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TrollHammer

TrollHammer


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PostSubject: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptyMon 7 Dec 2015 - 18:52

Rebuilding my old 'area'. I'll be working on getting my old stories moved over, linking and whatnot over the next month.

After I reserve a few 'posts' in a moment, feel free to comment on whatever you like, anything you'd like to see made (stories, forged steel, recreations of artifacts from the story, etc), or what have you. I love a good discussion, and I enjoy getting feedback or reliving/remembering good times, as well as making new ones!

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TrollHammer

TrollHammer


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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptyMon 7 Dec 2015 - 18:53

Reserved for future linking...
Not sure how to capture post linking so Im saving this one for now...

Santa Quest part 1

Santa Quest part 2 coming up... (In re editing for typos)

But for now I'm going to park some of my old stuff here...

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dug up some old files... found my originals from over a decade ago!
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TrollHammer

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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptyMon 7 Dec 2015 - 19:00

Reserved... Should be enough space.

I will add that I'm also interested in contact (replies here or PMs) about the following:


-Producing spoofy comic strips / edited EQ panels for humorous purposes.
-perhaps putting together a fan team for animated shorts based on EQ.
-High Priority: putting together / generating a historical timeline and world for the Trolls. I have a pretty good "known history" timeline based on various sources, but there are massive holes I'd like to pencil in for myself and others to have a nice playground to create new cohesive stories. If interested, feel free to comment here, PM me about your thoughts or ideas, or add discussion about what you might find here.

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TrollHammer

TrollHammer


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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptyMon 7 Dec 2015 - 19:06

I plan to have a nice, big, artsy graphical representation for the general timeline, as well as broken out highlights for specific eras.

This will include the technology level, probable expansion of the range of living, possible social and cultural development, populations, key figures, and anything else I find interesting along the way.

This may also end up with an 'Enhanced Alternate' timeline I'll be using for fanfic.

I might have summaries for individual Trolls, however biographies and character histories will eventually find their way into the character threads for each character (I'm slow on this, and feel free to input yourself as well).

Also, when I do get stuff posted, let me know if you find discrepancies.

Rough Draft of Timeline(s)


Established timeline (as considered ‘Canon’, using standard ElfQuest time lingo as well as assumptions based on logical order of things that had to happen for established events to occur)

The following uses established ‘landmarks’ in time to place some other information as assumptions. If it’s an established event or date, it will be marked or otherwise grouped with a date. If it’s an assumed period or approximation, it will be marked with a ‘~’.

Legend of terms:

    BEQ1: Before Elf Quest issue #1 (beginning of Fire and Flight) Ranges from 10,000BEQ1 to EQ1.  

    AEQ1: After Quest issue #1 (beginning of Fire and Flight). Ranges from EQ1 to ‘Current Events’ roughly 10,200AEQ1

    Troll: Generally a reference to any Troll, but also generally 'Modern Troll' more than any other.

    Modern Troll: the "Picknose" type of Troll. Generally, the Trolls of Guttlekraw's time to the present 'Final Quest' Trolls (and perhaps on to Future Quest).  Some of Picknose's descendants appear to be even taller than his contemporaries, and his descendants might be their own category, but for now I'm lumping them all together.  I'll denote specific instances as needed.

    Prototroll: The type of Troll that came with the Firstcomers (High Ones) and left the Palace after the crash. I denote these separate from the others as there is rumor that they were 'tinkered with' while in space, but they are physically (and possibly mentally) different from 'Modern Trolls'.  They are small, knee high to the High-Ones, and appear almost child-like.

    Burrower: The predecessor to the Prototroll, the creature rescued from the High-One's birth planet as they left the final time.  Not much known, other than they were short lived compared to the High Ones of that time and they liked to dig (derived from name). It is unknown if they were clever to begin with or developed this on-ship.


It is assumed that these are approximations, and unless otherwise stated, some events are compressed into time periods.  At this time, such things like Cutter’s Birth, Madcoil’s creation and death, and EQ1’s Fire and Flight are roughly the same time period (and as we aren’t really focusing on non-Troll related events, Elf births and events are kind of glossed over or this would be really long)

~Prior to Crash (perhaps several millennia prior to Crash, though the timing relative to EQ1 is ambiguous)

    ‘Burrowers’ were saved from their original planet.  It is not known what state they were in at this time, regarding cleverness or lifespan.  This is almost a vague recollection of Timmain, who is the only surviving member of the crew that might know anything about this.There is some evidence that one or more members of the original vessel’s ‘crew’ was/were cruel to the burrowers and possibly tormented them.  There is also some evidence that the ‘crew’ experimented with them and the Flitren to enhance life span and other aspects.Various factors cause the Palace to crash. These factors may include: A burrower/Troll revolt, loss of control due to the WoTM’s interference, or interference with the recurrence of the Palace’s future instance and/or Rayak’s attempt at merging  the Scrolls of Colors (and/or the incomplete merging of said scrolls when he aborted).As a result of above mentioned events, the Palace gets sent back in time approximately 20,000 years, where it physically crashes in a then-temperate area that would later become known as the Frozen Mountains.


10000BEQ1  

    High Ones Crash in the Palace, The Trolls escape, the High-Ones are driven from the Palace by Humans. Timmorn is born, the Wolfriders established, and Timmain takes Wolf Form after trying several other forms in an attempt to feed the rest of the wandering High-Ones.  At this time, the Wolfriders have not settled in the Father Tree Holt.  It is possible that Winnowil and Lord Voll were born during this time.


10000BEQ1-8000BEQ1  

    Settlements at Sarrows End and Blue Mountain are established. ~Guttlekraw and Old Maggoty are born (unknown as to who is older, or if they were of an age. This is assumed, as Greymung is depicted as being younger than Guttlekraw and took control from him, and Old Maggoty states she nursed Greymung when he was very young)~Guttlekraw becomes King of the Trolls. (Assumed, as he was in charge while they traveled south underground using rockshapers)~Guttlekraw enslaves Osek and Mekda (and Ekuar?) (This is assumed, as they were presumably the rockshapers used to form the tunnel ‘south’ during the Ice Age.  As they are depicted as arriving at the Palace with heavy snowfall, it may be that their arrival provided the means for the Trolls to escape the Ice Age, and therefore may have coincided with the onset of the Ice Age.Ice pushes Trolls south. (Stated as happening during this time in official documentation)  This is stated as taking a long period of time while Trolls dug the tunnel, however it is also depicted as being aided by rockshapers and happening fairly rapidly.Trolls settle in what would become Father Tree Holt, however this kingdom may have extended near to Blue Mountain, or started near Blue Mountain and slowly migrated to the Father Tree Holt Forest.Greymung rebels (depicted as happening after the ice age but before the time the Wolfriders arrived in the Father Tree Holt Forest)Guttlekraw leaves with other exiles and returns ‘north’ to the Frozen Mountains.Smelt sent out to find Rockshapers (presumed as he would have to have been sent out before Two-Edge is born)Two-Edge is born to Smelt and WinnowilSmelt dies while attempting to return to the rest of the Trolls with a rockshaper. (as depicted, while Two-Edge is a youth)


8000-2000BEQ1


    Wolfriders settle in Father Tree Holt Forest.Oddbit and Picknose are born.  It is possible that Oddbit is Old Maggoty’s grand-daughter, however it is possibly referred to that Oddbit may have been part of Guttlekraw’s Harem at some time (which I would presume would have occurred before Greymung rebelled, putting Oddbit roughly the same age as Greymung.  She is depicted as being relatively youthful compared to Greymung, though.)Two-Edge and Winnowil play mind games. Two-Edge leaves trinkets and other metalwork examples for the Trolls to find and learn from.New Moon may have been forged during this time as a key catalyst in the mortal game Two-Edge began staging between Elf and Troll. (it is unknown if he attempted to get the Gliders to play his game, as they would have easily been his primary targets initially. It would be presumed that there is some story as to why he was not able to engage these ‘allies of Winnowil’ in conflict with the nearby Trolls.)


2000BEQ1


    Dreamberries are made (if Goodtree made them and this is the proper figure for her time period)Grutch, Dook, Orin, and (another Troll) are summoned before a King to ‘volunteer’ to search for a Rockshaper.Grutch/”Drinking Troll” is confronted by Petalwing while searching for Rockshapers. Presumably this is near Blue Mountain. I need to refer back to the story to determine if he was sent out by Greymung or Guttlekraw (as well as verify his name)Bearclaw discovers Old MaggotyTrading begins



30BEQ1-EQ1


    Cutter, Skywise, and a bunch of other Elves are born.Cutter and Skywise go on a raid through Greymung’s Kingdom. Cutter is enslaved for a period of time (a year?) before being released by Oddbit.Madcoil is createdMadcoil is defeated and Bearclaw is killed.Cutter flees the flames of the forest fire by forcing his way into the Troll Kingdom. They are then let out into the Burning Wastes through the Tunnel of Golden Light.


2AEQ1-6AEQ1


    Ekuar rescued from the Forest Trolls by RayakFrozen Trolls attack, kill (mutilate, torture, or something more unmentionable) Greymung, and capture the other Forest Trolls for use as slaves in the Frozen Mountains.Picknose, Oddbit, and Old Maggoty escape, and they establish a home above ground near the remains of the Father Tree. It is now revealed that New Moon contains a key within the hilt that will later be used to unlock a ‘treasure trove’ emplaced by Two-Edge.


9AEQ1-10AEQ1

    Trinket born to Oddbit and Picknose



10AEQ1



    Picknose becomes King of all Trolls, then gets thrown out.Palace disappears, having been seized by Rayak. The Wolfriders are left behind with the Trolls.It is implied by Picknose that the Palace (or something like it) momentarily re-appeared from time to time during the next 10,000 years, but would not ‘stay put’.


37AEQ1-210AEQ1-410AEQ1:

    Kahvi returns to Gobacks and find they are eating Trolls. (which means that the Trolls are now fighting with the Elves again)Strongbow is brought to Old Maggoty for Foaming Sickness.*Somewhere in here, Picknose begins to build a new Kingdom of his own decendants.


3000-5000AEQ1

    Two-Edge pulls Winnie from the ocean, releases her and hides.Two-Edge stays with Picknose and his Trolls.


9500AEQ1:

    Two Edge leaves Picknose's Trolls.


10000AEQ1


    Palace reappearsCutter and Rayak fight in the Troll Caves.  Picknose and the other Trolls place bets on the outcome. The fight ends in a draw with both combatants withdrawing, leaving the bet void.


10008AEQ1

    Two-Edge develops steam engines and use them to construct the Forest Cutters. Note that wood is used to heat the boiler and not coal. There are no references to coal, and it is possible that there isn't enough tectonic activity to produce enough accessible coal for it to be useful.  Also note that the implication is that the wood they are cutting could be used to power the machine... unless this is special wood, this is incorrect, as the wood would be too wet to burn efficiently enough to run the boiler.Drub and Flam (sister and brother, from Picknose’s clan) help Cutter's group fight a war against the Djun, who is aided by Two-Edge. Winnie is killed by the Djun.Two Edge joins Venka to look for Kahvibefore this, a Troll enslaves a sea elf who is freed at this time.


(it appears that around 10200AEQ1 is when Discovery takes place, but can't be sure.)

