What's all this barmy stuff?
Want to find out what has been forgotten in the Styx?
Not enough barminess for you?
This is the Gatehouse, Yez?
Spiny is perched on the wall like a lurking vulture.
Smoat looks around the place, from his perch on the freshly carried in iron block he was sitting on. "Arrhar, Merjie, looks, dat's it! De Gatehouse! Maybe they know the wayta Freedom. If not, at least it shed be meatloaf day... it is back home."
Merj peers into the redish gloom at the Gatehouse, hopping off the same block as Smoat.
Bl'arg is standing in the gatehouse that stands before the Tower of Dispater. He looks around, a slow growl in his throat as he looks out on the streets of Dis with a sort of longing.
Spiny watches the two warily.
Spiny watches nothing warily.
But with great interest
Partaali looks around the tower to his two companions and snarls..
Spiny says, "I don't like tanar'ri. Nope. I sure hate them."
Bl'arg is standing about ten feet tall, the cornugon cuts an impressive figure. What appears to be his name, "Bl'arg", has been branded into his left shoulder. He carries a massive sword in one hand and a cruel-looking whip in the other. His eyes glow reddish at the slightist approuch of the non-baatezu, and he often spits in disgust.
Bl'arg perks his ears up as an intensely loud and highly-pitched shriek can be heard from a few blocks off. With that, he lets out a disgruntled snarl, then says in a gruff voice to the other two guards, "Hear that? That's the sound of torture. And I'm not there," he grumbles as an addendum. "Blasted guard duty."
Partaali nods..."They're nothing but under-thinkers and over-acheivers...
Spiny says, "I like to bring outsiders into our fold. If there were any here, I would sure corrupt them."
Partaali grins evilly and kicks some dirt up...
Spiny leans back on his perch, and throws pencils at the wall.
Partaali says, "Guard duty....argh....I hate it! Hate it!....You just stand here...no one would be stupid enough to attack Dispater's tower! No one 'cept Tanar'ri! But them...they're easy pickin's..."
Bl'arg continues to grumble, "I've been sitting at this bleeding guard job for what, perhaps a hundred mortal years now? Not *once* has anyone tried to break into this dump. No tanar'ri, no mortal 'pleasureseekers'... must be scared away by the rest of the City. The erinyes don't know how lucky they have it..."
Spiny says, "They only gave us this post because they know we're a threat to them anywhere else. They're jealous of us, so they try to keep us down."
Partaali nods to Spiny.."Aye...they are...they know we could overthrow them anytime we want..so where do they stuff us? Guard duty! But Where?! Dispater's Tower of all places!"
Bl'arg grubmles again. "Instead, I'm stuck here, listening to you two whine about your position. I'd sooner gut you two than listen to you a second time. Yeah, that'd be nice. Stringing your guts out and playing them like a harp."
Partaali says, "It's gut-wrenchingly numbing..."
Bl'arg smiles as Partaali mentions "guts."
Spiny says, "If there was a superior here, I'd kiss his ass. My snout would be so brown you'd think it'd rusted."
Partaali looks to Bl'arg and spits.."Pike it, berk...I'd as soon rip of your head and eat out your eyes...
Spiny says, "You two are too proud, that's your problem. Never be afraid to kiss a little tail."
Partaali laughs deep-throatedly...
Bl'arg indignately looks back at Partaali. "Yeah, right. I served under Bel as his fourteenth lieutenant for seven centuries before I was demoted to guard duty! Knew I shouldn't have killed Bel's thirteenth..."
Partaali says, "Too proud?! Hah! You're too weak to do anything other than Kiss-Ass!"
Spiny says, "I'm too weak for anything less, you mean. I know where my destiny is."
Partaali grumbles as B'larg mentions Bel..
Bl'arg laughs at Spiny's comment. "The swamps of Minauros?"
Spiny says, "Someday I'll be the toady of the Dark Lord itself. Tail-kissing gets you far, comrades."
Partaali says, "yeah! Sweeping the floor of a pit-fiends palace while his Lemure's spit on your back.."
Bl'arg laughs. "Yeah, I bet you'd kiss up to one of the lemures... bet that feels good on your lips..."
Merj peers at the tower, down, down, to the three fiends arguing at its steps. Walking over in a calm rilmani pace, he stops and taps the nearest one on the shoulder. He beams.
