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Gleipnir

The Norse had a myth about a chain forged of six intangible things, used to hold Fenrir.

One day at Tea in NewHome, Asa Comeno challenged Marly to a game. She accepted, and quickly took negotiations to a different Outpost. This left Ebenezer free to fill rookies with tea and assorted baked goods and sammiches.

The highly impartial Judging took place with a secure box placed on a table by the Cake or Death Man.1)

The purpose and consequences of this challenge are not yet known. The use of the items is currently undergoing scrutiny and debate. At the time of publication, Marly is still dealing2) fallout for the acquisition of the beard.

The votes came in, unanimously pronouncing Marly the winner. There are rumors that she plans to make Gleipnir with the items, but that could just be a Damned Lie.

The Challenge

False Angel Asa Comeno wanders into town, waiting for Marly.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly sits in a patch of grass, rolling a die between her fingers.

False Angel Asa Comeno sits in front of Marly. "I'm ready when you are."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly pockets the die. "It was your invitation. You get to propose what sort of game."

False Angel Asa Comeno shrugs. "Something simple. I'm not sure what in particular. . . . . . . . . . . . . ."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly hmms, and fluffles her hair. Most of the games she knows don't involve rules, or involve back alleys.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly sighs. "There's always a Seek and Find."

False Angel Asa Comeno is up for back alleys and games without rules! He makes this known to Marly.

False Angel Asa Comeno raises an eyebrow. "Seek and find?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly grins and promises to throw a punch at Asa sometime. She doesn't mention that she'd have done worse if he continued to distress Eb. She's been itching for a fight for a while.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly explains. "You seek something, you find it. A little like a quest, but easier. No surly Dan."

False Angel Asa Comeno kinda wishes he couldn't. . . read thoughts. . . "Ummm. . . Sure, I guess. What should I find?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly hmms, and tilts her head. Her thoughts are filled with random things, strange items, and fairy tales. "We can do this two ways. The easy way, or the Fun way." His choice. Always his choice.

False Angel Asa Comeno contemplates. "Who is it going to be fun for?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly blinks. "Well, it'll be fun for me. It could possibly be Fun for you."

False Angel Asa Comeno sighs. "Okay, fun way it is, then.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly tsks. "The Fun way. Not the fun way." There's a difference. "Do you know what Gleipnir is?"

False Angel Asa Comeno shakes his head. "I have a vague idea, but it's probably wrong."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly rests her chin on her hands and her eyes go distant. "It's a chain made of six things. Six, improbable, intangible things." She looks at Asa. "Let's find them."

False Angel Asa Comeno looks a little worried. "How are we going to find these things?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly smiles at him. "By looking for them."

False Angel Asa Comeno headtilts. "What are the six items, anyways?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly starts listing, counting on her fingers. "The sound of a cat's footfall."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly headtilts and tries to remember the rest. "The hair from a maiden's beard, the roots of a mountain, the spit of a bird, breath of a fish, and the sinew of a bear."

False Angel Asa Comeno blinks. "But. . . that's a sound. . ."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly looks at him. She did say intangible things, right?

False Angel Asa Comeno looks a bit distressed. "How do we gather these things?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly smiles and chirps, "With little jars and bags. Oh, and maybe boxes."

False Angel Asa Comeno attempts a smile and nods. "Well, I can find three of those things easily, so long as Neeip is still a bird."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly shakes her head. "Birdmorphs are not the same as birds. They're people."

False Angel Asa Comeno nods. "Okay then, guess I'll need to check the jungle for some birds, then."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly nods. "We can split the task, and even bring others into it."

False Angel Asa Comeno smiles. "Okay, I'll take the cat's footfall, the fish's breath, and the bird's spit, if that's alright with you."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly grins. She gets to wrestle bears! And take Julia to the salon!

False Angel Asa Comeno stands and offers Marly a hand in getting up. "Well, let's get to it!"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly takes the hand. "We have one last thing to settle. Stakes."

False Angel Asa Comeno pulls Marly up and nods. "Sure. How do we determine a winner, though?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly hmms. "Highest quality stuff."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly starts trying to think of what she can offer that she'd actually miss.

False Angel Asa Comeno grins. "Okay, you're on!"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly grins. "Great! What do you wager?"

False Angel Asa Comeno scratches his chin and thinks of something he'd miss. . .

False Angel Asa Comeno pulls a small metal chunk out of his backpack. "This is the only piece of my wings I own. You win, it's yours."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly nods, and digs into her pockets for something. "I don't have much I love. . . " She pauses, then. "A service. A kind word, a thrown punch. A timely rescue. A back. A shoulder. I offer one favor."

