This is the Godwiki page for Irwin and his hero, Cheesebucket.
Because the pantheon of Storytelling is a complete and utter pile of dung, the Chronicles of Cheesebucket will be re-locating here, permanently.
- The GPS is broken, but since I am wandering aimlessly, I'll continue to follow it.*
There is life, there is life existential, and there is mind crushing boredom that makes a person want to throw it all away and become a hero. Or an anti-hero. Or an outright villain. Or just some guy who wants to sit at the bar and talk to strangers because that's a helluva lot easier to do than deal with the uncomfortable parts of wearing spiked leather chaps inside out.
Early results from applying the belief that bourbon barrel aging makes everything better to Tigger: He smells a lot better, tastes a lot better, but is still exceptionally angry about being shoved through the bunghole, and may never forgive me.
Something MUST be done with this diary entry: _06:37 Someone once told me: 'You are what you eat.' I must be pretty nuts then._ I just haven't figured out what yet, so it will sit here until later.
I currently only have Anti-Lock Brakes on my legs, so at best, I'm protected against skid marks.
I fear that when I retire with a full savings account, I will be reduced to yelling at young heroes with no temple to get the **** off my lawn.
- BREAKING NEWS*
GODVILLE – Ten days have passed since the heroes of Godville noticed beloved sparkly feline Keleios had gone missing, and searchers have yet to uncover any clues to her whereabouts, local officials said earlier today at a press conference.
An avid dungeoner, Keleios had returned from one of her regular runs with Christian, Apollo, Silly, and Kayl, and nobody noticed her absence until she failed to show for any of her next few scheduled runs.
Locals went to her castle, but found no trace of her there. Looters had stolen a number of timbers from a boat being constructed in the side yard before being chased off by more organized timber 'repurposers.'
“There's a flood coming. Maybe,” self-described repurposer Psychex said. “That abandoned pile of logs won't save anyone, but those timbers can be used to save others.”
“She was one of those people I never thought I'd lose, you know?” local dungeoner Delta493 said. “You could just follow the trail of glitter. The problem is that now, the glitter isn't in trails. It's just everywhere.”
Keleios is a large/medium/small sparkly cat usually seen perched on a large pile of gopher wood when not glittering dungeons.
Anonymous tips to the Godville Times have suggested the possibility of Keleios suffering from a self-generated multiple personality disorder, but have yet to find any confirmation. Please contact this reporter if you have any tips. All tips will be kept confidential.
- Cheese goes with everything. Except for seeping wounds.*
Until the statute of limitations runs out, we should just take this one at face value.
- The places I keep finding this glitter*
Please don't get the wrong idea. There was a lot of drinking involved. And if you huff some problem solvent and take a good, healthy bite from a root of all goodness, it almost seems like you are invincible. Or invisible. Or plaid.
So we were out somewhere, lost, but generally unconcerned (see above paragraph). We were having a grand time chasing lizards, and Tigger was playing leapfrog with something before he became irritated and ate it.
Seeing Tigger lick his lips and burp the burp of the satisfied, it made me hungry. So I took another good bite from the root of all goodness. Sometimes, good root tastes like any garden variety vegetable (otherwise known as 'blech'), and sometimes it doesn't taste at all, but rather instead carries with it the sensation you get when you put a brand spanking new 9V battery on your tongue. On this particular occasion, it tasted like 'blech.'
But it was my second bite in three days, and before I realized I'd pretty much committed the next month of my life to raging psychosis and the desire to bathe in a tub of creamed corn, I swear something inside me tried to exit via the big toenail of my left foot.
Tigger was paying no mind. Fat and happy, he was rolled over on his back, spine curled, and all four feet up in the air, performing what I liked to call his dead bug impersonation. I made my way upwind, and took off my boot to see what had happened.
There was no evidence, upon removing my foot from the boot, that I had any socks. A quick check of the other foot confirmed this. And there was nothing visibly wrong with my toenail that wasn't hidden under the glittery pink polish.
Yet I heard a voice.
“You got any more of that root left?” it asked.
I ignored it, fearing it was the law, and if I answered in the affirmative I would be forced to show my license to possess root, which was currently in another pair of pants. On another hero. In another town.
“Yes, Irwin?” I said, knowing that only my god calls me Cheesebucket, and everyone else calls me [Edited for Content].
“Chomp, chomp, pass.”
I dutifully handed the root to my god, who this time had taken the form of a large boulder I had watered generously earlier. This made me giggle. And burn with shame. And giggle.
Nothing happened for a while after that. Irwin is often not talkative, or at least he talks, but I don't understand. I was just happy to not be blasted with lightning for the time being, so I could enjoy the blissful feeling of basking in my god's glory slowly being overtaken by the desire to head back to town to see if the local trader had any creamed corn.