Current Events (Final Quest. This will take some time to digest into the whole)

Future Quest (or rather, evidence of things that happen by the time of Future Quest):


    Troll Domes (ruins) on moons and other planets denote that Trolls were in space before Humans (as there is no sign of current activity)Trolls seen in the Palace as it returns (so some left with the Elves, at least)There are a lot of 'Troll' references in Human culture in Future Quest, implying that either some influenced Human culture in the past, or perhaps Two Edge stayed behind and has been working behind the scenes (or perhaps is lurking among the planets after instigating space travel for both Humans and Trolls at some point?)


Below are some notes used to derive some of the above and add additional info.  I’ll add more notes and pretty things up after some feedback and getting proper references set up.

The Trolls, according to the comic:


    Clever, but tool-less before the ice age, using natural features to form traps to kill animals. They would hunt in this way.They moved south to the holt, digging as they went.After a 'long time' to get to the holt, pushed by the ice.Arrived BEFORE the wolfriders got there (Picknose's drunken word of honor, of course)Long time passed, learning metalworking and cave gardening.Old maggoty said she fed Greymung his moss mush when he was only a tot.(old)Guttlekraw declares Everyone would leave for the Frozen Mountains.Young Greymung rebels and defeats GuttlekrawSupposedly, Oddbit adorned the footstool of Guttlekraw, but I don't see a reference.It keeps referencing Oddbit as Old Maggoty’s granddaughter (picknose is old maggoty's grand son in law)


Additional notes on my own assumptions (with nothing to back them up, just a logical procedure and observations). This also includes commentary on logical assumptions of technology levels

(Here I am working from old notes in which I referenced the Trolls as ‘Prototrolls’ immediately after the crash.  There is no precident for this name that I know of, however, I was under the assumption that this was a common term for them years ago. If so, it seems to have fallen out of use. Anyway, I define ‘Prototroll’ as a small, troll-like creature that is clever and not as long lived as the ‘modern Troll’ we see in Guttlekraw’s time)

Immediately after the crash, there would be some Prototrolls that would follow the High Ones for some time as being the only ‘normalcy’ they knew, while others would flee both the Humans and the High-Ones.  There may have also been those that ran randomly without any bearing on any other party.  All parties would have ran until they were no longer pursued, which would have been at least a few hours (up to days or weeks, depending on the attention span of the angered humans of that time), putting them a least a few miles from the crash site.

At least one ‘main’ group of Prototrolls formed a settlement near the crash site. There may have been other groups that formed elsewhere.

Initially, technology would be non-existant, and the limit of tools available to the Prototrolls would have initially consisted of hand and feet, then perhaps sticks and shaped rocks.  As such, tunneling would be limited to soft earths, shallow tunnels, and these tunnels would be small to match the Prototrolls (which were depicted to be about knee-high to a high one or human).

These early tunnels would not survive long, perhaps not even as long as a few decades in some cases, but it should be noted that these would be extensive, vast, and rapidly expanding as Prototrolls and then early Trolls searched an ever widening area for food and useful materials.

The development of bindings, as well as the use of the bones of kills of this era, would end up being used as simple tools to cut soft stone and harder earths, such as sandstone, hard-pan, and some other weakly cemented areas. This may have also evolved tunnel building, using sticks, beams, and bone as bracing to make some tunnels stronger.

During this time, naturally occurring metals would be found, as well as gems and other minerals.  Some of these would be simply hoarded as something pretty to trade or keep, but some of these would be soft metals that could be worked into more complex tools or weapons.  Tailings would be left behind, though, which might later be very mineral or metal rich ores that could be exploited by more advanced Trolls.

The point being is that, while inefficient, the Prototrolls had reason to range quite far in a short period of time, evolving a very extensive network of tunnels over a very large area, much like simpler creatures (who are not as crafty) such as moles, gophers, and such, who can dig vast tunnel systems in very short periods of time.

The reason this is important is that it establishes  a very vast underground system that could be discovered and exploited by later generations with better technology.

As soon as smelting is discovered, there would a fast and dramatic change for the Trolls.  The following would result:

-Stronger tools made of iron, steel, or other alloys would allow for tunneling into harder and harder stone

-Old tailings (formerly worthless) that were plentiful and already loose, would provide a vast amount of material for progress

-More permanent tunnel structures, as well as new exploitation of underground hollow structures in harder materials, would allow for the development of an underground network that would not have to be rebuilt continuously, resulting in more leisure or more time to expand.

The result of these would be an exponential expansion of range, technology, and quality of life (except for those that were forced to work in dangerous conditions, though sturdier tunnels would allow for safer working conditions)

Early Prototrolls are depicted as being small even when full grown, and there are no observed Prototrolls even during Greymung’s revolt.  This implies that Prototroll life spans are less than 2000 years, and perhaps much less.  See Other Notes and Ages below.

Ages:

Guttlekraw (earliest Troll we can verify directly): Ruled from 2000 years after the crash (8000BEQ1) until his death at the hands of the Wolfriders and Picknose (as well as those enslaved by him) shortly after EQ1 (Palace War). This puts him as at least 8000 years old when he died of unnatural causes.  It is possible he could have been much older than this, as it seems that he lead the Trolls ‘south’ to Blue Mountain or Father Tree Holt being chased by the ice age, and was back in the Frozen Mountains after the Ice Age before the 8000BEQ1 point in time.  8000+an ice age=Guttlekraw.

Old Maggoty: Said she fed Greymung his moss-mush when he was a ‘tot’, and is therefore older than Greymung.  I consider her to be of an age with Guttlekraw, but we can at least verify she is at least older than Greymung, who revolted before the 8000BEQ1 point.  She is still alive during Final Quest’s events, and is therefore at least 18000 years old, if not older.
Greymung: Revolted prior to 8000BEQ1, overthrowing and exiling Guttlekraw.  He was killed by Guttlekraw shortly after EQ1, putting him just over 8000 years old.

Picknose: Born somewhere between 8000BEQ and 2000BEQ, possibly as late as 2000BEQ-1000BEQ (as he is shown to be a guard during Bearclaw’s discovery of Old Maggoty, at which time he is young, but still has an estimated 50+ year old beard, depending on Troll facial hair growth rate).  He’s still around in FQ as a King, and has technically lived through multiple overthrows (including several of his own?)  He is at least 11000 years old and could possibly be up to 18,000 years old (though this is unlikely, judging by comparing apparent age difference between Greymung and Picknose when we first see the two of them.)

Oddbit: Percieved as being roughly the same age as Picknose, but it is possible she is older.  She is both implied as being Oddbit’s grand-daughter and as having ‘adorned the throne of Guttlekraw’, which really throws a wrench into nailing down when she was born.  If she is Old Maggoty’s grand daughter, it doesn’t say much other than that she could be no closer to Old Maggoty’s age than twice the age of maturity for a Troll.  The Guttlekraw comment, however, gets confusing, as there were only to possible times she could have had anything to do with Guttlekraw: before Greymung’s revolt (putting her as born before 8000BEQ1), or after Greymung was overthrown (during which time she was implied to be under the protection of Picknose).  Unless there was a period of peace or other oddity between the two kingdoms between 8000BEQ1 and 2000BEQ1 that I don’t know about, it makes Oddbit’s age very hard to determine.  Best figure is somewhere between 18,000 years old and 11,000 years old (Picknose’s age).

Two-Edge: (I consider him to an integrated part of the Trolls, though he is half Elf).  Two-Edge was born somewhere before the 8000BEQ1 mark, putting him over 18,000 years old.  I would put his birth somewhere between Guttlekraw’s arrival near Blue Mountain and the 8000BEQ1 point.

Trinket: (not complete, just penciling in notes) The interesting thing about Trinket is that we should be able to very precisely tell her age, as there aren't as many ambiguities involving her age (such as the exact length of time the Palace was gone, since she was on it). We have a fairly exact 'date' when she was born, a fairly accurate known time until she was whisked away in the Palace, and since the Palace's return we have a fairly good approximation of events in time up through FQ (even if some of these don't make sense, but I won't get into that)  The goal here will be to sum up all these known times (which I will need to research) and use them to develop a 'Troll Youth Development Chart'. I'm sure Trinket would just LOVE to know she's gonna be a guinea pig.

Unknowns:


  • Actual era of the Ice Age.
  • Actual date of the Troll Revolt
  • Actual age of Guttlekraw or Old Maggoty (or age of either at the time of the Revolt)
  • Old Maggoty’s original name
  • Actual age of Picknose or Oddbit.
  • The events causing ‘Prototrolls’ to become ‘Modern Trolls’.  This occurred somewhere between the time of the Crash and when Guttlekraw was born.  See below for theories.
  • Actual amount of time that passed during the Palace's disappearance. It's penciled in officially as "10,000 years" but this is still a rough approximation, and I'd give it a tolerance of +/- 500 to 1000 years.
  • Actual amount of time between major official events between the Crash and EQ1 (or when Rayak steals the Palace)  (I should note that, in the timeline, everything between Cutter's Birth and the Palace disappearing is considered about the same event or instant in time. Relative to "10,000 years" between the crash and these events, it's sort of true, but it highlights the approximation issue I'm talking about.  We end up with "10,000 years" as a rough ruler leading up to the Palace's rediscovery after the crash, and another rough "10,000 years" between that and it's reappearance, as well as indeterminate time periods of sleep in preserver webbing and so on, but these can be +/- an untold amount, and a lot can happen in a short time (or not much at all in a long time, apparently)


Other notes:

Troll history is vast, covering well over 20,000 years.  At least 18,000 years of this is documented as having been dominated by the ‘Modern Troll’, defined as being taller, bigger, stronger, and much longer lived.

I may have to break things out a bit down the road if this gets too big:  Two Edge has his own technology curve, as do the Forest Trolls and the Frozen Mountain Trolls, and even Picknose's Trolls (and then some).

I also need to break down the history according to FQ

Also need to break down the history according to Future Quest (presently penciling in above)

Theories of the early times:

It has always intrigued me how the ‘Prototrolls’ became ‘Modern Trolls’ in such a short relative time compared to what they are now.  Guttlekraw and Old Maggoty are the earliest known Trolls to exist, and Trolls pretty much don’t change throughout the rest of the story.  This means:


    A) Proto to Modern happened in less than 2000 yearsB) After the change to Modern, Trolls have not changed since (unless you count the degenerates)


I am in middle of working on a story for this, but generally I have two working theories (which amount to very similar things, but slightly different in theme):


    1) No real changes happened for a period of time, then Guttlekraw was born, mutated as the prototype for all other modern Trolls.  Being vastly superior in every way, he could have sired all other Trolls, including Greymung.  This may or may not mean that he sired Old Maggoty as well, or she may have been the female variant of the Modern Troll matriarch.  As a new variant, Guttlekraw might have killed off all other males and bred with the remaining females until only ‘modern’ trolls were left when the ‘proto’ females died off (though this brings about some unsavory imagery).2) All proto-trolls were able to develop into Modern Trolls if they lived long enough, but until Old Maggoty/Guttlekraw’s time, there was a stumbling point that caused them to die young (and this is what my story is focusing on.  All the above research and more has gone into trying to write the story ‘just right’.



I will be changing stuff over time, and if someone recommends it I'll move it to it's own discussion thread.  For now, I just wanted to get something up to work with.

