Canto, the Last

A Gnome in the butt is worth two in the bush.


  • Chaos – Shuffle the Deck
  • Zhuan Zhu
  • Dolmens
  • Apple
  • The Red Queen

The city of Arivan, in the midst of Saturnalia, the time of reversal and revolutions. The city has been in festival for the last five days, and wakes up to a much-too-serious hangover. Three running armies besiege the city. From the northwest come the legions, springing the traditional trap on the rallying local tribes. Between the legion and the walls is the skirling, swirling mass of the rebelling tribesmen. From the east the woods have come to Dunsinane — trees and rocks fly through the air from the giant forest ravagers and their kenku allies.

Meanwhile, by the open gates of the town, Lucius Antonius, Centurion of the Legions, draws steel on the idiots, clearly seeing through their lies. Speaking quickly, Idiot #1 suggests that the charging glaistig might be usable as a buffer against the incoming giants. The Centurion agrees and heads for the eastern wall, glaistig and their war-pipes in tow.

The glaistig and legionaire armies square off, while their commanders shout at them to stand down and start negotiating alliance against a common enemy. The idiots head for the eastern walls, apparently intent on pissing off a group of kenku outriders and drawing them between the two forces.

They roll out of the city and run strait into a plodding, lumbering, lethargic, mountain-sized mass of walking blubber. Showing uncharacteristic intelligence, the Cook turned and ran from the blobs of doom, Stan followed. Ralph (hereafter referred to as Skidmark) conjured up a herd of delicious looking swine, easily catching the lumbering masses’ attention. One of the blubbery masses leaped and sat on her.

Seeing the giant happily sitting on the delicious gnome, another comes crashing in and knocks him aside trying to get at the gnome meat. Two more come clambering up the hill, and are promptly greased up by Fizzle — quickly turning into a blubberlanche down the hill. A backhand from Backhander sent one of the first two reeling backwards into the oncoming blubberlanche.

Running and shooting and more running happens. Backhander and Gropee paused,
turned, and unleashed twin shatters, with a giant shuddering of blubber.
Grim likewise falls back between the leading giant and the trailing Skidmark and lets off a thunderwave.

And more running happens.

They closed in on the Glaistig and Legionaire armies, blubber giants still on their heels, whooping hollering and sending up sparks to draw the attention of all three sides. But, of course, they run strait into a flanker from the kenku-giant army — a horrible dog-like thing that leaps from the woods and, with a touch, makes grim bleed from every orrifice. Idiot #1 promptly appears behind it with a shovel and tips it into a creek.

And more running happens.

And the idiots charged right into the middle of the two armies, with a rolling mass of blubber and a horde of howling dog-demons on their heels and a legion of kenku. The careful negotiations broke down and glaistig and legionaires both went streaming into the city at top speed, leaving the idiots to stall the invaders while the armies got themselves organized.

Val’s falcon dives in and starts pecking at eyes. Ralph charged the enemy lines, axes in hand and started kneecapping. Stan disappeared and started laying out bear-traps. Gropee, it turned out, was so creepy that even the dog-demon flankers recoiled from her. Grim charged the dog-demon chieftain and latched on with his shadow touch just as the last of the legionaires poured through the gates and slammed them shut, and the Glaistig charged up a mound of charcoal onto the walls and lit it behind them. Leaving the idiots outside, alone, with the gates shut.

And more running happens.

Val faded out and runs strait through the wall. Ralph was tackled by Lucius Antoninus, strait into the fade. Gropee conjured vines out of the wall, creating a webwork of handholds to climb up. The Cook and Stan tried to go over the wall but were blocked by one of the dog-demons who was ahead of them. Backhander exploded a bag of sand in the demons eyes, giving the others a chance to get ahead. Grim came last, his withering touch killing the vines behind him. The idiots rolled onto the top of the wall just as the charcoal ramp burst into flames, cooking the following blubber-beasts, sending up reeking clouds of smoke and sizzling rivulets of rendered fat.

“Whose side are we on?!” Val asked exasperatedly. “We’ve switched sides at least three times in the last week.”

“We’re STILL on OUR side!” Idiot #1 replied, still wearing his paper crown.

Then the boulders started to fall, as the giants began bombarding the wall, followed by hurled, gliding ravenfolk shock troops. Ralph promptly started batting the incoming kenku out into the open air. One kenku went flopping to the ground below, the rest landed with a flutter of wings and a cloud of dust, ash, fire, and vermin blinding the idiots and sending Unibrow slipping over the edge.

The idiots were divided on three sections of wall, two divided by the burning pile of charcoal, the third separated by a crumbling section smashed away by a hurled boulder. Ralph held her section, punting birds back out into open air. Idiot #1 did likewise with his section.

The bird on the third section immediately dropped Grim with a blight spell, leaving Unibrow dangling and Backhander facing it alone. The nasty croaking bird easily shut down every spell cast at him. Stan tried to pull him into the abyss, only to . . .AAAAAARRRRRGH!

He must have died while writing it.

Come on!

That’s what it says.

Look, if he was dying, he wouldn’t bother to write “Aaargh.” He’d just say it.

That’s what’s written in the memo.

Perhaps he was dictating.

Shut up!


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