False Angel Asa Comeno nods. "Okay then. It's settled. Let's set a time limit on this, just to make it a bit more exciting."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly hmms. "One week, to this day."

False Angel Asa Comeno grins. "I'll notify you once I have all three of mine."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly nods, seriously. "Best quality, remember." She stretches out a hand to shake.

False Angel Asa Comeno nods and shakes Marly's hand. "Best quality."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly smiles, and pulls out a fortune-teller. She slips and slides it and flips open a flap. "Oh, goodie, lovely day. I'll see you in a week."

False Angel Asa Comeno nods and waves at Marly as he heads for the gates. "See you then."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly grins and heads south.

BREATH OF A FISH

(fish don't breathe) Asa Comeno

<CHAOS> False Angel Asa Comeno drops cards in front of him, each swelling to the size of a pontoon, as hr walks across them. Marly's words ring in his head. "Fish's breath. . . but fish don't bre-"

<CHAOS> False Angel Asa Comeno is cut short as the water begins to ripple, each getting higher and more violent than the last until something breaks the surface. "That is THE biggest fish EVER."

<CHAOS> False Angel Asa Comeno stares in horror at the gargantuan rust colored fish. It lets out a roar, showing off rows upon rows of teeth, capable of ripping the flesh off of him effortlessly.

<CHAOS> False Angel Asa Comeno feels the breeze from the mighty roar. He grins. "Fish's breath." The grin doesn't last long as the fish rams his card pontoon, causing it to shrink back down to normal size.

<CHAOS> False Angel Asa Comeno throws himself backwards away from the fish, dropping cards to make a suitable platform. He pulls out a jar. "How about letting me hear that roar again, fishy?" The fish is happy to comply.

<CHAOS> False Angel Asa Comeno holds out his jar, letting the breeze from the fish's roar waft into it. He closes the lid tight and asks himself a VERY important question. "Fight or Flee?" The fish rams his platform.

<CHAOS> False Angel Asa Comeno grins and steadies himself. "FIGHT IT IS, THEN!" His eyes glow red as he lifts his hands above him. "Time for a little science lesson, fish! HALLOWED BOLT!"

<CHAOS> False Angel Asa Comeno summons a jagged lightning bolt, which strikes the fish directly. It lets out a horrible screech as it convulses. It's not long before the fish is floating belly-up.

<CHAOS> False Angel Asa Comeno guides his pontoon forward and pulls off a giant scale from the fish. "Souvenier. . ." He continues on his way, slipping the jar and the scale into his bag.

SINEW OF A BEAR

(sensibility, nerves. Or, the medical definition of the thingies what hold us together.) Marly de la Mer

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly wanders through the jungle, her feet dragging. It's been a long search. Perhaps she's still searching. . . She stops dead in her tracks, and stares at the object lying on the trail ahead of her.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly gulps. She swallows and chokes. She rubs one hand furiously across her eyes. No, she will not cry! She's come this far without crying! She's left it all behind, her family, her friends.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly even left her childhood behind. She will not cry, especially over a ratty old teddy bear!

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly turns her back on it, ready to go the other way. Somehow, she can't manage to take that first step. She looks down at her feet, up at the trees, anywhere but behind her.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly 's mind floods with memories. Most of them bad, tinged with a single, tear-stained plushed comfort, worn out by years of mistakes and anger. The first time she was sent to her room. Her first fight.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly closes her eyes, as if that could shut the memories out. She never knew where the bear came from, exactly, only that it was hers. They had tea parties, and he slept under her arm at night.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly hesitates, then looks over her shoulder. Friends ratted her out, sometimes, and her brother was a squealer. But teddy bears keep secrets. They don't whine or complain, they listen.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly sighs, and starts walking towards it. It never left her. She left it. She left it in a shoebox in the back of her closet. A coffin for her secrets. She picks it up slowly, running a hand over it.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly feels tears well up as her fingers pick at the thread-bare fabric, the thread from a missing eye. She had reached puberty, and shoved her childish things away when she most needed them.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly sniffs, and grips the teddy bear closer to her chest. She'd had fights. Fights at school, at home. Her parents didn't know how to talk to her, and she'd never bothered to try.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly buries her face into the top of the bear. She is not crying! Especially when a muffled voice says, "Nice tits, kid. Can you get 'em out of my face, ya red-faced fountain?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly freezes, and pulls the teddy bear back. "Wha." The bear has a sneer embroidered on his plush face. "Gawd, kid, you were always such a whiner. All those years of blah-blah-blah," he says.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly 's lip quivers as he goes on. "You wouldn't believe all the times I wanted to tell ya ta shut up! Right as I'm about to break, you put me away in that box. WHAT a relief that was."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly shakes her head. "No. You- you were my friend!" Her hands grip him tighter as her eyes scrunch up. "I trusted you, I told you everything!" The bear doesn't seem to notice the grip. It scoffs.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly 's fingers twitch and dig into his seams as he says, "And I'd have grassed on ya if I could! Your mom would've paid nicely to find out how you broke your hand that one time. Falling off a bike ha!"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly shakes her head, her fingers ripping stitches apart. "NonononoNO!" It keeps on mocking her, one secret at a time until her hands silence it.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly sniffs, and stands there, looking at the handful of threads she's torn from it. Her fingers are red and sore, and she shoves the strings into a pocket.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly drops the carcass of her childhood woes and runs.

