What's all this barmy stuff?
Want to find out what has been forgotten in the Styx?
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I Worship the Lady
In an old kip in the Lower Ward, a rubbled place that only stands because it's tied together with knotted razorvine and the dabus like the way it accents the street with it's vine speckled bricks, yes in this kip of shadow just beyond a glowing eldritch spiked portal that was just opened as someone stepped off to some bloody stinking bog and the bloody glowing wisps is escaping, best to hurry along down the street and enter, yes, enter the kip of the most disturbing and dangerous groups ever. As the door slams, the single candle in the room supported by a lumpy old piece of wax with a spike in it, and the huddled circle of cloaked bodies looks around, a true fear emitting from the shadows within the room, as they are one of the most foreboding secret societies in the multiverse, an organization to make even fiends shirk back in horror. This is the feared I the Lady of Pain Fan Club.
As the shaking of the members slowly eases and the door closes, sending another of them leaping slightly in the damp air, the group settles into it's normal paranoia of glancing around to see if they've been mazed and are seeing the same walls and dead flowers in the corner over and over again, occasionally drooling madly when they forget their seeing the same room cause their sitting down. The air hushes and all the members, amazingly quite a few bodies tucked into the cramped room who are barmy enough to worship the lady, turn to the center of the room, a skinny and hooded figure who's cloak is hanging over the pointy bits of his padded armour underneath. He looks a bit like someone who's wearing humongous pointy armour to make himself look bigger and foreboding, which isn't helped by the fact that he's wearing multi-monocled spectacles on the outside of his masked hood. This is their president, at least, their current one this week, who hopefully won't disappear in circumstances. Hopefully.
A squeaky voice comes from within the hood, "Welcome brothers, bloods! This is the club for philosophers with clubs, for those of us who revere, yes practically adore, the Lady of Pain!" The rest of the members clap politely, though one robe in the corner, who is shaking like a bad gnomish invention, decides to hide under a chair. "Before we discuss are new secret hand signal," That would be the one where they stick their hands up their shirt and fanned fingers to the sides of their head to look like blades as they hop up and down in the air to make it look like their floating, the squeaky, and strangely nauseating voice continues, "We have a new member! Everyone say 'Lady's Grace!' to Artney, from Streeckle Street in the Clerks Ward!" The robes around the room mutter in a sing-song like, and slightly hysterical voices, as "Lady's Grace, Artney" circles around the room.
As his name is called, the robed member under the chair hops up, ending with the piece of woodwork mangled with his robe. Standing up, he admits a small sob as he says, "Greetings. I... I'm Artney, and I...", another sob, "I worship the Lady of Paiiiiin!", sob. He sits down on the now straightened chair with a thump, and is patted on the back by other members with mutters of "I know how that is." or "Worshiping isn't something to be ashamed of son, this is the planes after all."
After he settles down back under a stool, the squeaky president continuous, "We'd also like to take a moment and remember pour president Reatings," one of the robes blows his nose loudly on an old rag with a sob, "who finally got that autograph from the Lady he wanted, he always said he could die sodding happy if she made a scratch in his book. His last words where 'Ack, erk, gurgle, gurgle, thank you for sign... signing my book'." The robbed president sighs with the thought of meeting the Lady, as do all the rest of the robed members, and his squeaky voice is slightly higher as he says, "Right, yes, now before we continue, we have a number of possible tour dates for the Lady, if anyone would like their book signed also. You can pick up a copy from the imp in the old box by the door."
The president, who's spiked shoulder pads are starting to slip down his skinny arms under the cloak, turns to one of the other hooded members, "Our esteemed brother Nacks, who once ran through the Hall of Speakers screaming "The Lady Rulezzz!", yes, and quite an accomplishment it was, would like to speak on our new forum for forwarding the worship of the Lady." With this the president trips to the side, with a startled eek, as his spiky shoulder pads finally slip down onto his legs. Another skinny robed figure stands up to take his place, who has slight bumps in his hood covering up horns, a swooshing tail he keeps tripping over, and a pocket in his robe for some quills. After stumbling onto the stage, he coughs and addresses the other members of the club, "Ieeeeh." he says, sweating slightly under the spotlight, in this case the drippy candle that trying to light fire to his tail. Coughing again, he adds, "Errr... er... we made a newsrag to send out to the er... clueless masses, with er... quickly sketched pictures of the Lady as she bobbed through the city... she's dreammy... and er... her favorite things and stuff... and a interview with a dabus that's very interesting with a whole page pictographs and translations though we're still confused on some of the bees and what squiggly snake means, and a picture of a maze we got from a very nice Knight that's big enough to hang on your wall, and.. and.. even an obituaries of the sods lucky enough to mee.. meet... the Lady! Er!" With this the now visibly damp and shaking robed figure dashes back to his seat.
