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Barmy to
the Spire

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Barmy to the Spire
Second Hive of Retributus

March 12th, 2000


At last that long lived debate that's on every sods mind comes to light as we find in a philosophical debate at the spire who is the best, nay, who even actually exists, Gnome or Kobold? Here we watch in wonder as the kobold Bugger and gnome Crumblepunch go about finding out who the biggest philosopher is, or who has the biggest club. And for some reason also the existence of cabbage and it's smell. Leap over the spire and be sure to place a bet on who will win in Gnome vs. Kobold, a Debate of Cabbagable Existence. 

Second Clerk of Retributus

March 11th, 2000


Flying Hodge-Podge's
Famous Flying Circus of Flying Hodge-Podge
(Location, Outlands)
by Tom Bubul

"Wut I did onn mie Lady's Day vaykayshin, by Peter Boggs, Miss Shoulderchip's Secind Grayed Classe,"

(Peter's spelling in the rest of this article was edited. - the Editor)

On my Lady's Day vacation, me an' my da an' mum went to see Flying Hodge Podge's Famous Flying Circus of Flying Hodge-Podge. It took a bit of effort on my da's part to find, but wow, it was a bloody good time!

Character. Everything is a show here! Whoever is standing in the center ring is master of the circus, and boy, what a circus! You're either a performer or a spectator, and either way, you really live it up. It's flashy and colourful and, whew,  fast. The show must go on, and by the powers, it goes. The debating cranium rats really got mum hopping, hehehe!

Description. A big red and white striped pavillion dominates the circus, where only the best perform. Constantly on the move but never actually moving, the circus drifts around the Outlands based on the belief of it's crowd. That's why it's so bloody hard to find, says da'. When we finally found the place, it was outside Sylvania, because of a big show they had about a bunch of bubbing lunatics trying to outdrink eachother. When we left the tent, I didn't feel it moving, but we were just by Torch - I think because a big Farastu was juggling bits of itself. That was pretty gross, said my mum, an' that a wee chil' shouldn't of seen it. I said no, it was bloody wicked, an' my da' said I better watch how I talk to my mum.

Anyway, yah, there's the big red an' white pavillion in the center, where all of the really good shows are. There's a whole pile of other little tents nested around it, full of performers trying to dance, eat, scream, and whoosh their way into center stage. If you ask nice, some of them'll give you an autograph. I got the autograph of the Farastu who was juggling bits of himself, but I had to throw it away, because it was so slimey, an' it smelled like a fish.

Funny little shops that sell funny little souvenirs dot the surrounding area, packed full of flashy garbage, says da'. It's bloody crowded, too, full of families from all over the place off trying to get a day full of peace in one of the most exciting places in the multiverse. Wow, you'd have to be one barmy sod to think you can get rest and relaxation here!

Ruler. Flying Hodge-Podge McGirk (Pl / Gnome / M9 / CN) runs the circus, of coarse. He's been ring-master since the whole thing began, which is why it's named after him. He's a short little bugger, shorter'n me, an' he has a big nose. My mum says he's a gnome. He runs around with a big top hat on most've the time to make himself look taller. He keeps funny things under that hat, like rubber bladders and chickens and such. My da' says he must know some magic, because of all of the things that he's always turning other things into. One second, the audience is a bunch of people, the next, they're a bunch of frogs! Even me! Flying Hodge-Podge McGirk is a nice little guy. He asked me if I wanted a balloon animal, I said yah, an' he made me a balloon Illithid, complete with writhing tentacles and squishy brainy bits!

Sites. The best part of the circus was the petting zoo, I thought. They had all manner of fluffy animals that fly around and bah and waddle and such. It was really neat. I wanted to go see the "Really Odd Stuff!" tent, but my mum said no, it wasn't for kids my age. My da' went anyway, and said that there was some really odd stuff there. It's apparantly run by a gel my da' said was named Prasilla The Monkey Girl (Pl / Gorilla / B2 / NG), who's hard to distinguish from a gorilla. The poor gel. There was a tent full of jugglers and one of trapeez artists. There was even a cutter who claimed he could eat anything, but I didn't think that was that neat. Wooly Cupgrass already does that with drinks.

