Below are all the Mansion of E strip-transcriptions which I and many gracious volunteers put into the webcomic-archiving system between (roughly) 2003 and 2015. In 2015 ONR stopped taking new submissions, and in 2018 went offline altogether. I will miss it, as I regularly used it to fact-check my own work. I may try to find a more searchable replacement, but here at least is the raw data, with links to the comic in question. (Mercifully, these were included by ONR when I saved off my copy..) Strips from 2015 onward can be searched for at the MoE backup site on ComicFury

Wednesday, July 16, 2003
[[A large book sits on a stand, which comes equipped with a candelabrum. A white panel is mounted on one wall.]] [[Sylvester silently enters the shot, looking at the panel.]] [[Sylvester looks at his wristwatch]] Sylvester: Sigh. My idiot brother is late. Again. [[Sylvester holds up a small pronged tool]] Sylvester: So. Fine. I'll just do this on my own. Again.

Thursday, July 17, 2003
[[Sylvester uses a pronged tool to light three candles in sequence.]] [[He begins flipping through a weighty tome on a stand.]] Sylvester [thinking]: March... April... 11th... 12th... After 4:00PM... Full moon... Here we are. G-4. Hm. That's a new one.

Friday, July 18, 2003
[[Sylvester stands looking at a panel on the wall]] Sylvester [thinking]: G-4... [[The panel proves to be covered with irregularly sized, bolted-on squares/buttons, each labeled with a letter or number.]] [[Sylvester presses a button.]] ((click)) [[Sylvester presses a second button.]] ((click)) [[Sylvester looks at the panel apprehensively.]] Sylvester [thinking]: Nothing happened. Sylvester [thinking]: Hooray!

Saturday, July 19, 2003
[[Sylvester walks away, having completed his task]] Sylvester: That's one Task nicely out of the way. Even better, the Agenda said that's the last of them until... ((BOOP!)) Sylvester: Aw, Phizz. [[Sylvester turns to face the panel; black spots have sprouted on its surface.]] ((FSHZAP)) [[A random collection of eyes suddenly appear in the panel, staring at Sylvester]] Sylvester: eep.

Sunday, July 20, 2003
[[Sylvester [thinking]: This has never happened before. Eyes... *staring* at me... What am I supposed to do? [[Sylvester turns to the bookstand.]] Sylvester [thinking]: The Task Book! Yes! It has the correct response! maybe please... ((reading)) [[Sylvester peers into the shot at the panel. Two figures approach from behind.]] Sylvester [thinking]: Right. OK. Deep breaths... Sylvester: "Greetings and Salutations! My name is Sylvester! the Mansion of E!"

Monday, July 21, 2003
[[The eyes are staring from the panel]] ((clik)) [[The eyes disappear]] [[Sylvester smiles]] Sylvester: Hah! It worked! The eyes are gone! Mortimer's voice: Um... hi, Sylvester! Sylvester: Mortimer. You finally decided to show up. Along with... [[Sylvester turns to face Mortimer and sees Rosemary with him.]] Sylvester: Some strange woman whom I have never before laid eyes upon. Mortimer: She followed me home! Can we keep her? Rosemary: The man greets the wall, and he calls /me/ strange.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003
[[Behind Rosemary and Sylvester is a chest of drawers with a vase and framed picture of a dark-haired woman sitting on it.]] Sylvester: Look, Miss... uh... Miss--? Rosemary: Ripley. Rosemary Ripley. Call me Rosemary. I have to say, this is quite a place you have here. How many rooms are there? Sylvester: Rooms? Hundreds. We've never counted. Uh, Rosemary... I really don't have time-- Rosemary: Hundreds? And you and Mortimer live here all alone? Sylvester, staring upward: Alone? Well, yes. That is, more or less. Now, I'm sorry, but we're really... quite... busy... Rosemary: Busy? Why b-- [[Zoom out to show giant monster (a Dornbeast) glaring down at Sylvester and Rosemary.]] Rosemary: Oh.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003
[[Rosemary and Sylvester look up at a Dornbeast's jaws.]] Sylvester: It... it would appear that Mortimer left the basement door open. Again. [[Rosemary grabs a vase from a nearby bureau. There is a framed picture of a woman wearing dark glasses.]] ((SNATCH)) [[Rosemary smacks the Dornbeast in the mouth, killing it.]] ((POW)) Sylvester: You killed it! Did... did you /see/ that? You killed it! Rosemary: Sorry about the vase. Now, it seems to me the first order of business would be installing a Mortimer-proof lock on this 'basement door'.

Monday, July 28, 2003
[[A room in the Mansion. Pictures are visible on the wall behind.]] Mortimer: What happened? What did I miss? Sylvester: Rosemary killed a basement monster! Mortimer: Oh, boy. Sylvester: And you know what this means... Rosemary: No, what? [[Sylvester and Mortimer turn to stare at Rosemary.]] Rosemary: What? Did I break some kind of taboo? Oh, no... it wasn't your /pet/, was it? Mortimer: IT MEANS GOOD EATIN' TONIGHT! Sylvester: LET'S GET THIS BABY DOWN TO THE KITCHEN!

Tuesday, July 29, 2003
[[A room in the Mansion. Pictures are visible on the wall behind.]] Rosemary: HOLD IT! Sylvester: Something wrong? Rosemary: Yes, something's wrong! You're actually going to /eat/ this disgusting thing? Are you both insane? Rosemary: I mean, look at it! It's hideous! It's repellant! We should derag it out and... um... bury it... or... It /is/ awfully big, isn't it? [[The three are in a large dining room, eating the cooked monster.]] Rosemary: Big, and surprisingly tasty. Mortimer: Once you've tried 'free-range' monster, you never go badk. Care for another helping of tendril?

Wednesday, July 30, 2003
[[A kitchen in the Mansion. Rosemary comes upon Sylvester chopping up the remainder of the Dornbeast's corpse.]] Rosemary: What ARE you doing? Sylvester: Dealing with the rest of the monster. Sylvester: The meat gets salted or frozen. The fat, we turn into candles. The hide, leather for clothes. Bones will make good building material. Rosemary: That's very... thrifty... of you. Sylvester: Times are tight. We'll try to use every last piece of it. [[Rosemary looks down and picks out a particularly odd-looking remnent of the Dornbeast, holding it by thumb and forefinger.]] Rosemary: So what are you going to do with /this/ piece? Sylvester: Sell it to Old Man Larssen. Lives on the far side of the village. Rosemary: Do I want to know what /he'll/ do with it? Sylvester: I can't speak for you, but /I/ certainly don't want to know.

Thursday, July 31, 2003
[[A kitchen in the Mansion.]] Rosemary: No offense, Sylvester, but... you're really going to tan leather and dip candles? Sylvester: I said I was, didn't ? Rosemary: It's just... you don't strike me as being... well... Sylvester: Willing to stoop to physical labor? That's where you're wrong. I am /not/ afraid to get my hands dirty! Rosemary: OK, OK. Fine. I'll leave you to it. Sylvester: Goodnight. [[Sylvester drops a batch of the Dornbeast's remains into the intake hopper of "LUDWIG'S AUTOMAGIC BASEMENT MONSTER BONER/SKINNER/TANNER/TALLOW-EXTRACTION MACHINE(tm)."]] Sylvester [thinking]: I swear, some people...

Friday, August 1, 2003
[[A room in the Mansion. A rectangular pool of water is visible in the background]] Mortimer: Good morning, Sylvester. Sylvester: Morning, Mortimer. Mortimer: Sylvester, you never answered my question last night. Sylvester: (sigh) What question was that? [[Rosemary comes into view, chasing a variety of unusual vermin with a large broom.]] Rosemary: OUT! SHOO! SCAT! Oh, there you two are... Rosemary: I think that's the last of them. Now if we're going to get this place ship-shape, we're all going to have to pitch in. Here is a list of your chores. Rosemary: And since you're not afraid of getting your hands dirty, you can start by removing that shark from that wading pool. Talk to you later. Mortimer: Can we keep her? Please? Sylvester: Oh, all right. But it's /your/ responsibility to make sure she's been house trained, and to take her for walks.

Monday, August 4, 2003
[[A man-sized pot or urn is in the background]] Mortimer: Take care of a shark? Shouldn't we maybe get Rosemary's help? I mean, she did-- Sylvester: She hasn't even been here two days! I am /not/ going to start running to her every time there's a problem! Sylvester: I'm still the head of this household! I can take care of these things! Sylvester: Besides, it's an animal, and I hate animals. We've been letting them get away with too much around here. It's time to KICK SOME SHARK BUTT!! Mortimer: Do sharks even /have/ butts? Sylvester: We'll /find/ something to kick. Move it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2003
[[Rosemary is measuring a large glass-paned window; trees and bits of wall are visible beyond.]] Rosemary: You've removed the shark from the pool already? Sylvester: The shark is out of the pool. It was not a challenge for men of our caliber. [[Mortimer runs past outside the window, screaming.]] Rosemary: "Of our caliber"? And what's /that/ supposed to mean? Sylvester: Didn't you know? We're nobility. I personally am the 23rd Earl of E. Rosemary: Nobility? Earl? You /are/ aware of what century you are living in, aren't you? Sylvester: Well, yes. It is true that the office hasn't held any real power for several generations now. [[A giant shark's fin goes past outside the window, pursuing Mortimer.]] Rosemary: So why are we even having this conversation? Sylvester: Except possibly for a certain power of fascination and distraction.

Wednesday, August 6, 2003
[[Behind is a large glass-paned window; trees and bits of wall are visable beyond. A suit of armor, with a large E on the shield.]] Rosemary: Well, as much fun as this has been, I think we're done here. How do we ge-- Sylvester: What's with the tape measure? [[Mortimer can just be see in the distance, running and screaming.]] Rosemary: Sorry? Sylvester: Why are you measuring the windows? Are you going to put up curtains? Rosemary: Oh. Oh no. I was thinking shutters. Heavy. Wooden. Sylvester: Shutters? Yeah, I can see that. We get some nasty storms off the ocean in the winter. Rosemary [thinking]: Storms? Sylvester: You should see how hard the wind gets to whipping through the pine trees in the forest sometimes...

Thursday, August 7, 2003
[[Behind is a large glass-paned window; trees and bits of wall are visable beyond. A suit of armor, with a large E on the shield.]] Rosemary: How do we get back to our living quarters from here? Sylvester: This way, I believe... [[Walking down a wallpapered hallway.]] Rosemary: I keep getting turned around. This place is so huge... Sylvester: You can live a lifetime here and not see it all. I should know. Sylvester: In fact, my family has always had a little saying: you can get anywhere you want from here, if you're willing to walk far enough. [[A new window, which shows a tropical-type scene, including a parrot and palm trees.]] Rosemary: Sylvester, that's true no matter where you live. Sylvester: Ah, but here, you have access to air-conditioning and indoor plumbing for the entire trip!

Friday, August 8, 2003
[[A stone-lined passage leading off a hallway.]] Sylvester: Oh, hey! I didn't realize where we are! You'll want to see this... Rosemary: See what? [[Climbing steps.]] Rosemary: Where are we going? Sylvester: Almost there! Rosemary: All right, what's so important that--oh my. [[Zoom out to show the Mansion of E in all its enormity.]] Rosemary: So... we really do live in a mansion... Sylvester: 'Fraid so.

Monday, August 11, 2003
[[On top one of the Mansion's towers.]] Rosemary: It was almost dark when I came here. I didn't realize how bit it all... You can see for miles! Sylvester: Yes. Sylvester: And time was... My family owned it all. The forest, the port, the farms, everything in the valley... Rosemary: But now you don't. So what happened? [[Sylvester shrugs helplessly.]] Sylvester: Don't let this get out, but straight heredity may not be the best criteria ever used by a people when it came time to select their leaders. Rosemary: I'll take your secret to my grave.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003
[[On top one of the Mansion's towers.]] Rosemary: So... You're saying that you lost all of your family's money? Sylvester: Oh no. The wealth and the power were all long gone before I came on the scene. [[A small fishing village can be seen in the distance]] Sylvester: Things had been going downhill for a long time, but it was 20th Earl, a man named Philbert, who really finished the job. Rosemary: Oh? Sylvester: Following generations of greed, cruelty, and/or stupidity, he spent almost the entire fortune attampting to house orphans and save old-growth timber. Sylvester: I find that I have mixed feelings about ol' Philbert... Rosemary: I can imagine.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003
[[On top one of the Mansion's towers.]] Rosemary: So in the end your family went from being a race of conquerors to a collection of goofball slackers and pseudo-intellectual twits? Sylvester: Hey, it's a step up! [[Sylvester smiles for a bit..]] [[..then realizes he has been insulted.]] Sylvester: OK, I'll give you the 'twit', but I am /not/ a PSEUDO-intellectual! Rosemary: I stand corrected.

Thursday, August 14, 2003
[[Sylvester and Rosemary on a turret, overlooking the countryside.]] Sylvester: So, Rosemary, now that you know our life story, what's yours? How did you come to b-- Rosemary: HEY! Sylvester: What? Rosemary: I just realized! We're directly over the main gate here! Sylvester: Yes? So? Rosemary: Don't you see? Once we get the moat cleaned out and the walls repaired, an attacking army would have to come through directly below us to reach the gate! We could dump boiling oil on them! Let's get ourselves a pot and set it all up! Sylvester: I don't /want/ to hear your life story, do I? Rosemary: Why are you just standing there? C'mon! Where do you keep the pots?

Friday, August 15, 2003
[[On top one of the Mansion's towers.]] Sylvester: HOLD IT! Rosemary: Is there a problem? Sylvester: Of course there's a problem! Sylvester: Pouring oil on an invading army? Killing a monster with a vase? What is the /matter/ with you? Sylvester: I DEMAND that-- Rosemary: It would also work on bill collectors and door-to-door salesmen. [[Sylvester stops short in mid-rant.]] Sylvester: I'll show you where we keep the pots. Rosemary: Glad to hear it. Mortimer (from off-screen): AIEEEE!!! Sylvester: OH, FOR PITY'S SAKE, MORTIMER! JUST CLIMB A TREE OR SOMETHING! {{Evidently, Mortimer is still being pursued by the shark.}}

Monday, August 18, 2003
[[Rosemary and Sylvester stand at the far end of a long hallway lined with doors.]] Rosemary: What's all this? Sylvester: Storage. Our family has always carried a strong strain of pack-rat... [[Rosemary turns to look at a door labeled "Pointy Stick Room".]] Sylvester: Let's see... been ages since I was last down here... [[Rosemary opens the door and is nearly impaled by a large number of pointy sticks.]] Sylvester: Oh, before I forget. You might want to stay out of the Pointy Stick Room. Rosemary: "Stay out of the Pointy Stick Room." Right. Got it. {{The door in the last panel is labeled "Pieces of String Too Short To Use".}}

Tuesday, August 19, 2003
[[Sylvester and Rosemary walk past a door labeled "FRED".]] [[The door is slammed open by a large scruffy-looking bearded man wielding a battle-axe.]] Frederick: THAT'S /IT/! I'VE HAD IT UP TO //HERE// WITH YOU PEOPLE! I'M GONNA-- I'm gonna... Frederick: Oh. It's you, Sylvester. Terribly sorry. I thought you were someone else. [[Frederick returns to his room, shutting the door behind him.]] Sylvester: Rosemary, say hello to my Great-Uncle Frederick. Rosemary: Hello, Great-Uncle Frederick.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003
[[{{The door in panel 1 is labeled "Stones-- Gaul, Gob, Rolling".}} Rosemary: So, when you said that you and Mortimer lived "more or less" alone... Sylvester: I didn't know that Frederick was here. He tends to come and go... Sylvester: And when he goes, he tends to go, and go, and... Rosemary: Go? Sylvester: Yeah. Rosemary: And who is he so... miffed... at? [[Amos Grubb bursts out of his own room, which is labeled THE NEIGHBORS]] Sylvester: Oh, probably the neighbors again. Amos: HEY! We're not the ones playing our zarking Fugehorn at all hours of the night and day!

Thursday, August 21, 2003
[[We see a door labeled "FRED".]] [[Frederick opens the door and looks worriedly out into the corridor.]] Woman Of Mystery: What is it? What's the matter now? Frederick: That was a /girl/ with Sylvester just now. Woman Of Mystery: A girl. With /Sylvester/? You're obviously seeing things again, you old goat. Woman of Mystery: Come to bed. [[The door shuts again.]] ((click))

Friday, August 22, 2003
[[Sylvester and Rosemary pass by an alcove containing a mysterious device on a pedestal. The device has a digital display and various changing lights on the front.]] Sylvester: Anyway. The pots should be right down here... Rosemary: Uh.. Sylvester? What's this? ((click)) Sylvester: We don't know. Our family didn't originally build the mansion, and a few things were already here when we.. uh.. moved in. This... was one of them. ((click)) Rosemary: It's counting down. Sylvester: Yes. ((click)) Rosemary: What happens at zero? Sylvester: Personally, I plan to be out of town that week. ((click))

Monday, August 25, 2003
[[Rosemary and Sylvester are in the alcove of the Mysterious Clicking Device]] Rosemary: That's your plan for dealing with this? Just leave town when it's scheduled to hit zero? Sylvester: Essentially, yes. ((click)) Rosemary: That's ridiculous. Let's at least take it /outside/. Then we can come back and get that pot. ((click)) Sylvester: ROSEMARY! NO! Picking it up might set it off! [[The device shocks Rosemary severely.]] ((CLICK)) Sylvester: Or possibly just set off some kind of defense mechanism. You know, Rosemary, I'm starting to detect... well... a certain /impulsive/ aspect to your character. ((click)) Rosemary (from the floor): Aruba. Let's go to Aruba.

Monday, August 25, 2003
[[Rosemary and Sylvester are in the alcove of the Mysterious Clicking Device]] Rosemary: That's your plan for dealing with this? Just leave town when it's scheduled to hit zero? Sylvester: Essentially, yes. ((click)) Rosemary: That's ridiculous. Let's at least take it /outside/. Then we can come back and get that pot. ((click)) Sylvester: ROSEMARY! NO! Picking it up might set it off! [[The device shocks Rosemary severely.]] ((CLICK)) Sylvester: Or possibly just set off some kind of defense mechanism. You know, Rosemary, I'm starting to detect... well... a certain /impulsive/ aspect to your character. ((click)) Rosemary (from the floor): Aruba. Let's go to Aruba.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003
[[Rosemary and Sylvester are in the alcove of the Mysterious Ticking Device]] Sylvester: Aruba? You want to go to Aruba right now? Rosemary: Of course not. I meant when this thing hits zero. Now, let's go get that pot. ((click)) Sylvester: Um.. you sure you're all right? That was a nasty jolt that-- Rosemary: I'm fine. Lead on. I'm right behind you. ((click)) ((click)) [[Rosemary addresses the device.]] Rosemary: You realize of course that this is NOT over. ((particularly smug click))

Wednesday, August 27, 2003
[[Sylvester and Rosemary stand in front of a door labeled "POT ROOM"]] Sylvester: Ah.. here we are. I think. Rosemary: "You think?" This is going to be an indoor marijuana farm, isn't it? [[They are looking out from a small balcony high up on the wall. The room proves to contain nothing but a single, unbelievably enormous pot.]] Rosemary: Just say no. Sylvester: "Pots Room!" That's right, we need the /Pots/ Room...

Thursday, August 28, 2003
[[A hallway in the Mansion.]] Sylvester: Sorry about that. Rosemary: No problem. Sylvester: The room we need is right down here. Rosemary: OK. [[They continue walking for three panels, as Rosemary becomes silently but visibly aggravated. Doors are labelled "Dandelion Wine" and "Ersatz Sphagnum"]] Sylvester: Better break down and ask, or you'll burst. Rosemary: How the /fratz/ did you get that pot into that room? [[The door in the last panel is labeled "Shoes & Ships & Ceiling Wax".]]

Friday, August 29, 2003
[[A hallway in the Mansion. A door is labeled "Backstories"]] Rosemary: So how DID you get the pot into that room? Sylvester: It was Angus, the 16th Earl. Sylvester: He captured it while battling our arch-nemesis, the Mansion of S. It was some kind of sacred relic... or something. They drug [sic] it all the way back here and built the room around it. Angus would come down late at night and gloat over it. [[Insets show the giant pot being brought back to E as a spoil of war, and the room being constructed around it.]] Rosemary: This Angus sounds like a fun-- Wait. "Arch-nemesis?" Don't we have enough trouble already, without having one of those? Sylvester: Oh, no. That's all over with now. Rosemary: Oh. Well, that's good to hear... Sylvester [thinking]: Man, is it over...

Monday, September 1, 2003
[[A hallway in the Mansion. The door in the background has a partially visible label: "Back -round -etails"]] Rosemary: So /this/ is the Pots Room? Sylvester: Oh, no... Sylvester: This is just the room where we get the stuff we need to get to the Pots Room. [[Rosemary glares at the mining helmet Sylvester has handed her.]] Sylvester: What's the matter? I can't believe that /you'd/ be wimping out at this point. Rosemary: Actually, I was wondering why MY miner's helmet looks like a propeller beanie. Sylvester: Oh. Right. That one belongs to Mortimer. I'll see what else we've got...

Tuesday, September 2, 2003
[[Sylvester is tossing things out of a closet, including a sneechstick, a shield and a fleeb.]] Sylvester: There has to be /something/ in here that you can use... No... No, that won't do... Sylvester: Wait... What do we have here... [[There's a cute dead critter floating in a jar of liquid on the shelf above Sylvester's head. On other side of him is a faint enigmatic figure inside a snowglobe]] [[Sylvester hands Rosemary a mining helmet with little wings mounted on it.]] Sylvester: Try /this/ on for size... Rosemary: I like it. Sylvester: I thought maybe you would.

Wednesday, September 3, 2003
[[Rosemary has acquired a sword and shield. Sylvester is putting on a pack]] Rosemary: All right. I have to ask. Sylvester: Yes? Rosemary: Out of all these zarking storage rooms, why is the only one which appears to contain things which are even remotely useful also the only one not to be labeled? Sylvester: Ah, that's so we can always find it when we need it. It's totally unique, isn't it? Shall we be off? Rosemary: Uh.. right. Sure. Rosemary [thinking]: Was that really profound, or really really stupid?

Thursday, September 4, 2003
Rosemary: So we're /really/ going to the Pots Room? Sylvester: We're on our way. This time for sure. [[The background wall is clearly labeled "POST NO BILLS", and there are several signs labeled "BILL" pasted on it.]] Sylvester: The door to the basement is just down there, and after that, we-- Uh... [[There are several hard-to-read signs on the wall. One of them reads in part "All hail the.." and features single bloodshot eye]] Rosemary: What's wrong now? Sylvester: You are aware that we are risking our lives to get something we can buy in five minutes down at the World O' Pots in the village? [[The large sign on the background wall says "PHALLIC OBJECT"]] Rosemary: /I/ don't have any money to buy a pot. Do you? Sylvester: Broke /and/ insane! You just may fit in around here after all... Onward! [[One of the signs on the background wall shows a pair of eyes and the legend "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU." The other appears to be a passage from Alfred Tennyson's poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade".]]

Friday, September 5, 2003
[[Mortimer is still running for his life, pursued by the shark. Two Nomes (sic), Frotz and Gnusto, watch the chase from their perch on a tree limb.]] Mortimer: YAHHH!!! Frotz: Lemme tellya, I've had days like that. Gnusto: I hear ya. [[Gnusto has a realization.]] Gnusto: You talkin' about the shark, or that goofy-lookin' thing he was chasin'?

Monday, September 8, 2003
[[Standing in front a large wooden door.]] Rosemary: So this door leads to a basement full of monsters? I'm surprised you didn't board it up or something. Sylvester: Well, it's complicated, you see-- Comshaw's voice: Hello? Sylvester: Yes? Comshaw: Sorry to intrude, but I needed to ask... did a giant monster possibly come this way? Slavering fangs? Bloodshot eyes? Rosemary: We killed it and we ate it. Comshaw: You ki-- Ah. I see. Thank you. Good day. [[Somewhere underground. There is a stalagmite in the background.]] Niddle: They did WHAT? Camora: Why haven't you boarded up that door? Comshaw: Well... it's complicated, you see...

Tuesday, September 9, 2003
[[Somewhere underground. There are stalagmites and stalactites.]] Camora: "Complicated"? Whadda mean, it's complicated?! Camora: Whatever those things are, they are clearly dangerous, and must be dealt with! Cornshaw: Well, yes. And I'm going inform the Council right now that there are-- Camora: The Council? HA! Camora: /I'm/ going to get someone who can /really/ help! Niddle: They killed it and ate it?

Wednesday, September 10, 2003
[[Comshaw is using an aurilnode.]] Comshaw: Hello?... Oh, hello. This is Comshaw... Yes... My report? Um. You know those creatures living up top? They might be /humans/ after all. I... What? Comshaw: You already knew. But how... I see. Yes. What are you--... Oh. Yes. Of course... Yes. Thank you. Goodbye. Comshaw [thinking]: They're going to "handle it." They're going to handle it, and Camora's gone to get someone who can "really help." Niddle: THEY KILLED AND ATE A /DORNBEAST/! Comshaw & Niddle: We have to get out of here!

Thursday, September 11, 2003
[[Beside the door to the Basement of the Mansion.]] Rosemary: Wait... that was a gnoll! Sylvester: Yes. Rosemary: Gnolls don't talk! They grunt! They live in burrows and root for worms! Sylvester: Huh. Maybe where you come from. Here, they talk. [[Rosemary and Sylvester stare at each other.]] Rosemary: Do they at least eat worms? Sylvester (leaving): You know, it's funny, but I've never had the slightest urge to find out.

Friday, September 12, 2003
[[Inside Comshaw, Niddle and Camora's home. A shelf with various objects. A Pronged Device. A portrait of a Gnoll. A sketchy diagram of a Human.]] Niddle: Where can we go that's safe? Comshaw: We'll go to my cousin Louch's place, out in the forest. He owes me enough favors. [[Comshaw puts a fleeb in a backpack]] Niddle: The forest? I've never been out in the forest. Comshaw: It's not as dangerous as they say. As long as you stay out of certain areas. And keep out of the sun. {{This is the second appearance of a fleeb.}} Niddle: It's not that... Comshaw: (sigh) What's the problem, Niddle? Niddle: They say they still eat /worms/ out in the forest. Comshaw: Right. Good point. They /are/ a bunch of hicks out there. Go pack a box of beetles to take along.

Monday, September 15, 2003
[[Niddle: Comshaw, how are we going to get outside? If we go through the Sneeches' territory, we-- Comshaw: Oh, no. We're not going /that/ way. There's an alternate route. I use it all the time. C'mon. [[Comshaw locks his door.]] ((clik)) [[Niddle looks scared, and Comshaw glares at him over his shoulder. The sign over the door reads "Comshaw: Registered Poker"]] Comshaw: It'll be /fine/, Niddle. At the very least there won't be any /humans/ out in the forest stirring up trouble. Niddle: Yeah. OK. [[We see Mortimer hiding behind a tree, still trying to evade the shark.]]

Tuesday, September 16, 2003
[[Beyond the door to the Basement.]] Rosemary: So anyway. What now? Sylvester: From here, we really only have two choices. [[A very sinster-looking archway, with flames spouting behind it.]] Sylvester: We can either go through that archway there, fight our way down past the territory of the Sneeches, find a way acroass the Great Chasm and the River of Fire, and finally answer the Three Great Riddles... Rosemary: Or? Sylvester: I almost hesitate to mention this option, but we could also take... [[A very ordinary-looking elevator door, with a plant to one side in a pot.]] Sylvester: The elevator.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003
[[Standing in front of a sinister archway.]] Rosemary: You said there's a colony of Sneeches down there? Which kind, slate or chalk? Sylvester: Alabaster, actually... Rosemary: /Alabaster?/ Those aren't the ones that breathe fire, are they? Sylvester: That's /charcoal/. The alabaster all have six arms, and those eye-beams. Rosemary: I see. And is that a /real/ Anti-Sneech Stick you've got there, or just a cheap knock-off? Sylvester: Well... Um... Rosemary: OK. Now I /really/ have to see this elevator of yours. Sylvester: (sigh) Somehow, I was afraid that you were you were going to say that... [[Sylvester tosses the Anti-Sneech Stick over his shoulder.]]

Thursday, September 18, 2003
[[Standing in front of the Elevator.]] Rosemary: OK, out with it. What's so awful about this elevator? Sylvester: Technically, there's nothing wrong with the /elevator/. It's-- [[The elevator door opens, revealing The Operator.]] ((PING)) [[The Operator looks Sylvester and Rosemary over.]] The Operator: Going... DOWN? Sylvester: I imagine you can pretty much figure out what is wrong.

Friday, September 19, 2003
[[Standing in front of the Elevator.]] The Operator: As I said... GOING DOWN? Rosemary: You're trying to intimidate us, aren't you? [[The Operator's head swells to enormous size, pushing its way out of the frame.]] The Operator: YES Rosemary: It's not working. The Operator: Well.... rats. Sylvester: urk

Monday, September 22, 2003
[[Inside the Elevator.]] Rosemary: Nice elevator you have here. The Operator: The finest in the Mansion. Which floor, please? Rosemary: Floor? Uh.. Sylvester? Which floor do we want? [[Sylvester is cowering in the corner.]] Rosemary: Wow. You even made his eyes look like yours. The Operator: I got this way because I practiced too much in the mirror. [[The sign on the wall reads "Welcome to The Elevator. Operator #6426236. No littering. No spitting. No talking. No running. No folksinging. No split infinitives. No putting the cart before the horse. No warranties expressed or implied. Don't forget to tip. Have a nice day. Do not read this sign."]]

Tuesday, September 23, 2003
[[Inside the Elevator.]] Rosemary: ((sigh)) Looks like we're gonna be here for a while... Rosemary: I don't suppose you have a pack of cards or something? [[The Operator holds up a pack of cards.]] Rosemary: You find yourself in this situation every day, do you? The Operator: Actually, no. You are the first riders I've had in over three months.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003
[[Somewhere in the Basement.]] Comshaw: Say... look over there. It's "Digger" Odel. ((CHUNK CHUNK CHUNK)) Comshaw: HEY, DIGGER! ((CHUNK CHU--)) [[Comshaw and Niddle watch]] [[A helmet topped with a candle appears at the bottom of the panel. A pickaxe is visible as well.]] ((shuffle shuffle shuffle)) Niddle: Howzit going? Comshaw: He's feelin' mighty low. Digger: I'm feelin' mighty low.