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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptyThu 10 Dec 2015 - 20:52

Sorry this is taking so long to add stuff, the old SoC doesn't make it easy to grab stuff without reformatting and whatnot, aaaand it's been almost 8 years since I wrote Lodestone, so I was considering going through and rewriting the whole thing. But this isn't for me, it's for anyone who might be looking for a diversion, entertainment. As such, would you prefer I get some actual content up to browse now, or have me rework things before they are posted to keep things fresh? I am scrambling to get stuff up as I seem to have jumped the gun with opening the thread, but should I work on the timeline? reworking stories? making new stuff? post new pictures? Too much to do, it would help to get some feedback.

Further, what do you want to see? The way I see it, if no one wants to see/read something, there really isn't any point posting it. (And I put you there as you are reading this, so you must have some interest in this.)

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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptyThu 10 Dec 2015 - 20:55

@TrollHammer wrote:

Further, what do you want to see?  The way I see it, if no one wants to see/read something, there really isn't any point posting it. (And I put you there as you are reading this, so you must have some interest in this.)

With the state of the SOC - I'd post it all here, just so it has a home... Who knows what they will do with SOC eventually.

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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptyThu 10 Dec 2015 - 21:57

I share Tymber's concern and second his suggestion, Hammer. Give your characters and stories a home at FTH.

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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptyFri 11 Dec 2015 - 0:50

Roger that. Should I leave them as-is copied from there, or go ahead and revamp them?

UPDATE: Posted a crude draft of the Troll Timeline above. Should it become it's own thread for a bit to encourage critique, or is it good here?

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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptyFri 11 Dec 2015 - 1:13

I say: Keep it together.

About a revamp ... tell an author what to do? It's your story, Hammer. What do you think?
My two cents: there will be always something you would like to change at second, third, forth thought. In case something really bother you ... rework it. Otherwise keep it the way it is.

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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptyFri 11 Dec 2015 - 1:28

@TrollHammer wrote:
Roger that.  Should I leave them as-is copied from there, or go ahead and revamp them?

UPDATE: Posted a crude draft of the Troll Timeline above. Should it become it's own thread for a bit to encourage critique, or is it good here?

If you feel inspired; modify them. But just don't get stuck in an editing loop. I always look back and things I wrote and think, "Oh, I should change this... add more detail there..."

Only thing I'd recommend is "bolding" the "timeline" things... like:

9500AEQ1:

Two Edge leaves Picknose's Trolls.


10000AEQ1

Palace reappears

Cutter and Rayak fight in the Troll Caves. Picknose and the other Trolls place bets on the outcome. The fight ends in a draw with both combatants withdrawing, leaving the bet void.


10008AEQ1

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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptyFri 11 Dec 2015 - 6:03

Yeah, I intend to, and they are bolded, underlined in some cases, in the word processor, but I had like 5 minutes to copy and paste it onto the forum. Ill probably have time tomorrow to fix it.

@Embala wrote:
I say: Keep it together.

About a revamp ... tell an author what to do? It's your story, Hammer. What do you think?
My two cents: there will be always something you would like to change at second, third, forth thought. In case something really bother you ... rework it. Otherwise keep it the way it is.

Yeah, I hear you, I may leave it unchanged (aside from some formatting, spell checking, grammar corrections, things like that) as its weighing in around 20k words, and that doesnt include the continuing stories of Snubnose and Wartfoot after Two Edge leaves them. Just trying to figure out what makes sense to do.

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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptyFri 11 Dec 2015 - 16:19

@TrollHammer wrote:

Yeah, I hear you, I may leave it unchanged (aside from some formatting, spell checking, grammar corrections, things like that) as its weighing in around 20k words, and that doesnt include the continuing stories of Snubnose and Wartfoot after Two Edge leaves them.  Just trying to figure out what makes sense to do.

Heh. It can be tough! For example, when I recently did my Stonehowl Recap and made bullet points for what happens in each month's story (for my own sanity, more than anything else, so I could remember everything better!) - you can read it and see where I note my own errors (like Troll-blade's name changing to Trollhammer {ironic, I know} and later to Trollforge, with no explanation other than human error!) Rolling Eyes But I left it as it was and pressed on! Arrow

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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptyFri 11 Dec 2015 - 20:22

Well, that's frustrating. Got it all formatted and then for some reason the lists all ran together.  I'll try to fix it, it'll take some time (and more effort at backing things up each time I edit)

@Tymber: Hey, tribal names change all the time... except for Grubfinder... I think he'll be plagued by his name for a while... lol

One of the hard things I'm going to have to figure out is what stories actually meld with Lodestone, or if they are stand alone.  Technically speaking, my old Two-Edge Off Road story melds right off of the end of the Lodestone series, but has nothing to do with it and is stand alone.

It's a hair ball...  Scroll of Colors has nothin on me... wait...


edit: so, just a word of warning: if you use the "list /list" to indent stuff, keep in mind that if you try to re-edit it all formatting and spacing will disappear when you 'edit' it. My recommendation is to save a master copy, edit that, then replace your post when you need to edit something. It's doing it every time now. The really frustrating thing is it is removing the 'return spaces', so now I have to go line by line through it to fix it.

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PostSubject: Santa Quest   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptyFri 18 Dec 2020 - 3:05

Well, that was a mess above... Have to clean that up some time... But for now, here's my attempt to post the first Twisted Seasons story from nearly a decade ago in text format. The formatted pages are in a sending that I might move at some point, but for now, here it is minus the pictures (until I can format them in), mildly molested by Winnowil's long lost and unknown twin sister from it's original posting back then....

Note about the following story: The following story contains stupidity, bad jokes, various liberties taken with Elfquest and legendary characters, possible language, thematic or suggestive situations, death, and indentured servitude.  Some may find it offensive, messed up, or unsuitable for the underage reader.  I believe that it would have a rating of PG or so, but as I’m not a professional censor (thank goodness, I’d hate that job) I can’t be sure of that.  Just trying to give fair warning.

Also, I’d not even consider this AU. The closest thing I can come up with is to take several conventions including Christmas elements, put EQ through a shredder, throw it all in a pot along with some onions and artichoke hearts and boil for four hours over an open flame with a leaking propane tank nearby.  I hope you have as much fun reading it a I had writing it…

Fair enough warning?

Oh, and it appears it’s going to be long, but hey, I’ve not written anything in a few months…. You could cut and paste it to your device to read later, or print it out if you wish. That’s a trick I use for some of Tymber’s tales.

Finally, I should note that if I get the images I want in here, it may take a few minutes to load everything. There’s not a lot of pictures, not like the comic strip this intended to be, but there may be a few….


(Elements from the grab back inspiring the story)
Staying Warm
A conversation
Elvin Humor
Reluctance
Grumbling
Treeing (though this was a misunderstanding and not a grab bag suggestion. Still, fair is fair and everyone else is having to deal with it.)
(above to be omitted or changed)

Santa Quest, the story begins...
There was a knock at the door, barely noticed over the din of hammers, saws, conveyor belts and paint brushes.  Santa’s Elves worked tirelessly over the mindbogglingly vast number of toys for the world’s children: Simple wooden toys constructed of the finest grade C pine and coated in the brightest primary colors of lead based paint by the Elvin Union.  Treestump had unionized the workers centuries ago when he realized that there were only going to be more and more kids to build toys for each year and they were working for peanuts.  His approach at enforcing the Union Code was simple: cave into his demands for better work environment, or you get to choose between a deadly lawsuit and his ax.

Even so, the working conditions had gotten worse anyway, and it appeared there would be no end in sight.  As things sat now, the world’s population had increased exponentially and Treestump figured that about this time next year, with only a month left until Christmas, they’d only be about half done with orders.  This year it would be beyond tight to get all the toys made in time for delivery, and it was looking bleaker every day.  In recent years overtime had been implemented which had ended up reducing Elves’ private lives to nearly nothing as their pay, meager as it was, had become more important than home life.  The divorce rate had skyrocketed (quite a chore for the Elvin Lawyers as they found ways to break Recognition with Law) and the birth rate had dropped to a mere handful of kids a year, and it seemed that with other factors this meant the workforce would drop to nothing in a few short years.  Indeed, Santa had to figure something out quick!

As an added result, the Elvin children were left in the care of a single overworked day care worker, on who’s face could be seen a look of one who has pretty much checked out from life and just hasn’t punched the ticket.  This caused the few remaining children to be severely under educated and lacking discipline.  They were always causing trouble, searching for things to feed their curiosity and boost their sugar-induced high.

The root of all these issues was the form of pay the Elves received.  It seemed they had a bit of a sweet tooth, and had greedily accepted working for Santa for small quantities of boiled sweets and penny candy.  Treestump had increased this meager pay scale and added overtime, but the currency was still in candy, feeding the Elves’ addictions.  Santa readily accepted this, and even after “begrudgingly” accepting the pay increases and whatnot was still making out fine, as long as the toys got made.  As it was, the current crop of Elves was severely overworked by any standards, only able to keep up by way of a perpetual sugar rush.  Reality was setting in though, and he was becoming more and more stressed out trying to figure out how he would maintain his sponsoring without an adequate work force pumping out the toys. As it was, most of the year he could be seen working on his beer belly and gin blossoms as he spiraled down into self destruction.  If there was only some way to fix all this, perhaps taking on a partner with new ideas?

The knock at the door sounded again.  It should have been cause for some excitement as no one had come to visit in centuries, but as the workers generally worked by piece count, a toy for a piece of candy, the poor, addicted creature’s only focus was to get more of the sweet stuff.

The kids, on the other hand, had little to do and little forcing them to do it.  The knock roused their attention and brought them running, perhaps imagining some sort of reverse “trick or treat”.

Ember stood on the shoulders of Suntop to reach the Santa-sized door handle and tugged at the latch.  The pair tumbled in a pile as they scrambled to move free from its path as wind blew it open, revealing a figure in dark furs.  The figure’s slim outline appeared frail against the unending blizzard raging outside, and it stumbled over the two foot snowdrift that had solidified into a mini glacier over the welcome mat.

The elegant black furs seemed to shed the snow upon the door shutting behind the figure.  The fuzzy hood opened to reveal a face that was white as snow against the dark coat, black hair that got lost in it, and pointed ears that snagged the hood and got tangled up in the drawstring.  Never had such a tall Elf graced these halls, and the kids eyed her with awe.

“Awwwe,” Suntop started in “you must be cold! Have you been out there long? Did you travel far? Do you have any candy?”

Ember jumped in herself with her own questions. “Where did you find an animal with soft black fur? Your coat is so pretty, do you have another?  Did you run into any polar bears? Did you steal any of their soda-pop?”

This prompted the other kids to start in on their own questions and comments, and the tidal wave of prattling hit the fair skinned Elf woman as though Santa and his sleigh had physically slammed into her.  She staggered back against the door jamb while the hyperactive Elflings cornered her.

Their voices weren’t usually something that gained much attention in the workshop either.  Nobody really paid much attention to them as long as they didn’t climb on the equipment or disturb the work floor, which happened way to often.  Somehow, however, Santa seemed to be sober enough at the moment to notice enough of a difference in the kids focus… or perhaps it was that they were actually focused on something for once… and he swayed over to investigate.

He took one look at the calm, slender, feminine form and was smitten.  The whole concept of a “Mrs. Claus” was a misnomer, put forth by those that didn’t want to think about a lonely old man fixated on children, handing them candy and toys for no apparent good reason.  As such, he was a lonely old man indeed, regardless of his intentions with little children.  He nearly fell to his knees and cried at the beauty he perceived.