Partaali laughs at Bl'arg's comment
Smoat runs across to Merj, and under the legs of Spiny, as he climbs the steps merrily in search of Freedom and meatloaf.
Smoat says, "Don't mind me, yez buggaz. I'm just finding Freedom is all.""
Bl'arg looks down on the annoyance that apparently has disturbed him from his violent reveries. Then, seeing it an intruder, he smiles a big toothy, evil-looking grin. "Ah, this promises to be interesting," he says. "What do you want?", he says in a grating voice.
Spiny adopts a pose of haughty disdain. "Do either of you have an appointment?" he asks them.
Partaali looks Smoat, raising an eyebrow.."Freedom? Well, then....Do you have an appointment with our lord?"
Smoat looks up at Partaali as he nears the door to the Gatehouse. "Eh, lookin' fer Freedom. I dunna got an appointer, but I'm on a first name bazis wit the buggers who run de place."
Merj grins, up and up, at the large spiked fiend in front of him, and giggles.
Bl'arg sneers at the laughing rilmani, then says, "I think that expression would look perfect on my wall... if I had a wall. Or an office, for that matter. Or an actual position in the tower. But that's beside the point." He stops, a bit confused.
Spiny says to Smoat, Nuh-uh. That's not going to work. Buh-bye, now. Come back when you're not idiots."
Partaali looks down at Smoat and pokes him in the chest.."I don't admire your luck then, Gnome.."
Smoat frowns and puts his hands on his hips. His face reddens slightly, and he begins to levitate a little. "Are yez saying I'z a liar an' I dunno de sods runnin' dis place? Dis is de Gatehouse, yes?"
Smoat pokes Partaali in the eye, "I done admire yez face, ugly."
Smoat stops levitating and falls flat on his face. He picks himself up, still red in the face, and climbs up Merj and onto his shoulder.
Merj looks around, keeping one eye on Smoat. He also admires the large spikey whip at the Cornugons side.
Merj opaque eyes slightly widen, as he feels Smoat climb up his shoulder. He starts to shake a bit at the thought of all the Cornugons in front of him, and Merj on his shoulder. Then he grins, blinks, and does a little dance.
Bl'arg smiles, and says in a condescending voice to Merj, "This is my whip. Would you like to see a demonstration?" Seeing Smoat then climb onto Merj's back, he remarks, "Perhaps I'm being punished. I didn't think Bel liked his thirteenth *that* much..."
Spiny says, "This is the Dis Gatehouse. Move away, now, mm-kay? You're blocking the way for the real people."
Partaali kneels down to the Gnome's eye level and squints hard.."I may be ugly...but atleast I'm not a barmy fool who thinks he knows the lord here on 'a first name bases'...Fool...and your friend here's no better." he then growls..
Smoat widens his eyes really wide, puts his hands on his hips, coughs a bit, and looks at Spiny. "I know dis is de Dis Gatehouse. Udderwise I wouldna come here. Now lemme in, I know it's meatloaf day, and yez can't stop me on meatloaf day."
Smoat sits back down and leans against the side of Merj's head, eyeing Partaali carefully. "First name basis wit de boss, yah. I am. An' I aien't barmy. An Merjie here is smarter'n yer average tingie, yez couldn best 'im at cards or chess even if'n yez was der Lady herself. An..." he turns around and whispers into the part of Merj's turban that might cover his ears, "Was I doing it again?"
Merj nods happily to Bl'args question, barmily oblivious to the tone in the fiends voice. Grinning, he digs around in his sooty and ashy robe, pulling out the moldy form of a spikey hammer. He holds it out to the fiend for enspection.
Merj giggles as Smoat whispers to him, then nods, adjusting his hat.
Bl'arg says in an amused voice, "Meatloaf. Don't we make that from whatever people or petitioners approach and bother the guards incessantly? Rather good eating, if I recall the last time we had it." He then looks closer to what Merj has held out, eyeing it closely. "What's this?", he snarls.
Bl'arg grabs the hammer from Merj's hand and begins to take a closer look at it.
Spiny says, "I wish there was someone here worth corrupting. I like corrupting things."
Partaali laughs whole heartedly.."Meatloaf! You are mouthing off barmy talk to a Cornugon and you are worried about meatloaf!" He laughs again.."You're stupider than I thought in the first place!" he picks up his whip from his belt and holds it infront of the gnome.."No matter how smart your friend is here, I could kill him in less than a second with this. Intelligence matters not with me." Partaali spits on the ground next to Merj's feet.