Thursday, September 25, 2003
[[Somewhere in the Basement.]] Niddle: How did you know he's feelin' mighty low? Comshaw: Digger's always feelin' mighty low. What seems to be the problem today, Digger? Digger: Can't get into the forest. Comshaw: What? The tunnel's gone? It can't be. After all, /you/ helped dig it! Digger: New guard. Wouldn't let me by. Comshaw: New guard? The Council didn't hire any "new guard" for the tunnel. Digger: He twas most insistent. Comshaw: C'mon, you two. We're going to get to the bottom of this! Niddle: Can't we just stay on top? Digger: Bottom's not so bad once you get used to it.

Friday, September 26, 2003
[[Inside the Elevator.]] Rosemary: No riders for three months? You didn't just bring a gnoll up here? The Operator: A gnoll? No, I"m afraid not. Rosemary: How about a giant tentacled monster with bloodshot eyes and slavering fangs? The Operator? A dornbeast? Certainly not. I run a decent elevator here. Rosemary: The monster /might/ have made it, but there's no way a single gnoll could get past a colony of sneeches. The Operator: I agree. Not even remotely likely. Rosemary: So how did they get upstairs? The Operator: Anything is possible. It is a strange and wonderful world in which we live. Do you have any threes?

Monday, September 29, 2003
[[Inside the Elevator.]] Rosemary: So what's /your/ story? The Operator: My story? Rosemary: You said you never have any riders. So why do you keep doing this job? (And do you have any jacks?) The Operator: Would you believe that I have been cursed? Rosemary: Cursed? [[The Operator poses dramatically]] The Operator: Yes. I ran afoul of a powerful human wizard. He cruelly doomed me to an eternity of staring at these four walls. Trapped in this tiny box. Alone for all time. Rosemary: Um... to answer your question, no. I wouldn't believe it. The Operator: You know, you are absolutely no fun at all. I stay for the health and dental benefits. Go fish.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003
[[Inside the Elevator.]] Rosemary: A dental plan. /You/ are part of a dental plan. The Operator: Oh yes. You should have seen my teeth /before/ they were repaired. They worked on my eyes as well. Rosemary: After you broke them practicing in the mirror. The Operator: Yes. [[Sylvester's eyes refocus]] Rosemary: I dunno. There's definitely still something... uh... [[Sylvester glances at the Operator and Rosemary]] Rosemary: Swimming... swimming around in...Swimming... The Operator: Yesss.

Wednesday, October 1, 2003
[[((swimming)) [[Inside the Elevator. The Operator has a hypnotized Rosemary wrapped up in his tail]] The Operator: Thaaat's better. [[The Operator's eyes]] ((swimming)) The Operator: You're /just/ what I've been looking for, Miss Ripley. ((sleeeping)) ((going down)) The Operator: I think we will have fun aft-- ((GOING D--)) ((spell-breaking CLANG!!!)) [[Sylvester is holding a frying pan. The Operator is on the floor, only his tail visible.]] Rosemary: Syl... Sylvester? What just happened? Sylvester: You /truly/ learned what's wrong with this elevator.

Thursday, October 2, 2003
[[Inside the Elevator.]] Rosemary: You killed him. Did you see that? You killed him. Sylvester: No. I mean, he's only knocked out. [[Close-up of the frying pan.]] Sylvester: And it wasn't really me. It was the frying pan; it's made of cold-forged iron. That's only thing that can really hurt him. Or at least the only thing we've found. [[Sylvester's finger pushing a button on the elevator control panel]] Sylvester: He'll be out for hours now, but I suspect that he /can't/ be killed. For good. So let's not linger. ((PING)) Sylvester: Like the man said... GOING DOWN! Rosemary: You can make your words creepy? The best I can do is FUNKY. [[The font the characters use change on the capitalized words.]]

Friday, October 3, 2003
[[In the Forest of E]] Mortimer: It's still after me... Gotta find a tree to climb... Killer Tree: Psst. Hey, Buddy! Mortimer: What? Killer Tree: Climb /me/! Climb me and I'll be your friend! Mortimer: Gee, that'd be great! I'm sure-- HEY!! Mortimer: I'm not climbing /you/! You're one of those /killer/ trees! Mortimer: AIGH! [[Mortimer is gone, the shark fin cruises into the shot. Tree has sprouted various weapons.]] Killer Tree: Zark it. Somehow, they can always tell. Psst, shark, I'll be your-- oh, never mind.

Monday, October 6, 2003
[[Somewhere in the Basement.]] Comshaw: Wait up. We should let Digger catch up with us. Niddle: He's really slow. Would he get mad if I just carried him? Comshaw: No, I'm sure he wouldn't mind.. [[Comshaw waits expectantly.]] ((!!!)) [[Comshaw looks down at Niddle on the floor.]] Comshaw: ..but he's a great deal heavier than he appears. Digger: Almost had it there, lad. Try again? Niddle: Back... broken...

Tuesday, October 7, 2003
[[Somewhere in the Basement.]] Comshaw: Your back's not broken, Niddle. Hold still. Niddle: nngh... [[Comshaw pokes Niddle in the back with his stick.]] Niddle: GAH! ((POKE)) [[Niddle gets up, looking slightly dazed.]] Niddle: It's fixed! I.. thanks... Comshaw: No problem. Niddle: He really is a good Poker, isn't he? Digger: Lad, he's the best there is.

Wednesday, October 8, 2003
[[Inside the Elevator]] Rosemary: You weren't faking the terror-induced paralysis. I could tell. So how-- Sylvester: Well... Sylvester: He always finds a way to get you in the end. Always. And he too can usually tell whenever you're "faking". So I had to.. ah.. let myself go, and hope that you'd keep his interest /and/ hold him off long enough for me to recover. Then I could launch a surprise attack when he was least expecting it. This was actually easier than usual, because you're a new.. distraction.. and took up most of his attention. Rosemary: Oh. Rosemary: You... you do realize that you're still a twit, right? Sylvester: (sigh) Yes.

Thursday, October 9, 2003
[[Inside the Elevator]] Rosemary: So what did he mean about my being what he's been looking for? Sylvester: It wasn't anything... um... Maybe he thinks you can somehow help him to escape. Rosemary: Escape? Sylvester: He was trapped here by a powerful wizard. The cage-frame is cold-forged iron. [[Rosemary looks down at The Operator for a long moment.]] Rosemary: He was telling the truth. Sylvester: Well, that IS one of the hallmarks of a truly world-class liar.

Friday, October 10, 2003
[[Rosemary stares down at The Operator]] Sylvester: A penny for your thoughts. Rosemary: He's unconscious and he's trapped in here. Sylvester: Yes. Rosemary: Absolutely no chance he might escape. Sylvester: No. [[Rosemary stares some more]] Sylvester (holding up frying pan): We could hit him again "just to be sure". Rosemary: (sigh) No. Leave him alone.

Monday, October 13, 2003
[[In the Forest of E]] Mortimer: Are (gasp) /you/ a (pant) killer tree? [[Mortimer looks at the tree, over his shoulder, then back at the tree.]] [[Mortimer begins climbing the tree.]] Mortimer (thinking): At least it won't talk me to death..

Tuesday, October 14, 2003
[[ [[In the elevator.]] Sylvester: Rosemary... you know if you're no longer up to doing this, we should turn back, try some other-- ((ping!)) [[The elevator door opens, revealing a large Troglodyte.]] Troglodyte: Fresh Meat.. [[Rosemary decapitates the Trog with her sword.]] ((SNICKERSNACK)) {{The sound effect is an homage to Lewis Carroll's poem "The Jabberwocky"}} Rosemary: I'll live. Sylvester: Glad to hear it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003
[[Somewhere in the Basement]] Camora: !&%^' fratzing idiots. %^#! running around loose... [[Camora approaches a door labeled "Nevus".]] [[Cut to inside the door, where we see an Eyebolt sitting at a reception desk. An aurilnode sits next to him.]] [[Camora enters the room.]] ((SLAM)) Faldstool (not looking up): Hello, Camora. Camora: Where's Nevus? I want to talk to him, NOW!

Thursday, October 16, 2003
[[Inside Nevus's office.]] Camora: I /said/, where's Nevus? I know you people's butts become permanently attached to their seats, but let's try and get a move on here! Faldstool: Unfortunately, Camora, Mr. Nevus is currently unavailable. Camora: UNAVAILABLE? Don't give me that! What hole has the little worm crawled into /now/? {{Behind her is a fleeb suspended inside a glass jar and a statue of a large snake.}} [[Two adult Trogs appear from someplace, flanking Taldstool.]] Taldstool: Mr. Nevus is /unavailable/.

Friday, October 17, 2003
[[Inside Nevus's office.]] Faldstool: Now then... Faldstool: I'll tell Mr. Nevus you stopped by. /Briefly/. [[Camora glares at Faldstool.]] Camora: Fine. I'll just have to stop the rampaging humans /on my own/. [[Camora stalks out.]] ((SLAM)) Mulch & Grind: WHOO Mulch: I wuz scared that Miz Camora wuz gonna get /really/ mad. Grind: Yeah, I hate it when she yells at us. Faldstool: Mulch? Grind? Please go away.

Monday, October 20, 2003
[[A cavern-like chamber with stalagtites]] Rosemary: Lovely. So where do we go from-- ((SPLORK!)) Rosemary: What's that? Sylvester: Relax. It's just the Weirdo Who Lives In The Attic. ((NARF!)) Rosemary: The weirdo who... Sylvester: ...Lives In The Attic. Yes. ((WOOGA!)) Rosemary: OK. For now, I'm going to skip over certain worrying aspects of that statement and proceed directly to the point that we are currently in the basement. ((WOO HOO HOO!!)) Sylvester: He's slumming.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003
[[A cavern under the Mansion]] Sylvester: You want to meet the Weirdo? It sounds like he's just over here... Rosemary: Sure. Why not. Sylvester: Weirdo? You here? Hello? ...looks like he's gone. Rosemary: You call him "Weirdo" to his face? Sylvester: Of course. That's his name. Rosemary: What, "Weirdo Who Lives In The Attic" is his /real/ name? Sylvester: Yes. Well, OK, I suppose that-- Rosemary: The bullies on the playground sure must have loved /that/ when he was growing up.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003
[[ [[A cavern under the Mansion]] Rosemary: I interrupted you. What were you just saying? Sylvester: Oh... Sylvester: I was thinking, maybe the Weirdo does have a "real" name... Sylvester: It's just he's been here a long time, and from the very moment he arrived he insisted that we always refer to him as The Weirdo Who Lives In The Attic. Rosemary: He did? Sylvester: Uh huh. Dedication to his craft. That was one of the main reasons the family hired him. ((clunk))

Thursday, October 23, 2003
[[A tunnel under the Mansion.]] Rosemary: You.. hired... the Weirdo Who Lives In The Attic. Sylvester: Yes, of course. Sylvester: What? All the best families used to have Weirdos In The Attic. Didn't you know? Rosemary: No. I did not know that. Obviously I need to spend more time with the best families. Sylvester: Obviously. Rosemary: Why didn't you just give the job to Frederick and save yourself a few simoleons? Sylvester: And have the Weirdo Guild all over my ass? /Nooo/ thank you.

Friday, October 24, 2003
[[A tunnel under the Mansion.]] Rosemary: So how did the Weirdo get past the Operator? Or the Sneeches? Sylvester: Whatever he did, it won't help us... [[A dark figure spies on them]] Sylvester: He seems to have an understanding with... well.. all sorts of people... [[The Weirdo emerges into the light, watching them leave.]] Rosemary: A /weird/ sort of understanding? Sylvester: You're catching on. Let's get that pot. [[The Weirdo speaks to his handpuppet]] Fantod: They came down here just ta gedda zarkin' pot? Whadda couple of weirdos! Weirdo: Now, now, Fantod. If it means that we are no longer harassed by bill collectors and door-to-door salesmen, it will have been worth it.

Monday, October 27, 2003
Comshaw: Well, here's the tunnel. Niddle: I don't.. um.. see any guard. Comshaw: The tunnel has two branches. One goes.. up. I came back through it just now. The other goes out. To the forest. I assume that's where the guard was, Digger? Digger: Aye. Niddle: Why did the Council dig it? Comshaw: Niddle, I've /explained/ this to you before. We're all hemmed in down here. We need more /room/. Comshaw: We've got the Sea to the east, everyone's dug down into the Hot Zone as far as they can. The Chasm and the River have us cut off to the north. And with all the taboo and undiggable areas.. if we don't find more space.. There's going to be another war.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003
[[Nitfol watches impassively as Mortimer climbs up towards his level in a tree.]] Nitfol: Heya Mortimer: YAHHH!! [[Nitfol knocks the ashes out of his pipe.]] Nitfol: Sorry Mortimer: No... No... That's all right... [[Tentacles crawl into the scene]] Nitfol: Don't get many like /you/ up here. What brings you by? Mortimer: I was being chased by a shark. Nitfol: Ah Mortimer: 'Ah'? Sharks can't climb, can they? Nitfol: Nope. No sharks up here. Nitfol: The tree squids on the other hand /may/ pose a problem... Mortimer: AAAaaeeiiiipphmm..

Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Sylvester: This next bit... it's a little tricky. Rosemary: Tricky? How so? [[They go down a long staircase. A sign on the wall reads "If you can read this you are far too close"]] Sylvester: It'll be easier just to show you. First, we go down here... Sylvester: Then we hide /here/ for exactly 42 seconds, after which we proceed through that arch and the room beyond. Rosemary: Hide? Why do we ha-- Duplicate Sylvester: This next bit... [[Rosemary covertly watches the duplicates.]] Duplicate Sylvester:'s a little tricky. Duplicate Rosemary: Tricky? How so?

Thursday, October 30, 2003
Rosemary: THAT WAS US! Sylvester: Yes. Rosemary: We went down several flights of stairs and ended up back where we started, /in the past/? Sylvester: The Mansion is like that at times. So to speak. Rosemary: Lemme get this straight. We came in here... ..Went through that arch... [[Rosemary points at the left-hand arch with her sword.]] ((jab)) Rosemary: ...and now we're going through /this/ arch here? [[Rosemary points at the right-hand arch with her sword.]] ((jab)) Sylvester: Yes, and we really need-- Rosemary: So why didn't we just go through the second arch in the first place? Sylvester: Look, you wanna stand here and let us catch up with us, fine, but /I'm/ going on.

Friday, October 31, 2003
Rosemary: Whadda mean, "Let us catch up with us?" That doesn't make /any/ sense! If that could happen, then why-- Sylvester: Rosemary, please. Sylvester: Let me put it this way. That.. time room.. is strange and intriguing. Our family has known about it for generations. And yet, when I dig back through the records, I can find not a single mention of /anyone/ seriously attampting to investigate it and learn more about it. Not one. Rosemary: Well.. that's.. that's just stupid! Someone must have looked into it at /some/ point! Sylvester: Yes. Think about it. [[Sylvester walks away.]] [[Rosemary thinks about it.]] Rosemary: Maybe you just keep lousy records. Sylvester's voice: Fine. It's been nice never having met you.

Saturday, November 1, 2003
[[Rosemary and Sylvester are in a large hall. Various objects are scattered about, among them a set of shelves, an automobile, a machine with a large gear and an enormous humaniod statue. Mounted on the wall is a large shield and a pair of oversized spears, and some paintings.]] Rosemary: Wow.. What's all this? Sylvester: Don't get down here much anymore. Obviously. But this was.. is.. our family's Hall of Achievement. We weren't just warriors, we've also had artists and philosophers, engineers and botanists... Sylvester: Anyway, we go through that door at the far end. Rosemary: Gosh. I had no idea. This is very im-- [[A shoe rests on a pedestal, with a small plaque mounted below it. Rosemary examines the plaque.]] Rosemary: "Quincy, the 21st Earl of E. He tied his shoes all by himself." Sylvester: Sometimes you take what you can get.

Sunday, November 2, 2003
Rosemary: 21st Earl... Wait. You said you are the /23rd/ Earl? Sylvester: That's right. Rosemary: So Quincy here is your grandfather? Frederick's brother? Sylvester: Yes. Rosemary: And the thing he's most remembered for is tying his shoes? Sylvester: Yes. Let's go. Rosemary: And so... your /father/... Sylvester: Let's just say there hasn't been much call for coming down here in recent years, even before the monsters completely overran the basement.

Monday, November 3, 2003
[[Nitfol watches as Mortimer is attacked by a tree squid]] Nitfol: Wouldn't want to be in your shoes. Tree squids keep their prey alive for days while they digest it. ((Squorp)) ((Blurp)) Mortimer: NNUgh! Nitfol: Fortunately, the t-squids are violently allergic to us Nomes, so I usually get this tree all to mys- eh? ((Chomp)) ((Chomp)) [[A beaver shark is methodically chewing through the base of the tree]] Nitfol: Ah. That's a beaver shark. [[Nitfol pulls Mortimer up by his shirt]] Nitfol: You didn't -tell- me you were being chased by a -beaver- shark. Mortimer: MMph! ((Chomp)) ((Chomp)) ((CRACK)) [[The tree begins to fall]] Nifol, Mortimer, and the Tree-Squid: AAAIIIGGGHHH!

Tuesday, November 4, 2003
[[Niddle: Comshaw? Do you really think there's going to be a war? Comshaw: It's not going to break out /today/. But yes. It could happen. [[Niddle and Comshaw walk in silence for a moment, followed by "Digger" Odel]] Niddle: Not today? Comshaw: No. Niddle: But we're running away to the edge of the world, while some /humans/-- Comshaw: OK. Fine. Before the day is over, everyone's going to die horribly. Are you happy now, Niddle?

Wednesday, November 5, 2003
[[In the Hall of Achievement.]] Rosemary: So how about your mother? Sylvester: Hmm? Rosemary: I guess I now know where the 'twit' part came from. Was your mother an intellectual? Sylvester: My mother? An intellectual? [[The two pause for a moment while Sylvester thinks.]] Sylvester: I have decided I will not answer that question on the grounds that I may incriminate myself. Or worse, she'll overhear me. Rosemary: "Overhear"? She's alive? She's here in the Mansion, too? Sylvester: Last postcard we got, she was on another continent. But this is Mom we're talking about. I'm not taking any chances.

Thursday, November 6, 2003
[[((poketa poketa)) Rosemary: So now I know about /your/ parents.. Sylvester: Yes. Rosemary: Soo... Sylvester: So what? Rosemary: Don't you want to know about /my/ upbringing? ((QUEEP!!)) Sylvester: Oh, I just assumed... Rosemary: Yes? ((poketa poketa)) Sylvester: You are an orphan who never knew her parents. You grews up on a small and remote farm, raised by a slightly mysterious older relative, until he or she was evilly murdered, thus sending you out on a quest far and wide across the land. ((QUEEP!!)) Rosemary: /WHAT?!/ THAT'S TOTALLY RIDICULOUS! Rosemary: No one's murdered Aunt Eva! We send letters to each other every week! Sylvester: Next time you write, be sure to remind her to keep her door locked at night. ((poketa poketa QUEEP!!))

Friday, November 7, 2003
[[((poketa poketa)) Sylvester: So you're not on a quest? Rosemary: That depends on yo-- /what/ is making that annoying sound? ((QUEEP!!)) ((poketa poketa)) [[Sylvester points at the Djinnoscope.]] Sylvester: That. ((QUEEP!!)) Rosemary: By the Brush... ((poketa poketa)) Rosemary: .../Please/ tell me /that/ wasn't here when your family moved in. Sylvester: Oh, no. It was built by Ludwig. The 18th Earl. He was quite the scientist. Rosemary: Really? What kind of scientist? Sylvester: Well.. um.. [[A lid flips up and several streamer-like things pop out of the Djinnoscope.]] ((QUEEP!!)) Sylvester: ..They called him 'mad' at the University..

Saturday, November 8, 2003
[[((poketa poketa)) Sylvester: Ludwig built all sorts of things around the Mansion. He even tapped into the thermal v-- Rosemary: Yes. Fascinating. But what is /this/ thing? What does it do? Sylvester: Ludwig called it-- wait a minute.. Rosemary: What? ((QUEEP!!)) ((poketa poketa)) Sylvester: I swear, some people can be so untidy. Who stuck that in there? Rosemary: What? [[Sylvester pulls off a sheet of paper which had been attached to the front of the machine.]] ((RIIIIIPP!)) ((crumple crumple crumple)) ((QUEEP!)) [[Rosemary looks up at the flying wad of paper as it sails over her head.]] ((FLING!)) ((poketa poketa)) Sylvester: Where were we? Oh, right. This.. is the Djinnoscope. ((QUEEP!!)) [[The Djinnoscope spits out the streamers again]]

Sunday, November 9, 2003
[[Nitfol, Mortimer, and the tree squid all cling to the tree as it topples.]] [[Each pair of eyes widens in fear.]] [[Their tree hits a large branch protruding from a second tree.]] [[The impact shakes all three characters loose from the tree.]] ((KEY-RUNCH!!!)) [[Nitfol, Mortimer, and the tree squid continue to fall. Nitfol's hat comes off.

Monday, November 10, 2003
[[Faldstool sits at his desk, working.]] [[Faldstool writes on his tablet.]] ((skritch skritch skritch)) [[Faldstool continues writing on his tablet.]] ((skritch skritch skritch)) [[Faldstool finally realizes the import of what Camora said, and looks up.]] Taldstool (thinking): "Rampaging humans"?

Tuesday, November 11, 2003
[[((poketa poketa)) Sylvester: Now, what the Djinnoscope does, is-- Rosemary: Sylvester. Before you go on, may I interrupt with a small question? Sylvester: Uh, sure, Rosemary. Rosemary: That thing you just tore off and threw away... Sylvester: Yes? ((QUEEP!!)) Rosemary: It wasn't a giant gear, but was in fact a piece of paper cut and painted to look like a giant gear. ((poketa poketa)) Sylvester: Yes. Rosemary: Do you have any theories as to why someone would construct such a thing, and then glue it to the front of the.. ah... Sylvester: Djinnoscope. Rosemary: "Djinnoscope". Right. Sylvester: Well, actuallly... Now that you come to mention it... No. Not a one. It's a complete puzzlement to me. ((QUEEP!!)) Rosemary: Somehow, that's almost a relief to hear. Continue.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Sylvester: Anyway, what the Djinnoscope does is.. uh.. Rosemary: Wipe your memory? ((poketa poketa)) Sylvester: /No/. I just realized that there's no point in telling you what it does, since there's no way to activate its major function.. Rosemary: Oh? ((QUEEP!!)) Sylvester: You need to feed in one of those old 4-Simoleon coins. And I haven't seen one in.. geez.. years.. ((poketa poketa)) [[Rosemary turns her head and looks at the ground.]] ((QUEEP!!)) [[Rosemary bends down to the ground as Sylvester watches her with mild confusion.]] ((poketa poketa)) [[Rosemary comes up with a small coin and holds it out to Sylvester.]] Rosemary: Here. Sylvester: Oh. Goodie. You're one of those people who /finds/ things. ((QUEEP!!))

Thursday, November 13, 2003
Sylvester: So. Anyway. The Djinnoscope. You deposit the coin.. ...You sit in that chair over there... ((poketa poketa)) [[A closeup of the Djinnoscope's chair]] Sylvester: ..That helmet comes down.. [[A closeup of the helmet]] ((QUEEP!!)) Sylvester: And the machine scans you, and it... welll... Rosemary: Yes? Sylvester: It gives you what you need. ((poketa poketa)) Rosemary: What you need? Anything? Sylvester: Pretty much. Rosemary: No selling your soul or anything? Sylvester: Nope. ((QUEEP!!)) Rosemary: So. Apart from a basement full of monsters and a lack of four-simoleon coins, why aren't we living in luxury? ((poketa poketa)) Sylvester: I didn't say it gives you what you /want/. I said it gives you what you /need/. ((QUEEP!!))

Friday, November 14, 2003
Rosemary: What, need, what's the difference? Sylvester: How do I explain... ((poketa poketa)) Sylvester: OK.. try this. If you don't get a pot within the next five minutes, are you going to die in frothing convulsions? ((QUEEP!!)) Rosemary: I think I can hold myself together. Sylvester: Of course. But that's about the level at which the Djinnoscope operates... [[Sylvester illustrates the concept of "level" with his hand.]] ((poketa poketa)) Sylvester: It checks you out, and gives you what it computes that you most need, at that /exact/ moment. Rosemary: Oh.. kay.. But that's still useful, isn't it? ((QUEEP!!)) Depends. On at least one occasion, it decided that the thing its user most needed was a quick, painless death. ((poketa poketa)) Rosemary: Ouch. Sylvester: Metaphorically speaking, ouch indeed. ((QUEEP!!))

Saturday, November 15, 2003
[[Nitfol, Mortimer, and the t-squid continue falling in a tangle of limbs and tentacles.]] Nitfol: What's the use of your being attacked by a T-Squid if the idiot beast can't even stay stuck to the fratzing tree! [[The t-squid spots a small branch and reaches out for it with two tentacles.]] [[The t-squid catches hold of the branch, breaking its fall.]] [[Mortimer and Nitfol see the t-squid's actions.]] [[Mortimer catches hold of two more of the t-squid's tentacles, and Nitfol grabs onto Mortimer's leg.]] [[The tree-squid is stretched dramatically between the branch and the weight hanging onto it from below.]] Tree Squid (thinking): And to think the day started out so well... ((STEEERETCH!))

Sunday, November 16, 2003
[[Niddle: So that's why this tunnel's so twisty? Comshaw: Hm? Niddle: Because everyone's fighting? You couldn't make it straight? Comshaw: Yes. Had to go where we could. [[Lairing above their tunnel is a Globule, and buried below them is the skeleton of a large dinosaur-like creature, even bigger than a Dornbeast.]] Comshaw: The Council had to cut all kinds of deals, do swaps of territory. In the end there were some people who wouldn't budge. Comshaw: But in some places, it actually was easy. Because it serves as a neutral zone between hostile-- [[An arrow flies past, barely missing Comshaw and Niddle.]] ((ffft)) [[More arrows fly in both directions in front of the two Gnolls.]] ((twang)) ((zip)) ((ffftt)) Comshaw: Of course, even so, there is still the occasional skirmish... Combatant: MEDIC!

Monday, November 17, 2003
Rosemary: So you're saying this thing is useless. Sylvester: Not at all. None of Ludwig's inventions are /useless/. They're just dangerous. ((poketa poketa)) Sylvester: The death was... an extreme case. On more than one occasion, the help the Djinnoscope has given has been both useful and appreciated. Rosemary: So have /you/ ever used it? ((QUEEP!!)) Sylvester: Mortimer and I both. When we were younger. Rosemary: So what did you need? ((poketa poketa)) Sylvester: Mortimer needed a yo-yo. ((QUEEP!!)) [[Rosemary points her sword at Sylvester in a mock-threatening manner.]] Rosemary: So what did /you/ need? Sylvester: A swift kick in the butt. ((poketa poketa)) ((QUEEP!!))

Tuesday, November 18, 2003
Sylvester: So, anyway. Do you want me to hold your shield? Rosemary: What? Why? ((poketa poketa)) Sylvester: So it won't be in your way while you try the Djinnoscope. ((QUEEP!!)) Rosemary: Try the... After what you've just said, I'd be crazy to do that! OK, you're right. I'm impulsive, but I'm not CRAZY! [[Sylvester just stands and looks at Rosemary.]] ((poketa)) [[Rosemary takes a long look at the Djinnoscope.]] ((poketa)) Rosemary: Oh, /fratz/. I just gotta find out what it is that I need. Sylvester: Most everyone does. [[Rosemary hands her shield to Sylvester.]] ((QUEEP!!))

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
[[Rosemary brushes off the Djinnoscope's chair.]] Rosemary: My my... Look at all the dust. ((poketa)) [[Rosemary sits down in the chair.]] Sylvester: Last chance to back out. Rosemary: Hit it. ((poketa)) ((QUE--)) [[Sylvester drops the 4-Simoleon coin into the proper slot.]] ((clunk)) [[A small triangular sign saying "PING" lights up.]] ((ping)) [[The helmet comes down onto Rosemary's head.]] ((CLICK)) ((POKETA)) Rosemary (thinking): Guess I really am crazy after all. Oh well... ((POKETA)) [[The Djinnoscope produces a blinding flash.]] ((QUEEP!))

Thursday, November 20, 2003
[[The helmet is removed from Rosemary's head.]] ((unclick)) [[Rosemary's eyes are still tightly closed.]] [[Rosemary cautiously opens one eye.]] ((poink)) [[Sylvester looks around a corner of the apparatus.]] Sylvester: So... What did you need? [[Rosemary examines herself. Nothing seems to have changed.]] Rosemary: At first appraisal-- It would seem that I need nothing whatsoever.

Friday, November 21, 2003
[[Mortimer continues to cling to two of the T-Squid's tentacles, while Nitfol clings to his leg.]] Narration: Deep in the Forest of E, on board a Tree Squid... Mortimer (thinking): Hey! Mortimer (thinking): We're slowing, and we're almost to the ground! I can just let go and... [[Mortimer and Nitfol descend between two armed parties, one of Gnolls and one of Pales, neither of whom look happy to see them.]] Mortimer (thinking): ((STREEEE)) Mortimer: Um... Hi guys! Nitfol: Just passing through. ((RETTTTCH HH HH....)) ((TWANNNGG!)) [[Mortimer and Nitfol are thrown into a high ballistic trajectory by the elastic action of the T-Squid.

Saturday, November 22, 2003
[[The arrow stop. Comshaw looks to one side, then to the other.]] Comshaw: Are you idiots finished shooting at each other? Combatant 1: No zarking way! Combatant 2: NEVER! Comshaw: /Fine/. [[Comshaw and Niddle wait, looking disgusted and frightened, respectively.]] Combatant 1: 'Course... We gotta go make more arrows first. Combatant 2: Yeah. Comshaw: ssigh..

