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Jan 21st


It started (in a manner of speaking) in Emerald City


More precisely, with a puff of smoke outside the cottage of the Great and Powerful Oz, master of the mercurial and magnificent. 


"Where the hell am I now?" groaned Ms. Penny Coin. 


She had a woolen hat on to cover her elven ears. She was otherwise dressed like a hipster, in a long sleeved t shirt and jeans, with cool sneakers. She was short, just under five foot, and slender, with big eyes and tussles of golden blonde hair. And she bit her lip with nerves and excitement. 


In her hand she held the Puzzle box. It was a cube of a few inches in each dimension. At least, to look at. It probably contained infinite expanses of the multiverse. It could twist and turn, expand and contract in many dimensions (not just your regular three). And it was a blessing and a curse from her father, the Witch-King of Elves. 


"Where have you taken me now? Stupid box" she moaned, although in truth she always liked adventure. 


"Open up! Open Sesame! Open Season! Shazam! Abracadabra!" she said to the door, knocking loudly. "There is a puzzle to be solved!"

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Oswald zapellius had spent the better part of the morning magicing himself up a most magnificent breakfast in a semi literally way, he'd just been getting ready to sit down and over indulge in his greatest of passions when a knock at the door came and just about to ignore it when Astra had huffed indispleasure at his rudeness and headbutted him repremandingly on the arm before running off to look out of one of the windows flanking the doors, pressing her face to the glass and bleating at the visitor whilst Oz waddled his way over.


"Yes yes, I'm not interested in buying your gadgets or joining your cults so if that's all you want please get off my property..." He'd begun before he'd opens the door to the young lady "....oh, girl scout cookies are another matter entirely please come in whilst I find my wallet." He said rather more warmly than he had been so far before turning around and walking towards his hung up coat.


"Don't mind Astra she doesn't butt or ram without reason." He gestured to his sheep as he pawed through his pockets looking for his wallet.


"Do you have the salted caramel ones? I am rather partial to those...and the mint of course."

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"Who are you?" said a rather surprised Ms. Penny Coin. 


"And I am not a scout" she added. "I am Penny. Penny Coin...don't laugh!" she added, with a wag of her finger. "I'm here to solve a puzzle. I think. Its not always that clear. Sometimes its puzzling!" she said, with a grin. 


She tried to look past Ozwald into the contents of his mysterious cottage. 


"So who are you then? You look like a wizard or something. Which figures. Thats exactly the sort of puzzle thats particularly puzzlin'!"


She paused. 


"You...don't have anything to do with cheese, do you?"

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"oh I see..." Oz sighed a little disappointed as he dropped the wallet back into his pocket and examined his cottage as penny looked around it with mild interest.


"Am I?" He asked back as he tried to figure out what amongst his strange belongings in particular had given him away but unable to see anything out of the extraordinary.


"I guess so..." He resigned himself as he sat in in s chair and stared at his breakfast, now rather uninterested in it as his mind filled with thoughts of sweets, a resounding word and a wave of his hand turning it into a small cloud of butterflies that flittered away into the rafters of his home.


"How about you? You're not here to sell me cookies and you don't seem to be a cultist or a salesman...so are you a mystically inclined?" He hummed to himself "do they even have magic girl scouts?" He wondered "I wonder how the cookies would taste..." He mused as he made another weird sound and gesture to create a plate of cookies


"Anyway you were saying about puddles and jeans" He asked as he crunch a mint thin ponderously "or was it pookas and fleas?" He hummed "who are you again?" He asked rather mystified suddenly "do you want a cookie?" He offered "not that I am a girl scout either mind."

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Penny sighed, and took off her woolen hat. She pointed at her distinctly elven ears. 


"I'm an elf" she said, quite obviously. "Or half elf, to be more precise"


"And this" she continued, holding up the Puzzle Box "is a gift from my father. The infinitely infinite puzzle box. It brought me here whenI was tamperi...playing with it" she said. "Which must mean that there is a puzzle to be solved. Which involves you. Dad wasn't exactly a hands on dad. He made this to keep me entertained" she explained. 


"I think its magical. It kind of feels magical" she said, pondering the question more than she had done. "I haven't actually had it tested in a magic-ometer, or magicoscope. Do you have one of those?" she asked Oz. 


