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Thread: Pantheons of the NeSiverse

  1. #161
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow Christmas 2017 Part II

    Christmas 2017 Part II
    AKA Too Late for Christmas

    Britt, Kit and Bill are lounging on a cushioned, long stool while seated at a table chock-full of booze and food. Kit raises a tankard;

    Kit: "Here's to the defeat of Sandy Claws and to a jolly Christmas past!"

    Bill raises his own tankard but Britt stares dumbly at his own. Bill nudges Britt.

    Bill: "Dude. We're meant to be toasting."

    "What happened?"

    Kit, who is seated opposite the other two, leans forward suspiciously;

    Kit: "How much did he have already?"

    Bill: "That's his bloody first!"

    Britt: "No, seriously! What happened to the Story? We were about to be eaten by that monster thing and now we're in this bawdy house...?"

    Kit: "You've lost your memory?"

    Bill: "You don't remember we managed to defeat the monster and escape? Kit wrote a whole play about Faustus and had it performed just in time for Christmas. You played in it!"

    Kit: "Christmas number one!"

    "I... I do remember yeah... but it's like... it didn't really happen. We just remember it happened..."

    Kit: "If he's not drunk, he's on drugs."

    Kit reaches over the table and plants a firm, angry finger on the wood in front of Britt.

    Kit: "Where's mine!?"

    "Look, I'm pretty new to this whole Story stuff. I just feel like we missed a lot of stuff."

    "Time flies when you're having fun, eh?"

    Britt: "Real time passed but not narrative time... I think."

    "Okay, okay. Even I'm struggling to keep up with this one and I, allegedly, make holes in the story. Why don't we, you know, enjoy the beer, eh?"

    Britt, suddenly urged with mischievousness, gabbed his beer and tossed the swill straight at Kit. In response both Kit and Bill threw their own beer on Britt's head.

    Britt: "Damn. I feel there should have been a nuk-nuk-nuk said about now."

    Kit: "Nook-nook-nook?"

    Britt: "No no, it's pronounced more like ny--"

    They hear the door to the bawdy house slam open. The house is commonly rented out to travellers to London, though it has something of a reputation for shady dealers - especially those of the spy variety. While in the 'dining room', the three men, covered in beer, turn to look down the hall to the open door.

    In walk three men, led by Ingram Frizer.

    "Oh right. I don't remember what we actually did about Faustus..."


    "I didn't mean what you wrote in your bloody play."

    "But fiction is so much more interesting than life!"

    Bill: "He had a hernia."

    Britt: "What?"

    "We found him, chased him and he had a hernia. He was taken to the hospital."

    The three intruders, having carefully taken off their hats and scarves, saunter down the hall towards the dining room.

    Britt: "And he's still possessed?"

    "I guess so."

    Britt: "So this guy showing up here is probably bad news."

    Kit: "I reckon so."

    Ingram: "Gentlemen! How are my fellow spies this evening?"

    Bill: "Sure, just shout that at the top of your lungs why don't you?"

    Ingram: "We have no secrets here, do we?"

    Ingram forces his way in between Britt and Bill while his two cohorts, also spies, sit silently on either side of Kit. They start to tuck into the feast laid out before them.

    Ingram: "I thought you might like to know that the honourable Doctor Faustus has made a full recovery. Thankfully for you three he won't be pressing charges."

    Ingram salutes with a mug of ale.

    Bill: "Pressing charges!? He's possessed by a demon he can't--"

    Ingram: "Proof?"

    He grins politely at Shakespeare who promptly falls into a glowering silence.

    "Now look, my friends, we're all on the same side, aren't we?"

    "Probably depends on what side you're on, Frizer."

    Ingram: "The side of England, of course! Come now, Marlowe! We've worked together long enough to know at least that much, haven't we?"

    Ingram plants a friendly, but firm, hand on Britt's shoulder as he chomps on a chicken leg.

    Ingram: "You know, working together we six could achieve much for our country! Think on that! We'd be like a new knights of the round table, wouldn't we? Acting honourably, heroically and using our respective powers for the greater good!"

    Bill: "Powers?"

    Ingram: "You think I didn't know?"

    Bill: "About us? Maybe. But you?"

    Ingram drums his fingers on the table with a smirk.

    Ingram: "Mephistopheles is a most generous benefactor."

    Thick, black smoke puffs out from the pores of his fingertips as they connected with the wood. Britt doesn't know what that blackness is, but it certainly isn't natural nor is it even magical. He does know it is evil.

    Kit: "Sold your soul, eh?"

    Ingram: "And since when did our resident atheist believe in souls?"

    "Alright, fine. Not a soul. Just your humanity."

    Ingram: "All for the greater good, my old friend."

    Kit: "That greater good being yourself."

    Ingram feigns hurt.

    Ingram: "You wound me. What a cruel thing to say."

