can, and move to give the woman a slobbery kiss.

The tiefling women grins as the gnome approaches, showing off her set of pointy, but dainty none the less, needle like teeth, "Already, and you haven't even introduced yourself, berk!"

Smoat grins, "A female, are yez? I needs ta know dat first. I haven't seen one in so long I forget what dey look like."

The tiefling women rears back her head and laughs, incidentally sending the gnome shooting across the room as he looses his grip, "A female indeed cutter, and more then you can handle if I'd wager a jink!"

Merj gets groovy, easily ducking the sailing gnome.

Smoat wanders quickly back over, and crawls up Merj 's groovy leg onto his shoulder, where he sits precariously, eyeing the woman. "More'n I kin handle, eh? I'll have you know, I managed with Ol' Agnes in the bloody Gatehouse, she tried ta give me more'n I bargained for, and I taught her!"

Smoat grins smugly, "I ate all the bloody meatloaf she could serve!"

The tiefling woman laughs, "I like you two, your friends a nice dancer. Names Phona ." She grins, pausing to adjust her leather spiked, but dainty, shoulder pads.

Smoat nods excitedly. "So, yez can cook, eh? On a more exciting not, you know the way to Freedom? We're looking for it."

Smoat points to himself. "Smoat ." he points to Merj . "Merj . He don't talk much."

Merj giggles, his normal grayish color seeming to redden.

Smoat grins at Phona , and points at Merj . "Yez two makes a nice couple, I tink."

Phona laughs, "Why, you cutters should try my 'waste bread sometime, can turn ya grey with delight! Freedom eh? Don't have the dark on that, but might be fun scragging our way there! This place is getting a bit eccentric for my tastes," she adds, adjusting the barbed whip at her hip, yes, also dainty.

Smoat nods and quirks an eyebrow, winking with the other eye. "Yez wanna come and find it wiv us, eh? Well, dis here is the key to it, Freedom." he holds up his nail.

Smoat licks his lips, "Waste bread, eh? Made with Waste Potatoes?"

Merj giggles, and starts spinning around in a strange dance, as the band features a chorus of people screaming in harmony.

Phona smiles, "Made from the best 'waste potatoes this side of the Styx! Roasted to perfection in... well I'll be a chatty vrock! Wouldn't want to give out my secret would I? Been in the family for millennia!"

Phona examined the rusty nail in Smoat 's hand.

Smoat falls off of Merj 's shoulder, but manages to land in his hood. He peeks out from the spinning, and says, "Well..." *whoosh* "Yez'll have to make..." *whoosh* "Us some, sometime, eh?"

She grins, "Ohhh, you mean the ol' iron Dis portal. Haven't been there in a month. Hope they settled down after the incident, or at least put the fires out. Bound to be blast though bloods!"

Smoat perks up, "Eh? Yez know the way to Freedom, do yez?"

Smoat grins from inside the hood, "Tally ho then!"

Phona smiles, and places her claw like nailed finger, daintily painted red with black spirals, on Smoat 's lips, "Will cook up some bread for you anytime, cutie!"

Phona smiles, and a small tail flipping behind her, walks back over to the entrance, placing a hand on the doorframe, "It's right here, honey."

Smoat blushes red, then purple, then cross-eyed, and falls back with a thud into Merj 's hood. A bit of muttering trails out.

From inside Merj 's hood comes Smoat 's voice, "Will yez be joining us?"

Merj starts spinning wildly in a dance, and throwing his hat up into the air, but managing to get closer to the doorway.

Merj seems to be on the other side of reality, the beating ash-skin drums seeming to snap something inside his thin rilmani body.

Smoat flies out of Merj 's hood, and wings madly through the room screaming, "Yez bugger! I'm flying again, wheee!"

Merj gos back to a rigid stance, as the band takes five, and watchs Smoat sail through the air.

Phona catches the flying gnome in a leather, spiked (dainty) purse.

Phona laughs, "Eager to go eh cutter? Mind it in there, don't want to cut yourself."

Smoat grabs his rusty nail from between two spiky bits inside of Phona 's purse, hops out, and hobbles to the door, again levitating slightly. "To Freedom!" he dances a little jig just inside the doorframe, holding the nail high.

Merj giggles, boogying over to the door frame to a music all his own.

Phona closes her purse with a snap, slinging it back over her daintily padded shoulder, "Lets ditch this joint berks!"

Smoat glares disdainfully, "Cmon, yez'iz makin' a scene, Merjie!"

Smoat waves his nail around madly, as the space inside the doorframe begins to wobble and bend. Smoat waves his arms around madly, screams something gnomish, and dives through.

Smoat says, "So long, an tanks fer all der fish!"

Smoat has left.

Phona chuckles, and disappears in the portal glow, her tail still swinging as it slips through.

Merj laughs, and does a quick side shuffle, and jumps backwards into the portal

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All content copyright 1999 Jeremiah Golden or credited authors.