"Thats why it brought me to you, I guess! Sort of! A bit! Maybeish!" she blustered. "And the nightmares I have been having" she added more softly, shuddering. 

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Hmm well things had gotten a little more serious it seemed, maybe it was time to drop the act.


"Well bring it here and I'll have a look then." He stated as he rose from his seat still munching on his biscuit "help yourself to a seat and a cookie whilst I grab my glasses." He offered rather less erratically than he had thus far been gesturing at the rather comfy leather armchairs he seemed to enjoy enough to make extensive use of, so many different colours and styles too!


As he wandered over to his mantleplace and grabbed the small emerald case "I'm sorry about acting a fool you will not believe the kind of callers I usually get...most of them just want to see a cantrip or pet Astra...others are rather less pleasent."


It had to be rough being a half elf he imagined, being a part of two worlds usually ment you had twice as many enemies to contend with, mystic or not.


"Why did you ask about the cheese by the way? I enjoy eating it but other than that I'm not overly concerned with it." He ventured, it would be rather invasive to broach the subjects of nightmares after all.

Edited by Exaccus
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"Cookies? They are bad for you. I prefer cherrypops!" said Penny, still happily helping herself to a cookie or five. 


"Cheese...well...." she started, looking akward. "I've been having dreams. Of a big tall man made of...ah...um....cheese" she said. 


"Look!" she added defiantly and quickly. "It was frightening, ok! a twenty foot man made of cheese, the smell, the blue veins...."


She shuddered. 


"And no doubt its got something to do with that!" she continued, pointing at the Puzzle Box. 


"I hope you are good with puzzles, because whenever something like this happens, there is a puzzle to be sorted out. Which normally means trouble. And..ah...er....trouble for you as well as me now. Ah...I mean fun and excitement for you as well as me now. You are welcome...."


She looked around the cottage. 


"You may want to check on all your cheese...."

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"I see..." Oz hummed as he centered his emerald lensed nez pince glasses on the bridge of his nose "reccuring nightmares about this...cheese man?" He asked as he wandered into his open plan kitchen and indeed checked on his stock of cheeses.


"Call my Oz by the way, short for Oswald." He added as he came back to sit at the table and turn his enhanced vision and great knowledge of arcane lore upon the puzzle box proper to see what he could glean from it.


"Puzzles are a passion of mine, though usually I make them for Astra...awfully clever girl that she is, to keep her busy so she doesn't escape."

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"Oz? Thats a funny name. I thought my name was silly, but yours is...ah....awesome, of course!" blabbered Penny. 


The stock of cheeses seemed unremarkable. Cheesy, for sure, but unremarkably cheesy. The Puzzle Box, of course, was anything but mundane. Or cheesy, come to that. 


It was incredibly complex, Oz could see that. And it clearly did not exist purely in the mundane realms. It was connected to all sorts of strange dimensions, from the Infernal Forge to the Nexus of Nothing, from the seas of spellhold to the mountains of Thaumopolis. And perhaps strongest, to the everlasting realms of the Fae. By twisting and turning the various dials, knobs, and buttons one could traverse to pretty much anywhere, anytime. And more importantly, strange and eldritch compasses were locked inside its infinite interior. It really did seem to seek out puzzles, and - forcibly if necessary - present them to its holder. 


As far as Oz could see, it was keyed to Penny Coin. Only she could use it. Or perhaps some incredible genius who had mastered arcane lore. Like...Oz himself!


Yes, he really was that good. At least today. 


"So what do you think of it, Mr Oz?" asked Penny. "Someone after your cheeses?"


The Puzzle Box did indeed smell of cheese slightly. And Oz had the distinct impression that it was warning him. Something cheeselike was approaching....



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"well it's certainly quite magical on my magicometre I can tell you that, I have also managed to trick some of its secrets out of it...suffice to say your nightmares are the puzzle box attempting to warn you and I believe it has forcefully brought you here because it believes I can protect you from this mouldy monster...I will do by best." He reassured her as he rose from his seat and rushed over towards the window to keep a look out.


"I am afraid further explanation and and questions will have to wait till after I have driven it off." He stated as with a wave of his hand he conjured an emerald green force dome over penny and Astra "Its attuned to you so you can leave anytime you want, penny but I urge you to stay here till it's over and if I am not standing...please take Astra and run." He then pointed a finger at his now slightly annoyed pet gently butting her head on the emerald walls.