In actuality, she wasn’t all that bad looking, but other than being tall and thin she was pretty average for an Elf: Perfectly formed features, graceful movements, seemingly delicate features… her presence alone carried an aire of beauty and loveliness that no other creature could muster, and she wasn’t even trying. In fact, she was quite in need of a bath, some alone time, a good comb or brush, and a massage.

Santa’s jaw just hung from his blisteringly red cheeks like a raw, boneless chicken wing.  It even kind of jiggled.  The newcomer waited for a moment for him to stammer out some pleasantries, but as the moments wore on and the kids started their babbling again, the traveler decided to take matters into her own hands and introduced herself.

“Greetings, Santa.  My name is Winnie and I have traveled all this way to meet you.” Sensing that his tolerance of the kid’s yammering was wearing thin and his dislike of their presence matched her own she added:  “Perhaps there is something a little more….” She looked at the kids with disgust, “quiet, or private?”

Treestump had come over to see what the commotion was about for lack of anything Union to do and he had to give Santa a nudge to snap him out of his stupor… or so he’d thought that was what it would take.  The elbow in the thigh had no result or impact on the drool that was starting to form a drip from Santa’s slack jaw.  He followed up the jab with a punch, and finally had to slam Santa in the back of the knee with his axe’s handle.  This buckled his knee enough to send the towering, fattened figure toppling in Treestump’s direction, and he didn’t have enough time to get away.  Four hundred pounds of ‘merry’ flesh landed on him.

It was hard to say what Winnie thought of all this, but she seemed to be a slight bit bemused by it as Santa regained his feet and ambled over to his chambers with her in tow.

***


Last edited by TrollHammer on Sat 19 Dec 2020 - 21:11; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptySat 19 Dec 2020 - 20:30

I was looking back through my old posts and saw @Embala's note about breaking things up into several posts. So I'm doing that. I'm sorry for missing, forgetting, and otherwise basically disregarding other's suggestions, I feel so bad about that. I'm breaking the story at the 'natural breaks' where the scene transitions due to time, so these aren't going to be the same size.


Jink was late. She raced along in her sports car, enjoying the feel of speed and the throb of the engine through her seat. She was less concerned with getting there on time than with just getting there fast. It was like that with every aspect of her life: if she had relationship, a task, or a place to go, she wanted to get there fast, do it fast, and if need be move on to the next thing fast. She’d mellowed a bit over the last few centuries, but all in all she was still Jink through and through. She’d picked up a few more stable friendships in the last few years, though, and this is where she was headed: to pick up Tamia for a shopping trip. Somehow the pair had exchanged clothing so much and so often not only did they not know who’s was who’s, but it was getting worn out, and in some cases torn prematurely, sometimes even before they went out of style. Sometimes sharing was a bad thing, it would seem, even if the boyfriend sharing gets worked out it seemed there were other things to consider.

She careened through the streets, hugging the curves in her car, barely keeping the tires on the ground. This was normal for her, of course, and surprisingly she had a perfect driving record to date as far as incidents are concerned. Law in this town was different than other places: there were pretty much no traffic laws other than basic common sense rules, like what side of the street you can drive on. No speed limits or “reckless driving” were imposed until you actually had an accident or lost control of your car, at which point you paid a hefty penalty and your vehicle was capped, preventing you from doing whatever it was that caused your issue. On long trips it became easy to spot those that had had an accident in town, as they trundled along at city speeds on the highway.

Jink screeched to a stop outside of Tamia’s house and she came out, wearing a nearly see-through tank top that seemed to accentuate various curves and features of her torso, and this grabbed Jink’s attention. “Wow, nice top, but it’s a little… revealing for shopping, don’t you think?”

“You got away with wearing it all the time, since it’s your top… of course it didn’t used to be this thread bare” Tamia pointed out just as Jink noticed what its translucence was due to.

She rummaged around in the back seat for a coat and handed it to Tamia. “Sorry ‘bout that, here, this might help others from being… distracted…” As it was, Jink was having a hard time keeping her eyes off of Tamia. Worn out and she can still wear the heck out of that shirt…. Mmm mmm mmm… she thought to herself.

“I just got off work, so do you mind if we stop passed my place on the way there?” Jink asked when Tamia, vest in place, finally got in and latched her belt.

“Sure.” She shrugged, and they were peeling off down the road.

They pulled in to Jink’s place and went inside. Jink felt a little ‘plain’ dressed next to Tamia after seeing her earlier and wanted to slip into something a tad more sexy, do her hair a little, but the visage that greeted them at the door brought a quick end to all that.

The hooded, floating form of Fate loomed in front of them. Fate, Dead Reaper, Oracle… whatever you personally wished to call the entity, it was quite a shock to walk in on, especially considering it was almost never for a social visit.

“I’ve got a tough one for you Jink!” Fate just started right in with the point, as most people never knew what to say when you stared death in the face anyway. “A horrible thing has happened, and now the fate of the world hangs in the balance. People’s lives are at stake, people of extreme importance, and the matter must be handled with care and decisiveness with a person of your unique talents. If all goes well, you should be back before the mall closes.”

Well, it could be worse… Jink supposed. She sighed and sat down; settling in for what would probably be a lengthy speech.

“Santa’s been kidnapped, along with his Elves. Find them and get ‘em back before Christmas.” Fate stated simply.

Stunned by this, Jink blinked and asked “Is that all? No lengthy speeches to get me all warm and fuzzy?”

“It’s pretty cut and dried, Jink. That was about as lengthy as I could come up with on the spot… I could have just said, ‘Save Santa’ and walked away. Didn’t know you liked my speeches so well.” The faceless hood seemed to raise an eyebrow.

“Er, no. That’s OK. Uh…, so who took him?” stammered Jink.

“Officially, nobody knows, but as we know, I’m not really considered an official.” Fate pointed out needlessly. He was fond of this phrase for some reason. “Lets just say it’s someone we keep butting heads with, time and time again….”

Tamia and Jink sighed collectively and stated in unison, “Winnie.”

“Got it in one. As such, there’s few places she could have taken them, but as to why she’s even messing with a human of that sort… Your guess is as good as mine.” The floating robe shrugged. “So, you up for it?”

Jink rolled her eyes and nodded. She’d been cleaning up after that witch since CLICK

Jink stared blankly for a moment until Tamia waved her hand in front of her to get her attention. She shook her head and blinked, “Oh, hi Tamia! What are you doing here? Fate? What’s going on?”

“Not that again!” Tamia exclaimed. “Aww, man, this is going to be a nightmare.

Fate looked quizzically out from his cloak. “Am I missing something?”

Tamia explained: “Ok, so you know how Jink can blank her memory, or others for that matter?”

“Uh, huh.”

“Well, usually that’s been something she’s more or less had control of. Lately her delete key has been malfunctioning and randomly blanks random amounts of her memory. You’re going to have to explain it over again to her…”

“Oh…, snap.” Muttered Fate.

***

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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptySat 19 Dec 2020 - 20:31


After re-discussing the whole thing it was dark out and the mall had closed. As such, Tamia and Jink decided that Winnie had either already killed off or done whatever deed she’d planned on by now, or was holding them for ransom, so a good night’s sleep might be in order. For kicks, Jink led Tamia out to the back yard where an enormously twisted tree stood. Huge boles covered the trunk, hollowed out to appear almost like furniture for cats. The night was warm, and Jink asked her friend to climb up with her. They sat in the upper branches and stared out at the stars.

Jink explained, “Long before I was born, my ancestors lived in trees like this. They slept in them, made love in them, played in them, and burned them, taking off and setting up in another place before the park rangers could get ‘em for arson and vandalism. I found this one and bought the house because of it, and come up here all the time and wonder what it used to be like.”

“Er, so, they burned their houses? That doesn’t make sense.” Tamia said, confused. “I thought your ancestors were part wolf, not monkey!”

“Well what kind of animal, I’m not sure completely but it wasn’t monkeys. As far as burning things down, actually I don’t know what happened for sure, but apparently every time they settled into what they called a ‘holt’, it would burn up after a while and they’d run off to find some other place to live. I’ve always assumed that they were either transients or pyromaniacs…, or both.”

“I suppose that’d be a safe assumption, but it still doesn’t make sense.” Tamia pointed out.

“Yeah, well neither does living in trees. Even if they were part animal, wolves don’t climb trees…” She swung to a lower branch, beckoning Tamia to follow. “but whatever reason they chose to live in ‘em, there’s one thing that’s for sure that they weren’t crazy when they figured it out. Follow me!” she said and popped into one of the holes in the trunk.

“Okaaay…” Tamia said and entered the hole in the tree after her. “What’s the big deal about a hollow log?”

Jink pulled her in and wrestled her to the floor of the tree-den. The den was filled with soft furs and more modern pillow top mattresses. Lifting Tamia’s shirt, she simply stated, “…it’s extremely cozy….”

The furs were soft enough to sleep quite soundly through the night… when they finally did fall asleep.

***

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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptySat 19 Dec 2020 - 20:32

Bright and early the next morning they set out for some new threads and something to keep them warm, as it appeared they would probably have to travel north at some point. Tamia liked the smile Jink carried all morning and couldn’t help smiling back whenever Jink looked at her during the quick bout of speed shopping. Perhaps she’d suggest sleeping over in the tree house more often.

Breakfast and shopping out of the way, it was time to track down their team. They took off for Kullyn’s place to pick him up. Bumbling janitor by day, their mutual boyfriend had a dark secret when the sun went down. Turns out way back (way way back) his great-to-the-nth grandmother wasn’t all that picky about what kind of bed bugs she slept with and, well, ended up with an eight legged baby. Through a series of ridiculous coincidences and improbable plot devices, a small strain of spider still ran through Kullyn’s veins, and he was a web-slinger, much the same way that the small strain of wolf that still flowed through Jink caused her to take the occasional roll in roadkill.

As such, it was no surprise to find the three of them fit together as a threesome of freaks.

Of course, the question was why Tamia fit in with the other two. Kullyn had his spider powers, and Jink had her mind altering ability as well as teleportation. Tamia had no apparent powers or anything else special about her it seemed, and the running joke was that Tamia’s super power was that she had no super powers. It was also joked about how a trace of human might be in her blood, but it would be hard to prove…

They sped their way to his house, trying to call up other members of their team. Batwing couldn’t be reached as yet (big surprise), and SuperElf™ seemed to be out or range. Jink was able to bring up a holovid of Dark Hood in the shower for a moment before proving the wisdom of the legislators in other countries that had banned holovid use while driving.

The car left the road somewhere in excess of two hundred and fifty kilometers an hour the heart of downtown and took out two trees as it sailed through a park in a perfect spiral. It almost appeared they would land on all four tires and continue on down the avenue on the other side of the park, but that sort of thing only happens in video games and comic books. Physics took the car back off of its wheels and continued the roll over to its top.

The hapless pair wriggled out of the side windows and lay in the grass a moment, not wanting to even move. Once they finally shook off the crash, they checked each other over for wounds. Jink insisted she had to be thorough so Tamia ended up blushing a bit, but they were both fine. The car, on the other hand, was upside down, which was obviously a bad thing.