Sunday, November 23, 2003
Narration: Rosemary and Sylvester ponder the Djinnoscope's seeming failure. Rosemary: All that build-up, and the thing didn't work. Sylvester: No, it definitely gave you something. This light here indicates successful operation. ((POKETA)) Rosemary: So where is it then? This thing which I supposedly need? Sylvester: Maybe it was something... intangible. It wouldn't be unheard of. ((POKETA)) Rosemary: /Intangible?/ Sylvester: Yes. A sense of purpose? Or a cause worth fighting for? ((POKETA)) Rosemary: Maybe I already /had/ those. Sylvester: Man. I just hope it wasn't a foeman worthy of your steel... Narration: Sadly, it would remain an /eternal mystery/... ((POKETA))

Monday, November 24, 2003
Rosemary: So you're quite sure this thing gave me something? It /sounds/ like it's still running full tilt. Sylvester: Yes. Looks like we get one more go, if we want it. ((POKETA)) Rosemary: That can happen? Sylvester: It's rare, but if the Djinnoscope is left alone for a few months or years to.. I dunno.. Recharge.. Yes. ((POKETA)) Rosemary: "Years"? Don't any of the.. inhabitants down here use it? Assuming he'd leave his den, a Sneech would certainly be smart enough to figure out how the thing worked... Sylvester: It's pretty much calibrated to "humans only". A security measure on Ludwig's part. ((POKETA)) Rosemary: I see.. so if a non-human ever tries to use it, it doesn't work? Sylvester: Um.. actually.. remember that dust you were brushing off the chair? ((POKETA))

Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Narration: Comshaw, Niddle, and Digger find themselves between warring factions... Comshaw: If you've truly run out of arrows to shoot, that means we can /finally/ pass through. Niddle: Comshaw, if they are out of arrows, why don't they just start throwing rocks? [[Comshaw turns and looks at Niddle silently.]] Combatant 1: Rocks? Combatant 2: Rocks! We'll /never/ run out of rocks! [[Small rocks begin to fly back and forth across the tunnel. Comshaw drops his Poking stick and starts to reach for Niddle's throat.]] Niddle: Comshaw? Are you.. angry.. with me? Digger: I would suggest less talking now, lad, and more running for your life.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Rosemary: This thing /kills/ any non-human that tries to use it? Sylvester: Yes. ((POKETA)) Rosemary: And it didn't occur to you to mention that niddling little fact /before/ letting me use it? ((POKETA)) [[Sylvester and Rosemary look at each other in shock and rage, respectively.]] ((POKETA)) Sylvester: You're not human? Rosemary: OF COURSE I'M HUMAN! AND QUIT TRYING TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT! ((POKETA))

Thursday, November 27, 2003
Narration: Rosemary and Sylvester 'discuss' the Djinnoscope... Sylvester: Look, I'm sorry I didn't tell you about the business with the non-humans. Rosemary: Sorry's not good enough. You have to be punished. ((POKETA)) [[Rosemary points her sword at Sylvester.]] Sylvester: "Punished." Rosemary: Yes. This time, /you/ get to be the one who sits in that zarking chair. ((POKETA)) Sylvester: Ah. ((POKETA)) [[Sylvester begins to take off his backpack.]] Sylvester: (sigh) Judging from what I've seen, it's safer than having you stay mad at me. ((POKETA)) ((click)) [[Hax can be seen in the background holding a small placard which says "100!! woo hoo!".]] {{Reference to 100 completed strips of MoE}}

Friday, November 28, 2003
[[Mortimer and Nitfol continue to fly through their ballistic arc to someplace.]] Narrator: Meanwhile, in mid-air over the Forest... Mortimer: Say... um... what's your name? Nitfol: Nitfol. Mortimer: Nitfol. Why didn't you drop off my leg back there? Nitfol: Is this really the time for this? Mortimer: Unless you can think of something better to do? Nitfol: Hmm. Good point. There were some gnolls there. Mortimer: So? Nitfol: Nomes and gnolls... we have a History. Mortimer: Which is? Nitfol: It's a long History. Nitfol: So let's just say that wherever we land it'll almost certainly be better for me than saying back there...

Saturday, November 29, 2003
[[Sylvester hands his helmet and backpack to Rosemary.]] Narration: Sylvester uses the Djinnoscope. Rosemary: Anything that I need to do? Sylvester: Nope, it's raring to go. ((POKETA)) [[Sylvester sits in the Djinnoscope's chair.]] Rosemary: Sylvester. Wait. ((POKETA)) Rosemary: I'm still not really convinced that this monstrosity actually /does/ anything, but... I take it back. You don't have to do this. ((POKE--)) [[The helmet comes down on Sylvester's head.]] Sylvester: It's all right. I'm as curious as you were. I want to know what I need. ((click)) [[The Djinnoscope lets out another bright flash of light.]] ((QUEEP!))

Sunday, November 30, 2003
[[The helmet lifts from Sylvester's head.]] ((unclick)) [[The little triangular display lights up with an exclamation point this time.]] ((PONG)) [[The fabrication equipment near Rosemary's head activates.]] ((CLUNK)) [[The fabrication equipment begins making something.]] ((cut)) ((hammer)) ((saw)) ((torch)) ((fabricate)) ((fabricate)) [[The fabrication equipment produces a small object that looks like an Easter egg with a tag on it.]] ((CLUNK)) ((click)) [[The egg is launched into the air.]] ((PAH-TUI!))

Monday, December 1, 2003
[[Rocks continue to fly back and forth across the tunnel.]] Narration: Niddle has made a bad situation worse... Niddle: I'm sorry, Comshaw! Here, look, I'll go /talk/ to that side over here! Maybe I can get them to understand! [[Niddle heads to Combatant 2's side of the tunnel, and is promptly seized.]] ((!?!)) ((!)) ((!!)) [[Niddle passes over Comshaw and Digger's heads on his flight across the tunnel.]] ((FLING)) [[Niddle lands on Combatant 1 and his compatriots.]] ((POW)) Niddle: Aargh! ((CRUNCH!)) Combatant 1: AAI! [[The rain of rocks stops.]] Combatant 2: Hey! Look! We win! Combatant 3: Let's go celebrate! Combatant 4: YAY! Comshaw: Niddle? I forgive you. Niddle: Entire body broken..

Tuesday, December 2, 2003
[[The egg lands neatly in Sylvester's hand.]] Narration: Sylvester has been given what he needs... ((CATCH)) ((poketa)) Rosemary: What is it? Is it ticking? ((poketa)) Sylvester: No. There's just a tag: 'yank me'. ((QUEEP!!)) [[Sylvester and Rosemary look at each other for a moment.]] ((poketa)) [[Sylvester pulls the string.]] ((YANK)) ((poketa)) [[A very gooey explosion fills the panel]] ((QUEEP!))

Wednesday, December 3, 2003
[[Sylvester and Rosemary are both completely covered in white slime.]] ((poketa poketa)) [[Rosemary just looks at Sylvester, who is still looking at his hand in shock.]] ((QUEEP!!)) [[Rosemary's eyes narrow, and Sylvester begins (understandably) to fear for his life.]] Sylvester: Heh, heh... ((poketa poketa)) Sylvester: Gosh, Rosemary! I don't know about /you/, but /I/ sure needed to-- Ghast: Excuse me? ((QUEEP!!))

Thursday, December 4, 2003
[[Mortimer and Nitfol continue to tumble over and over in their ballistic flight.]] Narration: Mortimer and Nitfol pass the time... Mortimer: You're taking all of this really well. Nitfol: Thanks. Mortimer: The last time something like this happened, everybody got really bent out of shape. Mortimer: Yelling, screaming, carrying on... I thought some of those nomes were going to have coronaries. Nitfol: I begin to suspect it might be for the best if we didn't continue this particular line of discussion. Mortimer: Admittedly, the explosions were pretty spectacular, but it wasn't like anyone /died/ or anything.

Friday, December 5, 2003
[[Sylvester and Rosemary turn to find themselves confronted by four irate Ghasts, who mistake the two humans for Ghasts, covered in slime as they are.]] Ghast: I'm sorry to interrupt your Squim ritual, folks.. ((poketa poketa)) ((clunk)) Ghast: ...but we've had reports of two dangerous creatures running loose... As impossible as it may sound they might even be rogue HUMANS. ((QUEEP!!)) [[Sylvester and Rosemary silently glance at each other.]] ((poketa)) Ghast: Have you seen them? ((poketa)) [[Sylvester and Rosemary point]] Sylvester & Rosemary: They went that way Ghast: Much obliged ((QUEEP!!))

Saturday, December 6, 2003
Sylvester: They're gone. Uh.. not that I'm complaining or anything, but why did you drop your sword? Rosemary: Do you know what those things were? ((poketa poketa)) Sylvester: Ghasts, I believe they're called. Rosemary: Yes. And if you attack one with a sword, you just make him mad... ((QUEEP!!)) [[Sylvester it putting his pack back on]] Rosemary: unless that pack of yours is actually a flamethrower.. Sylvester: Flame.. Uh. No. ((poketa poketa)) [[Dramatic close-up of Rosemary]] Rosemary: ..we must then proceed directly to: /PLAN B/.

Sunday, December 7, 2003
[[Niddle lies crushed under a pile of rubble and corpses. Comshaw and Digger survey their comrade's plight.]] Narration: Niddle has developed a condition... Digger: It's going to take more than a poke this time. Comshaw: Yes. I know. [[Comshaw attatches his stick to his back]] Comshaw: OK. Right. Here's what we'll do. We'll go to Telic. His place is near here, and he owes me a favor. Digger: Be there anyone in the world who does not owe you a favor? Comshaw: There are a couple of holdouts living at the bottom of Sub-Shaft 42b, but I'm wearing 'em down. Niddle: uhh..

Monday, December 8, 2003
Narration: Rosemary has implemented Plan B... Sylvester: Uh... What's Plan B? Rosemary: We go the opposite direction as the ghasts. Very fast. ((poketa poketa)) [[Sylvester considers Rosemary's plan.]] ((QUEEP!!)) [[Sylvester realizes the merits of the plan.]] ((poketa poketa)) Sylvester: I... I just want to say that this may be the most brilliant plan that I have ever had the privilege of helping put into action. Rosemary: Yes. I was rather proud of it myself, actually. {{A copy of Edvard Munch's famous expressionist painting "The Scream" is visible in the background. The strip's creator has gone on public record saying he now considers its inclusion in the strip to be a mistake, and it should be considered a more generic Famous Painting.}}

Tuesday, December 9, 2003
[[Ghast 1: Move it! We've got humans to find! Ghast 2: Saay... wait a minute.. that couple back there... Ghast 3: What about 'em? Apart from that /fine/ set of head-tufts on the girl? Ghast 2: If they were Squimming, where were their fleebs? And their fugehorn? [[Ghast 3 realizes the import of Ghast 2's statement.]] [[Ghast 3 moves on, Ghast 2 turns back in Rosemary and Sylvester's general direction.]] Ghast 3: (sigh...) Kids today... Ghast 2: PERVERTS!

Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Narration: Meanwhile, still in mid-air... Niftol: Hmm... Mortimer: What? Nitfol: Not that I'm /complaining/, mind you... but shouldn't we have hit something by now? [[Mortimer realizes that he and Nitfol are tumbling around a fixed point in space, effectively suspended in mid-air.]] Mortimer: OK, this is creepy.

Thursday, December 11, 2003
Narration: Rosemary and Sylvester continue their brief tour of the Hall of Achievement... Rosemary: Sylvester... These paintings... Sylvester: Yes. They were done by Ernest. 19th Earl. Quite the artist. Rosemary: "Artist"!? They're exact copies of Munch's 'The Cry'... Rosemary: ...Van Gogh's 'Starry Night'... Rosemary: ...and Cook's 'Copyright Date'! Sylvester: Artist, master forger. It's a fine line. {{The strip's creator has gone on public record saying he now considers the use of these real-life works in the strip to be major mistake, and undue significance should not be attached to their presence; they are just copes of some Famous Paintings.}}

Friday, December 12, 2003
[[A giant vaguely humanoid statue looms over the scene, holding a flaming bowl in one 'hand']] Rosemary: Dare I ask about the statue? Sylvester: Audra. The 17th Earl. The only woman to ever be the official head of the family. Rosemary: She was a sculptor? Sylvester: Oh, no. She didn't build the statue. She had it done. In her own honor. [[Rosemary looke up at the oddly-formed statue.]] Rosemary: So one should assume that Audra had... issues? Sylvester: You tell me. You're the one wearing her helmet.

Saturday, December 13, 2003
Narration: Camora, on her way to deal with a human problem... [[Camora pauses upon noticing Hax and his host body, a Pale.]] Camora: OK. What's with the stupid hat? Hax: I'm not wearing a hat. Camora: You are, too! And look at me when I'm talking to you! [[Hax stands up on his host's head and glares at Camora.]] ((click)) Hax: I'M NOT WEARING A HAT, AND I /AM/ LOOKING AT YOU!

Sunday, December 14, 2003
[[Camora: Soo.. instead of wearina a hat, you're.. wearing a body? Hax: Yes That's right. Camora: Why? Hax: 'Why'? You know what? I'm going to /tell/ you why! Hax: I work for God. Today, He told me to put on this body, go to that room with the death-machine and the killer plant, and to take with me this piece of paper. Hax: Once there, I was to hide behind that large block of stone, step out at a certain moment, flash this sigh, and then run away. Why? I don't know. You don't /ask/ God why. Hax: Now, if you'll excuse me, He's ordered me to go juggle some rabid fleebs on the edge of the Great Chasm. Good /day/ to you. [[Camora walks on alone.]] Camora (thinking): Why is everyone who works for God such a huge whiner? {{Hax and his body were last seen in comic 100, waving the "100 Comics! Woo!" sign.}}

Monday, December 15, 2003
[[ Rosemary: We go through that door down there? / Sylvester: Yes, that's r-- [[Sylvester sees Fern attempting to eat Rosemary.]] Sylvester: WAIT! STOP! DON'T GET SO CLOSE! [[Rosemary chops off Fern's head.]] / ((PRUNE!!)) Rosemary: Relax. Those things aren't /really/ dangerous. / Sylvester: I wasn't talking to you. / Fern: YIPEYIPEYIPEYIPE

Tuesday, December 16, 2003
[[ [[Sylvester reattaches Fern's head]] Sylvester: There you go... good as new! Rosemary: It can regenerate that easily? Sylvester: Yes. She can. Now then, Fern. This is Rosemary. She's a friend, OK? Rosemary (thinking): 'Fern'? [[Fern blows a raspberry at Rosemary.]] ((pllbbt!)) [[Sylvester quickly steers Rosemary away from Fern before more violence can ensue.]] Rosemary: pllbbt? I'll give you pllbt.. Sylvester: Whoop! I think I hear those ghasts coming back! Time to go! Talk to you later, Fern!

Wednesday, December 17, 2003
[[ [[Mortimer and Nitfol continue to orbit around each other in the air.]] Narrator: Meanwhile, suspended unnaturally in midair... Mortimer & Nitfol: What's going on? Mortimer & Nitfol: Why are you asking /me/? [[Protus appears out of nowhere, as is his wont.]] ((APPEAR!)) Protus: MORTIMER! Nitfol: Because he knows your name, that's why!

Thursday, December 18, 2003
[[ [[In the Hall of Achievement.]] Rosemary: So which of your idiot relatives... grew... Fern? Sylvester: Linus. He was the 14th Earl. Sylvester: Today... as I think I said before, he'd probably be considered a botanist. [[Fern watches them leave]] Rosemary: Uh huh. And what was he called when he was alive? Sylvester: Uh... Sylvester: "That lunatic who grows those giant killer plants." Rosemary: Ah, a /combat/ botanist!

Friday, December 19, 2003
[[ [[On the Long Path]] Rosemary: Sylvester? Sylvester: Yes? Rosemary: Why did that ghast call us "rogue" humans? Sylvester: Well... Rosemary: And if you say "it's complicated" again... Sylvester: It /is/ complicated. But what I was going to say was that it was sorta embarrassing. Rosemary: Huh? [[A giant bottle of wine comes into view.]] Sylvester: (sigh) Before you showed up, I sometimes got the distinct impression that the only reason that Mortimer and I were still alive was because someone.. or something.. in the Mansion was /keeping/ us alive.

Saturday, December 20, 2003
[[ Narrator: On the way to Telic the healer... Digger: Myself, never had need for his services. Comshaw: What a surprise. [[Niddle is dragged along the ground]] ((bump bump bump)) Digger: Be he as good as they say? Comshaw: For once, the reality matches the hype. I just hope that... he's... [[Comshaw realizes that he is at the rear of a long line to see Telic. In order from Comshaw forward, the critters in the line are: a Nome with his arm in a sling, one Ooze carrying a second in a bucket, a Gobule with growths, a male Motihaul with a fever, and an Ecadem with a bandaged stinger.]] Comshaw: ...seeing people today.

Sunday, December 21, 2003
[[ Narrator: Sylvester continues his personal history... Rosemary: You think someone has been protecting you and Mortimer? Sylvester: That monster you killed with the vase. It wasn't the first to turn up upstairs... Rosemary: You did say that Mortimer had left the basement door open 'again'. Sylvester: Yes. And I believe you mentioned a Motimer-proof lock. Sadly, there is no such thing. Sylvester: But that's not immediately important. A few times over the years something has gotten upstairs. We've run. And.. Rosemary: Yes? Sylvester: Sometimes they get killed. Ludwig installed more than one booby-trap. But other times... They've simply disappeared.

Monday, December 22, 2003
[[ Rosemary: The monsters vanished? Literally? In a puff of smoke? Sylvester: Well... no. Sylvester: We'd... um... execute Plan B. And after a few hours of hiding, it would always be all clear. [[Rosemary and Sylvester are being viewed on a television-type screen.]] Rosemary: And you think someone... removed them from upstairs. Sylvester: Well... it /is/ true that most of them hate sunlight, and wouldn't want to... Yeah. Maybe. [[Mr. Hand sits in a high-backed chair, mostly obscured. Other screens arranged before him show Comshaw dragging Niddle, and a Ghast picking up the frying pan in the elevator.]] Sylvester (from screen): Of course, now you're here. And that changes everything. Mr. Hand: Oh, how it changes things...

Tuesday, December 23, 2003
[[ Narrator: In the forest, Mortimer confronts a new arrival... Protus: I suppose you think you're really /clever/. Mortimer: Uh.. [[Protus tosses the HJ42 into Mortimer's hand.]] Protus: /Fine/. Here's the HJ42. I hope you /choke/ on it! ((wack!!)) Protus: And tell the witch and her slimy little friend that this is /not/ over! [[Protus vanishes again.]] ((DISAPPEAR!!)) [[Mortimer and Nitfol continue to orbit in stunned silence for a moment.]] Nitfol: You /do/ lead an eventful existence, don't you? Mortimer: I've never seen that guy before in my life.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003
[[ Rosemary: So even with all these... folks... living down here, you've never faced a full-scale invasion back upstairs? Sylvester: Nope. Sylvester: If anything, I suspect that the wide variety has actually helped us. Instead of ganging up on us, they appear to-- Globule: YAHHH! [[A gobule runs past, closely pursued by two Trogs, Grik and Grak.]] Grik or Grak: Stand and face our wrath, varlet! Sylvester: --gang up on each other. Rosemary: People. What can you do?

Thursday , December 25 , 2003
[[ A guest comic by Roland Lowery of Role of the Die. Rosemary is studying the ceiling.]] Sylvester: Something catch your eye? Rosemary: I was just wondering what's up with all these food stains on the ceiling. Sylvester: Ah. That would be thanks to my Great-Great-Uncle Hindenburgh. He was gluttonous, fastidious and extremely interested in the thaumaturgical arts... a very interesting mix, it turns out. [[Rosemary holds crumb.]] Sylvester: See, this was Uncle Hildy's favorite dining room. He hated getting crumbs all over the floor, so he had a magical spell cast here so that any dropped food fell up instead of down. [[She releases it, and it falls up.]] Sylvester: Now, having said that - and seeing it's a twenty foot fall to the ceiling - I'd suggest we find somewhere safer to be. Rosemary: Why? Are *we* in danger of falling to the ceiling? Sylvester: Well, considering how many things in this mansion think of us as food..

Friday, December 26, 2003
[[ Rosemary: So, which of your ancestors made a career of alcohol consumption? Sylvester: Huh? It's true that Ernest became a.. talented amateur, but it was never quite a /career/... Why? Rosemary: The giant bottle of wine. [[Rosemary points at the bottle with her sword]] {{The label can't quite be made out yet, but it reads: "Oficial (sic) Council Penalty Wine. Do not open under further penalty."}} [[Sylvester stares at the bottle in shock.]] Sylvester: Where the fratz did /that/ come from?

Saturday, December 27, 2003
[[ [[The wait outside Telic's continues.]] Rezrov: Comshaw. Comshaw: Rezrov. [[Comshaw continues to wait.]] [[Comshaw looks over his shoulder at Digger.]] Comshaw: I assume everyone knows that gnolls and nomes-- Digger: Have a History? Aye. But for me, it be not history. I was there.

Sunday, December 28, 2003
[[ [[Comshaw drops Niddle's legs.]] Comshaw: Wait... "you were there"? But the Nome War was... How old /are/ you? Digger: 30 Comshaw: 30?? I knew you were no spring jib jib, but I had no idea... Digger: Aye. Three generations now, come and gone. Comshaw: If you saw the war... Did you see.. ...Did you know my grandfather? [[Comshaw, Rezrov, and the ooze look at Digger expectantly.]] Digger: Aye. Not well. But know him I did. [[The Gobule pushes into the shot, shunting Comshaw aside.]] Rezrov: Are all the stories true? Digger: The reality matched the hype.

Monday, December 29, 2003
[[ Rosemary: So this is like that paper gear thing which you tore off of the Djinnoscope? Sylvester: Yes. Rosemary: Some unknown person or persons constructed a giant bottle, filled it with wine, and installed it here in the hallway. Sylvester: Yes. [[Rosemary and Sylvester just stare at the bottle for a moment.]] Rosemary: This is a very strange mansion that you have here. Have I mentioned that to you? Sylvester: No. No, you have not. Thank you for bringing that fact to my attention.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003
[[ Rosemary: So some of the monsters must have put this here? Sylvester: Uh huh... Look at the writing. It's Manglish. Rosemary: "Manglish"? {{A bad name for it, because technically the human characters aren't speaking English.}} Sylvester: That's what we've always called it. It's a sort of pidgin-script that all of the folks down here seem to use anymore... {{If you are confused, "anymore" means "nowadays" in this context. It's an idiom used in some parts of the USA.}} Rosemary: So what does it say? O -- F -- I... Sylvester: Um. "oficial" council penalty wine. Do not open.. under further... penalty.

Wednesday, December 31, 2003
[[ Narrator: near the elevator... Ghast 1 (Apvbsx): Hey! Ghast Leader (Hepthbav): What's wrong? [[Little Floaty Things appear next to each Ghast's head.]] Apvbsx: What happened to our Little Floaty Things? Hepthbav: Whadda mean? They're right there, like always. Apvbsx: Oh. Right. You know-- Whoever came up with these was a genius. Hepthbav: I'll say. Never be able to tell us apart, otherwise. Might even have to start wearing /clothes/. Apvbsx: Or grow /hair/. BLEGH! Sepfrbfrx (from off-panel): Quick! Over here! {{With some ghasts appearing as consistent characters, the reader now needs a way to differentiate them. Hence, the invention of the Little Floaty Things. Also, Apvbsx's name is only revealed much later in the strip.}}

Thursday, January 1, 2004
[[ [[At the Elevator.]] Hepthbav: What did you find? Sepferb: A Trog. It's dead. [[Sepferb is holding the severed head of the Trog which Rosemary killed.]] Ghast with Lightning-shaped Little Floaty Thing: The Operator is out cold! And look what the attacker used... {{His name is Dpebfo}} [[Dpebfo holds up the cold-forged iron pan, still dented from when Sylvester smacked the Operator in the head with it.]] Hepthbav, Apvbsx, & Sepferb: GASP!! Apvbsx: I didn't want to believe it.. Apvbsx: ...but the old stories really are true. Humans are... Hepthbav: Yes. Sepfrbfrx. Go inform the Council. In person. [[Dpebfo discards the frying pan.]] {{The phrase "HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!" is subliminally visible in the background, as befits a January 1st comic.}}

Friday, January 2, 2004
[[ Sepferb: Report to the council in /person/? Why? I can just use an aurilnode and-- Hepthbav: MOVE! {{Aurilnodes are the telephones of The Basement.}} Sepferb: /fine/. [[He storms off]] Hepthbav: As for you two... Unnamed Ghast: Yeah? Hepthbav: Go check with Dpxbfo, where we left him. Hepthbav: If he hasn't seen humans, then they haven't gotten into one of the Halls, and maybe we can still contain all this. The three of you keep looking! Unnamed Ghast: And what are /you/ gonna do? Hepthbav: I repeat. MOVE! [[UG and Apvbsx leave]] [[Two globules lurk around the corner from Hepthbav; he does not seem to notice them.]] Hepthbav (thinking): An unguarded Elevator /and/ a piece of cold-forged iron... What /am/ I going to do?

Saturday, January 3, 2004
[[Rezrov: You knew /Compline/? Ishkibble the Motihaul: Did he really win the Second Battle of the Bridges? Ooze: and the ooze massacres-- Bandaged Ecadem: Did you get his autograph? Growth-covered Gobule: Can I have /your/ autograph? Comshaw: Um.. hello? Excuse me? He was /my/ grandfather, and /I/ think that I sh-- [[Gosypiboma sticks his head around the doorframe leading into Telic's office. Overhead, the word "TELIC" has been crudely painted over some more professionally-done stencilling. To one side is the number 3242, to the other, a wire-like object dangles from a small hole.]] Gosypiboma: NEXT! [[Comshaw thinks.]] Somebody 1: When did he Somebody 2: how many times Somebody 1: Will you just let me [[Comshaw heads into the office, dragging Niddle.]] Comshaw: If Camora's taught me anything, it's to not let family get in the way of practicality. Somebody 2: and how can ((bump bump bump))

Sunday, January 4, 2004
[[ Narrator: Mortimer and Nitfol discuss their recent visitor... Mortimer: Who... /what/.. was that guy? Nitfol: I could of course be mistaken, but I believe that he was a Willygig. Mortimer: A whirligig? Nitfol: No, a /Willygig./ Expert time-manipulators. Mortimer: Wait... 'time manipulators'? Nitfol: So the old tales all say. Mortimer: So /he/ was the one who was keeping us up h-- [[Gravity reasserts its hold on Mortimer and Nitfol, leaving only the top of a tree in the shot.]]

Monday, January 5, 2004
[[ Rosemary: What council? And what is 'penalty wine'? Sylvester: No idea about this 'Council'. But maybe they punish scofflaws by making them drink the wine... Rosemary: The wine around here is that bad? Sylvester: Well, Moe Wineyards, has always done well, but _some_ people say- Rosemary: Wait. Hold it. Your family is responsible for Moe Wines? Sylvester: We had to sell the vineyards a few years back, but yes, we founde- ((POW)) Sylvester [[From the floor]] Ano th e r s ati s fi ed c us to me r . . .

Tuesday, January 6, 2004
[[ Sylvester: Oh... Before I forget... thanks. Rosemary: For what? Hitting you? Rosemary: And I'm sorry about that.. Sort of a reflex action... Sylvester: No... well, _yes_, thank you for not using the _sharp_ end of your sword... Sylvester: Which is more consideration than _some_ of you wine fanatics have shown over the years... Sylvester: ..but what I meant was, thanks for not prying open the giant and mysterious bottle of wine. Rosemary: Well, that would have been rash and impulsive, wouldn't it? Sylvester: Uh.. right. Of course. Rosemary [[Thinking]]: I'll just have to come back after I've tracked down a mysterious and giant corkscrew.

Wednesday, January 7, 2004
[[ Sylvester [[Off-panel]]: Anyway... We go down here now... [[Zoom-in panel, towards the bottle of wine. Two heads rise above the top edge of the label, one horned, the other with antenna]] Edgar: I say, Chauncy... Chauncy: Yes, Edgar? Edgar: Was that actually Rosemary Ripley? Chauncy: Why yes, I do believe it was. [[Beat panel]] Edgar: It's a strange and wonderful world in which we live. Chauncy: Yes, Edgar, indeed it is.

Thursday, January 8, 2004
[[ [[All of Hax's monologue here is internal, ie. in thought bubbles.]] Hax: Why ever did that wretched little fleeb-peddler want to meet down here? Hax: There was never anything here except- [[Big panel, showing a large stone arch, above which reads "BARTER HALL". The arch leads to a hall filled with numerous different beings: a female Ghast leading a small Dornbeast on leash, a Gobule displaying something to a Motihaul, other less distinct. To one side is an unused aurilnode.]] Hax: Ah. Hax: Quite clearly, I have been away from this place for far too long.

Friday, January 9, 2004
[[ [[A Gobule carrying a box saying "--SH --OBBERWARTS" passes in the background, and a female Motihaul with a sack in the front]] Hax [[Thinking]]: How do I find *anything* in all of this? [[An eyebolt sits at a desk reading "INFOR MASHUN" [sic]. Sina the Gnoll is in the background, carrying two shiverroots in a pot.]] Hax: [[Still thinking]]: Ah. Hax: Hello. I seek a gnoll known as Wratch. Do you- Eyebolt: Well, well. It's a Pale. -- They still don't teach folks out in the forest how to _read_, eh? Hax: I'm sorry? Eyebolt: Sign outside says _Barter_ Hall. You come in here, you do a _trade_. Hax: Ah. Hax: If you ever go spider-hunting in the forest, bring along a nome. They make excellent bait. Eyebolt: Third aisle, fifth stall.

Saturday, January 10, 2004
[[ [[In Ratch's stall in the Barter Hall]] Ratch: Nice hat. Hax: I'm not wear- Ratch: You th' guy in th' market for th' fleebs? Hax: (*sigh*) Yes. I'm the 'guy'. Camora [[Off-panel]]: Hey! Hax: Oh. Goodie. You again. Ratch: Hey, Camora. Camora: Ratch. Give us a moment, huh? Ratch: Sure. Hax: What ... is ... it ... *now*? Camora: You work for God? I got thinking. It's not like he's _Nevus_ or anything, but maybe he can still help me. [[Hax looks surprised.]] Hax: "Help you." Camora: Lend a hand. Pitch in. Render some assistance. It's only a four-letter word. ZARK! Are all of God's people this slow?

Sunday, January 11, 2004
[[ [[A sign on the wall of the Long Path. It reads "NO LOITERING By order of the council"]] [[Rosemary and Sylvester come into the scene]] [[They read the sign.]] [[They look down the hall.]] [[They look at each other.]] [[They loiter.]] [[They loiter some more.]] [[They walk on.]]

