EQ Traders Corner

Storybook: Not Evil Enough (Part 2)

Missed part 1? You can read it here.

Mum was late.

As the minutes dragged past the hour-mark, Ngranna tried not to fret too much, but her overactive, and often bloodthirsty imagination started painting worse and worse scenarios.

Mugged. Attacked by rabid bunnies. Robbed of all her chocolate. Attacked by killer bees grumpy over her stealing their honey ...

Then it sank in that she'd asked the little Qeynos native to just toddle over to North Freeport, along with some furniture samples, and she really started to worry.

"Bad 'Granna! Naughty 'Granna! What if the guards catch her and k-" She was interrupted by a pounding on her front door, and let out a dainty (for her) shriek of startlement. The mirror on the wall across from her cracked at the sound and her carnivorous plant curled into a leafy ball.

Hurrying to the door, she opened it, reflexively looking down at about knee-level for the tiny halfling lady.

Then she looked up, and up some more, eyeing the cauldron-laden trolless on her front porch with confusion. "Wha-?"

The trolless brushed past her with a muttered, "Close th' door, tallstuff, quickly now!" It sure sounded like Mum, but to say Ngranna was confused at this point would be an understatement - not that it took much to confuse her some days, but still, there was confusion and there was confusion. Reflexively, she closed the door and turned to stare at the trolless.

After setting the cauldron down carefully, the "trolless" snatched an odd-looking jester's cap off her head, revealing the tiny redheaded halfling.

"Wow! Dat neat trick! Have trolless bring heavy stuff, den you change places with her. How'd you do dat? And is there anything good to eat in that?" Ngranna eyed the black cauldron hopefully.

"Och, lass, th' customs agents ate it all, but I'll make some more afore I leave. First, though, I have some bad news frae ye." Niami looked up at the ogress, biting her lip.

"Bad news?! 'Granna not like bad news!" She might love Mum (and Mum's cooking), but even such love had limits, and Ngranna was hungry and grumpy. A few shards from the broken mirror fell out of the frame and onto the floor, and the carnivorous plant seemed to be trying to become one with the underside of a table as Ngranna's voice got louder and more irate.

"Och lass, none o' that. Into th' kitchen wi' ye an' I'll explain as I fix us both summat tae eat. Otherwise, I may get as grumpy as ye, if nae grumpier, and that wuild be a Bad Thing."

Ngranna shivered, toes curling in her green fuzzy bunny slippers as she remembered the last time she had seen a full-fleded redheaded hissy-fit.

Dragging a stepstool with her, Niami began puttering around the ogre-sized kitchen, once in a while enlisting Ngranna's aid when the stepstool wasn't enough.

"Well, lass, I promised ye some furniture, an' it be nae easy job tae smuggle such stuff in! My supplier had his shipment stopped by a customs inspector. Pass me some o' that squash, please." She gestured with an oversized paring knife and continued on, slicing, dicing and explaining. "We do nae know how long it will be delayed, or if it will all e'en be released in time frae th' holiday next month."

At that, Ngranna let out a howl that loosened some plaster from the ceiling. Dinner was saved thanks to halfling reflexes and a convenient pot lid, but Mum's red hair was decidedly white.

"Enough o' that, lass. Let me finish!" Mum scolded the ogress, then went on, muttering. "It be a guid thing I was nae making souffle, wi' all that ruckus. Now sit yuir green fanny down on that stool, peel me some tubers an' hush frae a few!"

"Sowwy Mum." Ngranna was torn between wanting to throw a tantrum and reflexive obedience. After one look at Mum's plaster-streaked hair and face, she decided obedience was the safer option.

"As I was saying, afore I was sae rudely interrupted, th' shipment has been confiscated. BUT I hae been promised it will all be returned tae me. We just do nae know when. A double-batch o' fudge was needed jus' tae but off th' right folks frae that much o' a promise, an' I'll need tae make up some more goodies "soon" tae hurry things along a bit."

Ngranna stared mournfully at the cauldron that had been placed in a corner. Mum had tried to bring her a double batch of fudge, and it was all gone? That was just cruel and unusual punishment for the ogress with a sweet-tooth.

"Meanwhile, there are still things we can do tae properly decorate th' place, e'en without th' new stuff. We'll add in what we can afore the Nights O' Th' Dead, as able, but ne'er let it be said I cannae improvise."

"First, there be th' cauldron ye're eyeing. It be an Outriders Cauldron from th' Qeynos scout guild. Stuff an ebon sconce creatively behind it, an' ye can make it look like it has an eerie glow. Or, better yet, take one o' those xegonite bowls, fill it wi' steaming water, then put th' bowl in th' cauldron sae there's steam coming out o' it. Ye do nae want tae put th' water directly in th' cauldron, after all, as th' cast iron will rust if ye nae be careful."

"I see ye hae some o' those stone pillars. We can rearrange those around th' altar tae his Zekness o'er there, tae make it look more imposing. Replace some o' th' lights wi' smoldering bone torches. I know, I know, it will make things a bit darker an' smokier, but that will be tae th' good fae th' inspection, and frae th' trick or treaters. Th' fir furniture can definitely stay, as can th' severed bone throne, an' th' chest wi' skulls in it and suchlike."

"Then, ye get tae go shopping, lass."

