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GM

 

"Hey, I'm invisible!" said Penny Coin. "The one thing I can do for myself, and somebody else does it for me!"

 

It was true. Penny had only one real magical trick (other than her ears and being fast). Becoming invisible. She couldn't help be slightly miffed that this fabulous ability was now redundant. 

 

"Excellent!" said Lorenzo, rather pleased. "Invisibility! I confess as vile as the fae arts are ---ouch!"

 

Oh, and Penny could still see invisible creatures. That was her other magical trick. Which meant she could aim her invisible foot at Lorenzo's invisible shin. Although it may well have been other parts of his anatomy. 

 

"---grrr----I mean to say, these fae arts can be of utility on some rare occasion" he finished, through gritted teeth. And perhaps at a slightly higher pitch than normal. 

 

He grunted again and tried to regain his composure. 

 

"Very well then! Let us proceed, but with all due advantage of stealth!"

 

"Tallyho Tallyho! Cutsta---" started the sprites. 

 

"---which means no singing!" said Lorenzo. Loudly and firmly. 

 

"Miseryguts" whispered Penny. 

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"Well, not really invisible," Pan felt that he had to at least try to make Penny feel a bit better about him using the same trick. "More like an image of us just not being here, I suppose?" 

 

It was true, honestly. It was a fun little trick, one of his favorites, and he would have it addressed properly. And he couldn't keep a laugh from his lips as Penny did something to Lorenzo that sounded like it hurt. Yes, that was magnificent

 

"I am afraid that the Black Rose is right. Singing will not quite do, it might give us away. Now, let us make haste!"

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GM

 

And haste was thusly made!

 

In the blink of a pixie eye (which was a very flexible unit of time!) they were at the base of the mushroom mountain. The reason for its name soon became quite clear, for, verily, 'twas both a mushroom and a mountain. 

 

One could almost see the snow at the top. If snow it was. 

 

At its base was a fleshy stalk of lurid green, and peppered through it were blue caves and tunnels. 

 

"Behold, the Mushroom Mountain! Inside, the King of the Mushroom Men! The Fun Guy!" said Boddyflock. 

 

"Fungi, you mean" corrected Lorenzo. 

 

"I say what I mean, and I mean what I say!" retorted an irrate Boddyflock. "The mushroom men call him the Fun Guy, and that it was he is called by them! We call him the Tyrant of Evil!"

 

"Tyrant of Eee-----vil!" chorused his four soldiers. 

 

"I will be delighted to meet him" said Lorenzo. 

 

"We will be delighted to cutstab him!" said Boddyflock, thrusting forward his one inch sword with pride. 

 

"Yeah!" chorused Penny Coin, getting into the spirit of things, thrusting her considerably bigger sword. It twanged against the flesh of the mushroom mountain and a blue ichor slowly oozed from the wound.

 

"interesting..." said Lorenzo, peering forward to study it. 

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"oh?" Oz enquired, his emerald lensed glasses allowing him to behold the world as it was as he leaned forward.

 

"I confess myself something of a more pedestrian gardener, this blue ichor intrigued you?" He asked "ah...perhaps is is similar to your golems veining?"

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GM

 

"Yes...yes....it certainly appears that way...." said Lorenzo, peering closely. 

 

"Ah curse this intangible form of mine!" he said, angrily. The mist in his glass helmet turned a deeper shade of orange, bordering on red. "My nose! My nose! I cannot smell! How I used to wander fragrant gardens! Inspect fine herbs! Ingest fine spices! Even the aroma's of fungus and mildew were intriguing. All is lost! All is lost! Alas, that I ever smoked that new world leaf!" he lamented, furious with himself. 

 

He forced his mind, and thus his body (or the orange mist that passed for one) back into shape. 

 

"Yes. This is precisely the kind of vibrant fungus that might restore my body!" he said, enthusiastic again. "If you would be good to ingest some, that would help my research indefinately. I need to know how poisonous it is, and how quickly it will kill you. But, please allow me to carefully measure the quantity you ingest before you do ingest. I must have precise measurements!" he said, bringing out some finely wrought weighing scales from his black cape. 

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At this point Oz's own spirit of curiosity and adventure had overcome his better judgement and regard or perhaps the narrative was influencing him to more interesting circumstances, none could say for in the Fae realms everything that was had a story, short and simple as it may have been even the very blades of grass were bound to narratives that wove and interlocked with the stories of others.

 

"Very well, let us begin the testing." Oz chimed happily and unconcerned by the potential ramifications.

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"Yes, yes, I am sure that you smelled all kinds of interesting things, used your nose for all kinds of interesting actions," Pan commented to Lorenzo, not quite agreeing with the idea to ingest any of the mushroom mountain, despite the strange sorcerer's wishes. 

