Fear and Loathing in Shadowdale
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  1. #1

    Fear and Loathing in Shadowdale

    We were somewhere around the Dalelands on the edge of the forest when the pipeweed began to take hold. I remember saying something like, "I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should take the reins..." And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like ravenous stirges, all swooping and screeching and diving around the carriage, which was going about at a good gallop with the top down to Shadowdale. And a voice was screaming: "Sweet Mystra! What are these goddamn animals?"

    Then it was quiet again. My cohort had taken his shirt off and was pouring ale on his chest, to facilitate the tanning process. "What the hell are you yelling about," he muttered, staring up at the sun with his eyes closed and covered with wraparound gnomish sunglasses.

    "Never mind," I said. "It's your turn to mind the horses." I pulled back on the reins and aimed the Magnificent Blessing of Selune toward the side of the road. No point mentioning those stirges, I thought. The poor bastard will see them soon enough.

  2. #2
    hahaha i love that movie so much. you could have a lot of fun with this plot

  3. #3
    It was almost noon, and we still had hundreds of yards to go. They would be tough yards. Very soon, I knew, we would both be completely twisted. But there was no going back, and no time to rest. We would have to ride it out. Gathering for the renowned Wizards' Duel and Chili Cookoff was already under way, and we had to get there by sundown to claim our fully warded room at the inn. An anonymous patron from Thay had taken care of the reservations, along with this ridiculously plush carriage we'd just rented off a disreputable Rashemani and I was, after all, a respectable bard; so I had an obligation to balladize the event for good or ill.

    The Thayans had also given me three hundred gold in cash, most of which was already spent on some of the more questionable comestibles of the Unapproachable East. The baggage trunks looked like the leftovers from Alustriel's last birthday party. We had two pouches of pipeweed, 75 seeds from some unidentifiable jungle flower, five of what I can only guess was a byproduct of slaughtering kobolds, a saltshaker half-full of fairy dust, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... and also a quart of wine, a quart of rum, a keg of ale, a pint of raw beholder blood and two dozen juvenile campestri.

    All this had been rounded up the night before, in a frenzy of reckless traveling over the East -- from Thay to Rashemen, we picked up everything we could get our hands on. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

    The only thing that really worried me was the beholder blood. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man or demihuman in the grip of the fresh squeezings of an aberration. And I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon. Probably when we next watered the horses. We had sampled almost everything else, and now -- yes, it was time for a long swig of a bastard child of the Far Realm. And then do the next hundred yards in a horrible, slobbering sort of spastic stupor. The only way to keep alert on beholder blood is to gesture in the Seventh Sigil of Cyric -- not all at once, but steadily, just enough to maintain the focus at a gallop through the Dalelands.
    Last edited by The Traveler; Thursday, 19th May, 2005 at 12:03 AM.

  4. #4
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    go trav, go trav, go trav...

  5. #5
    "Man, this is the way to travel," said my cohort. He leaned over to grab one of the campestri, hairy knuckles wrapping around the wriggling spotted mushroom. We had been teaching them inappropriate tavern jingles to amuse ourselves, and our efforts bore fruit as the poor little bastard broke into a nasal rendition of "Drow Girls are Easy." My cohort began humming along with the rhythm section and kind of moaning the words: "Spy-dahs in her hair and dressed in leathah... keepin' me warm in wintah weathah..."

    You ale-addled dwarf! Wait till you see those goddamn stirges. I could barely hear the campestri, as the little bugger had disappeared into that great big gnarled fist of his.

    He'd better not eat them now, I told myself. Those campestri were the only entertainment we'd brought along, their shrill singing the only thing to distract ourselves from the more interesting terrain features of our trek. And also to maintain our rhythm on the road. A constant speed is good for horse health -- and for some reason that seemed important at the time. Indeed. On a trip like this, one must be careful about your horses. Avoid those quick bursts of acceleration that drag blood to the back of the brain.

    My cohort saw the hitchhiker long before I did. "Let's give this boy a lift," he said, and before I could mount any argument he was stopped and this poor peasant kid was running up to the carriage with a big grin on his face, saying, "Hot damn! I never rode in one of these before!"

    "Is that right?" I said. "Well, I guess you're about ready, eh?"

    The kid nodded eagerly as we clattered off.

    "We're your friends," said my cohort. "We're not like the others."

    O Mystra, I thought, he's gone around the bend. "No more of that talk," I said sharply. "Or I'll put the leeches on you." He grinned, seeming to understand. Luckily, the noise in the carriage was so awful -- between the wind and the campestri and the gurgling stomach of my travel companion -- that the kid in the back seat couldn't hear a word we were saying. Or could he?

    How long can we maintain? I wondered. How long before one of us starts raving and jabbering at this boy? What will he think then? This same lonely forest was the last known home of the a notorious Yuan-Ti cult. Will he make that grim connection when my cohort starts screaming about stirges and carrion crawlers coming down on the carriage? If so -- well, we'll just have to cut his head off and bury him somewhere. Because it goes without saying that we can't turn him loose. He'll report us at once to the Purple Dragons, and they'll run us down like dogs.

    Mystra!! Did I say that? Or just think it? Was I talking? Did they hear me? I glanced over at my cohort, but he seemed oblivious -- watching the road, urging the Magnificent Blessing of Selune along at nosebleed-inducing speeds. There was no sound from the back seat.

  6. #6
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    Hilarious. Too bad we have the Eric's Granny clause, for one of my favourite parts of Fear and Loathing isn't compatible with it. It has to do with keeping some girl loaded with black lotus and peddling her to the helmites.

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