Monday, January 12, 2004
[[ Rosemary: This is quite a hallway. What was it built for? Sylvester: We don't know. It was another thing that was here when we arrived. But whatever it was, it hadn't been finished. Rosemary: How d'you know that? Sylvester: If you go the other way from the Hall of Achievement, there is, or was, a whole bunch of stuff, half-installed. Magnets and Brush knows what... Rosemary: And you never figured out what it was? Sylvester: No. And Ludwig spent most of his life trying to figure it out. But, of course, the man had the attention span of a gnat, and was always working on sixteen different projects at once. {{Ludwig is one of Sylvester's ancestors}} Rosemary: Never even came up with a theory? Sylvester: Nah. Well, there was some gibberish about how maybe they were trying to study the collisions of sub-atomic particles.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004
[[ [[We see the "No Loitering" sign again.]] ((SNAP! TWANGGG!)) Snipe the Jibjib: ACK! Rubrak the Helipath: Look out! [[A giant weight labeled "12 Tonz" crashes to the floor, directly in front of the sign.]] ((CRUNCH!!)) Rubrak the Helipath: Fratz it all to Zark, not /again/! Snipe the Jibjib: Yer gonna need a bigger rope.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004
[[ Narrator: meanwhile, at the Elevator... [[General view of the scene.]] [[Hepthbav glances down, towards...]] [[...the frying pan left behind by Sylvester.]] Gorp [[Off-panel]]: Hey, Hepthbav... Hepthbav [[Thinking]] "Hepthbav". -- (shudder) -- Why can't people ever pronounce anything _correctly_? Hepthbav: Hello, Gorp. And Phiga. What can I do for you? Hepthbav [[Thinking]] As if I couldn't guess. Gorp: That's a mighty tasty-looking morsel you've got there...

Thursday, January 15, 2004
[[ Hepthbav [[Thinking]] Miserable scavengers... Hepthbav: You want the trog. Fine. It's yours. Hepthbav: Leave the head. Gorp: Thanks muchly. Fresh adult trog. A rare treat. The dornbeasts only ever leave. Phiga: What's in the elevator? [[A view of the defeated Operator's tail pointing up from the floor.]] Hepthbav: It's the operator. He's ... Hepthbav: indisposed [[Gorp & Phiga exchange puzzled glances...]] [[...then start grinning mischievously. ]]

Friday, January 16, 2004
[[At the Elevator]] Hepthbav: HOLD IT! Phiga: Something wrong? Hepthbav: I know you Globules have.. issues.. when it comes to consumption of food. And I've seen those smiles before. You're going to try and _eat_ the Operator! Gorp: Well, no. Phiga: Of course not. Hepthbav: You aren't? Then what were you- Gorp & Phiga [[In unison]]: Not until we get some **witnesses**, we aren't!

Saturday, January 17, 2004
[[[ [[[A darkened room with numerous objects piled up on wall-shelves.]] Narrator: meanwhile, in Telic the Healer's reception area... Gosypiboma: Oh. Hello, Comshaw. Comshaw: Gosypiboma. Gosypiboma: Do y-- Comshaw: No, I don't have an appointment. Yes, I think I can just barge in here like I own the place, because I'm calling in Telic's favor. What the Zark. I'm calling in your favor as well. [[Two beat panels of them staring at each other.]] Gosypiboma: I hate you. Comshaw: As long as Niddle here lives with that, so can I. Please get Telic.

Sunday, January 18, 2004
[[ Comshaw: Telic. Gosy told me to come on in. Telic: Yes, yes. Comshaw. Come in. [[Telic turns from an object on a shelf.]] Telic: So what seems to be the-- Oh. It's Niddle again. Telic: What is wrong this time? Comshaw: His entire body is broken. [[Telic begins to examine Niddle.]] Telic: Hmm.. [[Telic examines Niddle's head.]] Telic: There is broken. [[Telic examines Niddle's right wrist.]] And there is /broken/.. [[Telic lets Niddle's arm go.]] ((flop)) Comshaw: Well? Telic: I've seen worse. Bring him over here, and we will review your options.

Monday, January 19, 2004
[[ Telic: First of all, do not worry. Whichever option you choose, Niddle should make a full recovery. [[Telic picks up a Trog skull from a shelf, examining it with interest.]] Telic: With most species, little Xs replacing the pupils is a very bad sign, but you Gnolls always display remarkable powers of recuperation. Your internal structure is nearly as fascinating as that of the Troglodytes. Telic: I only regret that I do not have more opportunities to disassemble fresh specimens.. Comshaw: Never been tempted to.. speed along the process with a patient? [[Telic turns to Comshaw, eyes wide with shock.]] Telic: If I were ever to do that, people would stop coming to me as clients. Comshaw: One of those times you operated on yourself, you amputated your sense of humor, didn't you?

Tuesday, January 20, 2004
[[ [[Mortimer and Nitfol plummet headlong towards the ground.]] Narrator: No longer suspended in mid-air over the forest... Mortimer (thinking, with screaming behind his thoughts): OK. Don't panic. Don't panic. Mortimer (thinking): Aim for something soft. A pile of leaves. A pile of.. of.. [[The two land in a giant spyder's web.]] ((B-WANNNGGG!)) Mortimer (thinking): I suppose this'll do..

Wednesday, January 21, 2004
[[ Narrator: Camora has made a demand... Hax: *Help you*? I have known you less than an hour. And already you are one of the most annoying individuals I have ever met! Hax: Why in the name of Brush should I help you? Camora: Because there are Humans running loose in the Halls! Hax: Humans? -- Humans aren't- Camora: Yeah, OK, maybe humans are just myths. But Comshaw's been helping run tests for the Council. And those things up there, whatever they really are, just two of them killed an adult Dornbeast! And ate it! They _bragged_ about it to Comshaw! Hax: Humans. Killing Dornbeasts. -- And the- Council... is worried about it. Camora: YES! Hax: (*sigh*) Very well. I will go report this. Hax: Whether or not you will get help. Hax: We will see. Hax: But before that, I have some fleebs to buy.

Thursday, January 22, 2004
[[Camora: Fleebs? You're going to waste time buing fleebs? Hax: Won't take but a moment. -- In fact... Hax: Ratch. In exchange for that sack of fleebs, I will give you _this_. Ratch: A sheet a paper. Fer a sack a fleebs. [[The sheet reads "100!! woo hoo!"]] {{This is the sheet Hax was showing from behind a dark corner in comic #100.}} Hax: Correct. Ratch: Done. [[An exchange thus occurs.]] Hax: A good day to you. Ratch: Same ta you. [[Hax departs]] Ratch [[Thinking]]: A whole sheeta paper, with scribblin' only on one side. Fer a sacka fleebs. _Rabid_ fleebs. Ratch [[Still thinking]]: And Camora's got her hooks inta him. Ratch [[Still thinking]]: There goes th' biggest sucker in th' ... whole ... entire ... _world_.

Friday, January 23, 2004
[[ Sylvester: Oh.. say.. let's duck in here for a moment... Rosemary: Why? Sylvester: We should grab something to eat, while we have the chance. And it's a good out-of-the-way place to lie low for a while. Rosemary: Lying low sounds good, but "eat"? I suppose now you are going to tell me that someone runs a restaurant down here... [[Snoot, a motihaul wearing a tuxedo, appears]] Sylvester: No, of course not. It's a-- Snoot: Welcome to Le Tree. Do you have a reservation... sir?

Saturday, January 24, 2004
[[ Sylvester: Reservations? We need reservations? Snoot: Yes, sir. Sylvester: You're calling this brance of the Tree a /restaurant/? Snoot: Yes, sir. Rosemary (thinking): Tree? Sylvester: You can't charge people for access to the Tree! Snoot: Mr. Nevus can charge for access to the Tree and its products, sir, because he owns it. Sylvester: Owns... /I/ own the zarking Tree! Snoot: No... you are not Mr. Nevus, sir. You are far too.. stout... and you have too many limbs.

Sunday, January 25, 2004
[[ Sylvester: I'm not saying I'm this Nevus person! I own the entire Mansion! I am the 23rd Earl of E Rosemary (thinking): Never mind "Nevus"... Rosemary (thinking): What's this.. Tree.. [[Rosemary enters the main room of the restaraunt and sees the gigantic local branch of the Tree. Along with other customers, Protus can be seen sitting at a nearby table.]] Rosemary (thinking): Oh.

Monday, January 26, 2004
[[ Narration: Gorp and Phiga make plans... Hepthbav: What do you mean, you need "witnesses"? I'm here already. Gorp: No, no. _Credible_ witnesses. Phiga: And here we go now! [[Two Gobules have appeared on the scene, one scuzzy, the other insane-looking.]] Mingent: Hi GUyz! WasSUP! Hepthbav: ... Hepthbav: [[Holding Gorp in midair by one hand]] Mingent and _Ningle_ are more credible witnesses than me? Gorp: Well, no offence or nothin', Hepthbav, but when it comes to an eating Event, that dead Trog over there is a better witness than you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004
[[ Hepthbav: And _why_ exactly am I not a worthy witness for an.. Eating Event? Phiga: Well... because you Ghasts don't eat. Hepthbav: What do you mean? Of course we eat. Phiga: You lick three kinds of spiky fungi off of walls. Hepthbav: We do not _lick_ anything. And we also eat Prickly fungus. Phiga: Oh, right. How ever could I have forgotten. Gorp: [[Still held in midair by Hepthbav]] Can I get down now, please? Hepthbav: Now, Helipaths, _they_ don't eat. Phiga: Yes. Good point. At least you've got a mouth. Ningle: I liCked a helipath onCe.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004
[[ Phiga: OK. Fine. Phiga: You wana [[sic]] be a Witness, you're a zarking Witness. Now we're gonna get on with this Event. Unless you have some *other* problem? Hepthbav: Well, actually- Chuw: [Off-panel]] HOLD IT! Chuw: What's all this about an _Event_? Phiga: Hello, Chuw. Phiga: The Operator is down. Gorp and I were here first. We're going in. Hepthbav: [[Thinking]] My, my... [[Two thuggish Gobules]] Chuw: Oh, I don't think so, Phiga. Mr. Guttle wouldn't like that. Knaw: Mr. Guttle wouldn't like that AT ALL.

Thursday, January 29, 2004
[[ Narrator: Niddle's body is broken... Telic: You have two choices. You can leave Niddle to recover over there in my infirmary, or I can get him up and moving. If you choose this second option, he will be fine for a few hours, but then he will crash. Crash hard. Comshaw: You have an infirmary now? That's a good idea! Who do you have helping y-- Comshaw (thinking): Oh no.. It's probably.. [[Comshaw's Mom appears, carrying a tray.]] Comshaw's Mom: Oh! Hello, dear! Comshaw: Mom! Hi! [[Beat panel]] Comshaw (whispering to Telic): get him on his feet as fast as you can.

Friday, January 30, 2004
[[ [[Large bottles are visible in the background.]] Telic: You do not want your mother caring for Niddle? I do not understand. She has proven to be most effective at-- Comshaw: No no. It's not that. I know she's good. She wouldn't be working for you if she wasn't. Comshaw: If it was anyone else.. Camora, me, anyone, I wouldn't mind. But sometimes, Mom gets these.. Ideas, and somehow, they become virulently contagious. She and Niddle are /not/ going to be alone in the same room for even four minutes. Telic: Does this have something to do with Niddle's status as your and Camora's Fin-- Comshaw: YES. Telic: I have never understood this. There is no /physical/ need in Gnollish reproduction for a third-- Comshaw: We--are--not--/talking/--about--this--anymore. Comshaw's Mom (thinking): He's so forceful..

Saturday, January 31, 2004
Comshaw: What are you going to use on Niddle? Telic: Some of this... {{The large hammer resting on a shelf in the background is a possible homage to the Three Stooges' "anesthetic" gag.}} [[Telic produces a bottle of smoking medicine.]] Telic: Loomboggle's Lightning Horsepurge and Life Exilir. [[Comshaw and his mother stare at Telic in confusion.]] Telic: What is wrong? Yes, Loomboggle was a bit eccentric, but she was a genius, nevertheless. Comshaw: What's a horse? Comshaw's Mom: What's a lightning?

Sunday, February 1, 2004
[[A spyder sits on his web, thinking.]] (sqrt(203)~6x - 2.4)/2K(5/4t) 6511/ms + 6.6/10(m/t) - (t^5 - s^3)/(42 - 2t) (345/t^4)/(23 - 4x) + 5m... No, no. That's just not right. Snap my strands, a fellow simply can't think on an empty stomach... ((B-WANNNGGG!)) Ah... [[The spyder looks at Mortimer, who just landed on the web.]] Bother... it's just one of /that/ type of twolegger... Ah well. Even gristle and string are better than naught at all... ((twitch vibrate)) Eh? [[Nitfol is also stuck in the web.]] Oh, dear. It's.. it's a... [[ferociously]] *A NOME!!!* ((FLING!)) [[The spyder tosses Mortimer away.]] slaver.. drool..

Monday, February 2, 2004
[[ [[Rosemary looks around the vast cavern of Le Tree.]] Rosemary (thinking): Well. That's definitely a Tree. Protus (off-panel) Hey! [[Rosemary turns towards Protus' voice, lifting her sword.]] Protus: If it isn't Rosemary /Ripley!/ ((snicker snak)) {{The sound-effect of Rosemary's sword is a homage to Lewis Carroll's famous poem "The Jaberwocky"}}

Tuesday, February 3, 2004
[[Rosemary approaches Protus's table cautiously.]] Rosemary: Hello... Protus: Like the new look. So where are the Two Stooges? Rosemary: Stooges? Plural? Protus: Sylvester and Mortimer. Rosemary: Oh. Right. Mortimer. He's around somewhere. Sylvester is-- ((CRASH)) Rosemary: ...having a discussion with the Maitre d'. Protus: You would think he would have learned not to do that by now.

Wednesday, February 4, 2004
Rosemary: Um. Refresh my memory. What is the Maitre d' likely to do if Sylvester... causes a fuss? Protus: Well, I /imagine/ he'd call Percy. Rosemary (thinking): "Percy"? Snoot (off-panel): Percy! [[Percy, a large Boogieman, strides past Rosemary and Protus on his way to the foyer.]] ((TROMP TROMP TROMP)) [[Rosemary looks after Percy in mild shock.]] Rosemary: Will you excuse me for one moment? Protus: Knock yourself out.

Thursday, February 5, 2004
[[Camora: Where are we going? Hax: I believe I saw an aurilnode outside the Hall. I need to make a call. Camora: We're going to contact God via a _'node_? Hax: What did you think I was going to do, light up some incense and pray? Camora: Well, no. It's just that I pictured God as squat- er, _meditating_ in a... retreat. Camora: Or something. Hax: Perhaps he does meditate. Or squat. I couldn't say. Camora: You don't know? But you claim to _work_ for him! Hax: That doesn't mean that I've ever met him. Hax: Or actually talked to him.

Friday, February 6, 2004
[[Camora: You've never talked to God? But before you said that he told you to- Hax: (sigh) Yes. Yes. I exaggerated for the sake of simplicity. Camora: So you get all your orders from someone else? You don't actually _know_ for a fact that you work for God? Hax: I... Hax: Hmm. Hax: The things I've seen... if it IS someone pretending to be God, they will be able to handle themselves well enough if the real one shows up...

Saturday, February 7, 2004
[[ [[A tailor's shop in the Barter Hall]] {{the tailor's name is Slystick; this hasn't been spoken aloud, but the name of his shop has been seen in the background of another strip.}} Slystick: And please note the fine workmanship on display in the stitching... Fratch: I don't know... to buy a second robe... such an extravagance. I don't- [[Fratch sees Camora and Hax pass by in the background.]] Slystick: Something wrong? Fratch: AAAIGGGHH! Fratch: [[Frantically shaking Slystick]] THE EVIL ONE! THE EVIL ONE HAS RETURNED! Slystick: [[Fallen on his back and thinking]] Just once... I wish one of those fratzing priests would phizz out *after* buying something.... Fratch: FLEE!! FLEE FOR YOUR LIVES!

Sunday, February 8, 2004
[[Phiga: It doesn't matter if Guttle wouldn't like it. He isn't even here. The Event is *ours*. Chuw: In every way that matters, Mr. Guttle is *everywhere*. Hepthbav: [[Amusedly, while still holding Gorp]] Really? Even those places where Nevus and Agita are? I imagine they'd be thrilled to hear that... Chuw: Butt out, Ghast. Unnamed Gobule: Go lick a wall. Phiga: Yes, Hepthbav. It would probably be best if you just put down Gorp and leave. Phiga: Now. Hepthbav: I'm afraid I can't do that Phiga. Leave, at least. First of all, there are certain issues here besides your... Event. [[The panel shows the frying pan left behind by Mortimer and Rosemary.]] Hepthbav: [[Releasing Gorp suddendly]] And secondly... Gorp: GAH! Hepthbav: [[Points at a group of four Gobules and an Ooze]] The exit appears to be blocked.

Monday, February 9, 2004
[[ Chuw: Well, well, it seems that *all* of the bottom-feeders are out today. Chuw: I'm only going to say this once. All of you. Get lost. Now. [[The Gobules and the Ooze scowl angrily.]] Hepthbav, leaning into shot: Making empty threats when you're both outnumbered _and_ surrounded! It's good to learn that Guttle is still hiring the very best and brightest! Chuw: Shut. Up.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004
[[ [[More scowling and invasion of personal space between the Globules.]] Hepthbav: [[Thinking]] I suppose the Council would tell me to step in at this point, and try to stop this. Hepthbav: [[Still thinking]] But it would be so_ much easier to just let them beat on each other, and then try to reason with whoever- Hepthbav: [[Still thinking]] Wait a minute... *Where's Ningle?* [[Inside the elevator]] Ningle: [[Also thinking]] I'm g0nna liCk an 0peRatoR.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004
[[In the forest. Mortimer sails through the air]] ((wheeee)) [[Mortimer bounces off two evergreen trees]] ((POW Whump)) [[He bounces down a slanting tree-trunk]] ((THUD BAND)) [[He stops, held up by trailing Spyder-silk]] ((twang)) Mortimer: Tilt!

Thursday, February 12, 2004
[[ [[Telic has inserted a funnel into Niddle's mouth.]] Telic: There. I believe we are ready to administer the Elixir. You may wish to stand back. [[Telic pours the Elixir into the funnel.]] ((GLUG GLUG GLUG)) [[Beat panel showing Niddle's comatose face.]] [[Niddle's eyes open very, very wide.]] ((POING))

Friday, February 13, 2004
[[[Niddle leaps to his feet in severe shock and surprise, the funnel popping out of his mouth.]] Niddle: GAAAH! [[Niddle looks at Comshaw, wild-eyed.]] Niddle: GAAAH! [[Niddle begins to run around, waving his arms.]] Niddle: GAAAAAH! Niddle: GAAAAA-- ((TWANG!!)) ((thud)) [[Comshaw and Telic look down at Niddle in concern.]] Comshaw: I was wondering why you tied that rope to his leg. Niddle (off-panel, on floor): gaahh..

Saturday, February 14, 2004
[[ Telic: That was just a reflex action on Niddle's part. He will be on his feet in a moment or two. Comshaw: Thanks. Your favor is paid. Telic: Actually, I am willing to go into your debt again. Since you are going out to the forest anyway, if you bring me back some fresh clingweed, I would be grateful. It is useful in certain medicines. Comshaw: Clingweed? Well, I don't know how long we're going to be out there, but sure, when we come back, it shouldn't be too hard to-- Comshaw: How the zark did you know we're going out in the forest?

Sunday, February 15, 2004
[[ Telic: I knew you are going out to the forest because that is the only time you take along your backpack. Telic: Normally you wear it, but since you had Niddle along for the first time, you had him carry it. Telic: On the other hand, you do not have your poking stick with you, and certainly you would take it along with you on such a trip. Telic: But I assume that you honored my wishes in regards to bringing weapons in here... and left it by the front door. [[Beat panel, showing a rather startled Comshaw.]] Comshaw: For someone who never leaves his office, and doesn't use aurilnodes, you certainly are well-informed. Telic: You are not the only one to whom people owe favors. [[He floats away.]] Niddle: Why are we just standing around? Let's go go go! [[He takes off.]] Comshaw: Thanks, Telic. See you later. Comshaw's Mom: Comshaw? You're going out into the forest? Can you possibly do me a favor as well? Comshaw: If I can, Mom. Comshaw's Mom: Take a moment to dance and spit on your father's grave. Comshaw: Well, after the mob got through with him, that's about half the forest. But I will do what I can... Gotta go go go...

Monday, February 16, 2004
[[Rosemary comes up behind Percy, who is about to crush Sylvester's upper body.]] Rosemary: Um... Percy, is it? [[Percy turns around as Rosemary points her sword at him.]] Rosemary: Hi. I'm aware that your employer set you on this course of action, but still, I must /strongly/ suggest that you reconsider. ((CHOMP)) [[Percy has eaten the majority of Rosemary's sword blade. Rosemary seems unimpressed.]] Rosemary: No, no. Take your time. Think this through /carefully/.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Rosemary: And that's your /final/ word on the matter? Sylvester (mostly off-panel): urk [[Percy takes the remainder of Rosemary's sword and eats it.]] ((PLUCK!)) ((CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH)) ((gulp)) Rosemary: I see. In that case, all I can say in reply is... [[Rosemary leaps at Percy and smacks him in the face with her shield. Percy drops Sylvester.]] Rosemary: Pow. ((POW!!))

Wednesday, February 18, 2004
[[Snoot watches impassively as Rosemary beats the crud out of Percy off-panel.]] ((FOLD!)) ((SPINDLE!)) ((MUTILATE!!)) [[Percy falls to the ground in front of Snoot, causing a visible seismic disturbance.]] ((KERWHAM!!)) Rosemary (off-panel): Now then... ((spastic twitch)) Rosemary: I believe my associate here was discussing the ownership of the Tree...

Thursday, February 19, 2004
[[Hax: [[Thinking]] Well, here we are. Hax: [[Still thinking]] May as well get this over with... [[Hax pushs buttons on the aurilnode]] ((boop beep boop)) Hax: Hello. It's Hax. ... No, I haven't. I'm here with a gnoll named Camora ... Who? Why, yes, I believe she did mention that n- ... She says that humans are- ... Hax: Yes, she's asking for our help. ... ... What? You want me to WHAT? ... ... But I've been... _out in the forest_. I don't- ... Yes, sir. Right away. ... Yes. I know the drill. Good bye. Camora: Well? Are you going to help? Hax: That is going to depend entirely on your point of view.

Friday, February 20, 2004
[[Hax: We will help you deal with the humans. (And they ARE humans, it would seem...) Hax: But there is a price. Camora: Of course. What is it? Hax: We do it together. You and I. Hax: I will ride on YOUR head, instead of this one. [[Camora glares at Hax]] Camora: *Fine*. [[Hax dismounts from his current 'rider']] ((click))

Saturday, February 21, 2004
Hax: [[Jumps on Camora's Head]] ((poing)) Oh dear... you gnolls really aren't designed to wear hats... Camora: Never mind that. What happens now? Hax: NOW we- Pale: FREE! Pale: HAHAHA! I'm FREE! [[Pale runs out of shot]] ((ZOOM)) ((trip!)) ((THUD)) ((rip!)) ((CHOMP! CHOMP! CHOMP! CHOMP!)) Pale: AAAGGH! ((CHOMP!)) [[Increasingly distantly]] Pale: Fleebs! ((CHOMP!)) Pale: Rabid fleebs! ((CHOMP!)) Pale: Get 'em off me! Pale: AAAA Pale: AAA Pale: AAA ((CHOMP!)) Pale: AAA Hax: Fratz it. That was my best body. All of this had better be worth is... Camora: Look at him go. I wonder if a rabid fleeb could get Niddle out of bed in the morning... [[Distantly]] Pale: rrr ((CHOMP!)) Pale: gggh!

Sunday, February 22, 2004
[[Ningle's about to bite the Operator's tail.]] Hepthbav: Ningle! NO!! [[Closeup on Ningle's teeth closing]] ((CHO-)) [[A fiery explosion engulfs the Elevator and everyone in its vicinity. The Operator's red eyes can be seen at the center of it all.]]((KA-FOOM))

Monday, February 23, 2004
[[((KA-FOOM)) [[Comshaw is shown grasping an earful of the explosion while walking]] [[Camera shift]] Camora & Hax: [[In unison]] Did you hear something? [[Camera shift]] Faldstool, talking on his aurilnode: Well, yes. Of *course* I set someone to tell Mr. Nevus. If there's any chance- Faldstool: What was that? [[Camera shift]] ((Frederick and the Woman of Mystery are in bed. Frederick is asleep.)) A Woman Of Mystery: [[Thinking]] "KA-FOOM"?

Tuesday, February 24, 2004
[[Camora: Can't you settle down up there? Hax: Yes, I agree. This is quite unacceptable. ((click)) Camora: GAH! Hax: *Thaat's* better. Now I can- [[Camora grabs Hax's 'brim']] ((GLOMP!)) [[She pulls him free of her head.]] ((unclick> Hax: But how? No one's EVER been able to- Camora: As you said, gnolls aren't *designed* to wear hats. Camora: But don't worry. I'd have been severely disappointed with you, if you hadn't tried that. Now that you've got that out of your system, shall we get on with this?'

Wednesday, February 25, 2004
[[ [[Protus continues eating calmly.]] Snoot (off-panel): Smyth! Gill! Mslissa! FANG! [[The afore-mentioned employees of Le Tree pass Protus on their way to the foyer.]] ((TROMP TROMP TROMP)) ((slither)) ((ooze)) {{The four employees appear to be a Queen Snake, an Ooze, an Ichyoid, and an Ecadem.}} Protus (thinking): Sigh... Humans... Protus: GARCON! ((POW!)) ((BOOM!)) ((CRASH!)) Jibjib Waiter: Yes, Mr. Protus? ((SMUSH)) ((SPLATTER!)) Protus: ((whisper whisper whisper)) Jibjib Waiter: Right away, Mr. Protus. Protus: ...and put it all on my tab. ((THUD)) Protus (thinking): Oh my. Look at the time...)) ((POW AGAIN)) ((AGGh)) ((DISAPPEAR!)) Protus: Guess I'm history.

Thursday, February 26, 2004
[[ [[Snoot watches the unfolding brawl impassively.]] ((MORE)) ((SOUNDS)) ((OF)) [[The Jibjib Waiter whispers into Snoot's ear.]] ((EXTREME)) ((VIO)) ((LENCE)) Snoot: Ahem. [[Sylvester, Rosemary, Smyth, Gill, Mslissa, and Fang all pause and look at Snoot.]] ((GRAB!)) ((SHUFFLE)) ((REARRANGE)) ((SHUFFLE)) ((SEAT!)) [[Rosemary and Sylvester find themselves a little dazed and seated at a table for two.]] Snoot (off-panel): Your waiter will be with you momentarily.

Friday, February 27, 2004
[[ Jibjib Waiter: Are Sir and Madam ready to order? Rosemary: Uh... Rosemary (off-panel): What do you recommend today? Jibjib Waiter: Well, since Mr. Protus is picking up your tab... the Treefruit is always good. Or possibly the Treefruit. And you can't go wrong with our Treefruit. [[Rosemary glowers at the Jibjib Waiter for a moment.]] [[Rosemary holds up two fingers.]] Rosemary: Two orders of Treefruit, please. Jibjib Waiter (off-panel): Excellent choice, Madam.

Saturday, February 28, 2004
[[ [[The Jibjib Waiter brings Rosemary and Sylvester's order. Sylvester appears to still be in a state of mild shock.]] Jibjib Waiter: Your Treefruit, Madam. Rosemary: Thank you. Before you go... Jibjib Waiter: Yes, Madam? Rosemary: There's not going to be any repercussions over our little discussion out in the lobby? Jibjib Waiter: Oh, no. It's impossible to be angry at friends of Mr. Protus. Rosemary: Oh? Jibjib Waiter: One can only be amused by their charming little eccentricities. Jibjib Waiter: But, that said, I imagine that Mr. Nevus /will/ be informed of today's events. Rosemary: Ah. Something else to look forward to. Thank you.

Sunday, February 29, 2004
[[Uncle Frederick lies asleep in bed.]] [[The Woman of Mystery's hand comes into the panel and touches his head.]] WoM, thinking: sigh... [[She puts on a robe.]] WoM, thinking: I had -plans-... WoM, thinking: But that was most definitely a 'KA-FOOM'... [[She walks towards a curtained opening in the wall. A white shape is just visible beyond.]] WoM, thinking: And so, tra la la, I must go and -check- on things.. [[She looms over the shape, a sphere which resembles a crystal ball perched on a waist-high stand. A cord runs from the ball towards the floor.]] [[She hovers her hands to either side of the globe, and it lights up. Behind her are pictures, a cityscape and a forest]] [[Shapes appear in the globe; she seems surprised.]] [[She holds one hand over the globe, looks to one side, just possibly smiling.]] WoM, thinking: Oh, -dear-.

Monday, March 1, 2004
[[Beat panel of Sylvester and Rosemary sitting at their table.]] [[Sylvester comes out of his state of shock, as Rosemary pokes delicately at the Treefruit in front of her.]] ((b link b link)) ((poke)) [[Rosemary's Treefruit reacts in an odd manner.]] ((BLORP)) Sylvester: What just happened here? Rosemary: I'm not entirely sure. But when we finally meet a willygig named Protus for the first time, we are going to be very very nice to him. ((UNBLORP))

Tuesday, March 2, 2004
Sylvester: You're saying that just now you met a willygig? Rosemary: I'm pretty sure that's what he was. Sylvester: I thought they were just myths. Rosemary: That's what I was always taught, too. But he matched all the descriptions. Sylvester: The cloud-thing? The tentacles? Rosemary: Yup. Sylvester: Even the dorky techno-nerd sunglasses? Rosemary: You're a fine one to talk about geeky eyewear... But yes. That too.

Wednesday, March 3, 2004
[[Rosemary and Sylvester are sitting at a table in "Le Tree" restaurant.]] Sylvester: So this willygig knew our names? Rosemary: He knew us. Rosemary: At some point in the future, your and mine and Mortimer's future, we are all going to become friends with him. Or at least we're going to do him a favor. But the next time we meet Protus, he might not know us.. Rosemary: ..or he might even hate us. We just don't know. [[Outlines of the two of them sitting silently]] Rosemary and Sylvester: I hate temporal paradoxes.

Thursday, March 4, 2004
Sylvester: Rosemary... since we've got a moment here... I'd like to ask you a question... Sylvester: ...and I would appreciate it greatly if... you'd answer it, and not claim that you don't know what I'm talking about, or try to distract my attention. [[Rosemary looks at Sylvester for a moment.]] Rosemary: OK. But only if I can ask you one in return. Sylvester: Fair enough. OK. The thing is... You were measuring for heavy wooden shutters. You want to install a pot so you can dump boiling oil on people by the gate. [[Sylvester scratches his nose and closes his eyes for a moment.]] ((sigh..)) Sylvester: How long do I have before this army that's chasing you turns up on my doorstep? [[Two outline beat panels.]] Rosemary: Hopefully, you'll die of old age first. Absolute worst-case scenario... we have about six months.