HAIR FROM A WOMAN'S BEARD

Squat Hole Marly de la Mer

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn enters, and recoils. She gags. Oh god she hasn't been here with antennae the stench is actually physically painful.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly sniffs and gags. "Eugh. Smells like someone used soap in here."

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn whines a bit. "Did we. . have to come here?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly chews on the inside of her cheek, then nods. "Unless you know somewhere else to find bearded ladies." She hands Ferryn a kerchief.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly pulls her own scarf up over her face. "It's probably better to be incognito. We have to steal. . . hair."

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn blinks, several times. She ties the kerchief around her face, despite it's uselessness. "Hair? Why?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly looks around for the barber's. "Well, it's for a game." And games are fun. That's plenty reason for Marly.

False Angel Asa Comeno walks into town and immediately collapses. "DEAR GOD THE STENNNNNCHHHH. . ."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly looks at Asa. "You can't be here right now. Violation of the rules." The non-existant rules.

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn nods. That is a perfectly suitable explanation.

False Angel Asa Comeno is dragged out by retraining personnel. They know the rules. That don't exist.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly blinks, and grins under her scarf. The personnel must be making up for the time she had to go find them. Poor Asa, must've collapsed from the stench.

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn looks up to Marly, her antennae pinned against her head. ". . . do we want midget hair? Should I go shave drunk ones?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly hmms. "Well, it has to be a lady-Midget's hair." Maiden, specifically, but good luck with that. "We could always find. ." Her voice goes dramatic. "The Barber!"

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn throws her fist in the air, and poses. "To the Barber!" She starts to run off, then pauses. ". . . I'm sorta a midget. Do I count?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly peers solemnly at Ferryn. "Do you have a beard?" She pauses, then, "Do they even have barbers here?"

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn sadly has no beard. ". . Don' think so. Midgets don't like being clean." She ponders. "maybe knock one out. Shave it?"

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn just wants to whack a midget over the head.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly shakes her head. "No, this must be by sneaky means."

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn rubs an antennae thoughtfully. She's not too good at sneaky. All she can think of is. . . "Buy 'em too many drinks?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly scratches her head. "We could. . . always set up the first barber shop?" She watches Ferryn's face carefully.

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn hmmns. "'s good idea. But how d'we get then inside? Free ale with haircut?"

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn watches several Midgets turn to her when she says 'free ale'. She fidgets nervously.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly snorts. "Naw, dare 'em. Call them funny names. Tell 'em their beard looks too clean on 'em."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly glares at a passing Midget. "Yeah, I mean you. Looks too clean, ya hear me?" Under her scarf, she's grinning like a loon.

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn grins! She's good at confusing insults. "Uh-huh! But how're we gonna cut th'beard? Dop you have scissors?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly swings her bag to the front and roots around in it. "Sure, somewhere. . . Ah!" She pulls them out and skips nimbly to one side as the Midget in question charges at her. "Fer? Gal or guy?"

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn 's antennae wave. She can smell the testoserone. "Eugh, guy."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly sighs. It's never on the first try. She dodges his return swing by leapfrogging over his back and shoving him into Julia's. A catcall and a whistle float out of the parlor.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly waits nervously for a moment. It's never this easy. Never. "Fer. . . d'you think he's. . . busy?"

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn 's antennae twitch. She goes bright red. "yesyessohgodicansmellthem."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly coughs and skitters away from the door. "Right." She starts looking at the nearest Midgets. "Any idea who?"

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn follows Marly. Some things should never be sensed auuugh. She peers through the crowd, wondering. ". . . Uhmn." Antennaewiggles! She points at one. "That one. Maybe?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly peers at the Midget in question. "Beard, beer. . . boobs?" The Midget spits as she walks by. Marly grins. Yep.

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn presses herself low to the ground, ready to leap at the Midget any moment. "'kay. What now?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly is not good at long-term planning. "Ah, how fast can you run?"

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn looks over her shoulder. There's the Kebabs place. . . If she can get there she can climb. . . "Fast enough!"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly nods. "Faster than me, I bet. I'll distract her, and you get the goods."