- I stab things I do not understand*
- Despicable Me*
Having never been one for rules, nor decorum, nor bathing, it seemed only logical that my respect for the 'no pets in bars' rule that seems to exist in all taverns in all towns would be less than healthy.
Why, you ask? Pets are generally unruly, sloppy drinkers who are unfamiliar with the implied societal behaviors expected of being in a restroom. So, essentially, pets are heroes. With no coin pouches and cuter faces.
Tigger had repeatedly made suggestions that he should be taken into the bar so he could drink beer. Most of those suggestions came in the form of him biting me when I'd try to leash him outside the bar. One came in the form of a letter hand-delivered by a courier.
The first time I tried to sneak Tigger into a bar, I sprayed him with glue, rolled him in glitter, stuck a few feathers in his fur, and tried to pass him off as that evening's entertainment. It got him the wrong kind of attention, and he locked his claws into my leg in fear, ending the ruse. (Those claw marks have never healed properly, and now blind beggars who touch my leg become offended at the slur left behind from the scarring).
The second time was three weeks into one of those root of all goodness benders, and we had an idea to dress Tigger up like one of those Minions we'd heard were all the rage. We shaved him smooth, painted him yellow, got him some goggles and overalls, and were all ready to go.
(editor's note: we'll add a photo/portrait/mugshot if someone provides it)
It worked like a charm. Given my shabby state of dress, and the doorman's drunkenness, I was confused for the janitor hauling a yellow mop bucket, allowed entry, and told that the women's restroom was backed up and needed a good plunging.
So we parked ourselves at the bar and began drinking. For future reference, the BBA Ambrosia is a ton better than the canned version, and with a much higher alcohol content, we reached our limit twice instead of the usual once. And having the yellow mop bucket to barf in was so handy I will have to remember it for future bar visits.
- What not to wear*
So the fashion editor of the Godville Times sent me to Tradeburg to cover the latest fashion show. Ordinarily, I could care less about fashion. I wear pants as infrequently as possible (yes, that's why the signs outside bars read, “No shirt, no shoes, no pants, no service” now), and my choice in upper body garb relies heavily on booze and pop culture T-shirts. And the booze is terrible. Clear liquids only? No.
But a press pass can get you backstage to the glitter table. And what the fashion industry in Godville lacks in couth, decorum, wound prevention and beer selection, they more than make up for in the glitter and root department. And since I was expected to dress fashionably, I was afforded a hefty travel allowance for a travel trunk which would arrive empty and return full of swag for the staff upon my triumphant return.
So I took my travel allowance, bought enough quality beer and liquor to fill the trunk, strapped the trunk to Tigger (who by the way looked SMASHING in his robin-egg blue T-shirt that read, “I'm with stupid” and an arrow that pointed towards his genitalia), and away we went.
Halfway there, the trunk was almost empty, but we found a trader on the side of the road who was more than happy to refill the trunk (I charged it to the Underhills, Irwin said it was OK) and told us that he had come into possession of the holy grail of artifacts, a bottomless bourbon barrel.
Tigger wagged his tail enthusiastically and drooled. Or was that me?
I was ready to give the trader Tigger for the barrel. I had, in fact, already leashed Tigger to the trader's leg before he informed me that he would only trade the barrel for one item.
I happily reached into my pocket, pulled out the first item I could grab, and handed it to him.
He looked at me, rolled his eyes, and continued talking to say that this one item was a perfectly intact adrenal gland of a Hellevangelist, something about how he needed it to get his soul back from some evil wench he'd mistakenly professed his love for while in a drunken stupor. Or something equally boring. I can't say we were paying attention, because Tigger and I were already off down the road looking for one of these Hellevangelists to kill.
- Why we quest*
So I'd lost a bet. We'd lost a bet, actually. Tigger was as deep into this one as I was. We were wagering on arena fights as we are wont to do after chasing a vial of side effects with the hair of the dog that Tigger violated a few evenings earlier. On a dare.
The combatants were low in level, but possessed records of skilled fighters whose gods fed them a steady supply of blue suppositories. One was chaotic, and one was crazy. Now, I'd learned a long time before that you never bet against crazy. Never. And this knowledge had bailed us out of many a precarious financial situation in the past. So offered up a hefty sack of gold, and told them to put it on the crazy one.
Tigger even offered up his own bag of - Oh sweet jeebus – items I refuse to recount here on account of just common decency. But nestled within that frightening collection was a gold brick! The bookie, despite my pleas, bit the brick to test its authenticity, vomited, vomited again, cursed his god, Tigger's god, you, almighty, and even the inventor of beer.
So here's what comes to be the problem. Previously, I don't guess it ever mattered, maybe I'd never wagered between chaos and crazy. But it turns out that the god of the crazier hero was only crazy, and the god of the chaotic hero was Tony-freaking-Montana-doing-piles-of-pure-glitter crazy. Like the queen who begat and raised the original crazy.