The president returns to the front of the room, sans spiky shoulder pads, and then steps slightly to the right so the other members can see him behind the candlestick. He squeaks, "Thank you brother Nacks. That about covers this exciting meeting then, as I'm sure your all stabbing to get out and do some Lady of Pain stalking. Next meeting we'll be discussing the new club pins, " That would be the ones with the picture of the Lady's head whose blades twirl around when you push the back, "until then, Watch the spire, brothers!" The hood nods happily as the president ends with a squeak, another good meeting where no one got mazed, flayed, or had punch spilled on them. Most of the members most likely won't make it home for the night, but then when your idea of nirvana is being flayed by a twelve foot tall immortal entity with blades coming out her ears and no ground under her feet, you have to expect these things.
During this, the cold beginning of old Regula, the gears of Mechanus continue whirring... but why, pray tell, do they whirr? Taking to the streets to find the truth we once again present -
The Gears of Mechanus
by Tom Bubul
"It's a big calc-yuh-lat'uh, because you can't 'spect ol' Psilofyr
to be addin' up all them big sums an' whatnot, an' still maintain the fack
tha' 'e's a big bloody 'shroom. Affer awl, someone's gawt to do the
'rithmatic for the ol' Pink 'Elephant Gawd."
"A calculator, hah, I doubt it. It's a giant clock, slowly
ticking away towards the End. When the final gong booms, then, heh heh.
"Isn't that the place, right, that stores all the
mech-can-ickys-er-whatchama-call-its, the people who fix bad gnomish
inventions that go 'toot toot'? And what's all this about grrr-ears? Some kind
of mad hopping howling ears that flutter about er, listening madly to
things going 'toot toot'?"
"<a very frightening clown face>'s T + <a jolly top hat> <a giant> <another scary clown hopping out of a wind-up box> T + <another hat> <ice melting> <five Quintons> <a theatre, with actors on stage> <a little demon in someone's head>. <the wind> <the first clown> <an arrow pointing up> And <coures bouncing all over the place>."
It's that big jack-in-the-box that the Modrons play in. Wind it up,
"I went there once, and asked if they'd show me to Regulus. They
had me cleaning the gear where I stepped for a week, those clockwork sods.
What's the place? Dunno, but I bet there's a big red Do Not Press
button in it somewhere."
"My cramps it style, mmm, yarr."
"It's the infinity machine, run in the space between minds, the
engine that runs the Blood War, what keeps the Positive positive, and the
Negative negative, what keeps the multiverse from stopping in it's
"It's a big war machine, run by Primus and his sodding modrons. He
sends the buggers out around creation every so often, to spread his seeds
of corruption, to get the masses to bend backwards under the unjust yolk
of the law. It's his eyes and ears, Mechanus, and I say we rise up and
destroy it. Down with the system and whatnot, break the bank, that sort of
thing. Er. You're going to publish this?"
"Well, surely, it's no more than one of those big pastry
squeezers, because Psilofyr needs a good cake more'n he needs a
calculator. There's a bit of flawed logic for you, thinking a mushroom
does sums. He wants a good pie, like mum used to make."
"It makes a nice glingy sound when you 'it it wiv a hammer, said
Ah, to be back among the spire butterflies, frolicking in there mists. But wait, no, time plays tricks on you, and as a new philosophical spring rolls in, we here at the spire find ourselves, and our pet rocks and the quill we interviewed, boggled as to why Capricious sped through so fast, buzzing quicker then a Xaositect with a paint can slipping on a blue banana. Our heads still a little clunky, it was probably what made us decide, barmily, to give the place a little philosophical spring cleaning. Every rock picked up and placed among it's fellows, recalibrating the old sense of direction, and making sure the spire hadn't fallen down behind us. If your puzzled as we were at this sudden lawful spin to organize things, be sure to check out the new archiving system, along with the droolingly organized by topic paper I'm waving madly in my hand here, or just get mauled by the Nostalgialoth as you browse through the very best here at the spire. Hey, there's a spoooon under this rock! Golly.
All content copyright 1999 Jeremiah Golden or credited authors.