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scot'teryx

best of cc.com Muir on Saturday

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My sack is sweaty and large...

My balls are Stupendous!

[ 04-03-2002: Message edited by: trask ]

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-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHAPTER 2 : MESK

[Aldi] Over the course of the next few days the Alcuin sailed slowly upriver, following the Zhang as it wound its way through the Great Dry Heart. Their destination was the slaveport of Mesk, to which Malik had taken the captive Garzoon. The landscape was monotonous, enlivened only by the occasional encampment of Ulan-Waul nomads, who gave desultory chase to the boat at one point, brandishing their chambaks* and howling insults and threats, more from boredom than from any realistic chance of capturing the prize. Once an aquatic zygulph surfaced near the Alcuin, affording Holman and Hemmery an opportunity to use the sonic** they had acquired from Hilderwas. The disappointing result served only to enrage the zygulph - who slammed his bulk against the boat several times before submerging - and to explain why Hilderwas had not used the weapon himself against Holman.

Holman passed the time in testing his plans for any flaws. With the information they had gained from Malik’s accomplice, they knew that Garzoon was still alive. For a fact, Malik had gained the information he needed from Garzoon, who spoke freely, nay volubly. The earths needed were under the control of the Engur-En and their Ethnarch, Jard Amber. And here was why Garzoon still breathed the Doussidalan air: Jard Amber would deal only with Garzoon himself. The growing of the female seeds had been left to the care of Dame Atrienne, who now kept her cabin and the three neighbouring ones locked and bolted at all times, much to the dismay of Hust, who had a strong interest in the project and attempted on at least two occasions to procure some of the germinated seeds for his own purposes, both times being rebuffed by the constant vigilance of the Dame. Here was the rub, mused Holman. Yes, they might well set Garzoon free with the aid of the seedgirls, and put a timely end to Malik’s wicked life, but then, why should Garzoon assist them? Gratitude for his release? Unlikely. For financial gain? Why should he not simply produce and sell the emblem-wear himself? No, something else was needed to persuade Garzoon of the right and proper course to take, namely that course leading to the enrichment of Holman Tzigounie. Suddenly there was a shout from Hust and Holman came up on to the deck. There, straight ahead, was Mesk.

* chambaks: a weapon fashioned from the shinbone of a dead enemy, toughened by immersion in the sap of the tzintzin tree, and studded with razor-sharp hooks soaked in poison.

** sonic: a small pistol-like weapon which, when working properly, can disrupt cellular structure by vibratory impulses. It is a notoriously difficult weapon to maintain at maximum efficiency and, correspondingly, unpopular with assassins, the market at which it was aimed.

[Axo] Holman carefully steered the boat to the landing jetty, and had it moored by the sempiternal bunch of young ragamuffins who seemed to haunt every harbour of the Zhang River. On the quay-side, flanked by two gaunt-cheeked spadassins, stood a rotund rubicond man, dressed in ample robes of scarlet and dark green; from his large leather belt depended a pair of heavy bronze manacles. “Ahoy there, the Alcuin!” cried the man in a rich throaty voice. “Welcome to Mesk!” Holman, feeling a twinge of apprehension at the pit of his stomach, cautiously responded: “Good morrow to you, ser!” “And a good morrow to you too, captain” the man replied. “Now, to business. The young girl over there, should she be intact, might fetch as much as 1000 obols. The bespectacled scarecrow whom I see nervously clutching a statuette, might go as far as 100 obols, but you should not overly caress high expectations, I don’t see much use for him. As to the old woman with the determined jaw and thunder in her eyes, her state of intactness is of course a moot point. If she is as strong as she looks, she might win you 400 obols at the pelting workshops. Now, this assessment being made, be so good as to hand over 50 obols for my estimation fee.”