We lost everything. And Tigger's brick turned out to not be real gold. And when I'd made my wager, I was under the impression the bookie was tousled-librarian hot, and gotten her to agree to a rather suggestive wager. But turns out she was crazy cat lady librarian old (again, never bet against crazy), and demanded I pay up.
So as usual, if anyone asks if you've seen us, a denial would be appreciated.
P.S. Will pay top quality root for tickets to Millionaire's Row at the upcoming Pet Derby. Message me if interested.
- Found a photo booth. Pants on or off? Hmmmm.....*
This entry is currently undergoing an extensive legal review by the janitorial service of Dewey, Cheatham & Howe concerning certain violations of a previous legal agreement between the hero and E. Cheese, Esq.
- The hero is staring at the counter...*
OK, so this reminds me of this one time way back in the day when Tigger and I were traveling across much of the road to Anville to watch Elbonians play basketball against the craftsmiths of the town. We were on assignment from the Godville Times to report on the outcome, partially because nobody cared, and partially because the bookies in Godville needed the score, and Tigger can really haul some hero out on the roads. The monorail hadn't been built yet, and internet service is so spotty that transmitting anything but text was prohibited.
The residents of Anville were quite generous in filling my mug and Tigger's bowl with the most wonderful ales, and the peyote salsa was amazing. Much fun was had by all, and we were even able to get the score of the game to take back to Godville with us.
It was summer in Anville, so naturally a freak snowstorm attacked us with great vengeance and furious anger, and a midget selling insurance. We used the invisible window as a windshield so we could travel faster without being blinded, but the red glowing light from Tigger's eyes made the oncoming snow look like we were in an asteroid field and we had to divert from the road out of abject fear. And hunger. And someone had to poop.
So we're in the inconvenience store, we have 5 gold coins, and that's not enough to feed either of us, mainly because gold coins have little nutritional value. Maybe it's residual peyote salsa effects, maybe it's just hallucinations, but there's lots of glowing neon brown lighting and rolls of glorious scratch off lotto tickets under the glass top of the sales counter, just begging to be scratched, like that spot on your back you can't reach. So Tigger looks eagerly at the lotto tickets, wags his tail, and burps.
I bought a lotto ticket for one gold coin. It did not win, so I kicked Tigger. But he looked at the lotto tickets, wagged his tail, and burped again.
I bought another lotto ticket for one gold coin. Another loss. Another kick.
This happened two more times, so now we're down to one gold coin, and a pet who is finally annoyed at being kicked. Yet he looks at the lotto tickets again, wags his tail, and burps. So I bought one more ticket.
Tigger's plan worked, much to my surprise. That ticket won enough gold to get me some food, and Tigger ate the four losing lotto tickets, wagged his tail, and burped happily.
There was a time when the crime editor of the Godville Times sent me on assignment to enter and observe the activities in dungeons to find out why so many heroes were dying, and why these deaths were enraging the survivors. I'd heard about the wonderful things found in dungeons, so I packed up my ashes-to-dust converter, extricated Tigger from the cactus he had mistaken for an amorous porcupine the night before, took a controlled nibble from one of those 9V-tasting roots, and lined up for the next train....
So we're five wide in a dungeon chock full of holy shiitake mushrooms. (It just dawned on me that never in the history of written lore has a story began with a sentence like that and ended happily, with dancing and puppies and sunshine). I'd sent Tigger ahead to flush out the monsters, he knew that if we could just find a Nachomancer, then carrying these tortilla chips all over creation would be worthwhile, and because we were still questing to obtain an adrenal gland of a hellevangelist for all the previously listed reasons.
Skipping ahead in the story, past all the mushroom eating, body painting, rolling around, slaughtering of simple bosses (that did not happen to be Nachomancers) and bathing in red fountains, we found ourselves face(s)-to-face with a clean-cut, smiling hellevangelist. It held a sign, reading:
YOGA INSTRUCTION 3 PM
NO OPEN FLAMES
HAVE A NICE DAY
Tigger, understanding the importance and brevity of this pending battle, fled the room. With the tortilla chips. And the vial of liquefied crystal. Leaving me to deal with the mushroom madness sans chaser.
After a few rounds of combat, it became quite evident that Tigger wasn't the only thing that had fled in the face of danger. My comrades were numb and lifeless. Cold. Even less offended than usual to have someone rummage in their pockets, looking for extra Kell's Dungeon-Certified Glitter Pills.
Hellevangelist was actively gnawing on one hero's arm, but the hero did not seem to offer any resistance. Maybe they'd eaten more of the mushrooms than I had.
Obviously, that could not be the case, so something else must be amiss.
