I hope to do justice here to the likes of those who inspired me (namely, Chad Sexington and chumbucket) Table of contents: One night in Despise Baggage Inspection Attack on Ghost Ship Luck, Persistance, and Disappointment (in that order) The Best Night Ever, Part 1: Breaking and Entering The Best Night Ever, Part 2: A very sneaky rat -------------- Hail and well met! I am Cherri, Grandmaster Mage. You may have seen me running around the bank roof, or perhaps you haven't. This is a tale of excitement, of horror, of virtues, of rats. Let me introduce to you our cast for the evening Little did they know, our fates were intertwined. Shoelaces, not necessarily. I happened upon a very active Despise in my wanderings. Rats and Dogs were replaced by bigger Rats and Silvery Snakes. Someone was afoot! Someone who was not kind to their dragons and wyrms! I watched anxiously from the shadows as purple tornado after purple tornado tore apart the silver snakes. When will we learn to accept each other, no matter the color of our skin or wind? The torment rose to a climax as the snakes gave way to their master: a man in a jester's cap. The adventurers fooled the fool with the clever use of a ledge. Of course! No piper could climb! Enraged, the piper danced merrily at them. But the party was making little progress. Help was needed, a call went out, and help arrived! Help who needed to dismount. The gall! Bringing a brown horse this far into the depths of a dungeon! Barracoon would have none of this, and quickly began dancing fiercely at the horse. Provoked by the piping, the horse danced back. The valiant "a horse" threw down whatever moves it could as quickly as it could, only causing the cloaked man to escalate his moves. Finally, its former rider had seen enough. How dare you? Arnold Horse was fighting for your right to party, and you struck him down in cold blood. Warm blood? Fiery... blood? He had done nothing and you burnt him alive as he danced for all our enjoyment. I seethed silently, unable to cry out at the horrors I'd witnessed for fear of being detected. If these so-called adventurers would murder their own steed, what would they do to me if I showed my face? Now unburdened of their magnificent dancing horse, they were still not making progress with the rowdy Mr. Piper, so it seemed more help was to arrive. And now our party was complete. That didn't mean things would seem to go much faster. It felt like hours, waiting behind those rocks, patiently watching as fireball after fireball and wither after wither was cast at the much maligned floutist. So much time passed that I needed a new magical light. And still they spit fire at the spited man. No wonder all the merchants were out of Black Pearl! These fiends had bought it all out from every vendor, intent on using it to settle their differences with an impressive barrage of fireballs. Further reinforcements arrived. Where these, too, destined to die by fiery orbs? What sadism was I witnessing this evening? At last, the piper seemed fed up with his thousands of burns, he gave up his mad waltz and retreated toward the lake from whence he came. The party gave chase, and I carefully followed. Trapped again! Those fiendish fiends! The man was on his last limb, every inch of his flesh meticulously scalded, and still they drove him. He had nowhere to run, unable to swim without removing his hat and cloak (and no self-respecting fool would do such a thing!). This was the end. I watched in horror as the group inched ever closer in to him, then dealt the final blow with the ten thousandth fireball. Something had to be done. I'd seen too many atrocities tonight. This ragtag bunch of necromancers, mages, and an archer had gone too far. I needed to avenge the two best dancers I'd ever seen, for they'd inspired me. But alas, I was one mage against five very competent fireball-slingers. I had to enact justice the only way I knew how. I took. I stole what they'd stolen from Barracoon. It still held his curses, screamed from behind singed lips with his dying breath. Still not feeling he'd been avenged, and having made sure the first scroll was safe, I returned to further avenge this kindred spirit. It's not pictured, but rest assured, yet another of scroll of the Piper's wisdom, similarly cursed, was relieved before this picture. I'd spent too long in the depths of Despise that evening, and I'd seen too much. I needed rest. I tried to forget what happened the night before. When I awoke, I made my way to town and, seeing one of the culprits from the night before, my anger was renewed. I knew I must act yet again. After all, Barracoon's memory should not be lost so easily. I stole again. And so it came to pass. An evening of excitement (Vas Flam), of horror (you'll be missed, Arnold), of virtues (patience is a virtue!), of rats (you be the judge). -------------- I hope you enjoyed my first story here, and I hope we can all continue to get along. I feel this is as good a time as any to mention that I've opened a vendor in my home, just West of the player town near Minoc. Here you can find many of the goods featured in today's adventure, as well as other exploits yet to be written. Toodles!