Smoat stands up and adjusts his little boots, and hops around on one foot on Merj's shoulder... occasionally hopping off by accident into the empty space around his shoulder, but due to his powerful I'm Not Paying Any Attention To What I'm Doing Physically field, he doesn't fall to the ground.
He eyes Partaali sideways while playing his one man game of hopscotch on and off Merj's shoulder, and says in even tones with the occassional shrug, "Meatloaf, yez. Dunna think I'm mouding off, I juss wanna my meatloaf. An, an, yez couldn kill me or Merjie, cause he's quicker'n yez can imagine. He does some shifty tings in de udder Gatehouse when de nurses are arfter him. Arse well, In-telly-jince," he ennunciates, "matters quite a bit, my mum tol' me when I were a lad."
Merj blinks as his reality swings back, and finding his hands empty. He grins though on seeing the fiend enspexcting the moldy hammer, and indicates with a few gestures that there's good eating on that thing.
Merj ignores the gnome hopping on his shoulder, and grins as Partaali spits at the nearby ground, making a small puddle, he is a large fiend after all. Grinning, Merj jumps over a foot into the puddle, a look of content coming to his face as the water (hopefully water) cools off his burnt feet.
Bl'arg snarls. "This is a disgusting hammer, I'd not be caught dead in it." as he tosses it to the ground. "Why are you two here? My amusement? If so, I'd like to begin now...", he says, holding his whip up. "I've an urge to play 'Swan Lake' on your guts," he adds. "Ah, music...", he says, looking up to the sky almost wistfully. "Beautiful music. Every note echoing the pain of the victim..."
Spiny looks at Smoat with barely hidden amusement. "Dancing of all kinds is illegal here, little boot person.
Partaali looks at the Rilmani and scans him...he then notices a chess board sticking out of his clothes...Partaali eyes it and grins...
Smoat keeps hopping blindly in mid-air, even as Merj has moved to bathe his feet in said puddle of spit. He looks at Spiny and says, "Is illegal, yes? Yez should try it out, and yez wouldn't want it illegalized anymore. Right, Merjie?" He turns to look for Merj as he tires of dancing, and noticing that he's currently several feet away, realizes that he isn't being supported by anything, and plummets to the ground with a plop.
Smoat picks himself up and sits on a step, waiting for Merj to get out of the spit pool so he can climb back up to his perch.
A single tear leaks out of Merj's eyes as he sees his cheriched hammer plop to the ground, but then the words "plop" and "dance" make there was to his brain (possibly through his ears). He giggles, jumping up and down in the puddle with multiple plops, doing a bit of a boogy.
Bl'arg is humming the music to "Swan Lake" before he realizes exactly why he started humming in the first place. "Why are you two here, anyways?", he growls.
Spiny looks at his fellows, "Don't we have any mancatchers, manicles, or anything of that order? Tying people up with spiked whips is so annoyingly lengthy."
Spiny says, "No plopping, either of you!"
Partaali looks at the gnome on the ground and grins...then leans down and picks him up by the collar. "Listen up, addle-cove! Dancing is illegal, that means NO DANCING! And don't you even suggest that we try?! Here me?! Plopping is ALSO illegal! On your feet!"
Smoat stands and puts his hands on his hips and glares at Bl'arg, shaking his head. "Yez bloody silly ting. We're here ta fine Freedom an' have some fun in de Gatehouse, like we said earlier. You Demons uh My Nightymares aren' exarctly that clever, yez know?"
Smoat grins brightly at Partaali from between his finger, and bites fiercely at one. In the second that the fiend hesitates, he leaps like any rabid squirrel would be proud to onto Merj's shoulder, and addresses his former captor. "Illegal, maybe, but it's fun, me great big tingie. Yez should definately try it," he suggests, "It'll relieve summadat stress yez has."
Smoat grins mischevously at both Spiny and Partaali, and makes a slight plop.
Spiny looks bored. "Freedom is also illegal here.
Merj does a little dance to whatever tune Bl'arg is singing, and wanders over to lean down and pick up his hammer. This puts Smoat in an interesting position, but we'll get to that. Suffice to say, Merj is trying to bend and dance, and actually being quite succsesful at the task.