I watched in horror as the hellevangelist continued to eat, and eventually devoured the hero. “Irwin,” I thought to myself, “I'm going to have to defeat this monster by myself if I hope to survive and gain its adrenal gland, these fellow heroes seem to be little more than meat.”
“SMITE THE AFKS!” came booming from the other side of the hellevangelist, followed by a lightning bolt that blasted through the roof of the dungeon, into the ear of the godless-looking fool over near where the voice emanated, out the big toe of his left foot, and into the ground. The hero briefly caught fire, but was able to extend his arm toward the monster and direct a portion of the electricity at it. The hero did not appear to have heard the voice, given the current coursing through his body.
The attacks did little to slow the beast, who was busy chewing on another lifeless hero.
The smoldering hero, who appeared to have a sticker on his forehead that read, “HI, MY NAME IS” with a blank space usually reserved for a name. This time, the space was filled with: 8OB
He looked at me. It felt like he looked into my soul. I was naked and exposed.
“Yer not AFK,” he said. “Get behind me.”
I shuffled behind him, putting the extra space between myself and the monster, who was crackling his knuckles and looking at 8OB.
“If when we kill this monster, we could try to spare the savagery, I am in hunt of the adrenal gland of a hellevangelist like this one,” I said.
8OB did not hear me as he did such damage that all I could salvage was an ear. Hopefully that could amount to something.
With the final monster dead, I was going to get one of these gopher wood pencils that were all the rage North of the Wall, and three of us were going to survive. I hadn't found out why those heroes had died without even fighting, but I understood how this could anger heroes who survived. Or so I thought.
Lightning ripped through the room, tearing through all of our chests. 8OB appeared to rejoice in the pain. I burned in pain. Not the good kind of pain. The other hero staggered, perilously close to death.
A Divine voice shouted from above and drove us away from the treasure.
And another lightning bolt ripped through 8OB, picking him up and slamming him, face-first, into the ground three times.
Another Divine voice drove us further away from the treasure. It was like that dream I kept having before I had a temple when I had nowhere to invite the noble ladies at the bar to read Nantucket-themed poetry and put some shavings of purest green into the incense burner.
And that memory was shattered by another blast of lightning. It was too much for the third hero, who perished.
The Divine voice spoke again. “No AFK shall enjoy treasure when 8OB is present. So sayeth, and so let it be said.”
When we exited the dungeon with our loot, 8OB extended a dirty paw.
“Nice to have met you, (Edited for Content).”
I shook his hand, and nodded my head wearily. I was at that tipping point where I would have to decide on a second bite or not. “Thanks for not killing me.”
“Just don't ever be AFK.”
8OB turned to head down the road. A small bunny hopped up near him. Too near.
- About that monorail*
We'd been tasked by the Godville Times news editor to compile a list of all the quests the other heroes were doing, so we were at the bar drinking, trying to wash the taste of 'blech' from our palates.
“Wouldn't it be a lot safer for these heroes if there were some sort of monorail that ran from Godville to Unspecifiedstan?” I asked to nobody in particular.
Tigger said nothing, but I could tell by his cocked head that a thought was forming. I moved one barstool further away from him.
“There's a few reasons why.”
A double check reassured me there was no glittery sediment in my glass. But there was obviously no need for more pixel dust, so I put that back in my pocket.
“What sort of reasons?” I asked.
“There's the technical and financial reasons,” Tigger replied, “and there's the practical reasons.”
I pulled out my pen and turned to a fresh page in my diary.
“The technical and financial reasons are closely tied together,” Tigger began, “if you've ever done the calculations....uh....well....”
I looked blankly at him.
“Let's just say the amount of gold required to build a temple is so outrageously excessive, when coupled with heroes building temples and saving for retirement, there's just never going to be enough gold to also build a monorail over those hundreds of miles.
“And have you seen what monsters do to trees when they think nobody's watching? I shudder to think what could happen to pillars of a monorail. Plus, some of them have acidic pee.”
Wow. Tigger was a lot smarter than he usually let on. I ordered him another BBA Ambrosia.
“But you also said there's practical reasons?”
“Yes,” Tigger replied, lapping the thick, dark liquid from his bowl. “The development of something like a monorail is bad for the pet-hero relationship. Heroes provide us sustenance in return for the promise of a pet's useful traits on the road.”
“So if there's a monorail, we heroes won't need pets?”
“Something like that,” Tigger replied. “And what is a pet if it's not a pet?”
The answer wasn't clear, so I ate a handful of holy shiitake mushrooms.
“It's a monster, [Edited for Content]. If there was a monorail, you would have no reason to feed me, and I would have no reason to not try and eat you.”
We sat in silence for a while after that, Tigger lapping at his bowl, and me trying to fight the mushrooms and not levitate from my barstool.
I would not bring up this subject again, and it's advised that we should probably not build a monorail.