Friday, March 5, 2004
Rosemary: The army that is after me is-- Sylvester: No. There /is/ an army. That's all I want to know for now. Sylvester (off-panel): If we make it back upstairs, we'll talk about it. Except-- Rosemary (off-panel): Yes? Sylvester: It's not /the/ army, is it? The official one, from the Capital? Rosemary: No. There are a lot of armies Out West these days. Some of them-- No. As you say. Later. Rosemary: But after today... If you ask me to leave, I will. I won't forcibly add to your problems. Sylvester: No. For now, anyway, you can stay. We still need you more than you need us... Sylvester: But you /want/ to stay? Knowing that all of this is at your back? [[Rosemary thinks for a moment.]] Rosemary: Maybe we can all come to some kind of... arrangement. Sylvester: Eh /heh/. I /know/ I don't want to talk about that right now...

Saturday, March 6, 2004
Sylvester: So. What did you want to ask /me/? Rosemary: When we first met, why were you talking to the wall? Sylvester. ((sigh.)) There's an Agenda I have to follow. A list of Tasks. Rosemary: Huh? Sylvester: The Mansion of E is almost a living thing. Ancient processes endlessly churn behind the walls. And with a lot of /painful/ trial and error over the generations.. Sylvester: My family has found that if we do certain things at certain times.. the whole system runs much more smoothly. As stupid as the Tasks often are, they really do help... keep the peace. Sylvester: Heh. Rosemary: What? Sylvester (off-panel): Some Tasks go much better if a /woman/ does them. But that's something else to discuss later. Rosemary: Yes. I rather think it is.

Sunday, March 7, 2004
[[We see the entrance to a small cavern just off the Great Chasm, which is helpfully labelled with a warning sign.]] Sprocket: (off-panel): FRATZ IT! [[Sprocket tosses down a tool]] Sprocket: This is never going to work! We're never going to get this fratzing thing up and running! Flange: Let's calm down and review the situation. [[Flange points at the unit in question, a bulb attached to the ground.]] Flange: Once the unit is installed and activated, the vibrations will frighten away the slimegrubs. [[A cut-away view of the unit, being attacked by slimegrubs.]] Flange: But until that happens, the grubs will keep crawling up the vents, and chewing out the connections, meaning that the unit can not be turned on. Sprocket: And we can't get at the fratzing grubs, and we can't block the vents, because that would defeat the whole fratzing purpose of "Project Y". You /know/, what we need is something /alive/, small, but vicious, to go all the way down the vents and take care of the grubs while-- [[The Pale that was formerly Hax's body falls down from the top ridge of the chasm and impacts head-first on the shelf in front of the cave entrance.]] Pale: YAAARRGH ((SPLAT)) ((chomp chomp chomp)) Flange: Rabid fleebs. Sprocket: This just might work! Good thing I brought my fleebtongs along today!

Monday, March 8, 2004
Rosemary: What's this? [[We see a largish button surrounded by signs: "FORBIDDEN", "DO NOT PRESS THIS BUTTON.", "Very Dangerous! Keep Away!", "NO!", and "BAD!" Rosemary: So... did anyone... Sylvester: Mortimer. Twice. {{Artist's note: Today's fanart strip was generously contributed by Tom Truszkowski, creator of that fine comic "Station V3." I think Tom sometimes spends more time promoting my comic than I do, so I owe him a double debt of gratitude. Thanks, Tom!}}

Tuesday, March 9, 2004
[[A dark space, partially lit by candles]] Father Tartuf: Ah. Brother Crumpton. Enter. Brother Crumpton: Father. I bring dire news. Father Tartuf: Yes? Brother Crumpton: Young Fratch... he was in the Barther Hall... He saw... The Evil One has returned. Father Tartuf: You are sure? Brother Crumpton: All the details wre correct in his description. Father Tartuf: I had hoped this scourge has passed. But if it is not... Father Tartuf: Assemble the brethen. We go forth.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Comshaw: OK. We're back in the tunnel. Niddle, you're patched up. I've got my stick. So we are ready to go on? Niddle: Yes, Comshaw. Digger (off-panel): Aye. Comshaw: DIGGER? But... you were trapped in the middle of that mob! Digger: They overlooked me. Comshaw: Overlooked..? Digger: And I was able to slip away. Comshaw: How could they "overlook" you? They were all /talking/ to you! Digger: Lad, I've made a /career/ of being overlooked.

Thursday, March 11, 2004
Comshaw: What you were saying about my grandfather... You never told me that you knew him! Digger: You never asked. Comshaw: "I never asked"? Brushstrokes, Digger. Would it kill you to volunteer information once in a while? But wait... Comshaw: You just /did/, didn't you? What prompted that? When you never bothered before? Digger: Got you in to see Telic, didn't it? Digger: Let's be off. [[Comshaw stands and gapes.]] {{Artist's Note: Since people are no doubt wondering, "Brushstrokes" in this instance is a profanity, roughly equivalent to "Christ!" While I assume you can figure out on your own why an underground critter who lives in a fairytale world might not be making references to Jesus Christ, the reason this particular word is used instead is... a subject that will be discussed in-strip. Eventually. I hope.}}

Friday, March 12, 2004
[[ [[Sepferb walks past armed guards peering out of slots]] Narrator: Meanwhile, in a secure location... Sepferb: I hate this... [[An office with a Eyebolt behind a desk.]] Sepferb: Sigh... Hello, Witherward. Witherward: Sepferb. Sepferb: I need to see the Council. Witherward: You need to see the council. Sepferb: Yes. Witherward: You *really* need to see the council? Sepferb: Yes. Witherward: Well then. It's fortunate that they can just queeze [[sic]] you in. ((CLUNK)) Sepferb: [[Thinking while falling down a trapdoor]] I really hate this...

Saturday, March 13, 2004
[[ [[Sepferb falls down a chute, splashes out onto a floor in a large dark chamber]] ((BOOM)) ((THUMP)) ((BANG)) ((SPLASH)) Chairbeing Preznit: Ah... Sepfrbfrx. Preznit: You have good news for us, I trust? Sepferb: No. Sepferb: The old stories. They are all true. Sepferb: Humans have gotten past the Operator. They've killed a fully-grown _Trog_. Sepferb: And they are capable of using *cold-forged iron*. [[...]] Wunk: [[Uncovers his hood, revealing himself to be a Gnoll]] We are all going to *die*, aren't we? Chairbeing: (s i g h . .) Wunk, can we at least _try_ to maintain an air of infallible majesty here?

Sunday, March 14, 2004
[[ Chairbeing: Gentlemen. And ladies. The important thing now is to not PANIC. Mondegren: Excuse me? Sir? [[Modegren is manning a large aurilnode.]] Mondegren: Um.. Mondegren: I'm sorry to interrupt, but I just thought you'd want to know... Mondegren: I'm getting reports that there's been some kind of explosion near the elevator... they're saying it's... quite large. I think. Councilmember seated left of Preznit: Can we at least take a vote about that whole "not panicking" idea? Preznit: *Groan...*

Monday, March 15, 2004
[[ [[The Operator is shown scowling amidst a blazing and spreading fire]] ((FOOM)) Phiga: What a disaster! Gorp: You said it. ((FOOM)) Phiga: Ningle won *another* eating event. Gorp: We'll never live this down.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004
[[Phiga: OK. Here's what we're gonna- [[An Ooze comes into the shot]] Phiga: Oh. Hey, Splore. Splore: Phiga Phiga: What happened to everyone else? Splore: I think they all ran off. Phiga: Ran off? Why would they- [[Hepthbav appears]] Phiga: Hepthbav. Phiga: You don't look so good. Phiga: Maybe you should- Hepthbav: Go Hepthbav: Away [[...]] [[Phiga, Gorp & Splore dash off]]

Wednesday, March 17, 2004
[[ [[Hepthbav: Have to find that iron.. Hepthbav: No.. no, better get back to the Pools... if they'll let me in... Hepthbav: Too late. Should have asked the scavengers for help... ((FOOM)) Hepthbav: No. No. Too humiliating as it is. [[He falls over]] ((SPLOOSH)) Hepthbav: Who's that? Hepthbav: Oh. Chuw. Hepthbav: when they find the two of us together like this... Hepthbav: Oh, well.. Hepthbav: So many mistak es... Hepthbav: Wor st of a ll... Hepthbav: never told Hpobfufr ((FOOM)) Hepthbav: ho w i *really* f e lt. ..

Thursday, March 18, 2004
[[Bung crouches on the ground. Faddle is carrying a beetle impaled on a stick.]] Faddle: Hey, Bung! Whatz happenin, big guy? Bung: Some fool bit the Operator. Now there's a huge fire and it's spreading. The Candle Monks are on the warpath again. God's got some new scheme cooking, and word's going around that Humans have returned to the world. [[Beat panel.]] Faddle: Rrright. You had me goin' there for a moment. Bung: That's me. Mr. Kidder.

Friday, March 19, 2004
[[ Bung: Faddle? What's that you've got there? Faddle: This? It's the latest thing! Beetle on a Stick! Faddle: It gives ya the yummy taste of yer favorite beetle, but without the usual mess of gettin beetle pus all over yer hands! And I'm sure ya know how nasty /that/ phizz is! Bung: "Without messing up my hands." [[Bung grabs the Beetle on a Stick with his tongue and eats it.]] ((GLORP!)) ((CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH)) ((GULP)) Bung: Well well. What will they think of next? Faddle: /HEY!/ I waz gonna /re-sell/ that stick!

Saturday, March 20, 2004
[[ Bung: I'm sorry I ate your stick, Faddle. Tell you what.. Bung: You can have one my mushrooms. Off my back. Faddle: What am I gonna do with this? Bung: You eat it. Faddle: /Eat it?/ Eat somethin' ya had growin' on yer back? /That's phizzed!/ Bung: Fine. Throw it away if you don't want it. But whatever you do, /do it someplace else./ [[Faddle stalks off.]] Faddle (thinking): grumble grumble. Eats my beetle and my stick, and gives me /this/. Whadda rip-- Faddle (thinking): Hmm. It don't /look/ so bad. Maybe I can take it ta the Barter Hall... Faddle (thinking): /Yyyeah/.. if I don't tell 'em where I got it, maybe I can- Motihaul: Hey! That's one of /Bung's/ mushrooms! How much do you want for it?

Sunday, March 21, 2004
[[ [[Rosemary's Treefruit continues to make strange noises.]] Rosemary (off-panel): So... ((glurp)) ((burble)) Rosemary: Everyone actually expects me to /eat/ this thing? Sylvester: It's not as bad as it looks. Or sounds. Rosemary: Th-- Sylvester: And yes, I know, "That wouldn't be very hard." Sylvester: Linus created the Tree. What you see here is just one branch; they are everywhere in the Mansion, both down here and back upstairs. And while Treefruit isn't exactly /delicious/, it is eatable [sic] and, for us humans at least, quite nutritious. Mortimer and I just about live off of it these days. Rosemary: Th-- Sylvester: And yes, I know, "That explains so much!"

Monday, March 22, 2004
[[ [[Sylvester is looking up..]] Rosemary: Is something else wrong? Sylvester: Nno.. [[A view of the Tree]] Sylvester (off-panel):'s just that this branch of the Tree is much bigger than before. Sylvester: And the fruit is, too. Maybe this Nevus person really has earned the right to sell it... Rosemary: So maybe it /tastes/ better now as well. Sylvester: Or maybe now it's poisonous to humans. [[Beat panel.]] Rosemary: You first. Sylvester: Oh, no. I couldn't possibly. After you.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004
[[ Rosemary: Do it together? Sylvester: OK. On three. One, two... [[Sylvester and Rosemary each eat a small piece of Treefruit simultaneously.]] Sylvester: ...three. [[Rosemary is pleasantly surprised.]] [[Sylvester is pleasantly surprised.]] [[Sylvester and Rosemary begin attacking their Treefruit furiously.]] Sylvester (thinking): if it /is/ poisonous, at least I'll die having eaten one of them... ((gobble)) ((SCARF)) ((chew)) ((munch)) ((GULP)) ((burp))

Wednesday, March 24, 2004
[[ Comshaw: This next bit... it's a little tricky. Niddle: "Tricky?" How so? [[Rough diagram of an incredibly complex and intertwined maze of caves. There is a Jibjib in a nest, graffiti, and vague bits of machinery. Also to one side a glowing gem]] [[Niddle is now carrying the gem.]] Niddle: Oh.

Thursday, March 25, 2004
[[ [[Niddle is holding a strange gem or crystal in one hand.]] Niddle: Comshaw? What was all of that back there? Comshaw: Just one of those places where things get all twisted up. The Council got it cheap, because no one wants to-- What's that in your hand? [[The gem has disappeared. Niddle looks at his empty hands.]] Niddle: What? My hand? Where? [[Comshaw walks away. The gem is back in Niddle's hand.]] Comshaw: Nothing. Never mind. Niddle (whispers to Digger): Sometimes Comshaw /sees/ things. I worry about him. Digger (whispers to Niddle): Aye.

Friday, March 26, 2004
[[ [[In a mushroom grove]] Ooze 1: Looks like you got yerself a a fine crop this season. Ooze 2: Ayup. If I can keep the slimegrubs off 'em, I should- Ooze 1: What's wrong: Ooze 2: Nothing wrong. Just... See that gnoll comin' along? The bald one? That's the one everybody's always goin' on about anymore. Ooze 2: Comshaw. That's his name. [[Comshaw and Niddle walk past, seemingly hanging from the ceiling. The Oozes gaze at them.]] Ooze 1: Huh. Ooze 1: I still can't believe you sold your floor here to those Council folks. Ooze 2: /I/ ain't usin' it. ((flick)) [[He brushes a bit of debris off one of the mushrooms. It starts to fall towards the top of the panel.]]

Saturday, March 27, 2004
[[ Narrator: Camora and Hax discuss humans... Camora: You still haven't said how you're going to help. Camora: /If/ you can. Hax: I have been thinking. Hax: I would like to try something first. Camora: What's that? [[Hax lowers himself fully onto Camora's head.]] ((foomp)) Camora: *Hey!* Hax: .... Camora: Yes, of course I can hear you. What a stupid- [[The metaphorical lightbulb - or GBOL, rather - lights for Camora]] Camora: OK. Fine. That's pretty handy. So now what? Hax: .... .... .... .... Camora [[Angrily]]: We're going to WHAT?

Sunday, March 28, 2004
[[ Camora: This is the dumbest plan ever! The humans have to be- Hax: .... Camora: Well, no, they don't have to actually /die/, I guess... Hax: .... Camora: All right. Fine. We'll try this. We just to have to [sic] find th- Hax: .... Camora: They are? Huh. At least they have a good taste. Camora: And at least you and your boss really are good for someth- [[A Motihaul has arrived on the scene. He stares at Camora, puzzled.]] [[Camora stares back.]] Camora: Yes. I like to talk to my hat. Do you have a problem with this? Motihaul: Nope. [[Leaves, quickly]]

Monday, March 29, 2004
[[ [[Skuy, Snerd and Fosic rush past Camora & Hax, carrying buckets.]] Camora: Snerd? What's going on? Snerd: Big fire at the elevator! We're trying to organize a bucket chain to the nearest well! [[Two other Gnolls, two Gobules, a Wyrm and Nugabela the Motihaul, all slightly smug-looking, pass C&H in the other direction.]] Camora: What... Gnoll with pointy hair: Someone's got one of Bung's mushrooms! Gonna be an Auction! {{His name is Pizzle}} [[Beat panel]] Camora: I suppose I must squash this sudden urge to allow the humans to run selectively amuck.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004
[[[ Apvbsx: Finally; /there's/ Dpxbfo. Unnamed Ghast: That Fratzing piece of iron burned my fingers... Dpxbfo: Hey. No sign of the humans. Where's Hpthbvtw? Apvbsx: At the elevator. Sent us to keep looking. And if they didn't come by here... then there's only one place left to check... [[Hpobfvfr and a Wyrm peek from behind a corner. Although his name hasn't been given in the strip, it's Tabo.]] Dpxbfo [[Off-panel]]: Fratzing Zark. I was hoping it wouldn't come to this... Unnamed Ghast [[also off-panel]]: Is anyone else smelling smoke? Tabo: What was all /that/ about? Hpobfvfr: We're going to find out. Get the rest of the squad. {{Footnote: "I now realize that in terms of the Mansion's internal chronology, I should have drawn and posted this particular strip at least a week or two back. If you all could just pretend that I did, I would be grateful. This is what I get for letting my buffer of finished strips dwindle away to nothing..."}}

Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Narration: The Council discusses the current situation... Chairbeing Preznit: So there is a fire burning near the elevator. Let us be rational. What is there of value in the area? The Death Hall? The Time Twistpoint? We can simply let the flames burn themselves out... Gavzada the Motihaul: I must remind the chairbeing that the Bottle is vulnerable to fire. if it's damaged, Chauncy and Edgar will be freed. [[Beat panel. Preznit sits still; the unhooded Gnoll councilmember (Wunk) to hir right frowns]] Chairbeing Preznit: Mondegren. Get everyone you can find to help with the bucket chains. _NOW_. Mondegren [[Furiously twiddling away at the comm console]]: Sir! Already on it, Sir! APRIL 01, 2004: [[Izchak leans against the doorframe of his shop as Clochard approaches.]] Clochard: Hello, Izchak. Izchak: Ah, Clochard. Greetings. Clochard: Business appears a trifle slow. Izchak: At the moment, yes, But I have faith. Troat: They're sayin' there are humans again. I want somethin sharp and pointy. Izchak: Of course, sir. Right this way. Clochard: Faith? Izchak: In poeple's nature. In the way the world works.

Friday, April 2, 2004
[[Mortimer hangs from a tree by strands of spyderweb]] [[...and is surprised to be approached by a Saur]] Mortimer [[Tiredly]]: Are you going to eat me? Snerk: /Eat/ you? [[Snerk examines Sylvester's foot.]] Snerk: ((sniff)) Snerk: ((lick)) Snerk: ((gag puke retch)) Mortimer [[Thinking]]: First that spider, and now this. I'm almost offended...

Saturday, April 3, 2004
Mortimer: I don't suppose you could help me down? [[Something breaks above him.]] ((SNAP! twang)) [[Hits ground]] ((THUD)) [[Hit by falling branch]] ((bonk)) Mortimer [[Doozily]]: I don't suppose you could help me up?

Sunday, April 4, 2004
Mortimer: Man, I just don't know... Snerk: I'm sorry? [[Agita and Guttle can be seen approaching in the background]] Mortimer: I mean, OK, on the one hand, it is sorta my fault that Nitfol's tree got chewed down and all, but on the other hand, he _could_ have helped me when that tree-squid attacked me... Mortimer: And now, I think that spider is probably eating him. I'm away clean, but maybe I should go help him... if there is any way that I _can_ help him... Mortimer: Sigh... I wish Sylvester was here. He's good at coming up with plans. A lot of the time they even work... [[Suddenly spins and faces Snerk.]] Mortimer: What do _you_ think? Snerk [[Visibly confused]]: Are you some kind of performance artist, or are you just insane?

Monday, April 5, 2004
[[A metaphorical GBOL lights up next to Sylvester. He stops guzzling his Treefruit.]] Sylvester: Rosemary, we have to get out of here. Rosemary: "Get out"? Don't be silly! We have to get seconds of this stuff! Sylvester: That's just it. It's good. Too good. If we're going to have seconds, then we're going to have thirds. And fourths. And then... [[Beat panel of a suddenly horrified Rosemary]] [[Thought bubble panel of S&R with raggy clothes and a crazed gaze]] Rosemary: hEy maN, ya Got an' TREEFRUIT? Comshaw, wearing a business suit: Zark off, hippie. Rosemary: We have to get out of here. Sylvester: Yes. Good idea.

Tuesday, April 6, 2004
[[ Sylvester: And it's not just because of the addictive Treefruit that we should leave... Rosemary: Yeah, I suppose we have pretty much worn out our welcome here. Rosemary: But maybe we can slip out before- [[Dpxbfo, Apvbsx and the unnamed Ghast arrive]] Rosemary: -anything else happens...

Wednesday, April 7, 2004
[[Rosemary [[attempting to fake a smile at the Ghasts]]: Um... hi! Snoot [[appears abruptly between the Ghasts and the humans]]: Is there a problem in here? Rosemary & Sylvester: GAH! Unnamed Ghast: Scram, Snoot. This is Council business. Snoot: "Council business"... [[Gill, Fang, and Mslissa appear behind him]] Snoot: Mr. Nevus has made his feelings about "Council" and its business _quite_ clear.

Thursday, April 8, 2004
[[Comshaw, Niddle and Digger are in a tunnel..]] Niddle: Comshaw! I think I see the tunnel guard up ahead! [[Comshaw studies a Boogieman holding a spiked club.]] Comshaw: Bertrum? Someone hired -you- to guard the tunnel? [[No reply. Comshaw waves his hand.]] Comshaw: Bertrum? [[Comshaw walks on.]] Comshaw: Been nice talking to you, Bertrum... Niddle: That's not the guard? Digger: That's not the guard. Bertrum: duhhh...

Friday, April 9, 2004
Comshaw: Say, look. It's Furphy. Comshaw: Hey, Furphy. Howzit going? [[Furphy, another gnoll, gestures Comshaw to lean closer]] Furphy [[whispering]]: This is /not/ happening. We are not here. We are not having this conversation. In fact, it's very possible that none of us even exist. [[Furphy leaves]] Niddle: My head hurts. Comshaw: Not having conversations with Furphy can do that to you. Digger: Proves your head exists.

Saturday, April 10, 2004
[[Furphy passes Bertrum]] [[...and glances up towards him]] Furphy: I am not here. We wouldn't be having this conversation, even if we /did/ exist. Which we probably don't. Bertrum [[thinking to himself]] duh..* [[*:"my head hurts"]]

Sunday, April 11, 2004
[[ [[A Gobule and a Gnoll - named Tuft and Dap respectivly, as we will later learn - hang out in a small side-cave. Dap is stacking pebbles in a ritualistic way.]] Tuft: Zark, I'm bored. [[A Motihaul (Hiblehoy) and a Wyrm (Voog) rush by, carrying buckets, along with a male Gnoll (Krink)]] Motihaul: Let's move it! We all /know/ what will happen if Chauncy and Edgar get loose again! [[Beat panel]] Tuft: Bored, bored, bored. Dap: Don't you just hate pointless repetition? They really should come up with an /all-new/ apocalypse...

Monday, April 12, 2004
[[ [[Grak and Grik the Trogs are discussing]] Grak: This is /ridiculous/! That theving little Gobule [sic] got away. and now the Council wants us to fight this fire? Why bother? Grak: It is all the way over younder! And everything is stone; there's not a scrap of fuel for it to- ((FOOM)) [[A flame swoops down the hallway, grilling the Trogs a bit.]] [[The two are now covered in soot]] Grak: But then, who am I to question the wisdom of my betters? Grik: Shut up. Find a bucket.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004
[[ [[Kulma the Motihaul and Niff the Gnoll discuss]] Kulma: This is the closest well to the fire. Looks like we're the start of the bucketchain... Niff: I forget. Who's the guard at this- [[A robed Ichyoid looms into view, its head cut off by the top of the panel.]] Niff: Oh. Niff. It's you. Niff: Um. Hi. Niff. There's a fire. At the elevator. And we need to form a bucketchain. If we don't... Chauncy and Edgar... might... get free? [[Beat panel, empasizing the size difference between the small Gnoll and the larger-than-Human Ichyoid]] [[The Well Guard leans down to Niff; they are face-to-face.]] Niff: eep Well Guard: [[something written in Runic font]] {{It translates as "Fine".}} [[The Well Guard permits the bucketchain to pass.]] Kulma: Thank you... I think... Niff: [[thinking to himself]]: Once again, the deep wisdom of never wearing pants asserts itself.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004
[[In the forest]] Mortimer: (sigh) I have to try. I have to find Nitfol and try to help him with the spider. If I can find the right tree, maybe- [[Another instance of a metaphorical GBOL lighting up]] Mortimer [[turning to Snerk]]: Why /are/ you here, if you don't want to eat me? Agita [[off-panel]]: As truly improbable it would seem... [[Agita, Guttle, and Mimsy, carrying Nevus, approach]] Agita: I suspect that our dear Snerk is here for the same reason that we _all_ are here... Snerk: That's right, Agita. I'm here for the /auction/. Agita: My my. Agita: Standards _have_ started to slip, haven't they?

Thursday, April 15, 2004
[[Guttle: Hold it. Snerk, yer sayin' _you've_ got enough Fleebs to join in on an _Auction_? Snerk: Yes, /Guttle/, I do. Snerk: There's a new player in the forest, and I'm his official representativ. He's /very/ interested in this auction. Agita [[pointing her umbrella at Mortimer]]: I _see_... Agita: How... _interesting..._ Agita: But what about _you_? Mortimer: sorry? Agita: Well... in his way, dearest Snerk is an _old_ friend. Agita: But unless you are one of my insipid male counterparts with moss piled on your head, I don't even recognize your _species_. Agita: And this really is a _private_ affair. ((snik)) [[A blade pops out from the end of her umbrella.]]

Friday, April 16, 2004
[[ [[Agita is threatening Mortimer with her umbrella.]] Nevus: Now, now, Agita. No need to be so -hasty-... [[Mimsy is holding a covered tray. Nevus's voice comes from under the cover.]] Nevus: The explanation is quite obvious. (Mimsy my dear, I'd like a better view..) [[Mimsy's hand reaches in to lift the cover.]] Nevus: Considering he appears able to breeze unnoticed through our joint security perimeter... [[Nevus is a small Wyrm, coiled around a sort of stick which is mounted in the center of the tray.]] Nevus: He must be our ever-so-mysterious auctioneer, -Mustn't he?-

Saturday, April 17, 2004
[[{{Belated April Fools Comic Swap Art by The Loser Hero of Twice Destined.}} The Mansion of E: By Robert M. Cook "It's much bigger than it looks." [[An extremely steep perspective cut-off view of the basement. Far up left towers the Mansion's cactus-like spire; up right, a siluette of Mortimer being chased by the Tree-Shark. The center is dominated by the bottle of Council Penalty Wine, with the Council surrounding it. To its right are raging Council workers, Sepferb foremost; to its left, the Operator, grinning and ablaze; and above, the face of the Woman of Mystery. (appearing much younger than she "really" is.) In the lower right corner, we see a Helipath rendered in a Cthulhian fashion, three Saurs, and Comshaw & Camora. Finally, bottom right, closest to the camera, Rosemary seems to be determinedly pushing a slightly puzzled-looking Sylvester forwards. Both have apparently lost their hats somewhere.]]

Sunday, April 18, 2004
[[Rosemary and Sylvester watch the three Ghasts argue with Snoot & his waitress accompaniments.]] Rosemary: They clearly have some issues they need to work out. Sylvester [[turning to leave]]: Yes. And I imagine they don't need us hanging around underfoot while they do so. [[She watches some more]] ((!!!!)) ((/!!!!/)) ((!@$#$!)) ((!!*!*!*!*> [[Sylvester reappears.]] Sylvester: I /SAID/... Rosemary: (sigh) I'm coming, I'm coming.

Monday, April 19, 2004
Sylvester: You weren't really going to get involved in that ... discussion ... Sylvester: were you? Rosemary: No. Not really. Rosemary: But I _was_ sort of hoping I might pick up a few ghast-fighting tips. Just in case we- ((SNIP!)) ((splorp)) ((splup)) ((splatter)) [[Pieces of Ghast are flinged at the wall.]] Sylvester [[visibly disturbed by the sight]]: Well, there you go. Have your hands removed and replaced by giant lobster claws...

Tuesday, April 20, 2004
[[The walls of Le Tree restaurant are splattered with Ghast-material]] [[The pieces start to gather back together.]] ((blorp blorp)) [[The pieces reassemble to form Dpebfo the Ghast.]] ((blorp blorp blorp)) Dpebfo: Zorp this. If those two things -were- the humans, then they are.. [[He looks up as something comes looming over him.]] Dpebfo: ..getting away? [[Fang the Ooze crashes down over him, bringing along a table.]] ((SPA-LOOSH!)) {{Author's Note added summer 2009: I now consider this sequence to be an Official Mistake, and things have Changed. In future, Ghasts will not be able to so easily re-assemble themselves, and Oozes cannnot (sic) sploosh themselves around with such reckless abandon; for any D&D enthusiasts in the crowd, they are both more like Shambling Mounds than Black Puddings. }} -->

Tuesday, April 20, 2004
[[The walls of Le Tree restaurant are splattered with Ghast-material]] [[The pieces start to gather back together.]] ((blorp blorp)) [[The pieces reassemble to form Dpebfo the Ghast.]] ((blorp blorp blorp)) Dpebfo: Zorp this. If those two things -were- the humans, then they are.. [[He looks up as something comes looming over him.]] Dpebfo: ..getting away? [[Fang the Ooze crashes down over him, bringing along a table.]] ((SPA-LOOSH!)) {{Author's Note added summer 2009: I now consider this sequence to be an Official Mistake, and things have Changed. In future, Ghasts will not be able to so easily re-assemble themselves, and Oozes cannnot (sic) sploosh themselves around with such reckless abandon; for any D&D enthusiasts in the crowd, they are both more like Shambling Mounds than Black Puddings. }}

Wednesday, April 21, 2004
[[Dpebfo: This is just silly. Two fellow amorphs fighting like this. What do you say we- Fang: Oh, that's rich. Dpebfo: What's rich? Fang: Mr. Ghast, talking about fellowship. Dpebfo: And what's that supposed to mean? Fang: Mr. Ghast, Mr. "I've got legs and a head, and that makes me better than the rest of you." Dpebfo: Now look, you little mudball Fang: Shut up and fight, fellow amorph.

Thursday, April 22, 2004
[[Camora and Hax walk down the long hallway.]] Camora: All right. There's Le Tree. The humans are inside. -If- your information is correct. Hax: ---! Camora: Fine. Fine. You have good information. But could you "speak" up a little more? You -are- a little hard to understand. Hax, softly: Oh, very well. Is this better? Camora: Yes. Hax: Where shall we wait? Camora: The usual place, of course. [[An alcove in the wall labelled in large letters OFFICIAL LURKING ALCOVE LURK HERE]] Hax: Of course. What was I thinking?

Friday, April 23, 2004
[[Camora: So now we're in position. Nothing to do now but /lurk/. Hax: Actually, there /is/ something I do need to do. Camora: Something /more/? What? ((POING!)) [[A pair of antennae pop out of Hax.]] Hax: AHHH... Hax: They get SO cramped when I have to keep them tucked in like that... Camora: If it turns out that those two things have /anything/ to do with reproduction, I will rip them off and make you /eat/ them.