[John] “And a bargain at the price,” Holman assured the slaver. “However, these ladies are in the service of the Goddess Yelene. The elder, a full high priestess; the other merely a nun.” He stepped closer to the man and whispered: “As I understand it, both possess a symbiont from the Wandering Sea whose sole role in the symbiosis is to react like a Deathgrip Eel if disturbed in any way…” The flush vanished from the slaver's face. Holman stepped back and said in a louder voice, “Both are here to bring a gift of a seedgirl from the Holy Koyman tree to Ser Malik. We were given to understand that his encampment is near by. Interfering in the business of Ser Malik could well have harsh consequences. By sheer coincidence my fee for issuing this warning is 50 obols. Now if you would be so good as to give me directions to Malik’s encampment and recommend the finest inn in this pest-hole of a town where we might refresh our selves. I am told the pods will need a few more days to reach a fully ripened state.” Smirking and beaming the fat slaver said loudly enough for all the loungers at the wharf to hear: “Any guest of Ser Malik is naturally to be accorded all hospitality. If you will follow me.” The small party and the two brutal spadassins fell in behind the slaver's bulk. As they trudged into the bustling town he told Tzigounie that the encampment was three days journey on foot to the west. “You are fortunate in that the winds this season will be favorable for your wheeled boat.” They arrived at the Lamp of the Yellow Imp, a traveler's hostelry that had a pleasant view of the Waterfront. The slaver shouted that the travelers were to be his guests and that nothing was to be stinted. With that he departed. The stunned innkeeper mumbled and scratched his head in obvious puzzlement as he led them to an airy suite of rooms that shared a balcony overlooking the river. As if nothing could be more natural Dame Atrienne ordered the innkeeper to fetch enough tubs and hot water so that all could bathe. Again looking puzzled the innkeeper nodded his acquiescence and departed. “And four bottles of your finest vintage,” she shouted to his back. She turned and grinned at Holman. “Other than witnessing that awful slaver's slow death nothing could please me more than abusing his hospitality.”

[Martin] Once refreshed the party reassembled in a terrace at the front of the hostelry. Protected by shades of sailcloth they sat and ordered a meal of fresh water shellfish and rice flavoured with desert rillberries, accompanied by a cold punch. As they ate, a singular procession came into view heading at some speed down the street towards the waterside. Ten beasts, five of them mounted by Ulani nomads and a further two loaded with packs and bales, moved in single file. The beasts were strange to Holman who could only liken them to a mixture of two animals he had once seen in a bestiary of Old Earth, an ostrich and a kangaroo, though the creatures in view were somewhat larger than either. The animals ran with a high stepping gait on two pad-like feet, powerful forearms ending in a single large claw held close to their chests. Their long slightly droll faces terminated in a wide mouth in which large spade like teeth could be glimpsed. Holman motioned to the pot-boy who was serving to come over and asked, “What are those?” “Riders or mounts?” “Both.” “Well that's just a bunch of Ulani Moras* riding their hunges, ser. Notice their chambaks are sheathed and their toucifs** are holstered, they are just here to trade, and drink arrack till their harns are addled. No need for alarm, ser.” “No indeed,” returned Holman. He noted that the hair of the Ulanis was arranged into a stiff fan at the nape of the neck and dyed green and yellow. “Does their hair signify anything?” The boy sniffed diffidently. “They wear Verdure and Jaune, they will be in high good humour. No trace of Shade-umber, so they are as mild as bell-wethers”. “Do you think they might be willing to sell any of their mounts?” The boy snorted with mirth. “Who knows, no one other than a nomad would want to go a hunge-back! They are skittish creatures, that is when they aren't just malevolent.”

* From the age a Chthonic Nomad dedicates his first beard-scrapings at his tutelary fane, until he is married, he is known as a Mora. This term might be loosely translated as ‘warrior’, though its social significance is rather wider than this term would suggest.

** The toucif is a primitive single-shot gun. It is made from the straight hollow stem of the gorok shrub, reinforced by hunge-hide bindings. An explosive reaction of unknown chemistry, activated by a bar-trigger, can hurl a quartz pebble with some accuracy to over 250 yards.