They called a wrecker in to put it right, but as this sort of thing happened so rarely it had to be called in from quite a ways away, and wouldn’t be here until the following day.

“Well, that just won’t do… hmm… let me think…” Jink said, wobbling the point on her left ear in serious meditation of the situation. Tamia looked around for a park bench that wasn’t destroyed, as this looked like it would be a while before Jink figured things out. None were in sight, so she spent a little time pulling odds and ends from out of the back seat. No sense in leaving new clothes behind.

“Hey, wait! I got it! C’m here and hold my hand!” Jink said excitedly. While females holding hands in public wasn’t exactly frowned on around these parts, Tamia still was a little hesitant as the wreck had started to draw quite a crowd. It didn’t matter, since as she stalled for time while she picked up their things from the mall off the lawn Jink walked over and wrapped her arm around Tamia’s waist.

POP!

Well, grass HAD been underfoot a moment ago. Jink gave Tamia a playful squeeze on her waist and walked over to Kullyn, who was watching some sort of game on the holo. Shaking her head, Tamia couldn’t help but to blurt out, “Ok, so wouldn’t THAT have been easier from the start?” Rubbing a bruise on her shoulder, she added “and safer?”

“What’s the fun in that?” Jink winked back at her. The wolf in her was playing strong today. She slid her hands around Kullyn’s shoulders and under his shirt, teasing him. He flopped his head back to look up at her through his safety glasses.

“Hey, there. Don’t start something if you’re not going to finish it.” He muttered, used to her sneaking up on him. The holo was up so loud he almost had to yell to feel heard over it.

“Yeah, sorry, but we’ve got little time for that.” She told him with a kiss. “We’ve got a job to do.”

“We get that gig over at Crazy Lilac’s finally?” he asked, eyes full of hope.

She shook her head as she turned off the holo. “No, nothing as humdrum as that. We just have to go save the world as we know it is all.”

“Oh, is that so. Well, I’m sure it could wait a little while, couldn’t it?” Kullyn toyingly pleaded with her.

Jink was really tempted to cave in, but if the three of them got serious now they might not leave until sometime tomorrow. She was all for fun but sometimes even she realized there were more important things… “No, sorry, Kullyn… I really wish there was more time, but we’ve wasted enough as it is. It’s Winnie.”

“Winnie?!?” was all he could say. That single name reverberated through many communities as a lone word that could strike fear into the bravest of people, ruin perfect picnics, and induce bad hair days. It was bad enough that Kullyn had seen her handiwork first hand, and his skin crawled at the thought that they may meet again.

“Unfortunately, yes. Get dressed and let’s go get the others.” Jink implored as she looked away. It was then he had noticed he’d forgotten to put much of anything on after he woke up this morning. A half a pair of socks and a t-shirt just didn’t cut it when you had people teleporting in unannounced. He grabbed a pillow and worked his way over to his room, even though the three had been in far less states of dress before. Oh well, he thought to himself, at least they’ll get a laugh outta me!

While he was getting ready the other two found some bags and packed up what they figured they would need for the next while, so when he came out in his slightly-more-modest spandex they were ready to jump to the next place.

Dark Hood’s apartment was a sight one would rather not behold. Somewhere back in the dawn of current civilization someone had figured it would be a great idea to cast slivers of stone called bricks and stick them together with a concoction of sand, water, and treated limestone. Why they didn’t just pour the whole building out of the material or cut slabs of natural rock for walls, no one could figure out, but fortunately most of them had fallen apart or were knocked down for newer buildings built of the far more superior “stick and Styrofoam” method. A few, however, had survived all this time and were kept as historical monuments that no one ever really looked at or cared much about, which made it secluded enough for Dark Hood.

He was the only tenant, renting a single apartment on the fifth floor for no known reason. He was an odd duck ever sense his girlfriend broke up with him millennia ago, and no one pressed him for answers.

They buzzed the archaic enunciator to get his attention, and he unlocked the door for them to go up. It was merely a formality with Jink, and she saved the trio a little leg effort as she popped them up to his door and knocked.

Unsurprised, Dark Hood opened the door and let them in. Everything about the place was reminiscent of the desert: Pottery, adobe walls, stone furniture, and even little piles of sand and heat lamps here and there. He was a wierdie, but a fierce fighter and a crack shot with a bow.

The four each pulled up a rock to sit on and talk. Jink explained the situation. “…and that’s the situation. You want to join us?”

He brooded for a moment in silence before taking a deep controlled breath, as though fighting the urge to beat everyone’s face in. He gave his answer, and made it clear he wouldn’t reconsider, stating simply “…I’m sorry, but I’m busy… I have to… wash my… hair….” His mood seemed to darken even more, as though he was mulling something distasteful over in his mind. “I’m going to have to ask you to leave now. I have other stuff to do.” Though he remained sitting in his pile of moody gloom.

The three visitors kind of looked at each other, uneasy with the situation. It was customary to offer water if you lived in a hot house, and they couldn’t even see a faucet, much less a cooler full of bottled water on ice. After a few minutes of silence, Jink gathered the other two together and jinked off to pick up their next team member.

***

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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptySat 19 Dec 2020 - 20:33



Darkwing was not an easy character to get a hold of. Not only did he sleep during the day, he flew around at night fighting crime as a winged detective and sometimes would find a cave to nap in instead of coming home.

His mom had slept with a bat. (There was starting to be a worldwide concern that pretty soon there wouldn’t be any pure species left with all the interspecies breeding)

It turned out he was home, and was up “late” watching a half century old movie series on PBS. For some reason it gripped him, and he was on the edge of his chandelier when Jink and company popped in. This, of course, startled him and he fell off the light fixture into a heap on the floor.

The three standing friends eyed the upside down 2D screen mounted to the ceiling and shook their heads as they realized their dysfunctional super-team was worse off than they had thought.

After Darkwing collected himself and the four exchanged pleasantries, Tamia took the roll as the story teller and explained what had happened so far. “… and that’s what’s happened so far. You want in on the fun?”

“Hmmm….. Well, I’m kinda torn at the moment. I really should be getting to sleep so I’m rested up for my shift, but… Uh, would you be asking the Snow Warrior Princess to come with? That’d hook the deal for me!”

“Well, I guess so… the more the merrier! Don’t know if she’d come, though, as she seems to not be getting along with me lately.” Explained Jink. “Let’s head over and find out!”

They popped over to Khalua’s house and caught her at a good moment. She seemed to be upbeat and invited them in. The rich smell of a deep fryer and powdered sugar lingered in the air. The group sat in her living room, and settled in with cups of steaming coffee that she provided.

“Jink, let me just clear one thing up real quick. If you’re here to ask me to go on another shopping trip, vacation, road trip, or some other do-nothing waste of time, let’s just make this a nice social visit and go on your way. I told you last time, I need action or I don’t really leave my house. I don’t wanna put a damper on things, but those sorts of things are just not all that much fun for me.” Khalua stated, getting it off her chest. Darkwing lurked from the corner, stealing glances at Khalua when he felt he could get away with it.

It was well known among the others that he had a crush on her, but it seemed he was too shy to act on it. He’d been asked at one point why he didn’t just take her out on a date, but his excuses ranged from “she doesn’t even know I’m here” to “As a detective/superhero I’d be putting her in danger if I even flirted with her.” It was a load of bull of course, since she was probably tougher than he was when it came to a fight, and she did love a good fight!

Jink smiled and said, “Well, then how about going on a trip full of peril, hardship, snow, and ice as we battle Winnie again?” As Khalua’s grin grew, Jink broke into a rundown of what they knew and what the plan was so far.

“Sweet!, when do we leave?” she asked.

“Well, I’ve got a call to make to SuperElf™ to have her meet us there, but otherwise I think we’re good to go.” Jink replied.

“Alright, then” she said, jumping to her feet, some of her gear already in hand, pulled from one of the many hidden locations around the house. “Shall we stop passed the donut shop on the way?”

***

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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptySat 19 Dec 2020 - 20:34

In the otherwise perfect warrior known as SWaP, or the Snow Warrior Princess, Khalua had two big weaknesses, and Jink was hoping they could appease one of those weaknesses now and get it out of the way before hunting down Winnie.  Jink needed her focused on the fight, so as they hit Krunchy Buttermilk, she made sure to grab an extra dozen chocolate glazed donuts or so in case Khalua got the hankering for them later.  As it was, the team was actually in the mood for the baked goods, but Tamia worried about time.  It was just a few hours shy of a day since when they ran into Fate and had been given their charge.

“I know I keep saying this, but there’s only two things in life worth dying for: Donuts and sex!” spouted Khalua, glomming her sixth cream filled baked pastry, causing the other patrons to start to stare. For her, a donut shop was kind of like a pub or sports bar to other people, but this was just a source of embarrassment for Jink and her friends.  Darkwing wanted to chime in to go along with her, but the words failed him, causing his mouth to gape and flap like a fish out of water.  One of these days he’d get it figured out and tell her how he felt.

“Khaluaaaaa,” Jink started in quietly, “you’re making a scene!”

“Eh, deal with it!” was the muffled reply as she stuffed two more down her gullet.

Tamia tried to rush things along by throwing about a hundred bucks at the clerk, figuring that would cover it so they could leave as soon as Khalua stuffed her gut.  As it turned out, Khalua’s over-energetic lifestyle of physical training and adventure-seeking more than balanced out the high caloric intake of her preferred repast.  

Ten or twenty minutes and several dozen donuts later, Khalua slogged a mug of coffee to wash it all down and set back.  The rest of the crew were staring at her, assuming there’d be a good long belch after that, but she just patted her belly and jumped down out of her barstool.

The group huddled together and teleported into Santa’s shop….

***


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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptySat 19 Dec 2020 - 20:35

Unfinished toys, open and drying tubs of pain, and half eaten candy littered the workshop. It was as though the entire population of the North Pole had been vaporized all at once. There wasn’t much evidence that Winnie had been the perpetrator anywhere within the workshop, and indeed the only sign that anything had happened was the fact no one was around, and the faint impressions of a single set of footprints leading up to the front door.

“Well, defiantly no chance she coulda snuck up on ‘em, not with all these candy wrappers around…” noted Kullyn as he crunched through the ankle deep cellophane. Of course in some ways she actually had without even trying to, mostly due to the fact the sugar addicts were so intent on getting their next fix.

They combed the entire complex: the Elves’ dorms, the basements (that were still receiving truckloads of hard candy, which was starting to pile up), and the store rooms. Failing to turn up any clues that would help them get the abducted back, they finally decided to enter Santa’s private chambers.

The sight that met them was unlike anything they could have imagined. A fully stocked wet bar lined one wall opposite a holo screen that could easily have been twelve feet wide, centered with an optimal view from the bed. Having a wet bar for a headboard made things inconvenient for guests, but as he had given up long ago on guests in bed it worked well enough for him.

The bed was the biggest shock of all. The guitar shaped mattress was left devoid of blankets and bare of all but a single, wrinkled bedsheet, with his red coat and some black leather straps tied about where his arms and legs would have been if he’d been restrained. Various other paraphernalia was strewn about.

“Bingo…” said Kullyn, “That was defiantly Winnie. I don’t know if Santa’s gonna wanna be rescued.”

“That’s not what I’m worried about. All his clothes are here… I don’t know if I wanna rescue him!” Darkwing noted.