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn nods. She holds out her hand. "Scissors!"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly hands Ferryn the scissors and skips into the path of the Midget. "What ho, fine lady! You're looking very fresh today!"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly grins as the Midget sneers at her, hoping she doesn't spot a Ferryn. "Yes, yes, I know you take great pride in your personal appearance, ma'am. Escpecially that beard! It adds a certain something."

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn holds the scissors between her teeth, and begins moving on all fours, circling the two. Just waaiit. . .

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly headtilts at the protests, eyes going wide. "A certain whatnow? Why, can't you tell? It makes your whole face look that much cleaner, especially with all those fleas!" The Midget swings.

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn goes ridgid NOW! She darts forward, latches onto the midget. Snipsnipsnip! The scissors lie forgotten as Ferryn darts off, up the Kebab hut, midget beard in hand. "Ahahahahaeee!"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly skips back, and puts a hand out against the Midget's forehead and leans forward. "Now, Ferryn!"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly falls flat as the Midget, now beardless, stops swinging and backs up abruptly.

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn tied the bundle of beard-hair with a scrap of ribbon. "Marlymarlymarlygotitgoit!"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly rolls and scrambles out of a pair of stomping Midget feet. Her feet start propelling her in the direction of away. "Great, Ferryn, RUN! NEWHOME!"

<SUGAR> CentipedeMorph Ferryn nodnodnod! She leaps out over the outpost wall. Runrunrun!

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly sprints out as fast as she can.

SPIT OF A BIRD

Asa Comeno

False Angel Asa Comeno steps out onto the plains, cutting tall blades of grass with his katana as he goes. The sound of heavy wings comes from behind him, and he turns.

False Angel Asa Comeno comes face to face with none other than the Mighty Magpie. It lets out a loud screech. "Well, fu-" He doesn't get to finish as the Magpie's beak descends, catching him in the chest.

False Angel Asa Comeno stumbles and rolls backwards, gripping his katana tightly. He coughs up a bit of blood. It's not a good Joker day. He stands shakily, looking up at the magpie again.

False Angel Asa Comeno barely dodges the next peck, but combat rolls under the magpie and slashes at it's skinny bird legs. This only makes it angry. It raises its talons and scrapes at Asa haphazardly.

False Angel Asa Comeno realizes that he's not getting anywhere with this and grabs all four of his ZAP grenades. He blurs for a second, and comes back into focus in front of the Magpie. "I can't kill you. . ."

False Angel Asa Comeno pulls the pins off of all four grenades simultaneously. ". . .but you sure as hell aren't going to kill me!" He tosses the ZAPs and covers his eyes before the blinding flash goes off.

False Angel Asa Comeno uncovers his eyes. The Magpie teeters back and forth on it's feet, sqwuaking in confusion. It falls over in it's daze, and begins drooling a large puddle onto the ground.

False Angel Asa Comeno pulls out a jar and fills it with the drool. "Bird spit. Two down." He plucks a feather from the Magpie and wanders off before it wakes up.

ROOT OF A MOUNTAIN

Marly de la Mer

CC404

<QQQ> talkydoor staggers in, breathing heavily, her backpack full to bursting. She dumps some in eBoy's, some in the Warehouse and tips the rest out in a heap. "Why did I even pick up this stuff?" she complains.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly is suddenly in the heap, playing with Stuff.

<QQQ> talkydoor sorts through the pile of pebbles, squiggly creatures from the river, and bits of tree. Mutters, "Just cos my backpack's big, doesn't mean I should be collecting everything. . ."

<QQQ> talkydoor jumps! "Hello! I didn't see you there!" She wasn't expecting to find a Marly.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly grins up at her. "I didn't expect to be here. It's good practice, though." Neglecting to mention what for.

<QQQ> talkydoor frowns a little. "Erm. . ." She decides not to ask. "What brings you to these parts? I took a wrong turn."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly pops her shoulders out of the pile. That's a lot of stuff, talky. "I'm looking for a mountain's root! But mountains have feet, so. . ." Shrug. Stuff tumbles off the pile.

<QQQ> talkydoor nods in pretended comprehension. "Ah, I see! Well, this is the peak, so you're looking in the wrong place." She restacks some of the stuff. Keep CyberCity tidy!

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly nods. Right. She picks up a few of the Stuffs and extricates herself from the pile. She's wearing overalls right now, and heavy boots. "Well, Mrs. Gilson said I'd need Earth Science some day. . ."

<QQQ> talkydoor narrows her eyes at the sensibly clothed Marly. Suddenly, her metal rubbish bin doesn't seem so practical in this climate. "Are you on a scavenger hunt?"