[Axo]

Holman, delicately picking his teeth with a stick of scented sapollo wood, stood awhile in thought. A faster means of transportation? Potential allies? Here was an opportunity, perhaps, and he must act swiftly… He beckoned the innkeeper, who hastened to the table, nervously wiping his hairy hands in the folds of his greasy apron. “Yes, Lord Tzigounie? I trust everything is satisfactory? Would you care for a digestive liqueur, mayhap? Or some recreational company for your post-prandial relaxation?” “Have no fear, my good man, I am quite sated, and I found your fare tolerable enough, although, if truth be told, a garnish of water-szilks would not have been unbecoming to accompany the shellfish…” “I will have the cook flogged instantly, my Lord! He has been sorely remiss in his duties!” “Nay, nay, do not unduly tire your arm for such peccadilloes, let us put this matter to rest. Pray tell me, do you happen to be acquainted with the leader of this noble troupe over there?” “Pah,” said the innkeeper with scorn, “I know him well, he is Algoun Fendoz and lower than scum, if you ask me, there is nothing ‘noble’ about him.” “Still,” Holman went on, “it has been my experience that it is wise to remain courteous with men who carry formidable weapons. Would you be so kind as to step outside and invite him to join me for refreshments and conversation, which may ultimately lead to a business proposition…”

[Aldi] The innkeeper reluctantly complied and, after a few moments, the Ulani chieftain appeared, accompanied by two of his fellows. There was little trace of the ‘high good humour’ the pot-boy had spoken of in their aspects but, dismissing such qualms, Holman effusively approached. “Noble Ulani, today Shilk has smiled on me indeed by bringing the…” Algoun Fendoz brusquely broke in. “The span of a man’s life is brief. I see an effete off-worlder before me who seeks to shorten mine still further by engaging me in absurd puffery! Speak! Have you anything to say to my profit? If not, be grateful that I wear Jaune and may spare your foolish life.” “The facts then are these,” continued Holman quickly, “we are a party of bold adventurers who seek, for our own reasons, to visit the encampment of a certain Malik. We would wish our visit to be in the nature of a gentle surprise for him, thus necessitating transportation less conspicuous than our vessel. In short, we require hunges, of which you possess many.” Instantly the chieftain was all business. “Your needs are easily met! We Ulani are a generous folk, and our kindness to strangers is renowned. The beasts you need are yours for the token sum of 500 obols per creature.” Holman stepped back in outrage. “What! Am I to be taken advantage of time and time again for my simple good nature? To pay more than 30 obols a beast would make the name Holman Tzigounie a byword on the steppes for gullery.” Now it was the turn of Algoun Fendoz to evince shock and anger. “Here is the result of my compassion for a traveller! To be insulted and made mock of to hoots of laughter! Never again will I allow my better nature to dictate to me.” After much hard bargaining a price was finally agreed which Holman knew to be far more than the animals’ worth, and six hunges were led squawking and kicking to the boat. The Ulani were indeed in high good spirits now and Holman again wondered whether they could prove of further use. He needed something to tempt them into an alliance.

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quote:

Originally posted by trask:
Lick it like a lollypop

40

race is on to post #1000 smile.gif" border="0

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it aint gonna be me. maybe it will be the mysterious man known only as "muiron saturday", though.

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quote:

Originally posted by Figger Eight:
A horse walks up to a bar.

The bartender says, "
Hay
buddy, what's with the long face?"
[laf]

A man walks into a bar. "Ouch".

Three Irishmen walk out of a bar. Well, it could happen...

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I blugeoned a mole/rodent/gopher in boot to paw combat yestereday. Very satisfying!

We have some kind of huge super moles out here that tunnel about 2" below the surface of your lawn leaving big runnels all over the place in addition to the large hills where they surface.

Anybody know what the hell these guys are??

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995-3994 tongue.gif" border="0wink.gif" border="0confused.gif" border="0[Wazzup]shocked.gif" border="0mad.gif" border="0rolleyes.gif" border="0frown.gif" border="0 i see you lurky loops just waiting for me to get to 999. well fuck you all im gonna keep you waiting on this one then scoop it when no one is looking.

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YAW I DID IT!!!!!!!!!! shocked.gif" border="0mad.gif" border="0[laf][Moon]confused.gif" border="0grin.gif" border="0rolleyes.gif" border="0frown.gif" border="0

I am post #1000 on this stupid thread I am all time GOD LIKE POSTER OF CC.CoM I PUNKED ALL YOUR ASSES HEHEHEHEHEE

Plab plab plabbity plab plab plab.

FRESHIEZ!!!!! ON THE MUIR HUT THREAD!!!!

I am spray god of all time now fer sher. Ray you should bring Capt caveman alias out of retirement for some comment on this historic posting.

(Yawn).

[ 04-08-2002: Message edited by: Dru ]

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