Bl'arg says to Spiny, "We're not tying them up... I have plans for their innards. <hums> Besides, with this talk of 'freedom' and whatnot, they don't deserve to live. Too many dangerous ideas in their addled brain-boxes." He lifts his whip up. "Look alive, sods!", he cackles.
Spiny says, "Who put you in charge, Mr. Demotee of the Millenium? I say we bind them with something."
Partaali flips his wrist and his whip cracks...then he points to Smoat with one sharp finger..."You're mine, shorty..."
Smoat falls off Merj's shoulder into a convenient pocket, as the Rilmani picks up his hammer and dances. His head pops out of the pocket shortly, nibbeling gingerly on a bit of old bread. He nods at Partaali, and says, "Guess what I'm doing in here," he waits no more than a second for a response, and says, "Plopping and dancing. It's sooo much fun, yez'iz definately missin' out," he continues nibbling his bread crust. "I'm yez'iz, am I?"
Merj picks up his hammer, drops it in his pocket (hitting Smoat on the way, with a curse of "Yez bugger!"), stands up, and giggles.
Bl'arg says to the two, "Do you like music? There's a nice place of pretty music inside the tower. Nice, pretty music..." He begins humming and his mind apparently wanders off somewhere for a few minutes.
Spiny says, "Gingerly nibbling is also illegal, small boot person. Nibbling is expected to procede at an efficient but not overzealous pace; enough to inflict pain but not to kill immediately."
Partaali looks at the Gnome in the pocket and spits.."Weakling, go and hide! May your blood boil from the light of Mount Celestia." he then walks over to the wall and leans up against it, chewing on a piece of burning straw that he pulled out of his pocket, while he watches his two companions deal with the berks.
Smoat grins at Partaali, as he picks up the pace of his nibbling. "The light of the Mt. is nice, it is."
He turns to Bl'arg and says, "Eh? What kindamusic? No opprie, I hopes. I hears enough screamin' at night without de bloddy opprie. Arsewell, is dere meatloaf or no?"
Merj giggles, groovin to the beat still.
Bl'arg smiles, "No, no 'opprie.' Beautiful, mournful music... I'm *sure* that you will like it."
Smoat finishes the husk of bread with a big crunch, and looks thoughtful. "An' meatloaf?"
Spiny looks at Bl'arg. "Get a hold of yourself and your stinky music. You're never going to be promoted at this rate."
Bl'arg is humming along, mindless of Spiny's words.
Spiny says, "You're going to get creamed at the next peer performance review, Bl'arg."
Bl'arg stops humming, and says, "Meatloaf... yes... meatloaf. The tastiest, juciest meatloaf that can be made..." His face is a malevolant grin, ignorant of Spiny's words at the apparent prospect of gut-harp and gnome-loaf.
Merj giggles, and comes to a stop as Bl'arg stops humming.
Smoat pokes Merj through his cloak, "Well, de lads're gonna lettuce in arfter all! Tally ho, mate, lead der way!"
Spiny pushes Bl'arg aside and grabs Merj under an arm, Smoat falling deeper into the rilmani's pocket. "Out of my way, music boy."
Bl'arg says, "What's that? You wouldn't have the smarts to know what to do with them!"
Spiny says, "What should we do with them, Officer Connesieur?"
Bl'arg says, "What do you think that I'm going to do with them? You're a fool." The second sentence is said in a condescending voice.
Merj wiggles under Spinys arms, finding that Cornugons have smelly pointy underarms.
Spiny says, "Look, Bl'argy. If we don't interrogate them it'll be our tails in the pit. That's fine for you, but what about me? I'm too important for that."
Bl'arg looks offended, and says, "Important? You're a gate guard!"
Smoat watches from Merj's pocket.
Spiny says, "I'm bringing with potential, though. You have to account for that."
Bl'arg snarls, and says, "You will be demoted to lemure in the end, though. *I* get them when they're done."
Spiny says, "Fine, whatever. Just get out of my way and everyone will be happy. I'll be a lemure, you can have them later, and everything is just as lawful and evil as we want it."
Spiny opens the door.
Bl'arg says, "Fine. I'm going off into the city to torture some petitioners. Partaali can watch the post."
Merj giggles from under Spinys arms.
Partaali yawns slightly, but does not seem to object.
Spiny walks through the door, in a huff.
All content copyright 1999 Jeremiah Golden or credited authors.