Holes/Session 43

A fragment of the Garden of Remembering

INT. Wizard's tower foyer - day
Radek is kneeling over the unconscious stone man, who is simply stone, wearing stone clothes, with stone pockets, probably full of stone, while the others look on.
The Gravedigger suddenly disappears without a trace.
...Oh. Marvelous.
Butterflies flutter around behind them, and especially around Amadi. Dawn bats at one that gets too close to her.
Radek rises to his feet and glances back at Amadi and Dawn. He doesn't take particular care to address one over the other.
Was that your doing?
Amadi says immediately and at once "yes" and "no" at the same time.
(after an entirely too long pause, scrunching her face up in concentration)
Radek's scowl deepens.
Amadi tells the butterflies that "flamboyant" is a really good thing to be. Anything that sounds that fancy has to be good. Flamboyant!
The stone man wakes up and looks at Radek fearfully.
Dawn nods vaguely and wanders over toward Rhu and Radek and the stone guy.
Radek returns his attention towards the Stone Guy, still scowling.
Say something.
Uh... hi?
Rhu walks up the stairs as far as he can without losing sight of the rest of the party.
Good enough - you can speak.
Rhu hears something horrible from the floor above and falls down the stairs. (rolled 16 perception (natural 1))
Radek twitches just barely at the sounds of assumed incompetence, but otherwise remains focused.
(muffled from getting his cloak tied up around his head)
Thr's sth hrble up thr.
On Greibel's shoulders, the porridge opens a pair of porridge-coloured eyes.
Almost at the same time, Greibel's eyes widen.
Radek looks down at Rhu, then back at the Stone Guy.
Rhu gets back to his feet, untangling his cloak as he goes.
I wish to understand your circumstances. Why were you turned to stone? ...And then stored in a box?
Um... Hiding.
Amadi places a number of butterflies on Dawn.
From what?
Dawn goes and looms over the stone guy, juggling butterflies.
Greibel looks up toward the upstairs ominously.
Rhu looks down at his boots. They need cleaning.
(pointing toward Greibel)
From the thing he's looking at.
Radek glances towards Greibel, then the ceiling.
Where's Gravy?
Oh, he's not here. Elsewhere, probably.

(to Dawn)
Dawn suddenly looks confused.
Greibel mouths words and gestures toward Radek and back to the ceiling.
Greibel exaggerates mouthing the word "Dragon."
Look, guys, I don't mean to be rude, but this has all been a huge misunderstanding.
So can I... maybe... go?
Amadi finds some of the more damaged butterflies and tries to teach them how to fly again. She's particularly persistent towards the butterflies that have lost a wing.
The butterflies fail to fly, but a few manage to float in a rather disorganised fashion, tumbling about even more ridiculously than the normal flight patterns of butterflies.
Go where?
Um... away. Out. Somewhere that isn't here.
...Could I have one of your limbs, first? For study.
Er. I'd rather you didn't? Kind of attached to them.
We can fix that.
Dawn grins maniacally and offers Radek a giant pair of scissors. Very giant.
Emotionally, physically, or both?
Greibel flaps his arms like a dragon and points up.
Amadi flaps her arms too, but more like a butterfly.
Yes, yes!
Radek makes a "hush" motion at Greibel.
That was not a yes or no question, sir.
(now, somehow, looking very flustered, especially for stone)
That is... both. Please, just let me go.
(to stone guy)
Stay with us, we'll keep you safe.
(making quotes with her fingers)
Radek grumbles.
Fine, do what you like. Live to delay the advancement of knowledge another day.
We'll only throw you at our enemies very, very occasionally.
The stone guy gets up uncertainly.
Radek gives him some space, but grumpily.
As soon as Radek is out of the way, the stone guy flees.
Ganelon (Radek): It's like this guy doesn't even appreciate the medical applications of turning people to living stone.
What a waste...
Radek sighs and turns back to Greibel.
Now, you wanted something?
Greibel blinks.
Some day we will fight shoulder-to-shoulder with a cool stone dude. But it is not this day.
I think there's a dragon upstairs.
It's fine. It's a small one.
Radek tries to look less concerned so his ignoring it earlier seems more justified.
Where there are small dragons, there'll be big dragons coming back to find them.
That depends entirely on the breed of dragon, the size of the cave, and whether you had any blood pudding last week.
Greibel turns to Dawn worriedly.
I did have blood pudding last week!
Greibel turns to Amadi.
I might have had blood pudding. Was that the soupy stuff with the weird bits?
No, Dawn, it's the wriggly green stuff.
I crawled through an eldritch abomination two nights ago, does that count?
Radek facepalms.
This is a wizard's tower. If a dragon inhabits it, it is - or more likely, was - a captive.
Maybe it's hiding, like the stone guy was. Maybe there's something ever scarier on the top floor.
I could go to the top floor and be the scarier thing!
Ganelon: I'm trying to think of a reason to discourage that plan.
Apheori (GM): Is there one? Is there?
Ganelon: ...I can't think of one.
I'd be a really good scarier thing. I can rawr. RAWR!
Dawn makes a bit of a wind with her rawr, but it sounds more like stomach trouble than something actually scary.
Greibel blinks.
...Or Dawn could do it, I guess.
Dawn beams. It's slightly adorable and also a bit pathetic.
Well go on, then.
I don't care which one of you does it. You could both try to be frightening at once, for all it matters.
Amadi grins happily, takes Dawn's hand, scoops up a number of butterflies, places these on both their shoulders, and commands the butterflies to fly them upstairs. (rolled 16 reality) Somehow, the butterflies do, picking up the both of them and drawing them slowly upward... through the ceiling.
Well. They're with God now.
...They are gods. What is that even- ugh, never mind.
Radek shakes his head and walks over to wait on the stairs for pretty much any kind of result.
We don't still have that flying disk the mouse forged would ride on, do we?
Some loud clunks drift down the stairs.
Or maybe we could climb up the outside of the tower. Maybe it's a blind, deaf dragon?
Tenser's Floating Disk. It is a magical force construct.
I don't have a copy of the ritual. Your best hope is that we might find one in here