- Desperately praying and sacrificing, I made a small miracle and healed my pet's heavy wounds. Tigger, I'm so glad to see you in good health!*
So, in my quest to find the adrenal gland of a Hellevangelist, I'd found myself hanging out with 8OB again. He was a big fan of the craft ales in the towns of Godville, and when I slipped him one of my rare Bourbon Barrel Aged Ambrosias, we were well on the way to becoming fast friends. Plus, he's hideous. Nothing gets the ladies talking to you like providing a much scarier alternative.
I tended to sit in between 8OB and Tigger, because the amount of purest green required to allow 8OB to understand Tigger was often too much to bear. And because Tigger often wanted to bite 8OB – which may have been my fault for not better monitoring Tigger's root intake. But hey, there are times when it's just better for everyone's health to not tell Tigger what to do.
So we're in the dungeon, and we hadn't found a Hellevangelist, but early on, 8OB had sniffed out a chronic AFK and beat it to death with a stalagmite (Or was it a stalactite? I never can remember) and in order to quell his bloodlust, I'd slipped a whole vial of pixel dust into a red fountain before he guzzled it.
Which goes to remind me that 8OB's pixel dust tolerance varies. Or is it the size of the vials? Eh, maybe this is something worth researching in the future. But this time, the reaction seemed to be that 8OB was convinced he'd been shrunken to about 10% of his normal size. Which was bad news for Tigger, who 8OB was now convinced to be a monster. A shaved-bald monster convered with remnants of yellow paint, but a monster nonetheless.
8OB attacked Tigger with a high-pitched squeak, but a full-sized weapon. Tigger was taken off guard, and immediately impaled.
I shrieked in horror. And in the dungeon. Tigger lay lifeless, with a digital timer strapped to his belly. I'm not sure where the timer came from, or if I were just imagining it.
I wanted to slap 8OB, but I knew it was my fault, and the other AFK had killed himself rather than be blamed for what was happening.
I instructed 8OB to carry Tigger while we stealthily snuck around the final boss, grabbed our wood, and got out of the dungeon. 8OB, still believing himself to be a mighty, monster-slaying midget, carried Tigger proudly, proclaiming that he was stronger than any ant in Godville.
Upon our return to Godville, we met a strangely-dressed rogue trader who claimed to have a whole pillow case full of the 9V Root of All Goodness, and offered the entire bag to us for a pricey, but more than fair sum. So I bartered him down a little bit more and handed him a gigantic sack of gold coins.
Tribbles! The bag was full of Tribbles which went everywhere. I screamed at the trader, and demanded my money back. He shouted an obscenity that sounded a lot like what everyone else calls me, and swung an open palm at my head.
So, I ducked. And the trader slapped Tigger right out of 8OB's arms, knocking his limp body to the ground.
Everything stopped. The trader, me, 8OB, seemingly everyone around us. It was silent.
Until Tigger farted. One of those, loud, long, alarm-buzzer types that almost immediately made me wish that for whatever else around us had come to a screeching halt, the most punishing absence was the wind. I gagged, and pulled a pair of knickers out of my pocket and used them as a mask. The trader ran screaming. 8OB inhaled deeply, as if his tiny personage were inflating as a result of the fumes. It was probably just killing the pixel dust effects, but no matter.
Tigger rolled over, stood up, wagged his tail, and headed for the bar.
- An Out-of-body Experience*
I became conscious enough to realize I was floating in the ether. Again. For all his flaws, Irwin is a most forgiving god, having revived me from death well over a hundred times. I just had to ride this trip out until he returned and revived me.
I looked down at my lifeless body, and quickly turned away, for 8OB's pet was sniffing it suspiciously. Or maliciously. Or deliciously.
What happened this time? I couldn't remember, but I could see a psychedelic vortex within reach and lunged for it. The colors and shapes began to spin, and I could feel myself descending to another plane of consciousness...
I'd gotten a very solid lead on an adrenal gland of the hellevangelist, and upon finding the dungeon, found 8OB conversing outside with a sparkly cat, among other dungeon raiders. I'd popped a few of Kell's Dungeon-Certified Glitter Pills and grabbed a small, cute bunny that was hopping by, soaked it in my yellow mop bucket, and used it as a loofa to clean my dirtier bits before tossing it aside.
The pills kicked in, and 'My man MCA's got a beard like a billy goat,' played in my head. Great channel.
The cat that had been conversing with 8OB wandered over to me, and started purring and rubbing against my legs. It seemed as if my legs began to shimmer with a glittery substance, so I handed the cat a half eaten magical bean and patted it on the head. It flicked its tail at me and walked away, back toward the other warriors.
The vortex warped, and the music faded, replaced with a voice. A voice that matched the words I saw floating up in the air from the cat's mouth:
“He's marked. The rest of us will survive without a hassle.”
And then the vortex warped again. I was being sucked back to reality...