Chant. I heard when we got home that the Circus might be coming to Sigil, though how they'll manage that with the way they move around is hard to imagine. Maybe they'll have a performance by one of each of the fifteen factions all at once? In any case, if they do get here, it should be one wild party. The Xaositects would be sure to jump aboard, and, freeow! Craziness! The Harmonium, says da', is getting ready for the party already - as unlikely as it may be. Boy, I really hope they do come to town, it'd be barmy.

Second Market of Retributus

March 9th, 2000


Rainbow-like River of Little Pebbles
(Location, Olympia, Arborea)
by Jeremiah Golden

Whoosh whoosh zoom, whee! Oooh, what's this? It's a whole shiny green! Well, more a mint green kind of, now that I have it in my little hands, mmm, and it even has a face of the Lady on it, ooh. And it's shiny, well kind of shiny, and look it even has bits of lent on it. Wow, what a splendid gift. Mmm, I know! I'll tell you about the wonderful Rainbow-like River of Little Pebbles, the spiffiest best place in the whole multiverse. Nopes, I insist, you'll like it much better then this 'little sods room' your looking for, and it'll be my gift in return for this wonderful shiny coin, that's even a bit damp now that I look at it and has a nice boot mark on it, oooh.

Character: This is a coure legend, wheee. When the planes were young and all whooshy and zoomed around each other like us, when the crystal marbles of the prime were still in the bag and none of the gods had tried doing that tricky shot off the wobbly rock and over the dip, a time when all the sticky nasty bogeyfiends were trying to have a little skirmish over all our nice trees and flowers and things, it's not like the coures wouldn't of sent them some flowers if they'd only asked. The flowers were yellow. That's part of the story, is why I said it, and I like yellow flowers. And then the most horrible thing happened, I was scarred at this point to but don't worry because it turns out all shiny in the end when the coures save the day, as lots of funny looking 'lothish fiendish things started painting gray colors all over the place, even our nice yellow flowers! Brush, brush, brush, they painted along, a whole line of paint bucket chains to splash the grayness all over the place. After all us coures got done giggling from watching silly fiends dribble droplets of pretty sprinkled paint all over the place, the coures decided to do something! Then, after that, they decided to actually do something!

While the coures decided what to do by zooming around and asking each other and commenting on how the paint splotches were interesting looking, a great nic'epona pony that was green, well sort of a minty green, came to tell us what to do. They all gathered around as she told us of the great river of colors, a liquid rainbow, and the source of all the hues in the multiverse, that had been entrusted to the nic'eponas. (Or more accurately, stumbled on by the nic'epona in their travels. And it's not the source of all colors in the multiverse, or it would tend to be a dull brown. - the Editor) She was letting us coures know the secret of the river so the coures could stop the gray and bring back our nice yellow flowers, though we'd decided they should be orange at that point. And so all the coures went to this river, a great thing of swirling colors that passed through the happy peaks, and found that it was made of lots of pebbles! This is the surprise part. You were surprised, weren't you? (Thrilled. The river then is the source of all small shiny colored pebbles in the multiverse, which shows why it's in Arborea and not Elysium, where the multiverse's colors would logically be opposite the colorless Gray Waste, and why the only sods that care about it are the silly coures. - Ed.)

Each coure picked up one of the huge pebbles in their slings (Or tiny pebbles. They're huge to the coures, and of course everything in Arborea is larger and grander then it should be. - Ed.), which us coures use to carry little spotted eggs around and shiny rocks and things of course, and the 1st Rainbow Squadron elite pebble-throwers of Arborea tossed them all at the fiends! Every pebble landed at their feet, all the fiends looking perplexed as they sat down and stared at the tiny stones, and forgetting why they were trying to paint everything gray in first place. It took us coures ages though to glue all the little colored pebbles to the gray flowers and trees to make them all colorful again. Even orange flowers!

Description: The river is the prettiest thing I've ever seen, flowing mightily along it's way. (It's not quite a river actually, more a simple brook or stream. But, again, every coure knows things in Arborea should be larger then life. - Ed.) Thousands of little shiny pebbles shift and swirl around each other in zillions of colors, but not like that strange soup that doesn't even taste good that Slaadi are always going on about. These colors are all beautiful, each shiny pebble adding to the colors next to it so as to dazzle the eye with soft greens and blues. There's the dark greens at the edge that look just like the bits of fluffy moss growing up the side of the old tree I live in, to specks of oranges and reds that flitter past in the swirl of natural colors and seem to be little fireflies of reflection on a sunny day. If you didn't go and have a close look you might not even be able to tell it's not a regular old river! And as it flows it makes this soft swooshing noise, as lots of pebbles slowly flow past each other down it's length.