    Kit: "We will stop you, Frizer."

    Ingram: "You, a bard and..."

    He looks at Britt.

    "What do you even do?"

    Britt: "Just call me the Boss."

    "It's Britt the Boss now? Are you kidding me?"

    Britt: "Awesome, right?"

    Ingram: "I think it's great."

    "I know right!?"

    He holds his hand up to Ingram for a high five but spots the sour looks from Bill and Kit.

    "Oh right. Bad guy."

    Ingram: "Come now, gentlemen. Bad guy?"

    Bill: "I would say anyone in league with a demon is a bad guy, yes."

    Ingram: "That's what Christian dogma will do to you, Mr Shakespeare. Make you narrow-minded and ignorant to the truth. There is no good or bad."

    Kit: "I agree with you."

    Ingram: "Ha! I knew you would!"

    Kit: "But good and bad doesn't have to be dictated by the Bible, or any other religion. It's what society collectively acknowledges as good or bad. And you are, unquestionably, a traitor and a villain. A menace to society."

    "Then it seems we have reached an impasse. You know too much about the good doctor and are resolute to scupper our plans."

    Kit: "No matter what you do, there will be a reckoning."

    Bill: "The bill? Yes, I'm pretty sure there will be one later, and it will be huge."

    Ingram: "I am pretty sure he was speaking of a very different kind of reckoning, Mr Shakespeare. Alas, Marlowe, you are correct. Except you are mistaken in thinking it is I who shall fall prey to this reckoning you espouse."

    His fingers, which were still on the table, flip over and his palm spreads. A blade of black strikes from the pores of his hand and slams into the skull of Kit. The two cohorts hold Kit steady while Britt and Bill both fall from their seats in horror.

    Ingram lowers his hand and delicately takes a piece of bread from one of the bowls to munch on.

    Bill: "K-Kit!"

    The two men release Kit and his head slams into the table, blood trickling over the wood.

    "Come now! You've made a mess!"

    Britt scrambles across the room.

    Britt: "Bill! Get us out of here!"

    Ingram seems to remember that they're here;

    "Leaving so soon?"

    A dark shroud bursts from Ingram like a black aura that spreads as it engulfs the room. Bill finally snaps into action and opens a hole through which both of them jump. The hole closes quickly behind them, granting Britt a last look at the serene smile of Ingram Frizer surrounded by the dark mist.
    Last edited by TheBritt; 02-15-2018 at 11:11 PM.

  2. #162
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow Christmas 2017 Part III

    Christmas 2017 Part III

    In Shakespeare's study, backstage of the Blackfriar's Theatre, the room is lit by a few orange candles and smoke fills the room from the musk incense that is burning all around the place.

    Bill: "And so then Pan--"

    Britt: "The goat-man."

    Bill: "Right. He puts the love potion on the wrong guy, so he falls in love with--"

    Britt: "Wait!"

    Bill: "What? What's wrong? I was getting to the good part!"

    "I feel like... I've missed something."

    Bill: "My play last night! Stop getting drunk with wenches! Get drunk with me instead!"

    Britt: "You're so gay, you know that right?"

    Bill looks flustered.

    Britt: "But no. I mean... what happened to Ingram Frizer? And Faustus for that matter!?"

    "You don't remember?"

    Britt: "No! I mean yes. But it's like... it was a dream or something. Like it didn't actually happen! Come to think of it, I think I had this feeling before."

    Bill sighs.

    Bill: "You drink way too much."

    Britt: "You drink more than I do!"

    "Or you have syphilis. It eats your brain, you know?"

    Britt: "What!? I don't have-- Just tell me what happened."

    Bill: "We found evidence against Frizer, both for conspiring with demons and for the murder of Kit."

    Britt: "Poor Kit..."

    Bill: "We took it to Francis Walsingham, your spy boss. He didn't arrest Frizer because the guy is working for him, but since Frizer was possessed by a demon they called in a whole army of priests to bless him until the demon was exorcised!"

    Britt: "Sounds dramatic! Why don't I remember it properly!?"

    Bill: "Are you a priest?"

    Britt: "No... not yet anyway."

    Bill: "Then why would you be there? We just went about our business and we were told last week that Frizer was freed. So that's that."

    Britt: "And what about Faustus?"

    Bill: "Well--"

    The door to Shakespeare's study creaks open and they look up to see the grey monk standing in the doorway. Mephistopheles stares at them. In human form, he is not overly tall, nor bulky. And yet he exudes an aura that makes him feel larger than life and a foreboding force. His grey-blue eyes glow lightly in the darkness of the low-lit room.

    "It seems you have proven yourselves quite troublesome in my schemes."

    Britt: "Yeah... sorry about that."

    Mephistopheles: "I am conflicted about how to proceed with you. I had considered summoning another, more terrifying demon from Hell. You dealt with Sandy Claws, but I could summon Father Killmas or some other such foul creature... or perhaps we could reach an accord?"