INT. Wizard's tower second floor - day
Amadi and Dawn float up through a dragon.
Amadi blows the dragon a kiss.
They float up through the air above the dragon as the dragon suddenly startles and takes a swipe at them with its claws.
Dawn tries to dodge away from the claws and falls out of the butterflies, landing in front of the dragon.
Amadi shows no real concern at her loss of Dawn and continues to drift upward, going up through the floor of a room that turns out to be full of magical treasure and a bunch of zombies, which all completely fail to notice her.
Amadi shrugs, lands gently, and does her scariest rawr. (rolled 21 bluff)
The zombies all panic and run away down the stairs. Toward the dragon. Which is trying to smash, claw, bite, and breathe on Dawn.

INT. Wizard's tower foyer - day
Clunks, bangs, roars, scrapes, and tearing noises come down the stairs, along with a sort of horrible wailing.
Rhu runs up the staircase, maul drawn.
Radek follows after him.

INT. Wizard's tower second floor - day
Prepare to meet my superweapon!
Amadi saunters down the stairs, hoping that she'll turn out to have perfect timing for being a superweapon.
Bow down before the power of BUNNNNY!
Amadi stops for a moment, considering whether she should try looking like a bunny and then deciding against it. Some things are too scary. Even for fragments of gods.
Rhu stops running at the mention of "bunny", walking up slowly and carefully instead as he comes out onto the second floor. Radek is behind him, and Greibel behind him.
They find that Dawn has apparently been carrying that bunny from before around all this time and has thrown it at the dragon. And apparently it did some serious damage.
There are also several zombies wandering around in frightened confusion, and an Amadi at the top of the stairs looking down on it all.
Amadi looks very aloof. She's so proud of her own terrifyingness.
Will you all bow before me! I am the might and wrath and judgement of... uh, the flying spaghetti monster! BOW DOWN!
Noodly appendatures!
She flails her arms a bit for emphasis.
Mmmmm, spaghettiiiii....
Rhu just stares at the whole confused mess.
A zombie falls over dead. Dawn stares at it, then looks very disappointed.
The dragon tries to bite the bunny and misses. The bunny bites back and also misses.
Amadi roars again, this time focusing her scariness towards the dragon. This, unfortunately, has no effect, and she looks thoroughly disappointed as well and sits down on her stair to sulk.
Rhu finally gets ahold of himself and runs up and smites a zombie with his holy symbol. There's a brilliant flash of light.
Meanwhile Radek summons his eyebot, adding to the chaos, and just stands back and waits, as Greibel shouts to the heavens for a storm to purge the dragon taint. A small storm coalesces on the ceiling, makes a tiny bolt of lightning, and hits a random metal spike on the wall.
A moment later, the storm quietly disperses. Greibel looks sad.
The zombies make zombie noises and mill around. The zombie nearest to Rhu takes a swipe at him with a rotting arm. It completely misses, and bits fall off. Another slams itself at the bunny. Another tries to grab Rhu, but he dodges. Yet another zombie ambles up to Dawn and makes funny noises at her. She ignores it and shoots at the dragon, directing her bunny, and gets smacked in the face by the zombie. The eyebot zaps everything she hit.
(yelling at the zombie)
You've lost now!
Dawn wipes zombie grossness off her face.
The dragon breathes lightning at the bunny, hitting a zombie as well, resulting in a really, really awful charred smell, but the bunny just tears the zombie apart and makes a horrible screeching noise, darting backwards.