…where Irwin was waiting for me. He picked me up off the ground, dusted off my back, patted me on the head, and said:
“Chomp, chomp, pass.”
- It's not what you think*
So my editor at the Godville Times sent me on assignment to Los Demonos to cover some sort of sporting event, so naturally, I headed to the bar. TV is better than seeing games in person, and the drinks are much cheaper.
The bar was chock full of heroes doing the same as me, though work was unlikely to pick up their tabs at the end of the night. And I'd found a bottle labeled 'Drink Me', drank it, and was feeling unusually chatty and outgoing. It was the perfect balance to the deep fried root of all goodness.
Anyway, I ran into this nice young(ish) lady who said her name was Abby, and insisted she was normal. I really didn't care if she was normal or not, she had funky beets. The funkiest. Unlike many of the heroes in the bar who were dressed in garb reflecting their team of choice, Abby looked sultry, and when she mentioned that she didn't like watching sports in bars, and asked me if maybe I wanted to join her somewhere more private where we could really 'cut loose,' I decided to accept.
She led me somewhere more private. I can't say it was her place, because it became evident Abby (who is normal) was also shifty in addition to everything else. She told me to sit down and relax, that she had to go change into something more suitable for the big evening.
The beets were super duper funky. But I swear this is what happened.
She came out of the bedroom wearing a jumpsuit with 'GUILD NAME' emblazoned on the front and her name on the back. Her face was painted bright pink, matching the jumpsuit, and if I hadn't immediately discerned that she was in fully freaked-out fan mode, I'd have thought that Irwin was going to have to resurrect me again.
“GUILD NAME RULES!!!!!! INSERE HIC GILDA NOMEN!”
The veins on her forehead were bulging, like the guy on Ren & Stimpy. Or Irwin when I'm intentionally not listening. Honest, that last thing she screamed made me fear she was stroking out. But she kept screaming it (and later research confirmed it was intentional), so I let it go.
At one point the officiating enraged her so that she yanked a clump of hair from her head, cursed it with the vigor seasoned sailors usually save for special occasions, like when their boat is sinking, and threw it on the floor in disgust. She prayed to false gods, offered to abandon her own god, and even cried tears of joy.
Then the game started.
- Two For the Price of One*
I slowly regained consciousness after being dragged out of the dungeon. I had failed.
I had learned that the sparkly cat could be kept away with smoke bombs and cattle prods, so I wasn't being marked for death. But the run was hazy. 8OB kept setting fire to things, including my stash. The sparkly cat kept coughing, but perched upon 8OB's shoulder and kept whispering in his ear. The other two heroes were unable to handle the haze and tapped out early.
It wasn't even a monster that got me this time. It was one of those traps the cat kept driving us into, always insisting there would be glitter.
But through the fog of battle, what I saw disturbed me. While the cat sat silently watching, 8OB pulled *it* out and handed *it* to her. She took *it* happily as 8OB seemed to slip into a drunken comatose state (otherwise known as Monday-Thursday).
But what was *it*?
The cat resumed her perch on 8OB's shoulder and whispered into his ear. Slowly, he shrugged, belched, and scratched, but soon enough he was up, and they wandered down the road, 8OB dragging both of their pieces of timber, the cat gesturing wildly on his shoulder.
Tigger waddled up to me, carrying a bucket of yellow paint in his mouth. Time to go to the bar.
- The Political Process in Godville*
I was busy trying to haggle for a vintage basketball jersey when the news editor of the Godville Times interrupted to request I stop playing around with Abby (who is normal) and head to a remote clearing near Godvillewood and report on the goings on of some fancy barbeque event concerning candidates for some political office.
Unlike some events that I dread, this one excited me. There is no scum and villainy on earth in such blatant and prominent display as you can find at a political event with food and beer. (Unless you count bowling night with Crazy Dave and Crazier Dave.) Plus, the glitter flows freely and the Root of all Evil is pure and uncut.
Fearing he be mistaken for potential BBQ, Tigger devised a costume that allowed him to look strikingly similar to 8OB, less the long, flowing mane of hair that caused him to be mistaken for a woman.
The pregame meal consisted of a healthy bite of the 9V style of root of all goodness, and...what the hey, another bite. The evil root at the event should hopefully balance things out.
Upon arrival, I saw many familiar faces, and more familiar posteriors. Those damned Harvest Moon people were here. Running around everywhere, mooning people for no reason. The faces painted on were often amusing, though the noses...how they do the noses...
Anyway, with my trusty Press Pass, I was allowed free reign over the area, and Tigger had a Photo Badge, allowing him to water the plants decorating the stage and belch tavern songs without drawing attention.
Chaotically came up to me, dressed like help and carrying a tray covered with thimbles of glitter and frosty Mason jars about a quarter-full of a clear liquid. I grabbed a thimble, tossed it back, grabbed a Mason jar and threw that back, too.