 

And yet, Oswald proved to be far less resistant to such an action, seemingly agreeing to actually eat it. What a curious fellow he was.

 

"Do you believe that to be the best course of action, Oswald?" he chimed in. "This is, after all, not just a fungus, but a mountain as well. It might be too heavy for the body." And Pan had still decided that he did not trust Lorenzo.

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GM

 

It might be fine for the body (and it turned out, bar a slightly mouldy flavour, it was quite reasonable to the tongue and the stomach), but it was certainly not fine for the mind. 

 

Was Oswald seeing smells? Or tasting sounds? Was he hearing textures, or feeling colours? All this, and more!

 

The Mushroom juice was spinning his mind right out of this world! And arguably, out of this universe!

 

He span round the centre of everything, where the unspeakable one fermented. It was a sight to drive any man mad. Was Ozwald mad? Perhaps. Maybe the endless tuneless pipes played by his idiot god-courtiers distracted Ozwald. And madenning as they sounded, they would at least not fry his brain. Few mortals, or indeed mortals could ever say they brushed so close to the Unspeakable one without going permanently insane. 

 

He span through the jungles of Lemuria, where the serpent sorcerer Setho laid his plans in his crumbling temple, surrounded by fragrant leaves. He swore Setho looked at him with his jet black eyes. He span through Italy, where the alchemist Lorenzo, the Black Rose, tended his gardens, conducted his cold botanical experiments, and smoked the leaf of Setho. 

 

He span through Freedom City, seeing a young man perform stand up comedy to a mediocre extent. Despondent, he took to Wharton Forest to smoke that same leaf, which sent him spinning into the Fae realms, where the idiot mushroom men worshipped him just as the idiot courtiers of the Unspeakable One was worshipped....

 

He span through the future, where the mad tyrant collapse twisted dimensions together, he span through the past, where strange gods walked the earth. He span through strange dimensions, through the grey crumbling fly infested gloom of the murk, and through the endless corridors of the cosmic coil...

 

All this he saw, and more. 

 

But was he sane when, an instant later, he span back to his body by the Mushroom Mountain?

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"Ahh the serpent! His venom soaks through the tapestry of time into the hearts and minds of men who take his sylvan offering." Oz mumbled and sweated from his brow as the spectrum of the oversaturated realms of the fey played in his palette.

 

"I have seen toiling to his works in your garden oh black rose of Italy." Oz said in bemused accusation as his brow furrowed and his face turned beet red.

 

"Despoiler! You have sown and so you shall reap the cost."

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GM

 

"What in blazes are you talking about?" said a moderately vexed Lorenzo. "I don't understand! The Serpent? Sylvan offering?"

 

He reached down to take Oswald's pulse. 

 

"Hmmm....still alive then!" he commented, pondering on the nature of the pulse. "Good! It is clearly safe for consumption. I must take a sample. Once I have a gastric system again, I shall surely cultivate this magnificent flora and use it to revitalise my ichor!" he said, pondering the various uses of the juice. 

 

"Are you alright? You looked like you were....somewhere else...." said Penny, bending down to feel Oswalds brow. 

 

"Onward, onward! Let us cutstab!" said a growingly impatient Boddyflock. 

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"You call that safe?" Pan asked Lorenzo He moved a glittering Forever Blade, swiftly pointing it at what would have been Lorenzo's neck, if he had had a body. "You, do not move. Not until Oswald has had his say." He paused, looking at Penny by Oswald's side. He had most likely been somewhere else, yes. Lost in a fog much like what the natives of the small islands around Neverworld would enter, when they ingested their special herbs and spices. But that was controlled. This was not.

 

"Is he alright? Can he stand again?" Pan questioned Penny. "And what of the Black Rose, here? What did you see, Oswald?"

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"many many things, piffle-wiffle and balderdash." Oz croaked dreamily as he brought himself to sitting "ancient evils and unfathomable depths of the universe, lemurian pipeweed!" He yelled suddenly as he sprang back to his feet and wobbled like a man who had just grown a spine for the first time.

 

"I saw the back rose wilt himself with serpent leaf!" He laughed and jeered and wept all at once "as it has undone the fun guy and brought him here."

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Posted (edited)

GM

 

"Vile fae! Threatening a man with a blade!" hissed Lorenzo to Pan, agitated. But not, it seemed, scared. Was it over confidence? Or arrogance? Stupidity, perhaps? Or just a short memory?

 

"You clearly debate with edged weapons rather than wit or diplomacy!" he said, continuing to scoop up the mushroom juice into pretty glass pots he had tucked in his cape. Quite the alchemist, indeed!

 

Boddyflock danced a dance of impatience, with a little hint of excitement and a little drop of amusement. Oswalds befuddled brain was something that seemed to delight the little sprites!