At that, Ngranna clapped her meaty hands loudly, sending the carnivorous plant, which had been tentatively poking a few leaves out from under a table, back into an even tighter ball. "Goodie! 'Granna likes tew shop!"

As if to herself, Mum mumbled "Och, if only I could teach my plant tae behave like that when company is around, instead o' it trying tae taste-test guests wi'out warning."

"But, aye, shopping, tallstuff!" Pulling a list out of a pocket, she rattled on. "First, ye stop by th' Seafury Buccaneers an' pick up a couple Grobb Tikis, a statue o' Shadowbane, an Ancient Idol or twa, an' several stabbed skulls ..."

"But the Buccaneers won't sell 'dose to 'Granna yet! Need more factionnnnn!"

Niami winced at the wail, mentally making a note to bring earplugs the next time she visited, and continued on. "All right, the Buccanneers are out. How aboot a couple Hanging Steel Cages, an' some Militia Skull Display Shelves o'er at th' Freeport Militia merchant?"

As she heard Ngranna take a deep breath, as if to wail once more, she hurried on. "Right, nae enow faction wi' them either, eh?"

"Oooh, I know! Th' Heretic's Cauldron and some Necromantic Skull Lamps from th' Academy O' Arcane Sciences. Jus' th' thing frae ..."

One look at Ngranna's face, and Niami trailed off, tsking quietly. "How aboot the Dismal Rage? Can ye pick up a couple Human Skeleton Displays, an' an Iron Maiden Closet or twa?"

At Ngranna's hangdog look, she threw the list of suggested furniture in the air and exclaimed, "Och, lass, what hae ye been doing tae earn all th' status needed frae this home? An' that great mammoth o' a beast that ye call a horse?"

"Makin' shineys." Ngranna's response was almost sullen, as she plucked at one of her bracelets.

"I still do nae know how such large fingers make such dainty items, lass." Niami shook her head bemusedly. "But that be neither here nor there. Let's talk aboot the tricky treats while I try tae think on th' furniture-thing a bit more. I hae some ideas frae some pranks e'en th' lord o'Mischief would approve o'."

"Oooh, 'Granna like Bristleybane stuffs!"

Niami pulled another slip of paper out of her pocket and unfolded it before handing it over. "I think summat like this would be a good start. Nae, nae, that's upside-down, lass." She reached over and turned the paper around, so Ngranna could read the printing.

For a while, they talked of various other ideas for jokes and pranks, before Niami started yawning too much to continue. Dodging the Freeport guard, even under illusion, had been a tiring business. Adding in the trip to customs to pay appropriate chocolate bribes, and the ogress outbursts, she was just plain tuckered-out.

Fighting the sleepiness for a bit longer, she had a few last things to say before she Recalled home. "We hae just o'er a month tae make this place look more evil, an' tae come up wi' some tricky treats. I'm sure some o' th' furniture will arrive in time, I jus' do nae know which pieces yet. Meanwhile, I hae one other suggestion frae furniture, but it won't be easy."

"'Granna tough, 'Granna can do hard!" With that, Ngranna flexed, almost tearing out several seams on the dress she was wearing."

"Well, Ngranna-lass, ye're a shadowknight." At the ogress' nod at this brilliantly profound pronouncement, Niami continued on, her own voice rivaling some of Ngranna's earlier outbursts. "Sae get out there an' do some writs frae them! Ye're supposed tae go smash things now an' then, after all!"

With that, she vanished in a puff of illogic. Everything would look better after a bit of sleep, and some chocolate ... and maybe a bit more sleep. Right?

A Special Note from Mum About the Above Story

This little piece was supposed to be something quite different. Really it was. I didn't mean to get hopes up with the teaser in part one, only to dash those hopes in part two.

Murphy's Law had other ideas.

My mailbox and I were cooing happily over a large serving of new furniture screenshots. I was marveling at the awesome amounts of Domino-love, arranging the images, mentally writing the story, trying to figure out what I'd have for dinner, and so on, when this little IM hit my other computer. "So, I have some news."

Eyeing the IM as if it was about to bite me, I responded. Domino and I chatted for a bit, during which time I mentally threw a ton of stuff out a virtual window. All the lovely stuff she'd sent me in good faith for a GU38 furniture preview was in a holding pattern.

It was/is one of those snafus that makes us want to tear our hair out, or at least whimper like little children. Not everything was as it should have been with the art assets that she wanted to use, and with an expansion looming ever-closer, getting the art for furniture sorted out isn't necessarily something that can happen quickly. Maybe not even in time for Nights of the Dead (Halloween), in several cases. It is definitely too soon to tell which ones will and will not make it into GU38 next month, since the problem was discovered late on Monday, the 24th. (It is now the wee hours of Tuesday m*rning, during the start of the extended downtime.)

We simply don't know which what will end up going in when at this point, and I apologize for getting people's hopes up. We truly thought, at the time of my initial posting, that everything was A-OK. When I have more details, I'll let folks know, but for now, well, we'll just wait. And maybe enjoy a Komic or two. Kaisha even stayed up late Monday night to create a Komic based on this event, and we're pleased to feature it as Komic #6: Let's Make a Deal"

A Furniture Preview, at Last!

It seems the Freeport customs office has released six items in time for the ogress's decorating. Check them out in Not Evil Enough (Part 3)

Created: 2007-09-25 03:01:50          
Last Modified By: Niami Denmother          
Last Modified on: 2007-10-01 01:53:24          

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