“Still not a clue as to where they went, though. I guess we’re still at the point Fate left us. I wonder if he stumbled across this himself. Hard to say where he gets his info…” Tamia commented.

Jink had been looking at the tops of the walls and the vaulted ceiling, and suddenly got a funny look. “I wonder indeed…”

POP

POP

She was back a moment later shaking her head. “Yeah, I wondered how Fate knows so much of what’s going on all the time. See that dark spot in the ceiling? The pervert was watching Winnie work her evil the whole time!”

“Really? Show me!” Voiced Khalua, sounding just a bit too eager to see the voyeur’s vantage point.

Shaking her head, Jink rolled her eyes, “Uh, no. I don’t think you’d really want to know the state he left that cramped space….” Shrugging it off, she added, “Besides, I think we’re done here. We’re just gonna have to guess where she took them, and the best guess I have is Blue Mountain, her “secret” lair.”

There was a collective nod of agreement and they came together to transport to the next destination.

P-POP

“Uh, Jink, it would seem we haven’t gone anywhere.” Darkwing observed after a moment, pointing out the obvious.

That could only mean one scary possibility: Winnie had indeed retreated into Blue Mountain, and had cast a Flat Mirror spell to keep intruders out of her den. Mirror spells came in two forms: Flat and Curved. Flat spells just bounced you back to where you came from, but curved spells, like real curved mirrors, could bounce you back distorted, sending you in several different directions or stretching you all out of shape. They had just lucked out that Winnie had gotten lazy.

Unfortunatly, Jink had no way of telling how far out the spell reached, and she wasn’t about to do some trial and error with this stuff. As it was, she realized that SuperElf™ was still en route to where they were.

When SuperElf™ finally showed up, they shared some over-cooked hot chocolate (Elves had to stay hydrated some how) and discussed the situation with her. They came to agree that they would teleport over to a nearby town and those that couldn’t fly would take a cab.

This they did.

It was nightfall when they began their assault. Darkwing and SuperElf™ flew in overhead while the others quibbled over who was going to have to pay the larger share of the cab fee, as it just wouldn’t come out even. In a misguided attempt to win Khalua’s favor, Darkwing blurted out that he’d just pay the whole thing, which everyone ended up agreeing with.

In a follow up blond moment, Tamia walked up and knocked on the door to Winnie’s Blue Mountain Resort and Casino. The bellhop welcomed them into a chasm filled with flashing lights and chiming machines.

“So much for surprise” Jink muttered, but then realized that Winnie probably didn’t have a clue they were there. She’d been using the mortal humans for aeons, draining them of every drop of whatever she could wring from them. They may have just sauntered in, but they were still isolated from where Winnie held her hostages, whatever devious plan she had in store for them…

Thinking quickly, Kullyn used Darkwing’s credit card (still had it after paying the driver) to rent a room on the top floor. Perhaps the entire casino was isolated from the rest of Blue Mountain, but perhaps in some way this would get them a little closer to their goal.

The top floor wasn’t butted up against Winnie’s inner sanctum, however. The top floor was near the Peak of Blue Mountain itself, towering about the valley below, with a balcony that ran 180 degrees around the peak. Kullyn snuck a peek at the receipt for the room rental, and almost couldn’t keep his shock contained. As it was, a slight gurgling sound escaped and Tamia looked at him with a raised eyebrow. While everyone else was gawking about all the features of the room, he pressed his index finger to his lips and handed the receipt and maxed out credit card over for her to see. She simply turned and walked back out into the hall, closed the door and giggled hysterically for a few minutes until she could get herself back under control.

Jink walked the balcony to try and see if there was some entrance that could be climbed down to or anything that would be of use. The team spread out through every floor and every square inch of the casino they could get to, noting where there were areas that should be accessible.

SuperElf™ flew the elevator shafts trying to see all the floors they couldn’t access, but like a lot of what they were finding, the hotel was a façade, only a few top floors and a few bottom floors really existed, and a whole lot of unused buttons in the elevator car. She squeezed passed the car to take a look at the lower levels, where she hit paydirt. There were a couple basement levels, parking levels and the like, but also a level that only appeared on Winnie’s personal elevator, marked with a D…

***

Upon receiving this news, Jink went around trying to find the rest of the team.  Most had gone back to the room to enjoy the view, but Kullyn and Tamia were harder to track down. This would be so much easier if I could jink!  I like going for a walk like anyone else, but not this much… she was thinking.

She finally found them in the last place she’d expected them to be.  They were sharing drinks in a bar filled with the worst music and illuminated only by the neon signs on the walls and the brightly lit stage around which all the seating was arranged around.  Tamia held a handful of folded dollar bills. Kullyn was sloshed.

“And what are you two up to without me?” Jink asked in the most naive tone she could muster and sat down to the half asleep Kullyn, who replied, “I wash thirshty an’ wannid a drink… Didja know all the drinksh are free here?”

“Nice.” Jink shook her head.

A scantily clad female of indeterminate race or species sauntered out onto the stage, dancing, or rather swaying drunkenly, to the crappy music.  Her blue skin and eight breasts contrasted horribly with the red lacy garb she half wore and left the viewer wondering which parent banged what?  Her clumsy stagger was sort of on time with the music, and did nothing more than add to the sleaze of the place.  Jink figured that was what this place was.  She turned to Tamia and inquired “Really?  You’ve got Kullyn AND me anytime you want and that’s still not enough for you?  You’re almost as bad as Khalua!”

“Aw, come on, Jink.  As Kully said, he was thirsty, and we just got carried away!”  her gaze returned to the stage, which now was lighter a few garments that had shot out into the audience, sparse as it was. “It’s not like… you could… compete with…” she shook her head, realizing what she was saying in her distraction. “er, I mean, not like this can compete with you!” Tamia tried to laugh it off.

Jink and Tamia stood to leave, looking at Kullyn, who’d passed out.  Jink looked over to Tamia and realized she was no help either, as she’d knocked back a few too many as well.  She rolled her eyes, bundled their sleeping companion up in her arms and led Tamia out of the strip joint toward the elevators.

***


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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptySat 19 Dec 2020 - 20:36

“Ok, c’mon guys we gotta pull ourselves together!” Jink was saying as Kullyn finally opened one eye.  He found a feeding tube had been shoved down his throat and espresso was being dumped down his gullet as fast as it could be brewed.

“You guys do realize we’re here to save Christmas, right?  I mean, it seemed to be an overused theme, but that doesn’t change the fact we’re here to do it!” she continued.  She went on in her lecture that had apparently been going on for some time before Kullyn woke up.  The caffeine was waking him up quicker, but it was also shoving the alcohol through his system faster, making his vision swim even more.  Jink’s image bobbed and flowed, and he giggled a little as his watery eyes distorted her figure in various ways.

“…so as soon as Mr. Drunk is able to walk, we gear up and head down to the Dungeon level and start our assault!” Jink finished.  It would seem that her pep talk had not rallied the team as she’d intended, but rather made them just a bit more bored than before.  A few grumbled “alrights” bubbled up with disinterest.

The strong coffee messed with the Boy Spider’s head, his thoughts racing and muted at the same time.  Tamia dumped the fifteenth shot down his feeding tube before he realized that not only was the tube annoying him, but the coffee was scalding his stomach.  He ripped the tube out of his mouth and ran for ice water.  As he was mobile again, the team headed for the elevator.

They stopped at a service level and forced the doors open, snuck over to Winnie’s elevator and pressed “D”.  The doors popped open and they emerged out into a world of melted stone and cold, damp air.  The noise of the upper levels was nothing but a memory as they split into two groups and searched the tunnels.  Kullyn, Jink, and Tamia headed left while Khalua, Darkwing and SuperElf™ made their way down the right tunnel.

Jink led her companions down an unending stretch of dark tunnel.  It was eerie, as there was no source of illumination to speak of but they could see just fine.  It was as thought the walls themselves were dimly glowing.  They made their way in silence, and finally stumbled upon a computer room.  Jink sat down at the computer and checked it out.

The computer was simple, and held little useful information.  It turned out to be the control terminal for the casino slot machines upstairs.  Instead of odds of winning, it paid out winnings roughly every quarter of an hour, to get people’s attention, on the order of one to five dollars.  As most of the slot machines were two dollar slots, it didn’t pay to even just have everyone wait around for the quarter hour to play, it still made money, but gave the illusion of a large number of payouts.  No one even noticed that nobody ever walked away with more money than they brought in.

There were two other files on the computer.  One was a layout of Blue Mountain, which Jink printed, and the other was a tax statement in Winnie’s name.  She was in BIG trouble if she ever got audited, and as it turned out, Tamia worked for the IRS part time.

They turned to leave, and noticed their way was blocked by one of Winnie’s goons, who was standing at the door with a gun.  Jink considered risking a teleport, but wasn’t sure if the effect just covered the mountain or filled it.  She lunged at the lackey, intending to wrestle him to the ground, but instead the goon dodged back down the hall, running away from the trio.  Somehow, even with the gun, he felt outnumbered.

They followed the witless henchman down the halls.

***


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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptySat 19 Dec 2020 - 20:45



Khalua led her band a short distance before coming across a row of cells, in which Santa’s Elves were being held.

The lethargic Elves’ blood sugar was so low they could hardly move. They were clumped together in piles to keep warm. The kids, who weren’t as dependent on candy, were still full of energy and rushed the bars, sticking their hands out for chocolate.

It saddened Khalua to see such things, and as she munched on the last frosted donut she thought to herself that it would be nice if she had something sweet to give them. She passed the cells until she came across one that contained a familiar face: an Elf named Eric she dated back in high school.

“So they caught you too? What are you doing mixed in with this lot?” she asked him.

Eric reluctantly replied “Well… you know how I was gonna be a hot-shot lawyer making buku dinero?”

“Yeah, you seemed to have quite the knack for it, talking your way out of failed tests and other trouble…” she noted.

He continued “…Yeah, well, I got the lawyer part down, but I ended up literally working for peanuts as a union lawyer under Treestump…” He hung his head, thought Khalua didn’t know if it was out of shame or due to a lack of energy. “I don’t even like peanuts, but all they had left over was stale peanut brittle no one else would eat…”

“Still, you got somewhere with your dreams. You gotta start somewhere!” Khalua pushed, trying to lighten his spirits.

“I’ve been working there for over a decade…” he was saying as she turned away, trying to see how hard it would be to break them out and get them back to the elevator. That was when she noticed the sound of footsteps headed up the tunnel.

Her trio headed down the tunnel, looking for a hiding place. The tunnel curved in a great spiral, and they hurried along not finding even an indentation in the wall. It seemed they had gone so far that a person might wet themselves just for lack of a bathroom between the elevator and wherever this tunnel led.

The tunnel finally opened on a larger cavern, with many other tunnels leading to it. As it was, Jink had chased the lackey they were following into the chamber and the team met in full force. The lackey climbed a stone platform near the center of the area and huddled at the base of a shadow.

The shadow moved, turned, and revealed itself as Winnie, clothed in her black fur robe.

“So you come again to disturb me and meddle in my meddlings? And here I thought it might be the pizza boy!” she scoffed, almost in mock fury. She’d been expecting someone to show up… “What is it this time?”

“You know why we’re here, you… Christmas…. Stealer… you…” Jink was infuriated to the point that words failed her. “Release Santa and his Elves before you get in any MORE trouble!”