 

Penny grabbed hold of Oswald to stabilise him. She was a strong as she looked, which given she didn't reach five feet and was slim as a twig, wasn't very strong at all. And Oswald was heavy.

 

"Easy there, Mr. Wizard!" she said, huffing as she leaned into him to stop him keeling over. "We need your wits about you if there is a puzzle to be solved!"

 

"Thats easy! Three stages!" said Boddyflock, clearly proud he solved the puzzle. 

 

"One! Cut the Fun Guy!"

 

"Two! Stab the Fun Guy!"

 

And his four soldiers chimed in musically. 

 

"Three! CUTSTAB THE FUNGI!"

Edited by Supercape

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Oswald was speaking nonsense, Lorenzo was as troublesome as he had been until now, and Boddyflock and his men were little help. They wanted to move, they wanted to get on with the cutstabbing. Pan could understand that. He was, himself, quite eager to cutstab Lorenzo right about now, but he relented. He did not like Lorenzo, and though Oswald's tone was clearly accusing, Pan was not quite sure what Lorenzo was being accused of.

 

"My dear Lorenzo, you have already proven that it is the only type of problem resolution that you seem to understand," Pan replied, his tone almost sickly sweet. "Now tell me, what is the serpent leaf that the wizard spoke of?"

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GM

 

"Serpent leaf?" said a rather irritated and awkward Lorenzo. "...I know of no serpent leaf. And if I did, I wouldn't tell you. I would deny its existence and ever having experimented on it or smoked it when I..."

 

".....hmmm. That doesn't sound very convincing does it?" he conceded, before proudly drawing himself tall. "Yes, I am aware of a certain south American leaf that has remarkable properties. Unfortunately, as I experimented with it, I found my body drifting throughethereal gasses until it vapourised. I found myself in this lamentable condition..." he said, indicating his smoke-in-a-jar body. 

 

"And 'twas only recently I managed to form myself into anything resembling corpreal material. As you can see, my experiments caused considerable inconvenience. One which I would now wish to rectify!"

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Posted (edited)

Oz had decided that it was indeed gravity that was the cause of his woes and wobbling and so with a booming incantation and a dramatic upwards swinging gesture of his arms decided to rectify that.

 

Plants bowed by the weight of their growth unfurled upwards and even the grass rose into straight and proud spires as the weight of expectations and narrative impetus was lifted from them.

 

Taking a few test bounces to become acquainted with his new weight he giggled at penny and gently pushed her away into a tailspin before hefting his now greatly reduced girth and disappearing into the enterance of the mushroom mountain with a most spectacular triple backwards summersault that carried him away and out of sight giggling and chanting as he vanished into the tunnel.

 

"Cut stab the fun guy!"

 

"Fun stab the cut guy!"

 

And other equally ridiculous variations of those four words echoing around him as he went.

 

"Wheeee!"

Edited by Exaccus

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GM

 

And onward then!

 

Through mushroom tunnels and mushroom halls, the merry band of muppets went. Lorenzo, the Black Rose, was often touching and scraping of samples of some ooze or malignant growth from the flesh of the mushroom mountain. Captain Boddyflock and his four merry men scuttled along at ground level with remarkable speed and unsuprising stealth. A six inch tall sprite is a remarkably hard thing to spot. There was an edge to them now, a fear. And this anxiety dampened their spirits (a lamentable thing, arguably), and more importantly, dampened there singing (a much more agreeable state of affairs if stealth was the goal). 

 

And this may have been wise. For out of the walls, came a rumbling, a splitting, a fracture!

 

Four mushroom men fell out of the walls. 

 

Blind they were. About seven or eight feet tall, and just like mushrooms but with fleshy fungus arms and fleshy fungus legs. 

 

"PROTECT THE FUN GUY!" they mumbled softly through, presumably, fleshy fungus vocal cords.

 

And, arms raised like zombies, they advanced. 

 

The nutty fungus aroma in the tunnels grew stronger. 

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And off Oz went, and off the rest of them followed, into the caves of the mushroom mountaints, into the stench of the vile place. Pan decided to let Lorenzo go for now. He had smoked a strange leaf, that had turned him stranger still. And Oz had eaten a piece of strange fungi, making him strange as well.

 

He half expected Penny to start drinking something that would make her strange, too. Just to complete the trio. It was indeed a rare feeling for him to be the sensible one, but it was at least a new experience to be dealing with those that were less sensible than him, for once. 

 

And so, off they went into the darkness, and four mushroom men appeared before them, from the walls. They had no eyes, so maybe they could be tricked? Who knew, it was worth a try at least!

 

"Why, yes, indeed! We must protect the fun guy! Quick, you four, lead us to him right away, so that we might help you protect him!" 

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GM

 

The mushroom men didn't know what to think. That might be because they didn't really think at all. 