Saturday, April 24, 2004
[[Tuft and Dap's nook. Sina goes past, carrying a cakeshroom on a plate]] Tuft: Hey.. it's Sina. Whatcha got there? Sina: Hello, Tuft. Sina: It's a genuine official birthday cakeshroom. I traded two shiverroots for it in the Barter Hall. Sina: I'm throwing a party for Catmorlo, and I'm running very late. Sina: Oh. Hello, Dap. Sina: And goodbye. Tuft: A real cakeshroom. I could smell it. How come I never get invited to any of Sina's parties? Dap: Because you're a shiftless, vermin-infested low-life. [[Dap begins restacking his rocks.]] Tuft: Rrright. And -you- never get invited... because...? Dap: -Everyone- knows that even a genuine cakeshroom causes me to break out in a simply -horrible- rash

Sunday, April 25, 2004
[[Sina arrives in a small dining hall, carrying a cakeshroom on a tray]] Sina: OK, everyone! I'm finally here! Sina: Let the party begin! [[The hall is empty, save for Nosh, lone Gobule sitting at the far end of the table.]] Nosh: Yeah! Woohoo! Bring it on! Sina: Where is Catmorlo.. and everyone else? Nosh: There's a fire near the elevator. They all went off to join the bucket chain. Sina [[horrified]]: A fire? At the elevator? Did the Operator.. Never mind! I need to find a bucket! Why are you just /sitting/ there? [[She leaves, leaving the tray behind on the table.]] Nosh [[thinking to himself as he approaches the abandoned cakeshroom]]: "Why am I just sitting here." /(sigh)/ I loveya, Sina, but sometimes, ya ask the silliest questions...

Monday, April 26, 2004
[[Nosh has climbed on the table and prepares to chomp on the Cakeshroom left behind by Sina.]] Sina [[off-panel]]: I know what I'll do! ((vwoop!)) ((SNATCH!)) ((CRUNCH)) [[Sina grabs the Cakeshroom just as Nosh bites; he ends up just gnashing his teeth together]] ((SPLAT!!)) [[The overbalanced Gobule falls over from the table]] Sina: I'll take the cakeshroom and serve it to the people working on the bucketchain! They're going to get hungry! Sina: And I bet /Comshaw/ will be there as well! Nosh [[from the ground]]: We can only hope...

Tuesday, April 27, 2004
[[{{Note the meta-soundeffects in this strip!}} [[Sylvester and Rosemary are sneaking away behind a dead Ecadem]] Sylvester and/or Rosemary [[thinking]]: Almost there... ((VARIOUS)) ((NOT-TOO-DISTANT)) [[also thinking]] Almost there... ((sounds)) ((OF)) [[still thinking]] Almost th- [Snoot suddenly stands before them]] Sylvester and Rosemary: GAH!! Rosemary: So. Um. Mr.. Snoot.. was it? ((VIOLENCE)) ((AND)) Snoot: Yes, Madam. ((MAYHEM)) Rosemary: Is this teleportation power of yours a racial characteristic, or is it something that they teach you in Maitre d' school? Snoot: I am afraid, Madam, that that is classified information. ((!!!))

Wednesday, April 28, 2004
[[{{More meta-soundeffects here}} ((Noises)) Snoot: I merely wished to ask if Sir and Madam enjoyed your dining experience. ((Building)) Sylvester: Enjoy... Yes! Wonderful! Great! We'll be sure to recommend you t- ((To A)) ((PARTICULARILY **LOUD** KABOOM)) [[A horde of fleeing Le Tree customers rushes by]] Sylvester: Do you _want_ us to recommend you to all of our friends? Snoot: You may as well. It appears we will be needing new customers..

Thursday, April 29, 2004
Sylvester: But really, the fruit here is wonderful. You should be proud. Snoot: Thank you, Sir. Rosemary: Could use some napkins, though. Sylvester: True. The juice of those things _is_ sorta sticky. Snoot: Napkins, sir? [[Snoot glares at S&R]] Sylvester: You know. Napkins. Small squares of paper or cloth, which people.. customers... can use to wipe clean their... Sylvester: appendages? Rosemary [[quietly at Sylvester]]: Are we in trouble _again_? Sylvester: probably...

Friday, April 30, 2004
[[Text-box at top-left saying: Rosemary and Sylvester have mentioned napkins... [[Rosemary and Sylvester stand side by side facing Snoot; large dead beast visible in background]] Sylvester: Is there a problem? Snoot: Please wait here. [[Snoot has gone. Rosemary and Sylvester look at one another dubiously.]] Rosemary [[turning to face Sylvester]]: Maybe we should run for it while- Snoot [[in emphatic tones drifting in from stage-right, with the words spaced-out]]: Please Wait There Rosemary [[turning back tio stare after Snoot]]: Why does he suddenly scare me more than all of those ghasts put together? Sylvester: I suspect that's the other thing which they teach you at the Matre D' Academy ...

Saturday, May 1, 2004
[[Comshaw, Niddle and Digger face a corner where two walls meet; on either side of them, in each of the walls, is an artificially-constructed archway leading to a tunnel; the tunnel on the right has some sort of writing above it. Comshaw is holding his poking stick, Niddle clutching a crystal.]] Comshaw: Now then, Niddle, /this/ is where the tunnel branches. On the left it goes up. On the right it goes out to the forest. Comshaw: So, Digger. Out with it. Who is this guard who's blocking the forest- Sound-effect offstage-right: POKE!! Voice offstage-right: YIPE! [[An adult trog runs across the frame, yelping, watched by Comshaw]] Adult trog: YIPE! YIPE! YIPE! Comshaw: Oh. So it's /him/, is it? Niddle: "Him"? Digger: HIM

Sunday, May 2, 2004
[[In the tunnel to the forest]] Skoil, from off-panel: Ah, Comshaw. Comshaw: Hello, Skoil. Skoil: I must say, the Council was surprisingly efficient getting you down here so fast to.. heh.. deal with me. Niddle, from off-panel: Comshaw? What's he talking about? The Council didn't- ((STOMP)) Niddle: AAAEEII!!! Digger, off-panel: Sorry, lad, clumsy of me. Skoil: But bringing Niddle along? What *were* they thinking? Comshaw: Yeah, well. No one's perfect.

Monday, May 3, 2004
[[In the tunnel to the forest]] Skoil: Of course, you'll want to know who hired me to guard this tunnel. Comshaw: Someone who has enough fleebs to pay your fee. I'll get more specific once I'm out in the forest. Skoil: Heh heh. And so, we come to the classic confrontation, the old guard trying to face down the brash handsome young- ((POKE)) Skoil: eep [[Skoil falls over as Comshaw watches.]] [[Comshaw walks on as Niddle looks down at Skoil.]] Comshaw: Ever noticed that some young people talk too much?

Tuesday, May 4, 2004
[[In the tunnel to the forest. Digger and Niddle walk along. Skoil lays on the ground.]] [[Digger tramples over Skoil.]] [[Niddle stares at this.]] Niddle: You didn't need to do that! Digger: No. No, I did not.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004
[[Clochard: Nitid? You here? You hear what's been.. ..going on? Oh my.. [[Nitid home. The wall is covered with paintings/comic strips.]] Clochard: You've been busy. What's all this? Nitid: Ah. Hello, Clochard. You see, there are times when I grow weary of endlessly painting signs for others. This is a story *I* wished to tell. Clochard: Impressive. But down here, no one will ever see it. Nitid: Perhaps it is just as well. I do not really want masses of people trooping through my home. You know, what I *truly* wish is that aurilnodes could send pictures as well as sounds... Nitid: Then anyone who so wished could contact me from anywhere. Perhaps I could.. post.. one panel a day, and individuals could call at their leisure. [[Clochard starts to speak]] [[Stops and thinks about this for a moment.]] Clochard: I can't decide if that's brilliant, or the most idiotic thing I've ever heard in my life. Nitid: Ah well. You say something's been going on? {{This was the artist's contribution to Online Comics Day 2004, which sought to promote the medium. The comics on the wall are the original pre-Keenspace/ComicGenesis version of the Mansion of E.}}

Thursday, May 6, 2004
[[In the forest of E. Agita and Mimsy are also present.]] Snerk, indicating Mortimer: *This* guy? The auctioneer? He was just babbling about- Guttle: How *did* you get past our security? We surrounded the clearing! [[Mortimer gestures as he speaks]] Mortimer: Oh. Well. I was being chased by this shark. So I climbed a tree. But this tree-squid attacked me, and the shark was a beaver shark, and it chewed down the tree. But I grabbed the squid's tentacles as we were falling, and it was all stretchy, and when those gnolls were there, it shot us into the air... [[More gestures]] Mortimer: ...where we met that Willygig-thing, and he suspended time while he yelled at me for stuff I didn't do. And then he left, and we fell, and landed on that spider-web, but the spider threw me away, and I landed here. And I met Snerk. [[Everyone stares at him.]] [[Everyone stares some more.]] ((blinking)) Nevus: There. See? Why didn't *we* think to cover that possibility?

Friday, May 7, 2004
[[Snerk watches angrily.]] Agita: Very well. We've covered your.. colorful.. history. As you are no doubt aware, Nevus, Guttle and I are all extremely busy individuals. [[A shot of the yellow sun above the forest; it has blue tinge around it.]] Agita: But after getting those *fascinating* invitations, we've made time to come all the way out here to the forest. And on such a lovely *sunny* day, too. [[She opens her umbrella]] ((foomp)) Agita: So. Mortimer: So? [[Mimsy, Nevus and Guttle join her.]] Agita: if you *are* the auctioneer, what, if anything, do you have for us that is worth all this time and trouble? Mortimer: Invitations? I didn't- I... [[The HJ42 in his hand.]] Mortimer: I have this!

Saturday, May 8, 2004
[[Agita: So. What exactly does this.. device.. of yours do? Mortimer: Well.. it.. [[He pushes a button on the HJ42.]] ((BEEP)) Nevus: It beeps. I already *have* things that b- [[Gigantic explosion/lightshow rises above the trees. The colored sun is in the sky.]] ((ZORP))

Sunday, May 9, 2004
[[In the forest.]] Frotz: Say.. you hear? There's word that something's got the gnolls n' pales squabblin' with each other. Gnusto: Yup. Maybe a break for us. For once. We'll see... [[An enormous lightshow in the distance as the Zorper is activated.]] ((ZORP)) [[The two watch the blast fade.]] Frotz: If that's squabblin', I don't wanna know what happens when they get *really* mad with each other.

Monday, May 10, 2004
[[The Gem that Niddle is carrying goes:]] (((zorp))) [[Comshaw, Niddle and Digger are in a tunnel to the forest.]] Comshaw: Something wrong? Niddle: Did.. you just hear a funny noise? Comshaw: Just now? No. Earlier though, I thought I heard.. Digger? Did -you- hear anything? Digger: Nay. Comshaw: (sigh) Well, whatever's going on, I imagine we'll find out all too soon... Digger: Tis how it works generally.

Tuesday , May 11 , 2004
Narration: Meanwhile, on the front lines.. Snerd: What's the hold-up? We need to get this bucket-chain moving! Wrawa: A problem. We can avoid the Death Hall, but we *have* to go through that twist-point to reach the Elevator! Snerd: Trying to run a bucket-chain through a time twistpoint? Oh no. No no no. Hiblehoy: There's another way! We can go through Rhid's place! [[Snerd and Wrawa stare at him.]] Snerd: "Go through Rhid's place"? CRAZY Rhid's place? Wrawa: Maybe if we screw up the flow of time *badly* enough, the fire will never have happened at all!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004
[[On the would-be bucketchain]] Snerd: (sigh) OK, fine. We have to talk to Rhid. Our only chance is to send someone to whom Rhid owes a favor. Who would that be? Wrawa: Comshaw. Snerd: Yes! Of course! Comshaw! [[Turns so he's facing Spot.]] Snerd: Comshaw, you need to.. to.. Snerd: You're not Comshaw. Spot: Comshaw ain't here. Snerd: Spot says that Comshaw's not here. Wrawa: Spot and his puerile jokes. I imagine Comshaw's already talking to Rhid.

Thursday, May 13, 2004
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's]] Spot: I ain't jokin' Wrawa! Comshaw ain't here! Wrawa: But.. that's just *silly*. Water is wet. Fire is hot. Comshaw shows up when- Spot: Yeah, well. He's gone. And Camora. And the *Big Three*, too. No one's seen 'em all day. {{Nevus, Agita and Guttle}} [[Skuy is visible in the shot.]] Snerd: But.. *someone's* got to take charge! Hiblehoy: The Council..? Spot: What, they gonna tack up a "A No Exploding Operators" sign? We need a boss, an organizer, someone who- Sina, from off-panel: WHY ARE YOU ALL JUST STANDING THERE!? [[Spot and Wrawa stare at Sina, who is still carrying her cakeshroom.]] [[They both smile.]] Sina: I'm going to be sorry I asked that, aren't I?

Friday, May 14, 2004
Narration: A squad gathers.. Hopobefever: OK. Everyone here? All right. Listen up. I've know for quite a while now that the Council, and Hpthbvtw's little gang, have been up to something, and they haven't seen fit to inform ME. Hopobefever: Now they've gone into Le Tree, Nevus's pride and joy. We all know they wouldn't do that unless it was something *really* important. So we're going in to. We're getting to the bottom of this, NOW. Hopobefever: Any questions? No? Good. Let's move. Gobule: I got a question. Anyone smell smoke? Wyrm: Metaphorically? Most definitely...

Saturday, May 15, 2004
[[Camora and Hax in the lurking alcove.]] Camora: Hmm. Hax: What is it? [[Hopobefever leading her squad into Le Tree]] Camora: See that Ghast going into Le Tree? Hax: Yes. Camora: That's Hopobefever. Works for the Council. She's a dangerous one. Hax: Oh? Camora: She notices things. Hax: That's not so bad.. Camora: *And* she *listens* to you when you talk. Hax: Oh, dear.

Sunday, May 16, 2004
[[Hax and Camora are Lurking in the Lurking Alcove outside of Le Tree.]] Hax: So you.. admire.. this Hopobefever? Camora: "Admire" is a little strong. But she's definitely second-tier material. Hax: Second-/what/ material? Camora: In terms of intelligence, I'm first-tier. So is Comshaw. On a good day. Second-tier you've got Hopobef, Telic, Skibble, Bung.. Maybe. With Bung it may just be a case of having very good rumor connections... Camora: Then you get to third-tier. Some of these /could/ be second-tier, if they just /applied/ themselves more productively. Sina perhaps being the arch-typical example. Hax: You came up with this.. theory.. all on your own, didn't you? Camora: No one else was smart enough.

Monday , May 17 , 2004
[[In the Lurking Alcove opposite Le Tree.]] Hax: So. On which of your "intelligence tiers" do *I* reside? Camora: I don't know you will enough to assign you. Yet. Which reminds me.. Hax: Yes? Camora: What's *your* story? How did you end up working for God? [[Hax thinks about this.]] Hax: You know.. it's been so long.. I can't remember. Camora: That's probably going to cost you a tier right there.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004
[[In the lobby of Le Tree]] Sylvester: It's gotten awfully quiet in there. Can *you* see what is happening? Rosemary: I *think* I see the queen snake still moving around. Maybe the Ghasts- Hopobefever: Excuse me? [[Hopobefever with her squad: two Trogs, two Wyrms and a Gobule, most of whom haven't been named on-panel. She shows her badge.]] Hopobefever: Squader-leader Hpobfvfr, Council police. I heard you mention Ghasts? Did you happen to see which way they went? [[Sylvester and Rosemary exchange nervous glances.]] Sylvester and Rosemary, pointing: They went that way. Hopobefever: Much.. obliged.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004
[[In the lobby of Le Tree. Rosemary and a Wyrm watch.]] Hopobefever: Ambit. Go establish a parimeter inside. Ambit: Right, boss. [[Hopobefever turns to Rosemary and Sylvester.]] Hopobefever: Now then. You two. Sylvester: Yes? Hopobefever: I don't like all-new species suddenly cropping up out of nowhere. And you -are- all-new. Don't try to tell me that you've replaced Snoot as the resident Motihaul; you are male and female, and look almost alike. [[A shot of two bodies.]] Hopobefever: For bonus points, also explain the dead Ecadem and the unconscious Boogie. [[Sylvester steps in front of Rosemary.]] Sylvester: Are you saying you've never even -heard- of h- ((CRASH)) Off-screen voice: YAAHH!

Thursday, May 20, 2004
[[Hopobefever: Gaah! I'm surrounded by idiots! You. Wait here. Sylvester: Right. No Problem. [[Hopobefever leaves scene]] Sylvester: Rosemary? Where are you going? Rosemary: Nowhere. I'm looking for something.. anything.. I can use as a weapon. Sylvester: A weapon? Rosemary's voice: Just in case. I'm really not that good at fighting hand-to-hand. Sylvester: -Please- don't tell me you're going to rip off that Ecadem's stinger.. Rosemary's voice: Give me a little credit. It's far too brittle.

Friday , May 21 , 2004
[[In the lobby of Le Tree.]] Sylvester: No weapons? Rosemary: Not even a plant stand or a chair leg. What kind of restaurant lobby is this? [[The dead Ecadem Smyth]] Sylvester: You seemed to do OK without one just now.. Rosemary: Eh. None of them were trained fighters. And that.. what didya callit? Ecadem? A lot more fragile than it looks. [[Percy's hand as he lies on the floor.]] Sylvester: *You've* never seen an Ecadem? But you're- Rosemary: Yeah, well, I'd never seen a boogieman like Percy, either. Sylvester: If you'd never seen one, then how- Rosemary: I *do* read. Wuttgutt's "Cyclopedia of Night Beasties" and Parkdaddle's "Hack N' Slash Heroing Manual" both had complete write-ups on the species. "AIM FOR THE HEAD OR SOON YOU'RE DEAD".

Saturday , May 22 , 2004
[[In the lobby of Le Tree]] Rosemary: Speaking of Boogiemen.. That brings us back to just how weird this mansion of yours is! Sylvester: Oh? Rosemary: All the books, even Wuttgutt's, say that there hasn't been a confirmed boogieman sighting in well over 100 years! And *you've* got them working as waiters! Sylvester: Well, I- Rosemary: You've also got Ichyoids up and walking around on dry land! And Willygigs popping in for lunch! And things I've never even heard of! "Ecadems" , and that other waiter who was serving Treefruit! Sylvester: You've never heard of jibjib burds? {{sic}} Rosemary: *No*, not the jibjib. I heard and saw enough of jibjibs by the age of six to last me my entire life. Rosemary: (Although none of them ever engaged in sarcastic repartee, Thank the Brush..) I meant the flying blob. With the tentacles. Sylvester: A helipath. They're harmless. They suck up fruit j- Rosemary: And what the zark was that thing on its head? A light, or some sort of *propeller blade?*

Sunday , May 23 , 2004
[[Blackness]] Mortimer: wha? [[He opens his eyes.]] [[He is lying on the ground amid flowers and rocks.]] [[He sits up.]] [[He is in a clearing in the forest. Trees have been knocked down. The sky is overcast. The Mansion is visible in the background.]] [[He starts hitting himself on the side of the head.]] ((BONK BONK BONK)) Mortimer, thinking: "Don't push any strange buttons." "Don't push any strange buttons." Sylvester's gonna be *really* mad this time...

Monday , May 24 , 2004
[[Mortimer surveys the changed forest.]] Mortimer, thinking: How could this thing change the whole *sky*? [[He notices something]] Mortimer: thinking: It's just not- -possible..? [[Someone's hand resting on the ground.]] [[Mortimer bends over him]] Mortimer: Oh, Brush. I'm so sorry. It's all my f- [[A human male lying face up, with short spiky hair.]] {{This man has not been seen before.}} Mortimer: Who are you? FutureRosemary, from off-panel: *There* you are.

Tuesday , May 25 , 2004
[[In a changed forest]] Mortimer: Rosemary? Is that you? Rosemary, off panel: of course it's me. [[She is wearing an armored top and skirt, carrying a shield with a large E on it, and wielding a bladed pole-weapon. Her hat is the same.]] {{This weapon is called the Can-Opener.}} Rosemary: sigh. I thought maybe we'd finally broken you of the habit of wandering off. What happened to your playmates? They were *supposed* to keep an eye on you. [[Rosemary lifts a webbing-strand with her weapon.]] Mortimer: Playmates? What play- Rosemary: You changed clothes. And is this *webbing*? Only you could find a spider to fool around with at a time like this. Mortimer: It attacked me. About those playmates- Rosemary: Never mind. I'm *sure* they'll find you again. Let's go. Sylvester and the others are waiting. Mortimer: But.. I.. I don't.. Rosemary: What's wrong now, Mortimer? [[The dead guy lying on the ground.]] Mortimer: That man on the ground! I think he's *dead*! Rosemary: I zarking *hope* so. (sigh redux) I suppose the Saurs won't touch him, and we'll have to find a hole to toss him in. Mysterious Voice from off-panel: *HEY!*

Wednesday, May 26, 2004
[[Mortimer and Armored Rosemary are staring off-screen at Mortimer #2 as he talks. A giant semitransparent P overlaps this and the following panels]] Mortimer #2: Sorry, Rosemary. We got a little sidetracked, but now we're.. [[Mortimer #2 wears a pointy hat and wears a shirt with moon and stars on it. He carries an umbrella. With him are a human woman and a female Motihaul, wearing matching clothes.]] Mortimer #2: [[The two Mortimers face each other.]] Mortimer #2: Who is this? Mortimer, shakily: My head hurts.. Mortimer #2: "Head hurts"? Wait.. the webbing.. and that shirt.. [[Armored Rosemary and Mortimer #2 watch as Mortimer fades from view.]] Mortimer #2: Oh, no! NO! I /remember/ now! Mortimer! You've got the HJ42! Whatever you do, don't let it meet- [[P!!]]

Thursday, May 27, 2004
[[Mortimer is back in the clearing.]] Narration: ZORP... Snerk, off-panel: Wow. Snerk: Impressive light-show! Mortimer: Light..? Uh.. thanks. Where are the others? [[Mimsy, Nevus and Guttle looking dazed.]] Snerk: Oh, you know undergrounders. Don't handle bright light very well. [[Agita's hand reaches for Snerk's neck.]] Snerk: ..and that being the case, what say you and I come to a private little- Snerk: URK! Snerk: Oh, hey there, -guk- Agita! Agita: Some of us handle it better than others.

Friday, May 28, 2004
[[In the tunnel to the forest]] Niddle: Comshaw.. that Gnoll you poked back there.. Comshaw: Skoil. Yes? What about him? Niddle: I've always known yoiu have a dangerous job. But.. do you do that a lot? Have.. duels? Comshaw: I'm the best poker in the world. So, yeah. They're always coming after me. Niddle: Oh. Comshaw: You think it's too dangerous? Niddle: It's safer than asking Camora's parents to support us. Comshaw: EEP!

Saturday, May 29, 2004
[[Comshaw and Niddle the Gnolls are talking in the tunnel to the forest.]] Comshaw: OK.. we're almost to the forest. I need to explain. Niddle.. Niddle: There's no ceiling there. I understand. Comshaw: No. You don't. But... we'll see. What I was /going/ to say was about the sun. It's like... the River of Fire. Comshaw: /have/ been to the River, right? Niddle: I went to the Observatory that one time. The sun is like that? But I thought the sun was /hot/. Comshaw: OK. Yes. The sun is like the River of Fire. Except that it's hot. Niddle: I won't try and touch it then.

Sunday, May 30, 2004
[[Comshaw and Digger Odel are talking in the tunnel to the forest.]] Comshaw: Say.. Digger.. why did /you/ want to go to the forest? Digger: To dig a tree. Comshaw: "Dig a-" ah. No. The word is "chop". You /chop/ trees. And you need a nome-axe, not a wyrm-pick. [[They look at each other for a moment.]] [[Digger turns to leave.]] Digger: I said dig. I meant dig. [[Comshaw watches him leave.]] [[Niddle appears in the shot.]] Comshaw: Find out who hired Skoil and why, or go watch someone "dig a tree". There just isn't enough time in a day.

Monday, May 31, 2004
[[Sina the Gnoll and others are in a corridor near "Crazy" Rhid's home.]] Narrator: On the Bucket-chain... Sina: OK. Fine. Spot. You're fast. Go back along the chain. Send any Wyrms forward; got no hands, but they're pretty fireproof. Spot the Gobule: On it, Boss. Sina: Wrawa. Go round up some adult Trogs. I'm going to try and /talk/ to Rhid, but if that doesn't work.. Wrawa the Trog: Yes. All right. [[Sepferb the Ghast appears on the scene. Sina gives him the cakeshroom she is carrying.]] Sepferb: Th- Sina: Oh. Sepferb, isn't it? Good. Here. Guard this. Don't let anyone eat it! [[Sepferb watches as Sina leaves the shot. Her words fade as she moves away.]] Sina: Hiblehoy! We're gonna need more buckets. You go talk to that idiot T.. Sepferb: The Council sent me to take charge of the situation. Snerd the Gnoll: Um... Hooray?

Tuesday, June 1, 2004
[[Sepferb the Ghast is holding a tray with a "cakeshroom" on it.]] Sepferb, thinking: So. I start the day as a member of a top-secret strikeforce hunting down rampaging monsters... [[Sepferb's "Ghastvision" POV of the cakeshroom; various items are labelled.]] Sepferb, thinking: And I end it as a gnoll's cakeshroom guard. [[Beat panel of Sepferb's face.]] [[The cake is snatched off the tray the instant he looks away.]] Sepferb, thinking: Could this /possibly/ be more humiliating?

Wednesday, June 2, 2004
[[Fosic the Helipath, Mowder the Trog and Skuy the Gnoll are manning the bucket brigade.]] Mowder: This whole things stinks. Skuy: Could you be more specific? Mowder: A big fire just -happens- to break out near Crazy Rhid's place. Mr. Firebug himself. And the only way to fight it just -happens- to be a bucket-chain, using buckets supplied by who? Tunktal the bucket-maker, of course. -I smell a conspiracy.- Skuy: Oh, please! You're just being silly! Even Tunktal's not... that greedy... Fosic: Actually, he makes a compelling argument. Mowdur: I say we save some the fire! It's not a proper lynch mob without -torches!- [[Sepferb screams in anger from off-panel]]

Thursday , June 3 , 2004
[[Gorp and Phiga run along with their stolen cakeshroom. Members of the bucket brigade watch in puzzlement.]] [[More running. There is a large window. Snipe the Jibjib is flying in the background, carrying a large coil of rope.]] [[More running. Background: Faddle the Gnoll and Nugabela the Motihaul have exchanged goods.]] [[The exterior of a Gobule lair. There is a scattering of various devices, a large Hand of Glory, a branch of the Tree, and two entrances, one labeled WOO HOO.]] Gorp and/or Phiga: WOO HOO!

Friday, June 4, 2004
[[Amos notices as unlocking-type noises come from the door.]] ((click clunk blerp shunk boop)) [[The FRED door swings open, as Amos vanishes.]] [[Amos reappears, weilding a large axe, and grinning angrily.]] [[The Woman of Mystery appears in the FRED doorway, smiling at Amos and carrying an umbrella. Amos freezes in his tracks, very unpleasantly surprised.]] [[Amos is back lounging in his doorway, displaying nonchalence as he discards the axe.]] Amos: Oh. It's /you/. WoM: I choose to be flattered.

Saturday, June 5, 2004
[[The Woman of Mystery is locking her door, as Amos Grubb lounges in his doorway.]] Amos: So... ((boop shunk blerp clunk click)) [[The WoM turns to face him, holding up an umbrella.]] Amos: You're... going out? WoM: Yes, Amos. It's /such/ a lovely day... [[The WoM snaps open the umbrella, startling Amos.]] ((foomp!)) WoM: ..I thought I'd go for a little stroll. [[Amos watches as the WoM walks away, holding the umbrella over her head.]] [[Amos's wife Nellie Grubb leans into sight from inside their doorway.]] Nellie: Somewhere out there, some poor body is in a whole /heap/ of trouble. Amos: Ah-yup.

Sunday, June 6, 2004
[[Amos tosses his ax into a waiting receptacle.]] Nellie Grubb: I tell you, Amos, *something's* coming. Amos Grubb: Eh? How so, Nellie? Nellie: There been *signs*. Not just Her Nibs goin' out for one of her strolls. My knee's been acting up again. Saw that big shootin' star on the balcony last night. [[Their front door.]] Nellie: *And* the front door's rehinged itself. Third time this week! Nellie: *You* see anything strange? Amos: Nope. Well... Sylvester may have found himself a lady friend. That count? Nellie: He didn't! Amos: Ah-yup. Nellie: Well that's a sign of *somethin* unsettling, but I'm not sure its related. Amos: They *do* say that insanity will run rampant in the End Times...

Monday, June 7, 2004
[[Inside Le Tree, Hopobefever looks at the Ghast lying on the floor.]] Hopobefever: Apvbsx? Is that you? Pull yourself together! Apvbsx: Tryin' like zark, Ma'am. Hopobefever: All right. What's going on here? [[Ambit the Trog gets tossed into the shot, landing on Apvbsx.]] Fang: What's going on? I'll tell you! [[Fang and the rest of the bouncers, looking a bit the worse for wear. Mslissa the Queen Snake has a Gobule in her coils.]] Fang: The Council.. keeps sending us.. this lousy material to try and work with. Hopobefever: Yes. Yes they have. Until now.

Tuesday , June 8 , 2004
[[Inside Le Tree. Debris and flames. Hopobefever confronts the bouncers]] Fang: You? What are *you* going to do all by y- [[Hopobefever smashes Fang's eye.]] ((SMOOSH)) [[She fells Mslissa the Queen Snake with a punch.]] ((POW)) [[Gill the Ichyoid is puzzled to be hoisted aloft.]] [[He is thrown.]] ((VIOLENT IMPACT))

Wednesday , June 9 , 2004
[[Hopobefever stands amidst the defeated bouncers. The Jibjib waiter looks down from the local branch of the Tree.]] {{The waiter's name has not been given on-screen, but it is Swill.}} Hopobever: Now then. Anyone *else* have anything to contribute? Swill: Umm.. yes. Hopobefever: Yes? Swill: "This means war." Hopobefever: Bring it o- [[She is pelted with Treefruit.]] ((SPLUP BLORB))

Thursday, June 10, 2004
[[Rosemary and Sylvester listen to sounds of battle inside Le Tree]] ((CRUNCH SPLATTER BANG)) Sylvester: Um... Rosemary? I strongly suspect you're not one to.. well.. *give up* easily.. And I know that *both* the scary Maitre D' and the angry ghast told us to wait here... Sylvester: But... still... Do you think maybe.. just maybe.. we could go back to the elevator, go back upstairs, regroup, and try again for the pot.. tomorrow or something? [[They stare at each other.]] [[Rosemary walks towards the exit.]] Rosemary: OK. Sylvester, thinking: What's bizarre is, now I'm disappointed in her.. Rosemary: Maybe we'll wait until Tuesday. I'll need an extra day if I'm going to cobble together a flame-thrower.