"Astra!" He shouted to get her attention "be good for daddy and look after penny till this is done." Another wave of his hand created a small mound of food and drink for the both of them mostly sweets and soda for penny and alfalfa for astra, pride of place of course where a jar of glistening red cherry flavored lollypops.


"It's going to be quite a show either way...." He mumbled as he steeled himself for the first serious fight with a malicious creature he had been in since his...retirement.

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Oz was not wrong. 


For outside, the lumbering twenty foot hunk of cheese was indeed plodding its way towards the cottage. One could smell it from further away. A rich blue smell, to match its rich blue veins. 


But wait...


This was a CHEESE GOLEM!


It might be soft, it might be slow, it might be mindless. But it was surely a Golem, from the signs and sigils that peppered its body (in blue of course). And as such, 'twas immune to all magic. At least, hypothetically. 


Given how cumbersome and slow it was, Ozwald may have had a chance stabbing it to death with a blunt spoon. Any other golem would be far more of a physical threat. But the Cheese golem was soft and weak, although clearly pungent and delicious. 





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Magic insulation made things more problematic, it would be a foolhardy mage who claimed otherwise indeed but it was far from insurmoundable just a bit more bothersome.


Taking full advantage of the things lumbering gait to remove his jacket and toss it aside he allowed himself a moment to tighten his suspenders and crack his fingers before acting.


A resounding incantation and a elegant rolling motion of his wrists and a luxurious rug span itself Into existence beneath the plodding golem, a rather more harsh consonant and a twisting clenching of his fists ripped the rug out from beneath it as it's balance shifted and sent it tumbling backwards away from his home and into the treeline with a crash.


The carpent now neatly and tightly rolled hovered besides him as he waited to see how the curdy colossi reacted.

Edited by Exaccus
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With an elegant tug, the textile trap was sprung. 


The Cheese Golem, being twenty foot tall, was a strong fellow, by and large. But it was clumsy, for its soft pudgy consistency did not lend itself well to balance. 


WIth a faint splat! It fell straight on its rear end. There was a strong smell of stilton in the air. 


"Take that, Mister Cheese!" yelled Penny Coin, swiping her fist victoriously. 


Whilst the Cheese Golem was on its backside, it was uninjured. It started to congeal together, and slowly started picking itself up...

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Hmm...this construct is curious, I will have to ask its creator about it's construction after I have thrashed them in the duel arcane.


oz however found his thoughts distracted by the sudden appearance of penny coin.


"Bwhuh? You are much braver than most your age....though I suppose this kind of thing happens often?"


He asked as with a click of his fingers the rug disperses back into sparkling thaumatons as he turns his attention back to the slowly reconstituting golem.


"As for you you lactose lacky! If you thought that was the worst of it you've another thing coming! I am the great and powerful Oz!" His chest puffed up a little with his pride as he weaved the features for his next spell of epic scope.


"By all the winds billowing breath I bid you be frozen!" His voice resounded around the hills as the skies crackled and darkend as winds of ancient winters and primordial rains began to fall from the skies on the area surrounding Oz's home, not seemingly touching his self, penny, nor his delicate garden and hopefully not astra who should be still in the forcebubble....he hoped.

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"Yer right, Mister wizard! Every morning I wake up and find myself stalked by a twenty foot cheese monster!" replied Penny. Somehow, she held together a mixture of brightness and sarcasm in one pot. 


"Mwaaaah!" mumbled the Cheese Golem. 


That seemed to be the extent of its vocabulary. 


"Mwaaaah!" it mumbled again, to drum home that very point. 


The ice and hail was magic, and to magic the Cheese Golem was immune. 'Twas not fazed by the cold one jot. Nevertheless, ice was ice, and hailstones were hailstones. And even if it was not bothered by the cold, it once again found itself flat on the ground, flat on its face, after stumbling and sliding on the ice. 


'Twas truly a clumsy beast. 


But persistant!


Slowly, it started to drag itself up again. 


"Big dumb cheese!" yelled Penny at the Golem. 

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"oh don't you worry there's plenty "mwah!" Where that came from.." he said now ponderous...this beast was chasing penny evidently able to trace her involuntary teleportation here, or maybe it was after him?