Here, the story, and my consciousness split into fragments. It's a political event, right? It can't get _that_ weird, right? If one of the candidates gets too rowdy and slaps a Moonie in the 'face,' what good is it if the cameraman/woman/pet is chasing a Moonie's tail (oh yeah, they do that too) all over the field?
All this was meaning that what was actually in the Mason jar was NOT what I expected. I expected something mild. Vodka, rum, something like that. You know, mild.
What was in the jar was like pouring frozen, lightning-filled Pop Rocks across my tongue. That then blasted down my throat and into my gut like a Looney Tunes where someone swallows a rocket. When there was no evident escape hatch (Thank Irwin), the energy shot out my now-elevated right leg and blew my shoe across the field, where it hit Lord Xenos, who was busy roasting at least a dozen sparkly cats on the spit.
“What was that?” I probably shouted at Chaotically to be heard over the ringing in my ears as I grabbed another jar. Whatever the shock may have been, it didn't appear to have killed me, so I figured another was in order.
“Moonshine,” was her reply. She said it with disdain, which is how she usually talks to me. Moonshine. Nectar of the hill people. I'd never been this lucky before. Usually I just fled from gatherings of hill people before they chased me away. Usually, I was the strange fella asking questions for a dee-gee-tall newspaper, holding a shrieking Keleios in hand, and shaking glitter from her into a container ingeniously attached to my hip.
Not this time. This time, I was in. All the way in. And after tossing down two more jars of moonshine, almost all the way out. Tigger stopped after one jar and wandered off in search of the promised BBQ.
After that, three more thimbles, two more jars, some root, and a ritualistic sacrificing of Miss Behaved by putting her in a barrel and rolling her over one of the waterfalls, the debates began.
Evidently, the candidates wanted to be the mayor of Godvillewood or something. The first hero jumped up on the stage and stupidly began tossing beer to the crowd. While in glass bottles. That knocked a few crowd members unconscious. He then began pontificating about how if everyone would just give him money that he would provide them with free beer.
“WHAT? FREE BEER?” an Archnemesis roared as it charged out of the woods, and upon not finding any free beer remaining, grabbed the candidate and ate him whole.
I believe the other candidate withdrew from the race. Or was eaten. Whatever.
- My Editors Said To File Something Or I Don't Get Paid*
Don't think that because I haven't written about it in a while, that Tigger and I haven't abandoned our quest to find the adrenal gland of a Hellevangelist.
It's just that my editors of the Godville Times made a terrible mistake by identifying me in a recent issue by my real name instead of my pseudonym, Jane Doe. Now, many taverns from here to Unspecifiedistan know where to send unpaid bar tabs, and the accountants are threatening to garnish my wages. I hate garnish. Unless bacon is a garnish, in which case I can tolerate it.
Plus, there's this issue of continuing to lose my pants. My loyal minion Hayley, or Haylee, or something keeps running them up the flagpole on top of my temple when I'm in a dungeon, searching for said Hellevangelist, and she's supposed to be tasked with cleaning them.
So until most of these bar tabs are settled, I can't travel in search of stories and the dastardly drunken heroes licking their wounds (and occasionally others') in the taverns when the taverns won't let me in. Tigger has suggestively handed me the yellow paint and razor as a solution, but he fails to understand what he does to strangers' legs would be frowned upon were he dressed as me. At least before last call.
(On a side note, Tigger has begun to express great displeasure at being prevented from entering dungeons now that there are new classes of pet who are allowed. This has resulted in a few profuse apologies by me for Tigger devouring these low-level cuties who wander too close to his leash radius.)
But while we were at an event where some hillbillies (cousins or lovers or both) in an orange cart were selling bottles of a rare beer that would restock our guild's “Prophets' Reserve” collection that we found some information about our quest.
Turns out, our quest is being made more difficult because of the physiology of the Hellevangelist. While most boss monsters need a swollen adrenal gland to provide them with the necessary rage to dismember AFKs in battle, a Hellevangelist is different. Hellevangelists are fueled by bitterness and pain brought on by a self-imposed abstinence from beer and the uncomfortable pleasures attained by falling on a fellow hero who is laying at the bottom of a hole in the ground.
So evidently, we will have to pursue an even rarer boss monster: The Fallen Hellevangelist.
Or maybe we could try to take on that mutated one over in the corner. The one with seventeen arms and what looks to be a playground ballsack-sized adrenal gland hanging from below its right ear.