Friday , June 11 , 2004
[[In the lobby of Le Tree]] Sylvester: You're going to build a flame-thrower? Rosemary: You have a moral objection? Sylvester: No. Call it a technical one. There was an article in the Times, and it was saying that the Army's been trying to- Rosemary: Wait.. You read the Times? The newspaper from the Capital? Sylvester: One of my few extravagances; I have it delievered to our PO Box down in the village. Very expensive, and it takes forever to arrive, but even so, it's the only halfway-reliable way to keep up with the latest Regulations, our investments, events Out West, fashion.. [[He sees Rosemary's expression.]] Sylvester: What? You're surprised we still have investments? I may not be able to rush out and buy a pot anytime I want, but I've stopped us bleeding Simoleons from every pore! [[Rosemary fingers his tie.]] Rosemary: *You* keep up with the latest fashion trends? Sylvester: Oh. If you think *white ties* are bad, you obviously missed that whole "Jibjib feather-suit" craze a couple of years back. Rosemary: Fashion demanded that people wear suits made out of *Jibjib feathers*? Sylvester: Now even *Mortimer* reads the fashion section first.

Saturday , June 12 , 2004
[[In the lobby of Le Tree.]] Rosemary: Well anyway. We're out of here. Tabo: The squad-leader wanted you to stay. Rosemary: I thought you were all inside. Tabo: No. I'm the rear-guard. I'm always the rear-guard. [[Rosemary reaches for Tabo.]] Sylvester: Always? That hardly seems fair! Rosemary: Yeah! Never get in on the action or anything! ((GLOMP)) [[Tabo has wrapped the two humans up in his coils.]] Tabo: We all have our burdens in life.

Sunday , June 13 , 2004
[[A Wyrm has Rosemary and Sylvester tied up]] {{The Wyrm is named Tabo}} Tabo: Now, we're going to just st- Sylvester: urk Snoot: Ahem Tabo: Eh? [[Tabo gets hit with a blast of powder.]] ((POOF)) Tabo: Whoa [[He uncoils and falls to the ground.]] ((THUD)) Snoot: Sir. Madam. Mr. Spatchcock would like a word with you. Tabo: Wow. Did you ever look at your tail? I mean, did you ever really *look* at it?

Monday , June 14 , 2004
Narration: Meanwhile, elsewhere.. [[The Weirdo climbs stairs]] Weirdo: What a day it's been. [[He reaches for a doorknob]] [[He enters a room. (His quarters)]] Weirdo: But now we can put our feet up and- [[Yasmine is waiting for him in the dark.]] Weirdo: Oh dear. It's not at all safe for you to be here. Yasmine: Your report is overdue. They were.. concerned. [[The door closes behind the Weirdo, locks engage.]] ((click clunk boop)) Yasmine: So here I am. Weirdo: W- I do not have all the information. Not nearly, I am afraid. Yasmine: But you have *some.* Weirdo: Gathered at great personal rixk, I might add. Yasmine: You may. But then you report. Weirdo: (sigh) Very well.. My report.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004
[[Weirdo: My preliminary report on the resident fauna of the Mansion of E. Yasmine Fotheringby: How formal of you. Weirdo: I will start by once again emphasizing that much of this information is tentative, often gathered from a distance or even second-hand. Also, while some of these species are known to humanity, even familiar, I will operate from the assumption that the listener is totally unacquainted with them. Yasmine Fotheringby: Understood. Weirdo: To begin, we have two of the most common species which inhabit the sprawling and elaborate "Basement" of the Mansion... -GNOLLS- Gnolls are a spindly bipedal race, who stand about half as high as a human. Considering their general lack of physical strength, they have done surprisingly well for themselves both in the Basement and out in the surrounding forest. Or perhaps it is not so surprising; Gnolls in the Mansion tend to be quite clever and resourceful, far more so than ones encountered elsewhere. They are capable of speech. There are male and female gnolls, but other details of their reproductive act remain shrouded in mystery; a third individual is invariably involved, and these individuals are carefully selected by the male and female Gnoll in question. What these individuals actually do is unclear. [[Group shot of Comshaw, Camora, and Niddle.]] [[Portrait shot of a Gobule eating something.]] Weirdo: -GOBULES- Basically mouths mounted on a set of powerful rubbery legs, Gobules serve as the Basement's semi-official garbagemen and scavengers. Anything discarded or left unguarded will be quickly scooped up and carried away, and large piles of debris accumulate around any Gobule dwelling-place. Their tongues are quite long and flexible, and can be used as an adaptive manipulative appendage. The act of eating appears to be literally religious among Gobules, and social status is gained by public consumption of new and unusual items. They can talk, indeed, arguing with one another and with other species may be their second-favorite activity after eating. This constant squabbling makes them less dangerous as a species than they might otherwise be. They have two sexes. {{Artist's Note: Just so we're absolutely clear here, this is not "me" giving this report, or some omniscent narrator, but a character down on the ground, who hasn't seen close to everything, a fallible individual who may make mistakes, overlook something, or even deliberately conceal information. Still, since I'm doing this "Monsterpedia" for you the readers, you can assume that it's all /pretty/ much true. And you might even learn a thing or two...}}

Wednesday, June 16, 2004
[[Weirdo: REPORT CONTINUES... Mysterious Figure: No need to yell. I'm right here.. Weirdo: -MOTIHAULS- The most unusual aspect of this human-sized species is the extreme difference in appearance between the males and females. In addition to looking almost nothing alike, the two sexes also spend almost no time together. The species is also atypical in that its members wear clothes. Motihauls, both male and female, gravitate towards shopkeeping and entrepreneural pursuits. Not particularly dangerous physically, they are shrewd and cunning. [[Portrait shot of a male (left) and a female (right) Moithaul eyeing each other suspiciously.]] [[Portrait shot of an Eyebolt working at a desk.]] Weirdo: -EYEBOLTS- I have learned little about this rather sedentary species; even finding out their name was something of a challenge. However... Basement society has developed to the point that it features clerks and offices, and this species appears to have carved out a solid niche in being and manning such things. They are male and female, although in sharp contrast to the Motihauls, among Eyebolts the two are practically indistinguishable. Having only one eye does not appear to hamper them in any significant way. Weirdo: -HELIPATHS- A truly bizarre species, the Helipaths constantly float about by a mechanism I have not fully fathomed, although it appears to resemble a propeller from an airship. The species has no mouth per se but speaks, as near as I can tell, by altering the pitch and speed of their flying mechanism. Food, or rather juice and pulp, is injested through the (smooth) tentacles. The species appears quite intelligent and manually dexterous, and has never shown signs of being a threat to others. Method of reproduction and distribution of the sexes, if any, are totally unknown. [[Portrait shot of a Helipath reaching for an object on a shelf.]]

Thursday, June 17, 2004
[[The Weirdo Who Lives In The Attic is giving a report to Yasmine Fotheringby]] Weirdo: -TROGLODYTES- The "Trog" life-cycle is another that continues to baffle me. Instead of becoming more intelligent as they mature, the lizard-like Trogs appear to do just the reverse. Young male and female Trogs are capable of rational, even sophisticated, discourse, but as they grow they undergo drastic physical and mental changes; a fully adult trog of either sex is little more than a ravening beast, lurking at the fringes of Basement society and butchering anyone unwary enough to come near. The change is so profound, I didn't realize for some time that the young and old Trogs are members of the same species. [[Portrait shot of a young, an adolescent, and an adult Trog (left to right).]] [[Portrait shot of a male (left) and a female (right) Ghast, touching hands.]] Weirdo: -GHASTS- Ghasts are three-eyed bipedal collections of dripping slime. They are intelligent, highly perceptive and very difficult to kill, and thus are among the most respected of Basement inhabitants. I use "respect" instead of "fear" deliberately, for it seems that Ghasts are restricted to a very limited diet which does not include meat. There are male and female Ghasts, and I have overheard vague mentions of "pools" which clearly play a part in their reproductive process. Further details are very sketchy. Individual Ghasts can only be told apart by the Little Floaty Things which constantly hover near every Ghast's head. Weirdo: -OOZES- Oozes seem to be related to Ghasts, although instead of displaying fellowship, social relations between the two species are best described as "strained". Oozes cannot form legs capable of carrying their weight, and thus cannot move at any great speed, but they are far more amorphous than Ghasts, and can create a number of crude manipulative appendages from their bodies. They can climb walls and even ceilings with ease. Their diet is more extensive than Ghasts, although they are more carrion-feeders than active predators, and thus often compete with Gobules as scavengers. I have seen no female Oozes, but I suspect they exist, and remain within the confines of the Ooze colony. [[Profile shot of an Ooze with an appendage on a wall, looking "up" at the Ghasts in the previous panel.]]

Friday, June 18, 2004
[[Wierdo: -JIBJIBS- Despite what I said at the outset about assuming zero knowledge on the part of my listeners, here I can only say, yes, these are simply Jibjib Burds, exactly the same as those found in any common barnyard or on your dinner plate. Yasmine: Not on /my/ dinner plate. Wierdo: Well. Yes. The only differences: They are much larger, they are intelligent and capable of both speech and sustained flight. It cannot be a coincidence that this intellectual advancement is almost identical to that seen in the Mansion's Gnolls. [[Portrait shot of a Jibjib, looking at something poking out of the ground.]] [[Profile shot of a Wyrm.]] Weirdo: -WYRMS- While not an overt danger, Wyrms are a more forbidding species than their somewhat whimsical appearance might suggest. Quite strong and tough, they are reportedly capable of digging much further down into the "Hot Zone" than any other species. Most of them, in fact, seem to prefer to stay down in that region, often working there as miners. They come in two varieties, python-sized and quite tiny, which otherwise seem to be very much alike, in both abilities and temperament, although my contact to date with the small ones has been very limited. Weirdo: -WILLYGIGS- A species of rather.. erratic.. time-travelers about which little is known. Yasmine: Wait. Willygigs? They actually exist? Weirdo: Yes. I managed to speak to the one, evidently the only one, who currently visits the Mansion. He is named "Protus", and our brief conversation was unenlightening. He clearly assumed that I had information which I did not and still do not possess, and that he had reason to hold a mild grudge against me. He departed quite suddenly, in a fashion I couldn't fathom. Yasmine: You mean he Disappeared. Wierdo: Yes. Yasmine: And that at some point in the future, you're going to make him angry. Wierdo: Yes. Yasmine: Lovely... [[Profile shot of Protus "bending the fabric of time."]]

Saturday, June 19, 2004
[[Weirdo: -BOOGIEMEN- A species of large and powerful bipeds. I have not been able to get close enough to one to obtain detailed data. While none of them appear to be geniuses as such, there has been a definite /range/ of intellect on display. They do wear clothes, which would seem to be a sign of higher thought processes. Another oddity about the speices is that individual "Boogies" use human names for themselves, the only race in the Basement to do so. No female Boogies have yet been sighted. [[Profile shot of a Boogieman holding an unfortunate gnoll(?) in one fist.]] [[Portrait shot of an Ichyoid with one claw raised.]] Weirdo: -ICHYOIDS- Another large and muscular race. Due to the Ichyoids' amphibious nature, and the resulting fact that their dwelling places are all submerged, data is once again scarce. However, unlike the Boogies, they have displayed no overtly aggressive behavior in my presence, and may possess a high degree of intellect, even though they are either unable or unwilling to speak the common language, as the rest of the Basement dwellers do. As with the Motihauls and Boogies, they wear clothes. Wierdo: -DORNBEASTS- A race of large armored predators who viciously compete with adult Trogs for food and living space at the edges of Basement society; at the moment the two species give every indication of being locked in an endless and bloody stalemate. Dornbeasts appear to be entirely non-sentient, but they are intelligent enough to be domesticated and deployed as low-level guards and watch-"dogs". Ghasts appear to have a particular affinity for using Dornbeasts in this capacity. [[Profile shot of a Dornbeast slathering and glaring at a small flower.]]

Sunday, June 20, 2004
[[Profile shot of an Ecadem (with barbed tail) and a Queen Snake.]] [[Giant question mark, in lieu of a picture of a Sneech.]] Weirdo: -SNEECHES- And here we pass into territory where my knowledge ventures to the brink of complete failure. I have never seen a Sneech, and judging from what I have heard, I am very lucky to do so. By all reports, the race is reclusive, xenophobic, and highly lethal. They are rumored to be bipedal, have more than two arms, and to be able to shoot some sort of deadly "beam" from their eyes, much like the battle-engines of the olden days are said to have done... Weirdo: -THE OPERATOR- I am not at liberty to discuss this individual, even to you, beyond saying that he is confined to his elevator, and that he is the only member of his race currently in or under the Mansion. These are two facts about which one should be deeply and profoundly grateful. Yasmine: What do you /mean/, you are not at-- Wierdo: /Moving on/. We next come to the various races who currently inhabit the forest which surrounds the Mansion... [[Portrait shot of the Operator, holding a sign with the copyright on it.]]

Monday, June 21, 2004
[[Profile shot of a forest Gnoll poking with a stick at a beehive labeled "angry beez! dont poke!!" in Manglish.]] Weirdo: -GNOLLS- There is a population of Gnolls in the Forest. Except for a tolerance for sunlight and a somewhat less pronounced intellectual advancement, they are identical to their underground cousins. Weirdo: -NOMES- It appears that Nomes were once quite numerous in the Basement, but now all but a handful live out in the Forest, mostly working as, well, foresters. Nomes tend to be pragmatic and calm, but they are capable of anger under duress, and they are surprisingly strong considering their small size. I hold the view that Nomes and Humans are somehow related, and my current observations have only reinforced this belief. Apart from the physical similarities, they wear clothes and, unique among Mansion-dwellers, have been observed smoking pipes. [[Profile shot of a Nome standing on a thick tree limb and leaning back against the trunk, smoking. In one hand he holds a pole with a grabber dangling at the end of a string.]] [[Profile shot of two Pales, one with a holed banner and one with a double-pointed spear or military fork.]] Weirdo: -PALES- Little is known about this race of dark-pelted bipeds, who tend to be bad-tempered, reclusive and ill-disposed towards outsiders. Note that this is merely a /tendency/, not the open fanaticism and lethality ascribed to Sneeches: a solitary Pale will occasionally venture into the Basement, where they are treated as objects of mild curiousity. They are particularly unfriendly towards the Forest Gnolls, and there are vague reports of ongoing skirmishes between the two species. Weirdo: -SAURS- The fleet, skittish Saurs replace Gobules and Oozes as the primary scavengers of the Forest, rapidly gathering to clean up the results of various battles and feedings. They may be distant relatives of the Trogs, but they remain fully sentient and capable of speech throughout their lives, and do not appear to suffer from the Trog life-cycle abnormalities previously described. [[Profile shot of a nervously-looking Saur holding a twig.]]

Tuesday, June 22, 2004
[[Weirdo: -TREE SQUIDS- One of the two major predators in the Forest, this species prefers to lurk in the treetops and snag any passing prey, usually Saurs and Gnolls. They appear to be fairly intelligent, and able to understand spoken comments, even if they themselves are incapable of speech. Oddly, they will attack any species except Nomes, whom they go out of their way to avoid. They do not appear to actively obey Nome commands. {{Nitfol earlier explained that T-squids are allergic to Nomes, although the Weirdo evidently does not know this.}} [[Profile shot of a Tree Squid suspending itself between two trees.]] [[Profile shot of a Spyder sitting in its web.]] Weirdo: -GIANT SPYDERS- The other great forest predator. The intelligence of this species is almost impossible to gauge, but I suspect they are at least sentient. They use hunting methods similar to ordinary spiders. In strangely direct opposition to the Tree Squids, a Spyder will instantly and viciously attack any Nome which crosses its path, discarding opportunities for easier and closer prey to do so. The Spyders and "T-Squids" battle constantly for territory, neither side ever able to gain any permanent advantage. These battles are rumored to be exceptionally vicious and bloody. Weirdo: -BEAVER SHARK- I have heard persistant rumors of a third predator-species who sometimes appears in the forest, but I have yet to obtain any hard evidence that the so-called "Beaver Shark" actually exists. Stories universally depict it as a relentless unstoppable killing machine who feeds voraciously for a time, driving all before it, before disappearing back into months or even years of obscurity. Further research is required. Yasmine: Sounds to -me- like you've done all the research that's needed on the topic...

Wednesday, June 23, 2004
[[Yasmine: So. That's it? Weirdo: For large sentiants, yes. There are also innumerable varieties of small pests roaming around.. [[The Weirdo passes a jarred slime-grub to Yasmine. She has a circular mark on the palm of her hand.]] Weirdo: One of the most pernicious is this. It's called a slime-grub. Gets into everything in the Basement. Yasmine: We have these in the Capital. Not nearly so large, though. Weirdo: Yes... Weirdo: Something far more.. intriguing.. is /this/. I've never seen anything like it before. It's called a "Fleeb". {{The first close-up of a Fleeb}}

Thursday, June 24, 2004
[[The Weirdo and Yasmine are shown in sillhouette.]] Yasmine: A "Fleeb." Weirdo: That's what the basement-dwellers call them, at least. [[The Weirdo holds out a Fleeb in a small container.]] Yasmine: What does it do, exactly? Weirdo: Nothing. [[View zooms closer in towards the Fleeb.]] Yasmine: How is -that- intriguing? Weirdo: Quite literally, nothing. [[Close-up shot of the Fleeb's eye and upper body.]] Weirdo: They don't eat, they don't reproduce, they just sit around and... sort of stare...

Friday, June 25, 2004
[[Sillhouette view of Yasmine and the Weirdo talking.]] Yasmine: These "Fleebs" do not eat? That is not possible. Weirdo: All right. I've never -seen- one eat. Or reproduce. [[Frontal sillhouette view of the Weirdo.]] Weirdo: And because they -are- so docile, portable, and limited in quantity, the Basement-dwellers have taken to using them as a sort of currency. [[Yasmine and the Weirdo in profile again.]] Yasmine: Currency.. Weirdo: What? [[Close up on Yasmine holding the Fleeb's container.]] Yasmine: I find these things... disturbing. Weirdo: -You- find something to be disturbing? Yasmine: I find many things to be disturbing. These.. Enough so that I will take all you have with me.

Saturday, June 26, 2004
[[Silhouette shot of Yasmine and the Weirdo talking. The Weirdo holds up two fingers.]] Weirdo: I only have two Fleebs. They're not easy to obtain.]] Yasmine: It will have to do. [[The Weirdo picks the container holding his second Fleeb off a shelf of other specimens.]] Weirdo: What has you so worried that you want them? Yasmine: Events Out West... [[Close-up on Yasmine's glowing eyes.]] Yasmine: They are going badly. Worse than you've probably heard here. Weirdo: What's that have to do with-- [[The Weirdo tosses his second Fleeb to Yasmine.]] Yasmine: Tulip is dead. Weirdo: -WHAT? HOW?!- [[Yasmine catches the second Fleeb.]] Yasmine: We don't know. That's how bad things are there. But he did send one last report. In it, he made a vague reference. [[Yasmine stacks one Fleeb jar on top of the other.]] Yasmine: He didn't call them "Fleebs," but I'm positive these things... They were what he was talking about.

Sunday , June 27 , 2004
[[In the Attic of the Weirdo]] Weirdo/Arthur: Why didn't you tell me sooner that Tulip is- gone? Yasmine: They didn't want me to tell you at all. They thought it might.. distract you. Yasmine: But *I* thought you had a right to know. I know the two of you were close. Weirdo: We joined up together. That first night in the Plebe Dorms, he and I- [[Realizes something.]] Weirdo: You waited until *after* I given the report. Yasmine: There was a certain tactical element in my timing, yes. [[They are both silent for a moment.]] Weirdo: Thank you. Yasmine: He was my friend too. And we *must* see to it that his death was not in vain.

Monday, June 28, 2004
[[Up in the Attic. Various shapes are dimly visible in the background.]] Yasmine: Tulip is dead. We must grieve, but as painful as it is, must also realize.. Yasmine: Everything Out West.. Even though it may very well end up smashing all we've worked to rebuild since the Crash.. it's *not important.* Yasmine: Not as important as this Mansion. We must figure out what's really going on here. And soon. The Weirdo/Arthur: Yes Arthur: And I'm still missing a big piece of the puzzle. It all just doesn't.. fit... together.. Yasmine: Something is wrong, in the hereandnow? Arthur: It should *not* be getting lighter in here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004
[[In the Attic of the Mansion.]] The Weirdo/Arthur: As I reported before, I'm being watched by.. someone. I thought we had protection here in my room, but.. You have to leave. NOW. Yasmine: Yes. [[She starts to leave] Yasmine: But try and stay in touch. Arthur: NO! I mean, wait! I almost forgot! Today.. there was a woman with Sylvester. [[He reaches for a pen.]] [[He scribbles on some paper.]] ((skritch skritch skritch)) [[Hands her the paper; has a very stylized drawing of Rosemary on it.]] Arthur: Here's a Doodle. Name unknown. Western accent: from Moonin, maybe Erewhon. Swordbunny, level 4+. Rusticated. Arthur: And, except that she was wearing one of Sylvester's helmets, she was dressed like a Chroman Initiate. But if that woman's ever taken Chroman vows, then I'm a slime-grub.

Wednesday , June 30 , 2004
[[Yasmine holds the "Doodle" that Arthur/The Weirdo has given her.]] Yasmine: This.. westerner.. turns up *here* just as "fleebs" appear out *there.* This simply cannot be a coincidence. Arthur: No. And I'll send a more complete Report as soon as I can. Now GO! [[Yasmine looks at him for a moment.]] [[She is gone.]] [[The light overhead turns on.]] ((CLICK))

Thursday , July 1 , 2004
Narration: Meanwhile, out in the forest.. [[Agita has a grip on Snerk]] Mortimer: Um.. not that I'm *complaining* or anything.. Mortimer: ..but I'm the one who just blinded everyone. So.. why are you strangling Snerk? Agita: You were asked what that.. Zorper.. of yours does, and you demonstrated. But dear Snerk here was trying to break the Rules... Agita: And *everyone* has to *follow the Rules*.

Friday , July 2 , 2004
[[Snerk, shakily: rules? what rules? Agita: Yes, that's right. You're new at this, aren't you, Snerk? I should explain. Agita: Society needs rules. Don't you agree.. what was your name again, auctioneer? Mortimer: um.. Mortimer? Agita: "Mortimer." After all, if we don't have rules, we're back to screaming blood-drenched anarchy. Agita: And *nobody* wants that. [[She shoots a sly glance at Mortimer.]] [[He stares back.]] Agita: Well, *almost* nobody. And so, we come up with official Rules for things like.. *Auctions*.

Saturday , July 3 , 2004
[[In the forest]] Mortimer: Just because I am constantly dogged by screaming blood-drenched anarchy does *not* mean that I *want*- Agita: Fortunately, the Rules for auctions are quite simple: Agita: No misrepresentation of the merchandice. (sic) [[Mortimer looks at the Zorper.]] [[She admonishes Snerk]] Agita: No cutting private deals. [[She drops him.]] Agita: No threats of physical violence. Agita: And of course, the winner gets an 80-count headstart out of the clearing. Snerk, shakily: wait.. hold it.. what was that last one again?

Sunday , July 4 , 2004
[[In a clearing in the forest]] Snerk: What do you mean, the winner of the auction gets an 80-count headstart? Agita: Ah yes. This, sadly, is where we come up against the *limitation* of Rules.. Agita: Having some commonly-agreed Rules to stave off the ever-prowling agents of chaos is all very well and good.. Mortimer: I do *not* prowl! Agita: BUT.. having Rules that go around begging to be broken.. Agita: This is a *bad* thing, a fact that Preznit and our other dear friends on the Council seem quite unable to grasp. Mortimer: Our friends on the *what*? Agita: So the Rules are very specific. Agita: The winner leaves and the rest of us stay right here and count to eighty. After that.. Retaining possession of his new toy becomes *entirely* said winner's responsibility. Mortimer: Hey! That's a *threat*! You just said no threats!

Monday, July 5, 2004
[[In the tunnel to the forest, Niddle looks at a nonfunctioning robot sticking out of the wall.]] Niddle: Comshaw? This is one of those Metalmins people talk about, isn't it? Comshaw: Oh. Yes. We found it here while digging the tunnel. Comshaw: Too heavy for the Gobules to drag off, so someone'll come up from Hammer Hall and break it apart. Lots of high-quality metal in one of these things if you can crack in. Comshaw: What's wrong? Niddle: I don't know. It's sad. It seems... dead somehow. Like old bones. [[Comshaw walks away.]] Comshaw: Don't be silly, Niddle. Metal people don't get up and walk around. Niddle: Yes, I know. [[Niddle follows.]] Niddle, thinking: But you *used* to, didn't you?

Tuesday , July 6 , 2004
[[A dead robot sticking out of a wall.]] Niddle, from off-panel: Comshaw, are you *sure* that metalmin can't- Comshaw, ditto: YES. [[Closing on the robot's head.]] [[Closing on its eyes.]] [[A tiny light appears in the eyes.]] ((ssS)) [[The head pops off the body, on the end of a long spring, the eyes cracked.]] ((sSpROINnGGG!!)) [[The head snaps off completely and fall to the ground.]] ((SNAP. THUD))

Wednesday , July 7 , 2004
[[In a Smyt hole]] Pxyt's mate: Pxyt! What that horribly racket outside? Pxyt: Dunno. Was just gonna go check. [[Pxyt looks outside hole.]] [[He looks up as his mate joins him.]] Pxyt: Well.. [[The "giant" severed robot head looms over them.]] Pxyt: There something you no see everyday.

Thursday, July 8, 2004
[[A family of Smyts examine a severed robot head]] Child Smyt: Pa? What it be? Pa: Dunno, Grub [[Pa pokes the head.]] [[Nothing happens.]] [[The head explodes]] ((ZUM!)) Smyts: Who! Yip! [[The head smolders]] [[Pieces of the head rain down]] Smyts: Lookit! Aah! [[The pieces hit the ground and the head]] ((Ping THUNK PUM bong)) [[The Smyts watch. Nothing more.]] [[Pa pokes the head again.]]

Friday , July 9 , 2004
[[Pxyt and his family look up a the robot head.]] Syxp, from off-panel: Hey, Pxyt. [[Syxp with his mate.]] Syxp: What that? Pxyt: Dunno, Syxp. Pxyt's mate: But it *ours.* [[Syxp suddenly has been joined by a bunch of friends.]] Syxp: Oh don't think so. [[Pxyt has help as well.]] Pxyt: *Do* think so. Pxyt's child: Hi Unc Frim! [[A brawl commences.]] ((oof splat hurt ug thud POINK!! Brawler: ARGH!! NOW *MAD*!!

Saturday , July 10 , 2004
[[From atop the smashed robot head, two fuzzes watch the smyt tribes battle.]] Fuzz #1: Hah! ((various battle-noises)) Fuzz #1: Lookit dem stoopid smyts. Fuzz #2: Yeah. [[#2 disappears from sight.]] Fuzz #1: When they dun fightin we just take this dunnowhat from da winners. Fuzz #2: Yeah. [[#2 reappears holding a club.]] Fuzz #1: Dey never learn bout not bein greedy n *cooperatin*. Fuzz #2: Yeah.

Sunday, July 11, 2004
[[On top of a destroyed Robot-head]] Fuzz #1: Almost time to- [[He realizes something iswrong.]] [[Fuzz #2's club smashes down where he just was.]] Fuzz #1: Boy you stoopid. Fuzz #2: Cuz no *cooperate*? Fuzz #1: *No* [[Fuzz #1 leaps to the attack.]] Fuzz #1: Cuz no wait till Smyts all dead!

Monday , July 12 , 2004
[[Fuzz #1 knocks away #2's club]] Fuzz #2: RAR! [[They tussle and roll around.]] [[They fall off the robot head.]]

Tuesday , July 13 , 2004
[[Amidst their two battling tribes.]] Pxyt: This all *your* fault. Syxp: No, it *your* f- ((THUMP BANG OOF)) [[They turn in the direction of the sounds.]] [[Fuzzes #1 and #2 are fighting.]] ((RAR!)) [[The Fuzzes stop, realizing they are being watched.]] Pxyt: Fuzzes. Syxp: Fuzzes. [[Other Smyts become aware.]] Smyt #3: Fuzzes? Smyt #4: Fuzzes!? Syxp: Fuzzes. It *they* fault! [[The two fuzzes flee.]] Fuzz #2: OK we cooperate! Fuzz #1: Yes fine shut up. Smyts: RAR!

Wednesday, July 14, 2004
[[A pack of Smyts is chasing two Fuzzes]] Smyts: Getim Kill ((ABRUPT SCREECHING STOP)) ((THUD whump POW)) Smyt: oof! [[The critters are all in a jumbled pile, looking up]] [[An "enormous" slimegrub is looming over them]] ((CRUNCH)) ((gulp)) [[The slimegrub licks his tounge]] ((SLURP)) Slimegrub: BRAACCH! ((TROMPS fading away)) Female Smyt #1: This you fault Female Smyt #2: Noo, this /you/ fault! Young Smyt (thinking):There moral here somewhere..

Thursday , July 15 , 2004
[[Inside Le Tree]] Rosemary: Have you ever had one of those days that seems like a year? Sylvester: Not yet, but I think I might just about be there... Snoot, thinking: There be days that do *not* feel that way? {{MoE's one-year anniversary.}}

Friday , July 16 , 2004
Narration: Meanwhile, down deep.. Blit: Oh. Hello. Vipthaboo, isn't it? Vipthiboo: I perfer "Vip-*thi*-boo", but yes. Going to the Observatory? Blit: Yes. Aurilnodes don't work this close to the River of Fire, and I have ne- Noet: Hail! Blit: Noet! Noet: Blit! Both: I bring much news! Noet: You go first. Blit: Much is happening, Noet! Nevus and the Council teeter on the brink of open warfare! A great fire burns near the Elevator! God schemes and plots! AND there are growing rumors of *humans* returning to the world! Noet: Small wonder! For that is MY news! The Signs shine clear and bright in the depths of The River. Today is.. The Day! Blit: it is!? Vipthiboo: Um.. what "Day" would that be, exactly? Blit: You Ghasts need to get out more! The Day Which Changes Everything, of course! It *will* come, and when it sweeps over y- [[A jumbled mass of reflections. THE DAY WHICH CHANGES EVERYTHING.]] Blit: -ou, you will repent your unmistakable ignorance. Vipthiboo: That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. [[Both of them are using a new dialogue font, and Noet the ooze has gained an extra eye stalk, bringing the total to two.]] {{The author again thanks Matthew Welch, the creator of the "One Forty Seven" font which became the Gnolls' new voice.}}

Saturday , July 17 , 2004
[[Blit: Well, if you choose to wallow in blindness, there's nothing we can- Say, what's with the staff? Vipthiboo: Hmm? Vipthiboo: Oh. Yes. One of our Dornbeasts slipped through the fence again. I know it's close by, I can sense it. I need to round it up and- [[He notices something]] [[He is alone.]] Vipthiboo: It's just two weeks old! Its fangs have not even started to slaver yet!

