Its a Croaked Units Party - Part 2 (Finale)
At the songs closing, Barb looked around to see several people staring at her in disbelief. She knew what had happened, and decided against ever dancing again. Hanging her head and determinedly walking back towards the corner of the room she now considered her safe place, she mumbled to herself and fought the urge to look around at anyone. However a familiar shadow slinked up beside her, leaning close and whispering in her ear.
“It wasn’t that bad,” came the soothing voice of the Dr. And she immediately felt a little better about the whole situation. “In fact, I think with just a little practice, we could get you performing for kings!” He gave a wink and a smile, produced a drink from seemingly nowhere and offered it to Barb. “Here it will help you take your mind off of things.”
Apprehensively, she took the glass. It was a small crystal goblet carved to resemble the face of a bat with wings on the sides to make it easier to hold. She took a deep whiff of the concoction, and decided it best just to go for it, and slugged the whole thing back in a gulp. “Well, aren’t you the thirsty one!” Dr. Facilier replied. He then moved on into the crowd as sneakily as he had approached, Barb would catch glimpses of him mingling with various others in attendance. Lost now in her own thoughts, which had become slightly slower thanks to the flower power that was in the drink.
His words bit hard into her Thinkspace. Memories of her time at court flooded back to her as she sunk deeper into the corner of the room. Her father Gobwineau Aryan had founded their short lived side after splitting off from Uniroyal when he discovered a barbarian capital site that had somehow gone unlooked. His insistence on poping only heirs and no units, because they were beneath his lineage, sealed his fate. Barb had popped only ten or twenty turns before the end of the side, in somewhat telling Signamancy. There were nightly parties, and her father seemed out of his mind somewhat, ranting and raving about things being the way they should be continually. Barb never participated in the dances, as they were strict affairs, requiring the utmost precision. In fact, it was luck when she happened to be in the Magic Kingdom when the side fell, still unsure as to the cause, and only Pete who happened to be in there at the time as well.
She was taken in for a brief time by a fellow Weirdomancer who went by the name Lord Adamant. He wore a scraggle of hair, with a white band of paint across his face, beads dangling from his ears. He was particularly skilled at Rhyme-o-mancy, and taught her a lot about Weirdomancy that she didn’t even know was possible. It was short lived of course, as all of her relationships were. They went their own way, but she had enough basis to make upkeep, and would be helped out by her brother when he had scored a gig for a side providing his special brand of ultraviolence against their opponents.
She snapped out of her head, and noticed Dr. Facilier walking over with another caster whom she had not met before. He was a small statured man, who didn’t speak so much and look her over once, and give a slight shrug, and a wishy-washy wave of the hand to the Dr. Who appeared to not notice, and instead offered his hand to Barb, “My dear, let us go outside and get some fresh air.”
Happy to be released from her corner, Barb took his hand and walked with him out the side door that was nearby. The other gentleman trailed off not following them, but giving a side long glance as they left. Barb walked back out into the cool night air, following along with Dr. Facilier who seemed to be walking at a pretty decent pace. They slipped into an old grove of walnut trees, and Barb could swear she could hear drums in the background, but it must be the bat juice in her brain. They turned around a few times in the grove, in what appeared to be the same direction that they came, then back again, but always forward. The Dr. wasn’t speaking much at this point, a few mumbled “just a little further” was all she got from him. But the beat in her ears seemed to be steadily growing.
The pair emerged into a small clearing, torches lined the outside of a circle of stone carved with intricate runes and various bowls containing entrails of what were likely creatures alive only moments before. Surrounding the circle was a series of drums being played by something that she couldn’t quite make out, were those shells? Dr. Facilier drew forth some powder from a pouch and threw it in her face, and everything went sideways. She stumbled into the circle, looking around for the Dr. who seemed to be standing all around her, saying something… Barb couldn’t make it out, what was he saying?
“Transformation Central…” she pieced together, spinning around now, trying to keep pace with the world that was spinning with her. Thankfully her outfit seemed particularly suited for this task. The Dr. was turning towards her now, “We all make our livings out here my dear, nothing personal, but I’ve got friends that need my support. And they prefer their meals a certain way.”