    Britt: "An accord?"

    Bill: "We don't deal with demons!"

    "Now now. No need to be hasty, Bill."

    Mephistopheles seems happy at Britt's response and eases into the room. The fury behind his visage dampens and he appears nothing more than an old man in grey robes.

    "What troubles you, my good men? What ailments do you have that I can help you overcome? Some flaw in your character, some unattainable goal yet to be reached, some sickness that ails you?"

    Bill: "He does have syphilis."

    Britt: "No I don't!"

    Mephistopheles: "Dr Faustus was unable to control the flow of aether that coursed through his body. I helped him with that. He grew more powerful than ever, able to control every ounce of magic. I have cured lepers, helped poor men rise to become kings, brought wealth and happiness to an entire family for generations. What troubles you both?"

    Britt: "Well, I do fall asleep a lot."

    Bill and the demon look at Britt in stunned silence.

    Bill: "That's it?"

    Britt: "No no. It's not a normal sleep. I call it BrittSleep. That damn Negotiator tricked me into signing a contract so I would live forever but then I fall asleep all the time!"

    Mephistopheles suddenly appears smaller than he had done a moment ago and his face is racked with worry but also eagerness.

    Mephistopheles: "Yes. Yes I can help with that! You can pass your contract over to me and I shall become your new supplier of eternal life. Without the pesky caveat."

    Britt: "Seriously?"

    Bill: "You can't trust him, Britt! He's the devil!"

    Mephistopheles: "An arch devil, if you please."

    Britt points at Bill's head.

    Britt: "He's going bald. Can you cure that?"


    "Alas. Baldness is one ailment I am unable to cure. It seems men of the world are doomed to be bald for all eternity. I believe it is an age-old curse by some forgotten demon, you know? Very intriguing story really."

    Bill: "That sounds... absolutely ridiculous. Besides, you're going bald too!"

    Britt: "Not as much as you!"

    Bill: "And the demon is bald!"

    Britt: "He chooses to look bald!"

    Mephistopheles: "I believe, William Shakespeare, that your... son was taken from this world?"

    Bill looks at the demon sternly.

    Bill: "No."

    The demon gives the human a quizzical look.

    Bill: "I mean no, I will not accept whatever your offer is. Not even that."

    Mephistopheles: "Well, it seems only you wish to take my offer Britticus of Rome."

    Bill: "Actually, Britt won't remember this until now I mention it, but we decided to defeat a demon - we'd need help from another demon."

    Mephistopheles seems to notice the candles and the incense for the first time. Before he can escape, another demon erupts from the smoke. Invoked via traditional summoning with incense means the demon doesn't take on an actual physical form, unlike Mephistopheles, but instead takes on a shrouded presence in a smoky-shape.

    The Evil One: "Having fun, old friend?"

    Mephistopheles snarls and the old, kind face now appears grotesque and warped.

    The Evil One:
    "You have been a busy bee, haven't you? And yet, when I checked, it seems you haven't cleared this little escapade of yours with the Devil's Advocate or the Devil himself. How rude."

    "It's my business! I do as I like!"

    The Evil One:
    "The new Devil doesn't like it when we make unauthorised excursions, you know that. It creates a lot of paperwork..."

    Mephistopheles: "Paperwork be damned!"

    Everyone else chuckles at that.

    "It's too late! The human has sold his soul to me! I own it and I exercise my right to it!"

    The evil cloud seems to glance at Britt.

    Britt: "Not me! He's talking about Faustus!"

    Mephistopheles: "All that power of magic in a single body. You don't know how wonderful it feels! As my vessel I shall rip through this land like a fierce wind! I am entitled to this, it is my right as owner of the soul!"

    The Evil One: "Actually, Mr Three is already negotiating a new contract with the good doctor. One that will let him get on with being lazy, in exchange for control of the aether. It's better for everyone this way."

    Britt grumbles about negotiating contracts.

    Mephistopheles: "He has no right--!"

    The Evil One: "He has every right! An illegal contract can be usurped by the Devil himself. And you know he likes contracts! You, Mephistopheles, will be lucky to remain within the upper ranks of Hell at all. I suspect you will be demoted from Arch Demon though. Maybe you'll be a general under the Majordomo? That, alas, is not for me to decide."

    Mephistopheles: "I won't give u--"

    A black hole forms within the stomach of the grey monk and he implodes into himself before disappearing. The two humans grab their stomachs with sympathy pain. The Evil One vanishes without so much as a goodbye.

    Britt: "I thought you said you wouldn't negotiate with demons? You called that guy?"

    Bill: "It was your idea! You said some man in a suit suggested it to you in a dream! Honestly, your memory. We need to go to a doctor and get you some syphilis medicine. They have some good leaches."

    Britt: "I don't have syphilis!"

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