 

They flailed around a bit. If they had been warm blooded creatures they might have overheated from the furious activity of tiny brains. But it was rather unlikely they had brains at all. And even if they did have fungal intelligence, "furious activity" of their brains did not seem on the menu. 

 

"You are not mushrooms!" said one. "You smell...like fleshlings!"

 

"Like fleshings! Not mushrooms!" agreed another. 

 

"Like the Fun Guy! The King!" added another. "Before he became one of us!"

 

"One of us...One of us...One of us...One.....of....us!" they droned together. 

 

"CUTSTAB!" yelled Boddyflock, jumping forward and stabbing one of the mushroom men with his one inch sword. The mushroom man did not seem to notice....

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Oz continued to giggle quietly to himself as he bounded between all points of the tunnels circumference in greatly reduced gravity as he pondered the shape of the humble hooded mushroom men and their spongey but dense make up.

 

He was suddenly beset with an amazing (I'm his unhumble opinion) Idea.

 

"Silly things! We're the mushrooms and you're the fleshlings." He explained as he wove his illusion of scent and warmth around them and of fungal presence around himself and his traveling apprentices.

 

"Protect the fun guy." A voice similar to the men droned out from the air amongst the mushroom men "destroy the fleshlings!"

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GM

 

"We are fleshings? We are fleshlings?"

 

The four mushroom men seemed most displeased with this idea. They started smacking each other around the head, and emitting toxic spores. 

 

Given muhsroomy fists were of limited use against mushroomy flesh (other than creating rather wet "thwap" noises, and releasing more spores), it might well be several days - or years - before any of them actually came to significant injury. But still, they set about each other. 

 

"Are you a fleshling?"

 

"You are a fleshing!"

 

"I AM A FLESHLING!" declared one of the sorry foursome, who proceeded to headbut the wall of the mushroom mountain tunnel in a futile attempt to inflict some kind of damage on himself. 

 

The mushroom men were most distracted and embroiled in self loathing. No longer a threat. But the spores they released were most assuredly problematic! Clogging up the lungs, clinging to the skin, and infusing the fleshlings with a rather toxic nastiness...

 

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Was that it? Really?

 

Pan stared. The mushroom men were fighting each other, mushroom flesh slapping mushroom flesh, in a never ending cycle. He felt a bit sick. Not from the look, from something else. Were the mushroom men toxic? He felt like he was about to throw up, but he kept it down. If he was going to lose his lunch, it wouldn't be because of some strange mushroom slapping each other! Some strange mushroom eaten, perhaps! But not from something as weird as this!

 

"Right, let us continue. I suppose."

 

Fighting the urge to vomit, he led the merry band and Lorenzo on, past the mushroom men, and further into the mountain. Find the Fun Guy, and cutstab him. Or maybe, if he was indeed a fungi like the mushroom men behind them, it would be better to slash him? Who knew?

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Oz laughed heartily in-between wretching and moments of projectile vomiting as he span around and bounded along the hallways with his friends, somehow managing to avoid spraying any of them.

 

"Hehe....the fun guy fell for the snakes  spacetime joke and it was too funny for him so now he's here." Oz mumbled as he felt himself settle "and here he's now." He hummed in a sing songy cadance drool and spittle glistening on his chin from the gastric acid deposits he'd made all along the way.

 

"So sad to cutstab a lost boy no?"

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GM

 

And so...

 

Our merry motley crew of mad musketeers gathered there party and ventured forth. It somehow seemed quite necessary to gather one's party before venturing forth, but nobody quite knew why....

 

And thus it was that Boddyflock and his men, Penny Coin (the Puzzle Pixie), Lorenzo the Black Rose, Pan and Oz trudged through tunnels of mushroom growths (that smelled nutty and earthy for the most part, although one strange tunnel seemed to smell of cheap perfume) and entered...

 

The hall of the mushroom king!

 

It was a vast cavern in the centre of the mushroom mountain. In the centre, a depressed looking man, his skin mottled with fungus growths, sat with his head in his hands. 

 

Around him, a dozen mushroom men clamoured. 

 

"Tell us another! Tell us another!" they chanted, imploring him to entertain them. 

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So that was the fun guy? He did not appear dangerous, at least not at first glance. Rather, he seemed sad. Was that all he was now then, entertainment to the mushroom men? Or was he merely hiding his true nature? Who could tell, before they asked? At least these mushroom men seemed as dim as the rest! Maybe Pan should put that theory to the test?

 

And so, with the group still hidden behind his image of nothing, Pan called out. Or well, he made an illusion of his voice calling out from the opposite side of the room. If it was a joke that these mushroom men needed, then a joke they would get!

 

"Who is the greatest chicken killer in Shakespeare? Macbeth, because he did a murder most foul!" 

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