Rhu takes the brunt of its shriek right in the brains. A nearby zombie falls over.
Amadi sings a song of discord in an attempt to take control of the bunny, and the bunny bites itself in confusion.
Hey! That's my bunny! Get your own!
Learn to share, Dawnie!
There is a bit of a magical surge behind the dragon and while nothing exactly appears, the Gravedigger is suddenly... there. Invisible. He opens his mouth to shout GRRAAAAAAAVES, then doesn't because he's being sneaky.
Ganelon (Radek): No-one sees him open his invisible mouth.
The Gravedigger then just jumps up and smashes the dragon on the head, knocking it into the floor, punctuated by a shot from the eyebot. The dragon smacks back with a wing, but only blocks part of the damage, something about the Gravedigger still being invisible.
Meanwhile Rhu swings his maul at a zombie, chanting retribution, killing it dead. Radek shoots at the dragon with his rifle. Greibel tries to summon a pack of spirits on the dragon, but it has no effect on the dragon. Greibel sulks.
Zombies try to beat Rhu and Dawn to death and do a terrible job of it, not even hitting either one of them.
Dawn tries to go to the bunny, but the zombie next to her grabs onto her leg and she falls over, so she just crawls the rest of the way to to her bunny with a zombie attached to her leg. She then stuffs the bunny in her pocket. While lying face down on the ground with a zombie stuck to her.
The dragon roars and looks scary, even off the floor, threatening at Gravy, Radek, and Greibel. Nothing really comes of this.
Amadi screams in annoyance at the dragon, the Gravedigger hits it with his shovel, and the eyebot lasers it.
The Gravedigger pounds on the dragon with the weight of the earth, a coordinated shovel attack crushing the dragon even more. It also gets lasered. Then he shoots the head of his shovel out at the dragon's head, but it misses.
Rhu runs away from the zombie trying to hit him, and it, too, tries to attach to his leg. This one fails. He swears an oath of enmity against the dragon and then charges it, swinging his maul about in a whirlwind. He nearly drops his maul in the process when the dragon reacts with swing from its tail, but he also hits the dragon a few times before he does.
The Gravedigger hits the dragon with his other shovel. Radek shoots it. The eyebot lasers it. Greibel summons a fire hawk on the dragon.
The dragon gets hawked with fire, and, naturally, lasered.
Meanwhile the zombie on Dawn's leg chews on it. The other one hurls a glob of necrotic filth at the back of Rhu's head, hitting it with a wet splat.
Dawn blasts the zombie on her leg away with a brilliant flash of light.
The dragon breathes on everyone. It's like a komodo dragon. The smell is the worst thing ever.
Radek deactivates his nose.
The dragon also takes some swipes at the invisible Gravedigger, but misses.
Amadi viciously mocks the zombie for chewing on Dawn's leg and getting wrathed. The eyebot takes this as another excuse to laser it, and the zombie dies, leaving only one zombie remaining.
The Gravedigger rams the dragon with great force, smashing it backwards with his shovel, then summons a cloud of boiling blood and bone, which scours the dragon and kills it. Then he scoops away the last piece of reality to fully enter this plane, becoming properly visible. He stares at the dragon and takes a breath.
I told you there was a dragon up here.
I need to dig a really big hole now.
Radek shoots and kills the remaining zombie.