<QQQ> talkydoor isn't thinking about how you'd get a mountain root in one of those little bags.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly nods emphatically! "Yes! It's so much fun! After we find all the parts, we're going to. . ." She pauses, then shrugs. "Actually, I don't know what we're going to do with it. Care to help?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly apparently hasn't thought that far ahead. Well, she hasn't even thought far enough ahead on how she's actually going to carry the mountain root.

<QQQ> talkydoor thinks for a moment. Actually, she isn't thinking very hard, but she thinks a pause is in order. "Yes. I would love to!"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly hugs talky, knocking over some Stuff. "Huzzah! I don't have to poke around in the dark caves alone anymore!"

<QQQ> talkydoor is hugged! She squeaks a little. "How long have you been looking for?!"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly releases talky and looks at the clock. "Since. . . oh. . . How long would you say I've been talking to you?"

<QQQ> talkydoor looks down at all the stuff, that's fast spreading everywhere. She kicks a Thing with her shoe, and shrugs. She will disown it if anyone asks.

<QQQ> talkydoor answers, "Um. . . A while?" She misses her watch.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly pulls out her map. A while is an acceptable unit of time measurement, only slightly longer than a moment. "I've been looking for a while, then."

<DICE> Stanlygirl watches as a Thing flies past her. She looks for wings, but it seems this Thing is flying without wings. She studies the thing to find the secret of its propulsion.

<QQQ> talkydoor looks over Marly's shoulder at the map. "Ooh. Have you found anything yet?" She has failed to make the connection.

<DICE> Stanlygirl sees a talky and a Marly. A Marly! That could be the answer right there. Things sometimes get strange around an impulsive Marly.

<QQQ> talkydoor smiles absentmindedly at Stanlygirl, and frowns as a Thing seems to have sprouted wings. Mutters, "I don't even know where I picked that one up. . ."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly shakes her head. "Only a talky and a pile of stuff and. ." She looks up. "Oh! I found a Stan! Hello, Stan! I'm going cavesploring!"

<DICE> Stanlygirl says, "H'llo, Marly, h'llo, talky. Where's the cave? Nice pile of Things you have here."

<QQQ> talkydoor grins. "Hello Stanly! I'm glad you like the Things, I'm not really sure how they got in my backpack. But at least none of them are pink and frilly. . ."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly squints her eyes closed and points her finger randomly on her map. "Cave is riiiight. . . there." She peeps one open and scoots her finger over to the right. "Just north of the river."

<QQQ> talkydoor nods at the map, a concentrating expression on her face. "I see! Do we need much equipment, do you think?" She looks at her pile of Things thoughtfully. It's unlikely there's any rope in there.

<DICE> Stanlygirl ooohs! There's a doohickey, and a whatchamacallit, and a whoozit, a thingamajig, a doodad, a and a gizmo. A pair of contraptions. She has never seen such a pile of Things in one place before.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly shrugs. "Scout's motto is. . . always buy cookies in bulk?" That's one way to be prepared. "Let's bring, ahm. . . rope, lights, a box, and a pick ax."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly adds quickly, "And cookies."

<QQQ> talkydoor nods. She likes that list of things. She edges over to the pile of Stuff, nudging things with her foot. None of it looks very likely.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly looks at the thingummies and whodamajiggers. "Hey, Stan, anything useful in there for cavesploring? Oh, and are your dice saying you can cavesplore today?"

<QQQ> talkydoor sees some rope and pounces. It probably once belonged to a pinata, and is now singed, but will probably still hold weight. She grins up at Marly. "Lookit!"

<DICE> Stanlygirl grins at the explorers. She murmurs, "The young have so much energy. I'm going to spend part of my day working on my Cake Building Badge if the kitchen isn't too busy."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly grins in a guilty-as-charged sort of way. "Right. I'll keep an eye out for thingummies for you, then!" She looks at the rope. "Oh, goodie!"

<DICE> Stanlygirl kicks a pair of steel spikes out of the pile, then scuffles through it some more with her foot, and comes up with a climbing hammer. How Improbable for it to show up just when needed!

<QQQ> talkydoor has an idea! She sneaksneaks into clan halls, and nicks a tray of freshly baked cookies. "Shm'll mmr mss mm."

<DICE> Stanlygirl looks around guiltily, then bends over and restacks the pile of whatnots.

<QQQ> talkydoor smiles a closed-mouth smile and nods gratefully at Stanly. Now they just need lights and a box. . . She looks thoughtfully at the Warehouse.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly gasps and claps. "Lovely! Spikes and hammers and cookies, oh my!" She picks up the spikes and the hammer, packing them into her bag.

<QQQ> talkydoor ties a loop onto the end of the rope, and throws it onto the Warehouse roof. A few tries, and it catches. She grins, gives it a sharp testing tug, and climbs up it.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly rubs her hands as she watches talky. Leaning over to Stan, she whispers, "What do you think she's gonna do?"