The giant river pours forth from the springy spring of Spring (Coure naming again - Ed.), a wonderful place where the pebbles seem to pop happily into Arborea and greet us coures with a happy hello as they sore slightly into the air in a little geyser before continuing to flow down the river and follow after their friends. The spring has always been a cheerful place for us coures to visit, and every Spring we all come here to try and catch a shiny pebble before it touches the ground. I caught one, well it kind of caught me in the ear, and it was orange too, like the flowers! (The true chant on the matter is the spring is actually a small portal to nearby Ysgard, where a river of earth flowing down into a sinkhole comes spurting up in Arborea. The gatekey, of course, is a lot of pebbles. A Guvner might explain the colors are from colorful tiny little moldy stuff on the stones, but that's the kind of strange things those berks would say. It's more likely the pebbles change colors because they're all happy [or sometimes moody] to be away from all those Nordic bashers - Ed.)

I've never been to the end of the river, I wonder where it goes? Want to come look? Oooh, I bet a big old dragon gobbles them all up for breakfast with a spoon! Or maybe it's one of those sneaky guardinal fellows putting them all in bags to color his garden? Oooh, ooh, mmm.

Ruler: The guardian of the rainbow river is a lovely nic'epona we call Argybee (Px / nic'Epona / N), (The name is coure for 'Feet for Shiny Wings' - Ed.) who comes whenever a rainbow appears in the sky to walk the rivers length, her glossy hooves carefully placed from pebble to pebble as she manages to walk on the swirling little pebbles, where as a coure like me would fall is with a 'shgloop!' and have little pebbles all over my head! As she visits to make sure all the little colors of the multiverse are in attendance, she also talks to each of us coures and asks what are favorite color is. She says knowing your favorite color is very important, as otherwise how would you know what color to make your hide? She says we should be good little foal and have a favorite color, or we might get confused and make ourselves all poka dotted, which is embarrassing. She confuses us coures a bit, but we all hold our breath and jump up and down to change colors anyway. 

Oh, there's also Shadey Bumblebug (Pl / Coure Eladrin / R2 / CG), who says he's in charge of the river too, at least when Argy's not walking it's length and a rainbow's not shining in the sky. He's a bit funny if you ask me, always wearing strange long boots that he got from some oozy little gnome, a green vest stuffed with pebbles, and a net on a long pole. He flies along the river with his wings buzzing, and tries to scoop them up with his net, though I've watched him happily hopping down the river as the net tries to pull him along. He's always muttering how he'll eventually catch 'the big rock', and he glances at us other coures funny and accuses us of putting rubber fish in his river for a joke. Sometimes he even squints and asks us if we have a pebble license. We just throw pebbles at him and buzz away. Ah, good old Shadey.

Sites: Fjord! A funny planewalker once told us this word, it's silly, and we searched all day until we found a place in the river that's a fjord, well kind of a fjord, just so we could sit by the nice flowers and keep saying it was a fjord. It's a little trench to the side of the river full of pebbles that go down forever, and you can reach your arm down in the unmoving pebbles and pull out all kind of colors. You can even jump up and down in it and yell 'fjord'. In fact one day Little Huey (Pl / Coure Eladrin / CG) said he was going to find out what made fjords and he jumped in and started digging and we haven't seen him since. I bet all the pebbles he found were all really dark looking. (Supposedly the coures also believe their fjord was caused by a giant flood of little ice cubes, but this is doubtful. - Ed.)

Current Chant: Someone gave me a whole green shiny coin today! Wait, that was you, wasn't it! Wheee! Oooh, I see your exited, the way you keep jumping up and down that way and kind of rudely interrupting about finding that room you were looking for, but that's ok. Lot's of fun stuff has been happening at the river lately, we had a Find the Purpley-Green Pebble Festival just the other day, and a Find the Ocean Blue Pebble Festival before that, where I found four! (At this point our interviewer, who was supposed to ask a coure about the recent rumor of stones that would bring color to the Gray Waste, had to go, quickly. It's quite likely though that any small colorful pebble might allow a cutter to believe in rainbows in the Waste, or at least bring a happy smile to their face. - Ed.)


Last Week's Chant

All content copyright 2000 Jeremiah Golden or credited authors.