- What you may have missed*
_While Cheesebucket continues dealing with visa problems and trumped up charges of public nudity and inciting a riot, we the editors of Godville Times wish to re-run an early report from his days as a cub reporter in San Satanos during the ugly Pint Glass Riots._
SAN SATANOS – I was supposed to arrive two days ago for the Opening Ceremonies of Customer Appreciation Week in the bar and pub district of San Satanos, but was delayed by a faulty navigator, an angry alligator, and a gaggle of agitators. Plus, I had no idea when I was supposed to arrive, or what day it was to begin with. There is a burgeoning glitter epidemic growing around the roads and towns of Godville, and it is WONDERFUL.
Additionally, as we finally neared within a few blocks of the party, it became evident there was an unusual amount of unrest. Tigger bravely cowered behind me, hiding his face in my cape. Broken glass was everywhere, and heroes could be seen in all directions, cursing and throwing pint glasses. The cursing wasn't disturbing, but the flying glass was; whatever was the booze being served in, and how was my liver going to survive the dehydration?
Rather than continuing to wade into the fray, we stopped at a bar to refill our stomachs and re-empty our bladders. The barkeep tried to discourage us from leaving, claiming his bar wasn't participating in the event and was not going to be part of the riots. When I informed him we would be paying with free drink coupons we'd found in a discarded tourism pamphlet, we were wished luck with our endeavor and sent on our merry way.
“Please don't eat your wristbands, they are required for access to events,” played over and over on the loudspeaker near the registration table. I showed my trusty Press Pass and was given a swag package, which consisted of a specially-branded pint glass in an extra large barf bag. I had to use Tigger's bag to pick up a fresh pile of droppings, so where he would vomit later was anyone's guess. I understood the warning, though. The wristbands were tasty, like they'd been dipped in pixel dust and root syrup. I felt the early twangs of a third arm trying to grow from between my shoulder blades. Tigger glowed.
We were getting thirsty again, so we headed towards our regular watering hole until I remembered our sizable bar tab, and instead chose a classier joint across the street. Tigger put on a tie.
Or so I thought. If this was the classier establishment, I was becoming couth. A riot was going on at the bar, glasses were flying, curses were being hurled, and an elderly grandmother called me something unprintable that will haunt me until my final days.
The special 'pint' glasses being used for this Customer Appreciation Event, it turned out, were not actually 'pint' glasses, but instead just extra-thick glasses that only held about 12 ounces. One of the nerd heroes had done something called math and determined that instead of it being a 'Customer Appreciation' event, the customers were paying more money for less beer than they usually paid. Hence, riot.
I found the head barkeep hiding behind the bar. No, he wasn't behind the scam, but yes he played along, figuring the nerds would just be given wedgies and swirlies like normal if they talked. I threatened to publish his name for this story unless he filled two of these glasses with their finest beer, on the house.
After eight more bar visits, Tigger looked green and remorseful he didn't have his barf bag any longer. I'd gotten bolder on the free beers and even gotten a few of my outstanding bar tabs cleared.
So here's the story, as I was able to piece it together: The event was legitimate, but they bought the glasses for the event because they were on a steep discount on account of them being 'defective.' The glasses were defective because there was an issue with the furnace at the glass melting plant. The furnace was on the fritz because of a shortage of witches to burn.
Heroes are now on the lookout for witches.
- 30 -
03/28/14: 09:35 I forgot to pay a bill in “Progress Bar”. Guess I’d better put 34473 coins aside for a rainy day. (Best one I've seen on my feed. I know others are better, but I'm putting this here for posterity.)
From GV Times Issue #1353: Cheesebucket - 84th-level adventurer, member of the “The Guild of Calamitous Intent” guild, with the motto “Dungeons without pants”, stands at the 119th position in the pantheon of taming under the vigilant supervision of the god Irwin. Distinctive features: a reckless disregard for danger, and an incredibly high pain threshold caused by repeated exposure to blunt objects.
08 January, 2015: 10:49 PM A log! A thousandth log! I’m even ready for a flood now. Not that I’m asking for it, Almighty.
10 January, 2015: 03:16 AM I looked into the kind eyes of the vanquished monster and suddenly decided — Grounded Hog, you'll be my pet! And I'll call you Olwyn. Bandaged his wounds, gave him a treat and fastened the leash. (This is my first post-ark pet)
Ah. So you're still reading. Good. Was being all subversive and odd up there, trying to throw them off the scent. I'm glad you've made it this far, I hope you still have all your fingers. If not, I'm just going to have to trust that your counting skills are better than most.
I'll be honest. I didn't think it through beyond this. I figured the previous step would have gone well, and we'd all be rich and retired doing whatever, wherever. But now we're here, the plans are in the crapper, and we gotta get out of Ponca City, pronto. (That last sentence made it seem like Ponca City is in Pronto, but it's not, don't worry. I'm not crazy).
So I'm going to formulate a plan to get us out of this mess. While you wait, stash as much gold as you can collect, and build a boat. I'm not sure why, but otherwise all you'll do is fight amongst yourselves. And get rid of all those cars out there, it looks like Sam's Hot Car Lot.