“Oh, but dearie, I’m ready for you this time!” she said, as her hands began to glow.

Khalua led the attack and stormed the platform, her teammates in tow. She let out a war-cry as Winnie’s hands flashed.

It was quite comical. Khalua stopped dead still in middle of the platform and her teammates slammed into her one by one, which sent them sprawling. Khalua herself was entranced by Winnie’s magic, as she sent donut after donut flying at her.

“Flying… Donuts…?” was all she could say, and then she was off, chasing the flock of pastries back down the halls.

“HA HA HA HAAAA!!!!” Winnie cackled. “Even the mightiest of warriors falls beneath my power! What can the rest of you expect to accomplish? Give up now and leave before something worse happens!”

Tamia, who had found herself to the rear of the charge behind SuperElf™, still stood, able to stop herself in time. She pulled out a stunner and fired at Winnie, ducking into a roll as she dodged to the side when the lackey fired back. SuperElf™ remembered she could fly and took off carrying a chair to chuck at Winnie. Quickly after that, the rest of the team got to their feet and joined the fray, all attempting to do in the temptress in their own special way: Darkwing flew up into the shadows, spitting at her. Kullyn, as Spider Boy, spat webs at her, trying to entwine her. Jink tried to get in close to blank her memory…. It was utter chaos.

The battle raged for minute after minute, with neither side making any real gains. Winnie didn’t seem to have much advantage due to the familiar surroundings, as the Team had far greater numbers to outweigh it. It was five on two, physics verses magic, and no clear cut decisive victory was forthcoming. It wasn’t even that they were pulling their punches or worried about getting seriously hurt, as they were all variations of main characters from major portions of the Elf Quest universe. All that could be guaranteed was either a victory at the last moment by the forces of good, or an ironic twist that let Winnie and her goons get away to continue the series for another few pages some day.

That was until Winnie’s head lackey took a potshot at Tamia from relatively point blank range.

She fell to the ground, gagging already. As the others around noticed that someone had indeed been seriously hurt, the activity ground to a halt. Even Winnie paused and raised an eyebrow, not figuring her lackey to be of any more value than comic relief from time to time.

Jink rushed to Tamia’s side, trying to find a band-aid or something to cover the gaping hold in her chest. “Don’t worry! It’ll be alright! We’ll get you patched up good as new!” she was saying.

“Ggugghh” was Tamia’s gurgled response.

Kullyn made his way over, followed by others of the team, all trying to help out as the battle was now long forgotten. He commented the same as Jink had, encouraging Tamia with kind words. He even spun a silk scarf for Jink to use as a bandage. Darkwing fanned her face with a wingtip, while SuperElf™ stood by ready to scoop her up and take here elsewhere for medical attention.

“I love you, Kullyn…” she gurgled, “…and Jink, I love your… body…” she went back to a prolonged series of gagging sounds and writhed in pain for several minutes before adding, “Darkwing, you idiot, just ask that sleaze Khalua out for goodness sake!” She closed her eyes, concentrating. “…and SuperElf, do you actually do anything? Really? Sure you can fly…, but have you ever helped the team win even once?”

“…well, I did just throw that chair a moment ago. I missed, but, uh, it was heavy, and awkward…”

“Shuddup…” Tamia wheezed. “Tell Dark Hood he isn’t fooling anyone… and that if he needs companionship so bad he should just hook up with Khalua. It’s not like she’d complain…”

Her eyes rolled back into her head out of misery as Jink pressed harder on the bleeding wound. “Crap, knock it off, Jink! That’s… not… helping…” her voice, as well as the gurgling, got weaker. “Winnie, you sick…” even now it wasn’t in her to cuss a lot. “Why are you doing this stuff? …whew… You’re as pointless of a villain as Dr. Evil!” she panted. “…only worse as… people get hurt…”

Jink was crying now, her tears splashing in Tamia’s face. “Save your strength, dear, you’re gonna make it! You’re gonna live and the three of us will sleep in the tree house and…” she sobbed.

“Maybe if you’d got Winnie… to cut the crap with the spell… and teleported me …to a hospital…” she gasped, “…I might have…” After a long pause, she sucked in a final breath and added, “…you ditz….” before she finally expired.

The team was more than shocked. Even Winnie, who’d died once or twice before, was surprised. At least either her healing powers or consciousness carried on and on… but utterly killing off a major character?

“She must have been an extra, or a support character…” Winnie grasped at straws. “…It’ll be alright! They’ll write her back in later or replace her or something…” she was scrambling, realizing that she was the only bad guy, and if the writer was breaking the rules this far… “because if not, none of us are safe!”

“She’s just unconscious, right? Do CPR or something!” Kullyn yammered. “Hey, weren’t you a healer, Jink?”

“No, that was just special effects, for the last drawn out scene he was injured in. All I can do is move my pinky to the tip of my ear and back, that and teleportation and inflicting amnesia on people, and that’s only with this rock in my pocket…” She stuck her hand in her pocket, fiddling with it a moment considering. She reached down and grabbed Tamia’s lifeless corpse, screaming “C’mon, Tamia, knock it off! Quit faking it ya lazy bum!”

“Ok, so basically, what you’re saying is that our epic battle has already resulted in one death and could have more?” SuperElf™ worried. “I suggest we get outta here.”

Winnie, who was starting to get agitated that she wasn’t the center of attention, kinda realized it this was an opportunity to redirect the focus back to her. “…yes… Yes! You should run before I send more of you to follow your comrade! Fear me!”

“Uh, I thought I shot her” noted the lackey, remorseful, but still not bright enough to keep his mouth shut.

“Shh!” Winnie hissed back at him. “Be gone, Goodie Two Shoes Jink and Company! I will even lift the mirror spell keeping you from teleporting so you can flee!”

The group looked at each other, and had to shrug in agreement. They had no fight left in them in their grief. Jink drew Tamia into her arms and the group huddled close before four friends and a corpse jinked off to a hospital, where Tamia was pronounce DOA and placed in the morgue.

***

Later, the four remaining friends went back to Tamia’s pad where they held a wake, hoping that the writer would bring her back somehow, but he won’t in his twisted sense of humor. Jink was made to realize this, and her grief turned to a pit of hatred.

“We’ll be back, Winnie. And next time, you will pay. I’ll get you Winnie, and your little lackey, too!”

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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptySat 19 Dec 2020 - 20:52

The below is unedit for now outside of correcting some spacing and spelling errors. If I get enspired I'll rewrite the whole thing some day.

This is the second part of Santa Quest, the second series in the Twisted Seasons set. If you’d like to catch up, look in December’s Grab Bag or in my gallery. It’s still a work in progress, but maybe it’ll be ready for next year? That’s what I said last year, so I figured Id get something on it done if nothing else…

Notes: Just noticed that Part One references FOUR friends at the end of the story, but Khalua took off down the halls (to be captured by Winnie) So, that should be changed to Three. I think there’s a reference about five as well, and this would have to be revised. This is all on the current page 18 of part one in the December Grab Bag.

One more note about the December grab bag entry: I don’t know why, but on my computer(s) the images in the postings only partially show up. Sometimes they all show up, sometimes none. I can only figure that it’s too many images or something. I haven’t tried yet, but perhaps if you click the place holders (red X) it will still pop up the full size images. The displayed images are forum width, and when you click on them they should have 8.5x11 sized images. Let me know if you have trouble!


January 2011 Grab Bag…

Sunrise

Loss

Useful Not so easy…

Family Eh…

Good Intentions

Forgotten

Santa Quest, Part 2a

Winnie was giddy with the successful thwarting of Jink’s team. She’d never been able to “win” fair and square before… it was had always been either failure or cheating: failure resulting in the loss of life or home, or cheating in the form of boiling the flesh off an opponent’s bones or a black sending. Ever since she’d been returned to corporal form she’d had a new lease on life, and had made it a goal to stay away from low blows. It seemed that it had worked out this time.

There was one problem, however. Her single henchman wasn’t cutting it. He’d let his guard down with the Bluemountain Defense/Security Mechanism Network, and resorted to lethal force in battle, which was bad form for villains. She was going to need a few more lackeys around.

She suddenly realized she’d have to name her current henchman, or figure out what he was called or something. She usually just barked orders as he was the only one around. “Is the BDSM NET back up? Did you get that update installed?”

“Yes Mistress, the BDSM NET is operating at full capacity. The teraflop add-on package will be here next week to allow more slot machines to be added outside of Blue Mountain.” The Lackey reported.

She shook her head. More slot machines? How much was that going to cost? Still, they had to get the Blue Mountain trademark out there, as things were getting slow with the local crowd. Winnie had been milking the town dry for years, and there wasn’t all that much of a governing authority to figure out such things as gambling addiction or even alcohol abuse. The alcohol abuse had been curbed by gambling, however, as people didn’t have the money to spare for it.

“There’s one other thing I wanted to let you know.” Winnie went on. “You will henceforth be known as ‘Head Lackey’, and you’re current task with be recruiting a eight and four new henchmen. When you have selected them, bring them to me for inspection and interrogation.”

“Yes, Mistress, I will do so now!” snapped the Head Lackey at attention.

“Did you just snap at me?” his tyrannical leader frowned at him.

He just stood and quivered, stuck in a no-win situation….

***

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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptySat 19 Dec 2020 - 20:54

A small voice quivered in the damp cell. “…candy…. I’d poke a Troll for a piece of candy….” Various other wimperings and whinings were still present, but weakened and less frequent the last few days. The beans and rice and water provided them with enough good food that they should have lived comfortably, but without the steady flow of sugar flooding their veins they felt starved and lethargic.

The kids were huddled around an older Elf, one of the elders that could remember back when candy was a treat and not a food source. He was telling tales about games and birthdays and holidays that no one celebrated anymore. He was rambling on, “…back then we had games that we tried to win candy. Once there was this game where you’d swing a stick at a piñata…”

“What’s a piñata?” Ember interrupted excitedly.

“It’s a… well, a container made of paper that can be shaped like whatever someone wants to make it… like a horse or a party ball… They are usually brightly colored and decorated all over. Anyway, you stand there blindfolded and try to hit it. If you break it open it dumps out all the candy that’s inside.” The old Elf tried to explain.

“I wish I had a piñata right now! Yeah!” Suntop stirred up the gang of kids into a frenzy of prattling, a chorus of voiced dreams of sweetness broke the stillness that had once occupied the dark room. The kids would have a mission in life if they ever got out.

In the other cell, listless Elves lay at random around relative luxury. Winnie wasn’t really into mistreating the Elves at this time, with so many other things going on of such great importance. Usually, her prisoners these days were treated to various pleasantries such as clean sheets every day, good (though cheap) food, and whatever else would make their stay more comfortable. The difference in the other cell was that several Elves caused trouble during the takeover of the north, and those troublemakers along with the young brats were given decidedly substandard accomedations. There wasn’t all that much difference between the cells, though, just a bit less light, an industrial humidifier, the thermostat turned down, and lack of mattresses had a profound difference in psychological effect from this room. This second cell was better lit and better heated, in some ways making it a bit better than the cheap rooms in the hotel above.

The bored crew inhabiting the cell was no more enthusiastic from being cut off from candy than those of the other cell. The soft mattresses and whatnot was wasted on them. There was some activity, however….