It bared further investigation! And so with a rolling of his wrists and a wiggle of his fingers he span the air into copies of penny, many many pennies that babbled amongst themselves, repeating things he had heard he say in random patterns as they danced around the golem.


"Cheap tricks like this are...ten a penny!" He chortled with. Gentle nudge of his elbow to penny coin.

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The Cheese Golem stopped. 


It turned around. 


"Mwaaah!" it commented. 


It turned around again. 


And yet again. 


And it seemed it would be caught in a perpetual loop as it continued to turn. WIth every Penny equidistant, it was simply struggling to take a direction. Like a magnet with no north. 


But Oz was a perceptive fellow!


It was not merely Penny (and the illusions thereof) that it was stuck between. But Oz himself! The Cheese Golem was attracted to magic, irrespective of the strength or form of that magic!

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"hmm...well for what it's worth its not a personal vendetta...it just liked magic it seems...let's see what it has in mind for us eh? Might be a bit..violent." he ponders as he collapses the copies of penny into one illusion and transformed it Into himself...hopefully it would favour the closest magical signiture...

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"Huh? Magic?" said Penny, scratching her head. Her ears twitched ever so slightly. "What is it, a magic cheeseman?"


She admonished herself. "Well, its hardly likely to be a science cheeseman, is it?"


"Mwaaah!" commented the Cheese Golem, as it (predictably) started lumbering towards the singular illusion of Oz. 


"Its like a moth to a flame!" said Penny. "That does mean we can burn it? I do like smoked cheese...especially smoked blue cheese!" she said enthusiastically. "I hope you have some crackers and an extremely large fridge in your cottage!"

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"it is completely insulated and protected from direct magical assault." He mentioned off handedly as he watched intently for how the golem would would react upon catching the illusionary (now dancing) illusion of himself.


"I'm hoping to discern it's intents for us before I try to destroy it...not that I am sure that I can mind...we may need to grab Astra and retreat..."

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The Golem reached the illusion and proceeded to smash. 


Of course, its pudgy diary fists smashed into nothing but magical illusion. 




It was strong, there was no doubt about that. Even if it was made of cheese, being twenty foot tall made it pretty strong and heavy. Stronger than any man Oz knew, although by no means as strong as some of the superheroes that flew around the city. 


The second observation was its completely oblivious stupidity. 


The Cheese Golem kept pounding the ground, smashing its fists into the illusion with absolutely know concept that the illusion was indeed an illusion. 

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"hmm well that is certainly worrying....." He confessed as he watched the golems fury impressive as it was being loosed against the countryside.


"Go grab Astra for me? The bubble should allow her to pass through if you have her by the collar....for a quick get away you understand...I'm going to see how it handles heat." 


And with that he focused is gaze on the skies above the golem, the vestiges of the illusion vanishing as he willed the air into the form of molten lava in a blob over the huge form of the golem.

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And the air was filled with the smell of smoked cheese. 


Just for an instant. For it was rapidly replaced by the smell of burnt cheese. For the Cheese Golem was no more. Just a smoldering lump of burnt diary product. It was smoking quite badly, but was not smoked. Burnt to a crisp. It did not move. It was never alive, but now it was most assuredly dead. 


"Awww! You burnt it! And I was getting hungry" said a sad Penny Coin. 


Still, she wasn't that bothered. She stuck a Cherrypop! lollipop into her mouth and started sucking. As everyone knew, Cherrypops! had a nutritional value of zero. If one was being generous. It probably had negative protein count. 


"But that doesn't solve the puzzle! Where did it come from? Why did it come from?"



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"and who did it come from..." Oz added as he rubbed his chin curiously as he looked around at the damage he caused in his brief battle with the golem.


"It will take me a while to put this right...bother." he complained as he went to grab his jacket "I'll do it later; for now I shall grab some of that golem and see what I can glean from a scrying ritual." He hummed as he retightend his tie.


"Once it cools down a little of course....till then how about brunch?"

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"Excellent idea!" replied Penny Coin, whose small frame was at odds with her appetite. "Do you...ummm....have any Cherrypops!...." she asked, innocently, trying to give the vague impression that two dozen cherrypops! with a negative nutritional value somehow constituted a completely normal brunch. 


Oz grabbed some of the smoking Golem. There were still a few slightly charred bits of goo that were not significantly burnt or vaporised by the lava. It did look suspiciously like a blue cheese. Stilton, maybe!

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