<QQQ> talkydoor can be heard humming to herself. Every action hero should have music! She creakily levers a skylight open with her rock drill, and drops inside.

<QQQ> talkydoor emerges a second later, a security robot with a towel flung over it flying up past her. She watches warily as it continues up, into the sky, and breathes a sigh of relief. She hates those things.

<QQQ> talkydoor drops into the warehouse again. It sounds suspiciously like she is Making A Mess. Muffled out-of-tune humming can be heard.

<DICE> Stanlygirl calls, "Have a nice time. Watch out for gnomes and be careful not to let your lanterns go out. You might be eaten by a grue." She heads toward the Village Gate.

<QQQ> talkydoor heaves herself back onto the roof, dragging a box with her. She waves down at Marly, and the disappearing Stanly, and carefully shuts the skylight again, watching her fingers carefully for trappage.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly waves bye to Stan. "I'll be careful!" Well, careful for a Marly.

<QQQ> talkydoor climbs back down onto the ground, a little beaten up even before the adventure begins. "I have a box!" That probably explains some of the noise. "And. . ."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly waves up at talky. "You got the doings? Shall we?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly takes the others gleefully, ready to abandon her cavesploration plans to have a rave. "Glowsticks! I didn't know we had these! I like!" She rotates one between her fingers, peering at it.

<QQQ> talkydoor nods and grins. "Shall we go exploring?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly looks up from the glowstick. "Wha? Oh, oh yes. Let's! You have the rope and the box and the cookies?"

<QQQ> talkydoor hastily packs everything into her backpack. "Yep yep! I'm all ready."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly runs her checklist. "I got the spikes and the hammer and the glowy stick thingies." Which she is trying not to use all at once. "Right, let's go."

<QQQ> talkydoor nods and heads off to where she thinks the cave is. With any luck, she'll meet Marly there.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly trots after her.

In The Field

<QQQ> talkydoor stumbles down the mountain, and catches herself against a rock, sighing with relief that she managed not to fall into the river.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly drips down on talky from her position above the rock. Apparently Marlys aren't that careful, even when trying.

<QQQ> talkydoor nods in relieved greeting to Marly. She looks around for a suspicious cave entrance, still clinging to the rock.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly slips down from the rock and pokes around by the river's entrance. "Found something!" The something is a ledge, a walkway beside the river leading into the mountain.

<QQQ> talkydoor sees the cave opening, and takes a few deep breaths. She pushes gingerly away from her supporting rock, and edges down to peer inside. "Think it's safe?" The word grue is in her head.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly rolls a glowstick between her fingers, and activates it. "Is anything on this Island safe?"

<QQQ> talkydoor carefully rebreaks her glowstick. She should really stop this heavy breathing before she pitches into the river.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly leads the way in, along the ledge. "It seems to widen as it goes in. . ." The walls softly gleam and glitter green beneath her glowstick.

<QQQ> talkydoor takes one final deep breath, and follows Marly. "Good. . ." Her voice echoes off the walls, "ood. . . ood. . ."

<QQQ> talkydoor winces slightly as her own voice comes back to her, and walks a little closer to her friend.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly leans over to peer at the river. "Water's slower. Not so fast as it is down by Pleasantville."

<QQQ> talkydoor peers over at the river too. "Doesn't that mean there's more living in it?" Her voice wavers a little.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly shrugs. "I haven't seen anything." She grins over her shoulder at talky. "Imagine the weird glowy fish that would, though!" She starts describing the non-existant fish.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly 's imaginary fish seem to be skeletal with sharp and pointy teeth, googly eyeballs, and glowing internal organs that like to munch on the toes of fishermen.

<QQQ> talkydoor is shivering at the description, but is smiling too, teeth shining in the darkness. She's probably having fun scaring herself.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly stands up carefully and continues walking down the ledge. It narrows at points, widens at others, but continues its gently winding, uphill path.

<QQQ> talkydoor stumbles along behind Marly, slipping slightly on the wet incline. Her teeth are chattering. "How f-far b-back do you think it g-g-goes?" She's definitely wishing she'd bought warmer armour now.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly calls back, "Talky? What do you-careful, low overhang here-suppose the root of a mountain looks like?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly cracks another glowstick and passes it back, then cracks one for herself. "I think it goes back to the source of the river. . ."

<QQQ> talkydoor walks into the overhang with a thud. Her helmet prevents serious damage. "Um, well, let's think about this."

<QQQ> talkydoor takes the glowstick and continues: "It could be like a tooth root. . . Or a mandrake root. . ." She imagines the mountain screaming, and shudders again. "Or. . . Is there an aftershave?"