A scowling Elf maiden growled while she twirled a chalky, stale donut on one finger, half a bite chomped out of it. “…that Troll poking wench… …tricking me with fake donuts… …I don’t even know how a fake donut goes stale, but there it is…”

Khalua had followed the flock of flying donuts down the halls, right into this waiting cell. The door had opened and closed automatically as she passed into the cell. She caught one of them in the confines of the dungeon, but as she took a bite out of it, the texture threw her off enough to let the rest escape through the bars. Her cell mates ignored her as this all happened, shut off from the world in their sugar withdrawal.

An older, tallish Elf finally shook off his stupor and sat down next to her, pondering what might help her forget her problems. “My name’s Echo, but for some reason I’ve come to be known as Eggo. I don’t remember having ever met you. Are you from the north, or are you from some other band of Elves?”

Khalua blinked a moment, trying to switch gears and accept the kindness that was being offered her. “Nice to meet you, I’m Khalua, and I’m… well, I was originally from a place more northern than places I hang out these days, but I’m pretty sure I’m not from your group. You’re Santa’s Elves, right?”

“Well, that’s what a lot of people say, but it’s not like we’re his slaves or anything…” Eggo grimaced, not even so sure of what he was saying was true. “…but we work for him, I guess.”

“That seems like fun. Work can’t be all that stressful working along side the bearer of Christmas Spirit! Maybe, if I’d be allowed, I might just pop in from time to time myself!” Khalua smarmed.

“Oh, you’d not believe how stressful it is up there… and sure, I guess you could say he’d the bearer of ‘Christmas Spirits’… That drunkard had us make a leather holster so he’d have a bottle of peppermint schnapps on each hip at all times! Of course, that was his just backup for emergencies. You’d never see him without a tankard of Egg Nog or spiked hot chocolate, or, failing that, digging the flask of Bacardi 151 out of his boot. That lout was never sober a day of my life!” Eggo lost himself recounting the misery of working for Santa.

An hour or so later, he finally realized that this probably wasn’t helping Khalua much. “…well, and other than some rumors that next year will be worse, I guess that’s about it. That’s my life in a nutshell. Perhaps you could tell me a little about yourself?”

“Um, sure, I guess if you’ve got the time…” She slapped her forehead when she realized how that sounded here in the cell. “…but…,” she looked around a little concerned, “…perhaps first you could show me where the… uh, facilities are?”

He pointed. Winnie’s accommodations were complete to the plush-padded seat of the heated toilet, plenty of quilted bath-tissue, and even his and hers stacks of magazines for reading while using the commode. The hospitality didn’t extend to privacy, however, so the thick pile carpet at the foot of the communal lavatory seemed quite a bit out of place next to the half occupied beds.

“Um… in front of everyone? Really? This doesn’t make any more sense than anything else!” Khalua exclaimed. “Stupid Winnie has two cells with communal toilets and doesn’t separate male and female? …Not that I’m completely appalled by the idea, could make things interesting I suppose, but seriously there doesn’t seem to be any reason for any of this. What does she want you guys for anyway?”

“We’ve not been able to figure that out either.” Eggo shrugged. “Besides that, what’s the problem? We all used the same toilets in front of everyone in Santa’s workshop. No one cares because everyone’s busy, and a separate room set aside for elimination would take more time to get to and from, which just wouldn’t make us any more productive…” Khalua rolled her eyes and shook her head.

Still, she had to go, and like ten minutes ago at that. She looked around for any sign of a more private stall hidden somewhere, or a way to maybe make a divider from the mattresses, but they were secured to the bed frames. Maybe sheets? But what would she attach them to? It wasn’t that she was all that concerned about her body, she’d been to a few cave raves over the years, but GOING in front of a crowd… it just didn’t seem… right? She thought about it and remembered using the bathroom with a few friends over, and didn’t really care then, so why was this bothering her so much?

She had two options, take a seat in front of everyone and hope no one took any interest, or figure out how to make things work standing up… Naw, that would be even worse, she supposed. It didn’t help that the commode had its own spotlight overhead…

***


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PostSubject: Re: TrollHammer's Story Forge   TrollHammer's Story Forge EmptySat 19 Dec 2020 - 20:54

Jink and the remains of her crew sulked in the darkened confines of Darkwing’s apartment. Tamia was dead, Khalua was missing, Darkwing was out a load of money…. Kullyn tried nibbling at a day old donut left behind by Khalua, and ended up just licking the frosting off the top. “So, hmm… we’re just gonna sit around here all day?” He missed Tamia, but didn’t feel like just moping about was going to help him deal with it.

“What would YOU suggest? Have a party? Go-carts? Hey, I got it, why don’t we go storm the fortress again and see if we can’t ALL join Tamia?” Jink snapped at him. He wondered if this would be a bad time to suggest a way to take her mind off of things… in the bedroom…

SuperElf™ frowned at her for taking things out on him. This wasn’t setting well with anyone. “Well, what do you have in mind, Kullyn? I could go for some fresh air.”

He got up and stretched. “Ok… sure, um, …how about just taking a swing through town and see what catches our eye? Shoot, Darkwing can fly with you, and when we get there we can call Jink and she can just teleport over if she wants to…”

“I can’t believe what I’m hearing! Tamia’s dead and you’re all talking about going for an Orange Julius? Ok, fine, do whatever, I’m outta here!” Jink said before disappearing.

“I’ll stay here, I don’t really feel like doing much.” Darkwing mumbled. Tamia had been a friend, but he was more worried about Khalua. The rest of the group weren’t as worried since the Snow Warrior Princess was usually able to take care of herself, but it played havoc with this one who loved her so.

“Ok, well, I guess it’s just you and me. Shall we?” Kullyn motioned towards the door.

SuperElf™ glided through the proffered doorway and took to the skies, while Spider Boy launched webs at the skyscrapers to swing from. The only problem was he used his talents so rarely he forgot that you can’t swing from the ground, and SuperElf™ had to come back for him. She was more than strong enough to just carry him through town, and the pair flew passed all the usual points of interest. She got a little crossed up at one point when her GPS died, so they tried looking for places they’d never been to. They ended up in Chinatown and shared a bowl of ramen.

They strolled through the streets taking in the colors and merriment. The folk were celebrating something, tossing firecrackers and flying banners all around. Occasionally a huge gang of people would carry a serpentine form with a brightly crafted head down the street, with a band of clamoring instruments following along side, bashing and crashing their way to some festival.

Presently, they came across a Chinese drug store. It was completely random, but as they were trying to get away from normal things that reminded them of missing or dead friends, it seemed to fit their mood and they entered. The druggist was more accommodating than one would think, being able to very fluently speak to them in their own language.

“What can I help with, sir and miss?” he asked.

“Dunno, really, we’re just trying to get our minds off things… I’ve never been to a store like this, what kinds of things do you have?” Kullyn inquired.

“You wanting to forget things? I have just thing!” He pulled a container from behind the counter. Amidst the various symbols and hand drawings of content people, the label had one clear word, “OPIUM”, printed very legibly to the side. “These help you forget everything!”

“Um, no, that’s ok.” SuperElf™ said with one eyebrow arched.

“I make you deal. You are nice couple, I give you free sample!” the clerk insisted, starting to measure out a few doses. Drugs such as this were legal here, as Chinatown in this city was considered sovereign to itself. Transportation of such things into and out of Chinatown was highly illegal, but not if you used it inside the limits of the zone.

“No, we don’t want any. What else do you sell here? Incense or something?” Kullyn asked as he looked around at the various bottles of dried flowers, hanging dried bones, jars of ashy looking powder… it was kind of a bizarre menagerie of sorts, but not all that menacing.

The proprietor slumped a little, shrugged, and palmed the dose before putting the bottle back. It was starting to become obvious how he became an ‘expert’ of the things in his shop… “You wish to forget, but not forget? You strange people! Normally people have funerals for such things!”

“Well, we held a wake…”

“Ah, so! You have lost friend and are grieving, I understand better now. Sorry for joking!” He moved around the shop as he spoke, playing with some sort of mixture he’d been mixing before they came in. “Was you friend old?”

“No, she was killed in battle” SuperElf™ replied. “She was actually a bit too young to die that way, I’d say. Can we get off that subject? No offense, but we wanted to get it out of our minds.”

“Ah, but maybe I can help!” the druggist implored as he reached back under the counter again. “Don’t know why sad, is great honor to be killed in battle. Hard honor to get in peace time!”

Kullyn rolled his eyes and started to think about walking out. The shop owner asked, “She die less than week ago?”

SuperElf™ nodded, “Just a day ago. She was shot while we tried to save… well, some other people.”

“You not save people? She died in vein, then? Tch tch tch…” the shop owner shook his head, looking sorrowful. “You dishonor her but wasting her sacrifice! You will be able to make amends, however!” He added some of the compound from a container that sat next to the opium under the counter, and ducked around the shop, throwing things into the pot he held in his hands. Occasionally he’d grind at it as he spoke. “You came to good place! I will share great ancient secret with you that no one else would…” He snapped off an herb from a bundle overhead, cut it in half, and added a piece into the mixture. “The breeze carried the omen of this meeting this morning, and I have been making this for you! You have something to trade me, though.”

The pair looked at each other for a moment, having not even brought their ID with them. A few dollars, but nothing else! “I’m sorry, I don’t now what you mean. We have nothing of value with us.”

“The fourth and fifth seals only turn true! This that I make is rare and strong, of great value! You are to take it, but not for free! No trade, no get your friend back!”

Ok, this wasn’t even possible. Kullyn thought to himself. Tamia was deader than a doornail, on ice in the city morgue! Until the investigation of her shooting was done it would remain there, get cut up a little, and then be cremated. There wasn’t any kind of “getting her back”, but still, if there was the slightest chance… “Ok, lets see here… I have a stick of gum, some pocket lint… a loose thread on my underware…”

The more practical SuperElf™ was looking for useful things, and even considered palming something off the shelf that looked important to try and trade the clerk. Perhaps he was so drugged up he wouldn’t notice… “Well, I have this gold pin my father gave me, and I believe it’s solid gold…”

“No, no, no! You have something that I cannot get!” the clerk insisted. “Sir, what you make outfit from?”

“My shirt? Shoot, I wove this out of some old webbing, I think I cut it out of my old hammock in my room, and that’s because I’m too cheap to buy a real t-shirt! Besides, a superhero has to look the part, right? A shirt made of my own spider silk is kinda like a calling card….” He mused.

“…You a man who make spider web? That I trade! Make me one pound web and this be yours!”

Kullyn shook his head. Why in the world anyone would actually want spider web was beyond him. He extruded a thin fiber from his finger as he asked “how long?”

The shop owner looked at him funny. “However long one pound is!”

“Ok, well, one pound is a weight, not a length. This web is strong enough to hold one pound, but how long do you want it? A foot, ten feet?”

“No, no, no! Make lots of web to weigh one pound! Here scale!”

Oh…. Really… “Well, that will take a little bit… it’s not all that heavy…” Kullyn looked worried. One pound of webbing? I’ve not made that much in my whole life! My whole outfit was cut from a twenty foot hammock ten feet wide, and that only weighed half an ounce and took a week to make!

“I have plenty time! You don’t! Start spinning web, web spinner!” insisted the shop owner.

“Ok, I’m going to need lots of water and a couple large sandwiches…” Spider Boy said to SuperElf™ as he started wrapping an empty can with webbing.

***


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