He began to intone, something within Barb could feel it, the moving of juice. Her discipline was always acutely aware of it, The Weird. It was the thing all weirdomancers knew, spells of all kinds moved in the same ways, the motion of it innate to them. He was drawing upon a lot too, “Aurora, Peach, Celestia” his words came forth, and he capped it “Damsel Distressed!” The surge of juice flowed towards her, powered by his will. It hit her, still spinning and she could feel its nature; Changeamancy. Her outfit flashed gold, and grew into a long shimmering gown, her hair all grew to the same length, curled itself into a proper bun. Her bracers became bracelets, and the double eagle a glittering necklace.
She slowed her spin, taking her new self in. Everything neat and in its place, perfect in everyway. Her attitude towards this was also altered, she liked the new look! She looked disdainfully at the dirt and dust swirling about, “It might get on my dress!” Her head was swimming with the new reality before her in pleasant swoons. The feeling was short lived, however.
Stepping out from the shadows, a large foreboding figure approached the circle. Horns protruded from fire red locks, framed by a green snarl exposing gargantuan fangs. Its hulking form encased in a natural armor, the back of which was hard as stone with spikes protruding from it. Its green torso ended with claws of immense measure at each hand and foot. “A Daemon!” Shouted Barb, something within her compelling her to fear this beast and cower before its presence. Deep within her she could feel the magics confining her, compelling her to act against her nature.
The Daemon’s snarl turned into a grin, and it tossed a bag of something towards Dr. Facilier, “Perfect again, I’ll make sure the other half is delivered… When I am done.” And it stomped its feet as it approached Barb. Dr. Facilier grabbed up the parcel, and make quick retreat from the glen. Frozen in fear, a dozen other creatures stopped their drums, and shuffled in behind their master. Similar in armor though significantly smaller in size. Some walked, and some had wings, one even appeared to float on a cloud. The Daemon reached out for Barb a laugh emerging from its depths of its core.
“Austin, Seattle, Portland!” A voice cried out in the darkness, the Daemon paused shortly to see who was there, he motioned and sent his minions forward after the yet unseen caster. “KEEP BARB WEIRD!” Came the incantation, surrounding Barb Aryan with its magics, the power of its weirdomancy stripped away the previous spell. Her hair splayed out at odd angles again, her dress shredded to an asymmetrical wrap, half black and half orange. She recognized the voice of Lord Adamant singing out in Rhyme-o-mancy.
Don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do you do?
Don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do you do?
Subtle Innuendos Follow, Must be Something Inside
Barb seized the moment, her Weirdomancy training kicking in. The whole glen seemed to slow down as she assessed the scene. Lord Adamant was dance fighting the minions, striking them hard, and kicking them into one another. She turned to see the Daemon reaching for her, and visualized herself on the other side of him. She vanished, and appeared behind him, the Daemon screamed at the disappearance. The Weirding Way was working, Lord Adamant had instructed her well. She struck blows against the Daemon, but its carapace was too tough to effect on this side.
She visualized herself moving to the front, and striking a powerful punch. The weirding flowing through her, the world around seemed to come to a halt. She vanished and reappeared at eye level, her fist flying through the air with immense power.
“ONE HIT WONDER!!” She Cried out and struck the Daemon with the force of her juice. Its face crumpled before the mighty blow, its body left the ground and flew into the air rising and rising until it seemed to vanish with a sparkle in the sky.
The world sped back up, she turned to see Lord Adamant finishing off the minions, the rest of which flew off or fled at the sight of their master’s defeat. She walked over towards him, and they pretended not to see each other, looking down at their shoes or up in the sky alternating.
“So, like, umm, thanks and stuff.” Barb finally got out of her mouth, and he replied, “Yeah its cool” and they walked off together, not too close.
(NOTE: User was awarded 50 shmuckers for this story. -Rob)
That was an energetic party! Dance fights for fun sound like a game that’d be great to see. The forest fight was a lot more confusing to imagine how everyone was fighting – but then again, I can’t object too much to Weirdomancy being bizarre. (Other confusion: did you say she met Facilier by eavesdropping between his legs? That’d be awkward.)
I got quite a few of the jokes, though not her dad or brother, and I only caught the Damsel spell on the second reading. I had to Google “Facilier,” though the result made the first chapter way more sinister. Before knowing his face, I’d overlooked his hints of sketchiness because I was sad to see her without friends. About halfway into the forest, I started guessing what he was really like, and now I know that the backstab fits him. The ending was a big mood swing from the fight, but it’s a goofy swing, so that’s cheerful. Nice one!