<QQQ> talkydoor has lost track of the conversation completely, and is muttering names of aftershave under her breath, to prevent panicking.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly looks over her shoulder at a shivering talky. "You cold?"

<QQQ> talkydoor shakes her head (carefully), then realises she can't be seen. "Nuh, just n-nervous. And excited! What do you think a mountain root will be like?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly starts answering, then stops. There's a steady glow up ahead, and it's not from her glowstick. She carefully keeps walking, then stops.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly calls back softly, "Whatever I think the root of the mountain looks like, I wasn't expecting this. Come take a look."

<QQQ> talkydoor stumbles into the back of Marly in the dark, and peers round her. "Ooh, wow. . ." Her voice has gone quiet, too.

A glass-smooth lake lies before them. The cave has widened out, its vaulted ceiling glittering with the glow.

The ledge they stand on widens and circles the lake, then creates a stepping-stone path to a central island, the source of the glow: a giant, petrified tree stands rooted there.

<QQQ> talkydoor stares in awe at the lake and the pertified tree. She whispers, "Do you. . . do you think it's safe?" She frowns at the lake. It's glassiness seems too good to be true.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly slips the glowstick into the front pocket of her overalls. "Do you think that counts?"

<QQQ> talkydoor looks at Marly, frowning, then her expression clears. "Root! Of course! Oh, that'll make it easier to transport!"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly leans over to whisper, "It's never safe."

<QQQ> talkydoor gets goosebumps! But they're happy/excited goosebumps, so it's okay. She grins at her friend.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly grins back and starts working her way around the lake to the stepping stones. "Right now, I'm more concerned with whether or not my legs are long enough. Think we can jump 'em?"

<QQQ> talkydoor edges her way round. "Er. . ." She frowns, thinking about her midget-like legs. "We could tie ourselves together, just in case? I think it'll be long enough. . ."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly grins. "Or we could play Midget Tossing! See what Dan's always going on about."

<QQQ> talkydoor pulls her backpack off her shoulder, unthinking, and loses her balance! For a moment she teeters on the edge, then she manages to throw herself backwards. Shaking, she pulls the rope out.

<QQQ> talkydoor glowers at Marly. "Not. Funny."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly grins and sets her own bag on the ground. "Yes it is. I'd let you toss me if I were. . .a. . ." She pauses, and looks at talky. Then she looks at herself. "Talky, I'm either an idiot or brilliant."

<QQQ> talkydoor blinks worriedly. "Erm. . . Huh?" She's hoping there's to be no tossing here.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly points to her friend. Then points to herself. "We're Jokers. Why are we thinking about this like we're humans?"

<QQQ> talkydoor nods, still worried. "What are you suggesting? Er, maybe you don't know, I'm not exactly good with improbability. . ." She worriedly stares at her fingers, waiting for them to do something stupid.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly shrugs and waves that away. "And I'm brand new at this. Can't hurt to try." She pulls out some paper and starts folding. "What can you do?"

<QQQ> talkydoor looks a little downcast. "Well, I often find useful things in my pockets. . ." She lights up, and searches through them.

<QQQ> talkydoor searches through all her pockets and finds: a twig, a blown quail's egg, a conker on a string, and a packet of Heart Sweets. "Ooh. . . ." She opens the packet.

<QQQ> talkydoor takes out the first sweet and brings it close to her face, squinting. "Ooh, Marly, have a sweet!" It says: U Rock!

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly mutters something that might be 'lucky' under her breath. She nods her chin towards the feather. "You'll find some ink in my bag. Take the feather and use it to paint this as I go."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly looks at talky as she takes two. "How can you be thinking of candies at a time like this?" Then, "Do you still have the cookies?" She places down what looks like one section of a bridge.

<QQQ> talkydoor has no idea what's going on, but nods anyway and takes the feather, searching for the ink. She replaces the sweets. They could come in handy.

<QQQ> talkydoor brings out the tray of cookies (wow, that is a big backpack!) and places them next to Marly, for fuel! She kneels and starts painting.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly starts folding another section. "We can tie these sections together with the string you just pulled out, then make it bigger!"

<QQQ> talkydoor nods. "Oh, of course! Er. ." She's frowning again. "How do we do that, exactly? Make it bigger, I mean?" She pulls out the ball of string again and sets to work.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly shrugs. She has no idea. She starts folding a third and final section.

<QQQ> talkydoor is getting all tangled with the string. However, each piece is tied very thoroughly to the next, and the knots will hold.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly grins around a mouthful of cookie as she holds up the tied creation. She peers at it. Is it's nature paper, origami, or bridge? Bridge, she decides.

<QQQ> talkydoor nods at it. "Well, now to make it bigger." She puts her head to one side, and stares at it, then moves in closer and stares at it again.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly places the bridge so it extends over the water, and concentrates. It's a bridge. It's made to provide a path, a way across things. It's made to be solid. It wants to reach the other side.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly 's bridge extends across the lake to island. The stepping stones are visible beneath the paper as dark spotches. Marly groans. Paper. Paper rips.

<QQQ> talkydoor watches Marly curiously. She sees her expression, and joins in her concentrating. Other jokers make this look so easy!

<QQQ> talkydoor eyes the dark splodges with worry. "Er, do you think if we run. . .?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly concentrates again, her hand on the paper. Paper was once plant, strong, flexible, durable. The ink-stained paper hardens and crackles into wooden boards. She grins at talky. Team effort.

<QQQ> talkydoor sighs with relief. She's not sure her concentrating was up to much. She grins at Marly. "Good job!"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly stands up shakily, smiling. "You did well, yourself." She frowns a little as the bridge sends shoots up along the railing, arching up above them. Overkill. She starts walking cautiously

<QQQ> talkydoor wonders briefly if the paper got dangerously wet before turning to wood, and reaches out with an experimental foot to test the bridge.

<QQQ> talkydoor takes a last, longing look at the solid ground behind her, and steps, wobbling, onto the bridge. She talks, to distract herself. "So, how are you gonna get the root anyway? I didn't bring a saw."

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly 's bridge holds. Marly stands looking up at the petrified tree, then down at an exposed root. She opens her bag and pulls out the hammer and spike. Wanna swing or hold?"

<QQQ> talkydoor looks over in alarm. "Er, I'll hold. . ." She gets a firm grip, and winces in preparation.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly swings carefully, and they chip out a sliver. "Box?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly was resisting the urge to sing about working on the railroad as she swung.

<QQQ> talkydoor looks over at the shore. "Uh. . . . Box is over there. I'll help you carry!" She clenches her teeth again.

<QQQ> talkydoor blinks. "Oh. Is that all you need?"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly drops the sliver in talky's hand. It's not very heavy, fortunately. "Right. Let's go!" She leads the way back across the bridge.

<QQQ> talkydoor rushes back across the bridge, feeling a bit silly, and drops the tiny sliver into the big box, before cramming it back into her magical backpack.

<QQQ> talkydoor divides the rest of the biscuits into two, and packs away the tray and everything else.

<QQQ> talkydoor realises she's stolen Marly's scavenger hunt prize, and empties out her bag again, handing the box over. "Er, there you go!"

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly packs up her stuff, but leaves the bridge. She might want to come back. She grins and packs the box up. "I can't thank you enough for coming with."

<QQQ> talkydoor grins in surprise. "Nah, don't thank me! It was fun. I rarely say no to adventure." She frowns, wondering if that is something to take pride in.

<DICE> Rumbustiously Marly grins and throws an arm around her friend's shoulder. "Wonderful! I never say no myself." She talks with talky about plans for adventure, most of them illogical as she leads the way out.

<QQQ> talkydoor follows out, chatting away as she goes. She's keeping the glowsticks in memorial.

FOOTFALL OF A CAT

Asa Comeno Improbable Central

<SPARC> False Angel Asa Comeno walks into town, thinking about Marly's game. He still needs the sound of a cat's footfall. Now where can he find a cat?

<SPARC> False Angel Asa Comeno hears a light mewing sound as he walks through the square. He looks over and who does he find? Crazy Audrey and her cats. Perfect!

<SPARC> False Angel Asa Comeno walks over to Audrey and listens to her babble for all of three seconds before pulling out a ZAP grenade and tossing it at her feet. While Audrey is stunned, he runs off with one of her baskets.

<SPARC> False Angel Asa Comeno ducks behind a building and opens the basket. "HEDGEHOG?" Figures. The one time he doesn't want to find a hedgehog. . . He walks back out and hands the basket to Crazy Audrey.

<SPARC> False Angel Asa Comeno completely ignores Audrey's rant and listens to the baskets instead. When he hears one give off a quiet mewl, he grabs that basket and runs off to the Jungle. The cat is his!

The Forging

Common Grounds3)

After a series of Distractions between Marly and Kuroiten, she entrusted him with the materials for the mythic binding. Late one night in the Grounds, he enlisted the help of Nathaniel (at the bellows), Hiraniva (wielding the tongs), and Korbel (acting as adviser, supplier of the tools and Master Smith) to create Gleipnir.

Three hours of hard forging later, Gleipnir hung finished in Korbel's shack as the four celebrated with what drinks were on hand4).

1) It is assumed that everyone was too busy eating cake to pay any attention to a box.
2) by avoiding
3) Once I can, I'll get the actual transcript.
4) Since they were in the Grounds, that would be pretty much anything.
 
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