Sunday , July 18 , 2004
[[Neot is riding on Blit's back.]] Neot: Pah. Ghasts and their "pets." What room is this we've run into? Blit: What do you mean, "we", oh legless one? ((clik)) Recorded voice: MUHAHAHAHAHA!! ((chomp)) Blit: eep! [[A sinister-looking statue, shaped like a monkey, branded with a K, holding a flaming bowl in either hand.]] Voice: FOOLS! BLIND STUPID LITTLE FOOLS! THOU HAST TRESPASSED ON YE SHRINE OF YE MIGHTY *KAYLU*! HIS CURSE BE UPON THOU! YE *MONKEYS* SHALL *FEAST* UPON YE EN- [[Noet pulls a lever labeled in Manglish "munke show lever"]] ((CLUNK)) Noet: Oh, for Brush's sake, who turned *that* back on again? Noet: At least we know where- [[He notices Blit's expression.]] Noet: What's wrong? You have seen the "monkey show" at least three times! Blit: That's not the problem. [[A tiny Dornbeast is chewing on Blit's leg.]] Blit: I think I found Vipthiboo's lost Dornbeast.. Dornbeast: rr rr rrr!

Monday, July 19, 2004
[[A young Dornbeast has clamped onto Blit's leg.]] Blit: whimper.. Neot: Hold still. I'll just pry him off of there. ((pop)) Neot: There we go! [[Holding up the Dornbeast.]] Neot: Aw. You are actually rather cute! ((CHOMP)) [[The Dornbeast has just bitten off Neot' finger.]] Neot: Hmm. [[Neot produces a new finger. The Dornbeast swallows the original and comes to a pleasant realization.]] ((gulp)) ((blorp)) [[Dornbeast attacks Neot]] Dornbeast: RRAAAGH! Neot: Gah! [[Blit watches the result.]] ((CHOMP! CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP CH-)) Dornbeast: eep! [[Neot has half-enveloped/muzzled the Dornbeast. He has a bite-hole.]] Blit: Cute? Neot: Cute *and* feisty! I am beginning to see why the Ghasts raise them!

Tuesday , July 20 , 2004
[[Noet has the baby Dornbeast.]] Blit: You are thinking about *keeping* that little phizzer, aren't you? Noet: It's tempting, yes. Noet: But since he belongs to a Ghast, and Ghasts are so disgustingly good at tracking down lost property.. I'll give him back to Vipthiboo. Noet: There is no need to further inflame Ghast/Ooze tensions. Especially if.. [[The Kaylu monkey-shrine statue, sitting dark but ominous. It has two tails.]] Noet: ..if humans.. the ones they say made all these insane old things.. ..really are back in the world. Blit: That's the rumor. But as you know, sometimes such rumors turn out to be nothing. Noet: And all too often they are true. I think I'll be going now.

Wednesday , July 21 , 2004
[[Noet has the baby Dornbeast semi-submerged in his body.]] Blit: You *are* going to return that Dornbeast? I will not provide any alibi, not even for you, if you try- Noet: Yes, yes, Blit. I *said* I'd return him to Vipthiboo. Take care. [[Oozing along.]] [[He meets Vipthiboo, hides the Dornbeast.]] [[Oozes on past. Vipthiboo eyes him.]] [[One last glance from Vipthiboo.]] [[As he turns to go, the Dornbeast comes flying at his head.]]

Thursday, July 22, 2004
[[Faldstool the Eyebolt is in Nevus's office, talking on an aurilnode]] Faldstool: Good. Well done, Furphy. I'll add a Fleeb to your pile, and you can come pick it up when- Furphy: --- (inaudible) Faldstool: eh? Furphy: --- Faldstool: Oh yes. Yes. Well, whether it exists or not, you can come get it and the rest. [[Faldstool hangs up.]] Faldstool: sigh.. [[The 'node rings.]] ((BREEP BREEP)) Faldstool: sigh.. [[Faldstool answers]] Faldstool: Hello? Zan: --- Faldstool: Ah. Hello, Zan. And how are things over at Le Tree? Zan:------- (long rant) Zan:----- (rant continues) Faldstool: SSSSSIGH..

Friday , July 23 , 2004
[[The stolen cakeshroom.]] Gorp: HA! We did it! [[He's with Phiga.]] Gorp: We took the cakeshroom out from under that Ghast's nose, and got away clean! Phiga: I only wish we could have seen his face, and not just heard the scream! [[They engage in the Gobule version of kissing. Behind them is mounted the enormous fang-filled skull of some creature. Torches blaze.]] Gorp: *And* if Ningle didn't survive that explosion, we won't have to confirm *his* event! This day may be- Twiz: I heard someone proclaim "woo hoo". who was- Twiz: Oh. Gorp. It's you. Gorp: Yes, Twiz. We need to see Maw. We have an *event* that needs digesting! Twiz: See Maw? I'm afraid he's *quite* busy, and- Maw: No, Twiz. Maw: Let's get this over with. {{Mistake: Maw has two working eyes only in this strip.}}

Saturday, July 24, 2004
[[Maw, Gorp, Phiga and Twiz are in a Gobule lair. A propped-up branch of the Tree is visible in the background.]] Maw: Hear me. I am Maw, consumer of memories. To eat is to live. To eat well is to live forever, beyond the death of the eater. Before us come Gorp and Phiga, proclaiming such an Eating Event in loudest woohoos. State your claime. Phiga: A genuine birthday cakeshroom, worthy in itself, but -also- taken from the Ghast specifically appointed to guard it! Maw, from off-screen: I see. And you.. escaped this Ghast? Gorp: We're here, aren't w- [[Maw, listening.]] ((KA-BOOM!)) Gobule voice #1: Look out! Gobule voice #2: Run! Gobule voice #3: He's mad! [[close-up of Maw's eyes]] Maw: You are -sure- you escaped this Ghast? Gobule voice #3: Mad, I tell you!

Sunday, July 25, 2004
[[An angry Sepferb the Ghast climbs through a hole he has created in one of the walls of Maw's Lair. In the background, amongst the rubble he's created, various Gobules cower or lie incapacitated.

Monday, July 26, 2004
[[Inside Maw's lair]] Gorp: That Ghast is comin'. He's really phizzed. Phiga: So. Eat the cakeshroom n' run, or just run? [[They both grin]] [[They prepare to eat the cakeshroom.]] Maw, from off-panel: Dont. Touch. The. Cakeshroom.

Tuesday , July 27 , 2004
[[Inside Maw's Gobule Lair.]] Gorp: "Don't touch the cakeshroom"?! But we took it! It's *ours*! Twiz, thinking: Weren't they just talking about abandoning it? Maw: And now I am taking it from you. Unless of course you are proclaiming a challenge. [[Gorp and Phiga stare.]] Maw: No? Well then. Maw: I know all too well you only care about yourselves, and give no thought to others ..but you still belong to this lair, and because I am Maw, I must protect you and everyone else here. Maw: Twiz and I will deal with this Ghast of yours- ((SMASH BOOM THUD)) Maw: If we can. We will need the cakeshroom to do so. Twiz, thinking: We? Maw: As for the two of *you.* We will.. discuss.. this later. For now.. Get out of my sight.

Wednesday , July 28 , 2004
[[In Maw's lair.]] Twiz: Gorp and Phiga went out the back. Maw: Good. Twiz: Um.. Twiz: You want me to.. "help".. with the Ghast? I mean, we don't even know that it *is* a Ghast who's- Devura: MAW!! Devura: Some crazy Ghast's tearing up the lair! Twiz: OK, but we don't know for a fact that he's here about the- Devura: He's saying something about a stolen cakeshroom! Twiz: You're really not making any friends here, Devura. Devura: Who'd want to be *your* friend? Twiz: Lots of folks! I have a very important position! Devura: What's *that?* Chief assistant in charge of weaseling? Maw, thinking: Would it be better to have the Ghast kill them, or me?

Thursday , July 29 , 2004
[[Twiz: Am not! Devura: Are, too! Twiz: Am not! Devura: Are, too! Twiz: Am not! Devura: Are, too! [[Maw looms over them.]] Twiz: Not! Devura: Too! Twiz: Not! Devura: Too! Twiz: N- Devura: Too? Maw: As much as it pains me to disrupt the cut and parry of sharp intellectual debate, I must point out that we have an angry Ghast about to drop by for a visit. That being the case, this is what the *three* of us are going to do..

Friday, July 30, 2004
[[A large pile of scavenged junk inside Maw's lair. Includes a M.U.L.E. box, a WABAC machine, a Brambleweenie device with a teacup, and small figures.]] [[The pile is violently scattered.]] ((BOOM)) [[Sepferb the Ghast appears in the resulting hole.]] Maw: Oh. So it's you, Sepfrbfrx. Sepferb: While I appreciate the sentiment, Maw, please don't try to pronounce my name. It just gives me a headache.

Saturday , July 31 , 2004
[[Maw: So. Sepferb. Still working for the Council, I hear. Is tearing up my Lair now part of that secret project of yours? Sepferb: I am- Sepferb, thinking: Am I? Sepferb: Let's keep this simple. I know nothing about any "secret project". I am here strictly in a personal capacity. I want the unBrushed zarking cakeshroom back. Now.

Sunday , August 1 , 2004
[[Maw is missing a foot as well as an eye.]] Maw: Your cakeshroom is over there. [[Twiz and Devura stand over the cakeshroom]] Maw: If you go near it, Twiz and Devura will eat it. And, just to establish this point up front.. You two? If you are more afraid of the Ghast than me, now's your chance to run away. [[Twiz and Devura contemplate their options.]] [[They do not run away.]] Twiz and Devura: whimper Sepferb: That's actually quite impressive. Maw: Thank you. I try.

Monday , August 2 , 2004
[[Gobules gather as Sepferb and Maw talk.]] Sepferb: So. You will not voluntarily give me the cakeshroom? Maw: I didn't say that. Maw: All I want is for you to stop destroying my lair and go away.. Maw: ..And if the way to make this happen is to eat the zarking thing ourselves. Or stomp it flat. Or give it back. Then that is what I will do. Lined Gobule: And if ya don't cooperate, you'll be sorry! Tufted Gobule: Yeah. Maw *ate* one of you Ghasts once! [[They see Maw's expression.]] Lined or Tufted: We'll.. just be over here.

Tuesday , August 3 , 2004
[[Inside Maw's lair]] Sepferb: I'm well aware you once ate a Ghast, Maw. But that was a long time ago, and he was an idiot. No, worse, a *charismatic" idiot. You saved the breeding stock from major contamination. [[Three Gobule spectators.]] Sepferb: And even if that hadn't been the case.. Sepferb: You suffered enough punishment for your crime. Maw, thinking: I lost an eye and a foot, *and* these idiots made me their leader. [[Twiz and Devura waiting over the cakeshroom.]] Sepferb: But that's the past. Once again, getting back to the subject at hand.. Sepferb: I swear, staking the honor of the Southeastern Pool, that if you give me back the cakeshroom intact, I will leave peacefully. Maw: Fine. Twiz? Devura? You can step away from the- [[They've already gone.]]

Wednesday, August 4, 2004
[[In Maw's lair. Sepferb picks up the cakeshroom.]] [[Watched by Gobules, he departs.]] [[And vanishes the way he came.]] Twiz: What about Gorp and Phiga? Maw: "Gorp and Phiga?" Twiz: Neither of you even *mentioned* them. What's going to happen now that- [[Twiz sees Maw's expression.]] Twiz: That.. Twiz: I'll just be over here...

Thursday , August 5 , 2004
[[Inside Maw's Lair]] Maw: Let's review what we've learned today. [[Only it's not, Maw is on a viewing screen.]] Maw: One, one Ghast, looking for a *cakeshroom*, ripped apart our defenses like they were brittlevines. [[Pull back further. Other Gobules listen to him talk.]] Maw: And why is that? Because we never *cooperate*. We squabble. We bicker. We bite each other in the back. We are no bet- ((fizz)) Maw: then a pack of *smyts*. [[The picture on the screen dissolves to static.]] Maw: We Gobules must- Gobule: Their ((fizz)) enses are down! Attack! Kill! Kill Ma- ((fizz)) [[Sound and picture cut out completely]] ((fizzzz)) Mr. Hand, thinking: Ah, well. [[He changes the screen to view a new location: Sina leading the bucket-chain effort.]] Sina: -yrms wait over there until we can talk to- Hand, thinking: Back to more important matters... ((KA-CHUNK))

Friday , August 6 , 2004
[[Mr Hand is watching his bank of monitors. On one of them, Sina is directing bucket-brigade operations.]] Mr. Hand, thinking: If she is able to deal with Rhid, I shall have to re-tag Sina as one to watch. [[He pulls at a lever mounted on the arm of his chair.]] ((KA-CHUNK)) Mr. Hand, thinking: But we were going to check on our intrepid *humans*. [[The monitor shows Candle Monks marching along.]] Mr. Hand, thinking:: Maybe.. [[Swill the Jibjib waiter flees from Hopobefever.]] ((KA-CHUNK)) [[Tabo the Wyrm is in Le Tree's lobby, suffering from the effects of Snoot's powder. Percy the Boogieman lies on the ground.]] ((KA-CHUNK)) Tabo: Oh hey! Didn't see you there, Percy. Brush. Sure has been a long time. Remember the old days? You n' me n' Skibble would go down to the River to hunt glowgems. Now lookit us. {{The River of Fire}} ((KA-CHUNK)) Tabo: I work for th' Council, yer here at Le.. Thingy.. and Skibble's.. Say, Percy, you ever get the feelin' yer bein' *watched*? ((KA-CHUNK KA-CHUNK KA-CHUNK))

Saturday , August 7 , 2004
[[Mr. Hand gives up pulling at the lever mounted on his chair.]] Mr. Hand, thinking: Bah! Worthless puling chunk of fizzlegarb! [[Mr. Hand in his chair, in front his bank of monitors, which display various scenes: Tabo the Wyrm and Percy the Boogieman. A fire, a black screen, a Gobule facing perhaps-tentacles, a Gnoll, an Eyebolt, and some unidentifiable things.]] Mr. Hand: HECTOR! [[He waits.]] Mr. Hand: HECTOR! ((clunk scrape)) [[A pair of lights glow in the dimness.]] ((clunk scrape clunk scrape)) [[They are the eyes of Hector, a rather battered-looking robot with a bowtie bolted to his chest.]] Hector: You bellowed, sir?

Sunday , August 8 , 2004
[[Mr. Hand: Hector! Where were you? Hector: Cleaning out your socks and preparing your dinner, sir. Hand: Ah. All right then. Wait. 'Dinner?' You aren't trying to serve me *food* again, are you? Hector: No sir. Hector: I have fetched a bottle of the '07 Plonkfield from the wine "cellar". It is airing as we speak. Hand: Ahh. Good. sigh. We don't have much of it left, do we? And they just don't make it like that anymore. Hector, to himself: A fact rapturously celebrated by vinologists and sommeliers everywhere. Hand: What was that? Hector: Nothing, sir.

Monday , August 9 , 2004
[[Mr Hand: What I *wanted* was- Hector: Sir, before you go on... Hand: *Yess* Hector? Hector: You have allowed one of those.. things.. to grow on your face again. You gave me permission, sir, to point out this fact whenever it came to my attention. Hand: Eh? Oh. So I have. And so I did. ((peeel FLING)) [[A scalpsucker is flung by Hector.]] [[Hand's dialogue font has changed to something more readable.]] Hand: I sound so much more *interesting* while wearing one, but anything to please you, Hector. Hector: As you are quite aware, sir, I was referring to the *mustache*.

Tuesday , August 10 , 2004
[[In Mr. Hand's monitoring room.]] Hand: The mustache stays, Hector. now, *to get to why I called you.* The scanner is broken. Hector: As you are so fond of pointing out, sir, the scanner is always broken. Hector: Which is why you obtained the services of those two "mechanics", to install- Hand: Yes yes. But they aren't close to finishing, and it's totally frozen up. Can't you do something? Hector: BEEP! This unit's tech-repair database is unavailable. Pathway filament 3423-A has become corrupted. [[Hand grumbles inaudibly.]] [[He points..]] Hand: Waaiiit a second.. [[One of the screens shows the defunct headless robot sticking out of the wall of the Forest passage.]] Hand: I know it's an earlier model than you, but could we obtain a.. "filament" from that? Hector: BEEP! This unit's tech-repair database is unavailable. Pathway filament 3423-A has become corrupted. Hand: Of course.

Wednesday , August 11 , 2004
[[Mr. Hand's monitoring room. One of the monitors shows the headless defunct robot sticking out of the wall of the forest tunnel.]] Hand: But even if that Bot does have the filiment, [sic] how do we tell which one needs replacing? Hector: BEEP! This unit's tech-repair database is unavailable. Pathway- Hand: *Yes*, thank you, Hector. [[Hand considers.]] Hand: Hmm. Is your *logic* database still working? Hector: Yes, sir. Hand: Good. Here is a hypothetical for it. Hand: A man has a device which is broken. The nature of the fault prevents the fault from being diagnosed by the device itself. What can he do to find the way to correct the fault? [[Hector's eye-lights indicate thought.]] Hector: PROCESSING. PING. Hector: Sigh... The man should closely observe the device in operation, and attempt to deduce for himself where the fault lies. Hand: Yes! Of course! You have that access panel! Come over here... Hector: Yes, sir. [thinking:] Curse my weakened self-preservation protocols. [[He walks over.]] ((CLUNK SCRAPE))

Thursday, August 12, 2004
[[Mr Hand examines Hector the robot's backside.]] Hand: Let's see.. How do we open this.. [[Hand pushes a button on Hector.]] ((boop)) Hand: Oh, yes.. [[An access panel opens, and a folded piece of paper falls out.]] ((click)) Hand: Eh? What's that? [[Hector picks up the paper.]] Hector: Scanning. It is a single sheet of white paper, mass-produced from hemp fibers. [[Hector holds up the paper.]] Hector: One side is blank. The other contains.. Hector: A list of instructions entitled "how to replace a 3423-A pathway filiment." [[Hector gives the paper to Hand]] Hector: Written in ink. In your handwriting. Sir. Threat level: 03% [[A closeup of the the writing, headlined as described.]] [[Hand reads the paper.]] Hand: How intriguingly odd.

Friday , August 13 , 2004
[[Mr. Hand has a sheet of instructions.]] Hand: the thing is, I don't *remember* writing this message. I- wait. it's a 3% threat?How did it rank that high? Hector: There's a danger of paper cuts, sir. Hand: Oh. Yes. Of course. Now. It's not that it's *impossible* that we've done this before. We've done almost everything before. Hector: Yes, sir. Hand: and niether of us has perfect.. oh. ah.. you don't recall..? Hector: No, sir. Perhaps during one of my routine memory cleanouts- Hand: yesyes. It's just... thinking to put in a detailed note like this.. it's not the sort of thing I'd generally do. Hector: You do tend to focus on the big picture, sir. Hand: Oh well. I must have been in rare form that day. Hector: That is the most likely explanation sir. [Thinking to himself] And indeed it is.. Hector, thinking: But there are the twin facts that 1: I can purge selected memories at will and 2: I am quite adept at forging his handwriting... Hand: And Hector? It makes me *nervous* when you start agreeing with me a lot.

Saturday , August 14 , 2004
[[Hand: "My" instructions describe your innerds quite accurately, Hector, so we'll give them a try. But who can go check your defunct compatriot? All of my little friends are so busy right n- ((BRIINNGG)) [[A telephone on Hand's cluttered desk is ringing. Along with the phone, there is a statuette of Roshambo the Warrior Beetle, a goblet, a candle, and a pronged object which ((BEEPs)). There is also a bug crawling across the desk.]] [[Hand answers the phone. The pronged device glows with a ((fzt!))]] Hand: Hello? ---? Yes, *of course* it's me. Who is this? --- [[The crawling bug explodes in a miniature mushroom cloud.]] ((SPLUT)) Hand: *Sprocket*. *Just* the fellow I wanted to talk to. --- Oh, stop whimpering, you'll *love* this job.

Sunday , August 15 , 2004
[[Items on Mr. Hand's desk/dresser: A Roshambo the Warrior Beetle statuette, a candle, a pencil labeled FROBOZZ. A wisp of smoke is all that remains of a dead bug. Hand is talking on the phone to Sprocket the Gnoll.]] Hand: You know what a "metalmin" is, I assume? -- Good. [[Panning down, off the desk, towards the floor.]] Hand: And about the Council's tunnel to the forest? -- Goood. [[More panning, past some drawers.]] Hand: I want you, and Flange of course, to go there and- -- Who? [[Hand's voice fades away. There are three bugs on the floor, all wearing protective suits.]] Bug #1: You scan? He dead. Bug #2: Yes. But shield suit *nearly* work! [[Bug #3 gets an idea.]] Bug #2: He get *halfway* to shrine before splutter see him! *Next* time Roshambo hear prayers! *Smite* evil heathens! Bug #3: Hey! Got idea! Bug #2: Wut? Bug #3: Go up *back* of dresser! Shorter! No splut! [[The other two just look at him/her/it.]] Bug #3: Wut? [[Bug #3 has been disassembled.]] Bug #2: Heathens *everywhere!* Bug #1: Approach Roshambo from *rear*? PAH!

Monday , August 16 , 2004
[[The "heathen" bug lies in pieces on the floor.]] [[A Smyt wearing a white robe and carrying a staff appears.]] [[He is joined by a second one.]] #2: It pity. #1: Indeed. #2: Why such senseless violence? #1: Our very nature? Doomed to endless cycles of barbarism? [[They look at the bug's head some more.]] [[They both produce forks.]] #2: Course no point letting perfectly good bugbrains go to waste. #1: Dibs on fore-lobes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004
[[Two robed smyts are eating bug brains, using forks. Loud unreadable snippets of dialogue fill the air behind them.]] Smyt #1: Lots of Big Noise in Air Today. Smyt #2: Yup. Smyt #1: Say.. You one of those who understand BNIA. Smyt #2: Yup. But never say anything make sense. Jibjabber. Smyt #1: What it saying now? [[Smyt #2's "antenna" twich]] Smyt #2: Uh.. "Now.. re.. move.. fill.. e.. ment.. do.. not.. use.. fin.. gers.. use.. tool.. like.. fleeb.. tong.." Smyt #1: Jibjabber indeed Smyt #2: "Fleebtong". Like person can make tong as massive as fleeb.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004
[[Mr. Hand is talking on the phone, in front of his bank of viewing screens.]] Mr. Hand: So, did you grasp all of that, Sprocket? Sprocket: -- Mr. Hand: Good. I look forward to your report. [[Mr. Hand hangs up the phone.]] [[He puts on the table beside him.]] Mr. Hand: So. Now. [[A screen showing Tabo the Wyrm and Percy the Boogieman.]] Mr. Hand: There's really nothing to do now but sit and wait. Tabo, to Percy: Ya mind if I jus' lie down here fera minute? [[Tabo keels over.]] ((THUD)) [[The screen shows only Percy's hand.]] [[The screen shows only Percy's hand.]] [[The screen shows only Percy's hand.]] Mr. Hand: It suddenly occurs to me.. Hector: Sir? [[The screen shows only Percy's hand.]] Mr. Hand: There's an actual chance that I could become -bored-! Hector: You could catch up on paperwork, sir, or call- Mr. Hand: I'm -trying- to have a moment here, Hector. Hector: Yes, sir.

Thursday , August 19 , 2004
[[Mr Hand fingers the controls on his chair arm.]] Hand: Do paperwork. Shave off my mustache. Why do you plague me so, Hector? Hector: Because, sir, that was how you had me programmed. Hand: Yes. I did, didn?t I? [[One of Hand's viewscreens shows a Gnoll going "beeble" over and over.]] Hand: Maybe I should have you re-programmed. maybe Get that snotty little snandergrab back here.. what was his name.. Drax. Hector: While I can offer no hard data, Sir, the overwhelming statistical likelihood is that Mr. Drax is dead. Hand: Oh. Right. OK, Maybe his children, or grandchildren, would know- Hector: Assuming Mr. Drax produced any such progany, Sir, they are very likely to also be deceased. [[Hand sits in his chair. One of the screen shows The Gibber making faces, others less-identifiable things.]] [[Hand sags a little.]] Hand: Right.

Friday , August 20 , 2004
[[In Mr. Hand's monitoring room]] Hector: As to why you choose to torture yourself with my presence, sir, my psychology database is still fully functional, and I have formulated several different hypotheses. First, there is your need as an organic being for personal- Hand: Hector.. Hand: Just.. go butle something. Or something. [[Hector reaches for the three-tufted scalpsucker, which is trying to inch away.]] Hector: Very good. Scalpsucker: !! Hand: Oh. No. Wait. [[Hector has the scalpsucker.]] Hector: Sir? Hand: Come here. [[Hand closes Hector's access panel.]] Hector: Thank you, sir. Hand: Yes, yes..

Saturday , August 21 , 2004
[[In Mr. Hand's monitoring room. Hand thinks throughout]] Hand: I *could* get Hector reprogrammed. I could get anything I want. If we could just.. But that's the whole *point* of all this... [[He slams his hand down on the armrest of his chair.]] ((BAM)) Hand: ETERNAL AGGRAVATION! [[The controls on the armrest react to this.]] ((fzt GURBLE peep)) Hand: eh? [[One of the monitors changes from showing a Beebling Gnoll to..]] [[The Weirdo sitting in his attic, thinking about his dead friend Tulip.]] Hand: Heh. A kindred spirit? Perhaps. [[The Weirdo drinks from a bottle.]] Hand: I'd share that bottle with you, my friend, if things were different. But, sadly, I suspect you've been very very *naughty.*

Sunday , August 22 , 2004
[[On one of Mr. Hand's monitors, the Weirdo talks to Fantod. Hand thinks to himself throughout.]] Hand: Possibly naughty.. [[The monitor changes to show Yasmine walking in the Mansion.]] ((FZZZT!)) Hand: Eh? Hmm. Naughty, if only because she's forcing me to find out who she is.. [[The monitor changes to show Tuft and Dap idling in their alcove.]] ((FZZZT!)) Hand: Heh. Lazy *and* naughty. [[The monitor changes to show The Woman of Mystery near the door to the Basement. She is smiling and pointing down at something as she speaks inaudibly.]] ((FZZZT!)) Hand: Annnd of course *wonderfully deliciously* naughty.

Monday, August 23, 2004
[[Hector carries the scalpsucker.]] Hand, from off-panel: WHY DOES EVERYONE HAVE TO BE SO URKING NAUGHTY!? [[Hector turns back to answer.]] Hector:... Hand: That was a question directed at the universe in general, Hector, not you specifically. [[Hector turns to go.]] Hector: Very good, sir. [[Hector speaks confidentially to the scalpsucker.]] Hector: My personal theory on the subject is that it is because that is the way *their* creator programmed them to be.]]

Tuesday , August 24 , 2004
[[Hector is carrying the male three-tufted scalpsucker.]] ((CLUNK SCRAPE)) [[The scalpsucker gets angry.]] [[RAR!]] [[The scalpsucker is attacking Hector's face.]] scalpsucker: RAR! [[The scalpsucker is attacking the top of Hector's head.]] scalpsucker: RAR! [[The scalpsucker is attacking the back of Hector's head.]] scalpsucker: RAR! [[The scalpsucker realizes that none of this is even marginally effective.]] scalpsucker: rar? [[Hector resumes walking, the scalpsucker still clinging to the back of his head.]] ((CLUNK SCRAPE))

Wednesday , August 25 , 2004
[[Hector walks along a corridor past a series of doors, with the scalpsucker riding on his head. He ((CLUNK SCRAPE))s the whole way. In the first alcove is a skeleton slumped in a throne-like chair, wearing clothes and a crown. It has been attached via cables to a large dial labeled with yes, no and cheese.]] [[Another alcove. In it, a branch of the Tree has a footed object attached to it via wires.]] [[A third alcove. An angry Trog is chained to a treadmill, and is being goaded on by a grinning Gnoll puppet/taxidermy project.]] [[An elevator door, partially obscured by piles of boxes and such. A small panel is to one side, with four indicators on it. One of them is lit up.]] Hector: Now that's interesting..

Thursday , August 26 , 2004
[[Where Mr Hand and Hector live. A light on a panel next to the Elevator has turned on.]] Hector: I don't recall *that* light ever being activated. What does it signify? [[The three-tufted scalpsucker is riding on his head. His eyes indicate thought.]] Hector: PROCESSING ((PING)) Hector: Ah. "Fire detected in elevator shaft. Recommend immediate activation of fire-supression systems." Hector: Yes. that would indeed be a sensible course of action. [[He turns to go.]] Hector: Unfortunately, it would require *possession* of a fire-suppresion system.

Friday, August 27, 2004
[[Hector the robot walks into his room, the scalpsucker still riding on his head.]] [[He approaches a workbench on which are various items, including a dial, a knife and a grabber of some sort.]] [[He reaches out his hand.]] [[The scalpsucker gets nervous.]] [[Hector turns the dial.]] ((CLIK)) [[The scalpsucker cracks an eye- clik?]] ((PEEL)) [[The scalpsucker is being held over a hole in the bench.]] [[The scalpsucker is sucked away.]] ((SHOOMP))

Saturday , August 28 , 2004
[[The three-tufted scalpsucker hurtles down a tube.]] [[There are branches in the tube. He is directed through them.]] ((THUMP BANG POW)) {{A spider and a smyt engage in a Spiderman homage on top of the tube.}} [[The scalpsucker is spit out into a holding box.]] ((PAH-TUI)) [[He sits stunned for a moment as a hatch seals itself behind him.]] [[He stares at what is in front of him.]] [[Three shapes..]] [[He stares some more..]] [[Three female three-tufted scalpsuckers.]] ((RAR...))

Sunday , August 29 , 2004
[[Inside a box with airholes]] Male Scalpsucker: RAR? Female Scalpsucker #1: RAR! [The exterior of the box.]] Scalpsuckers: RAR!! [[The box "begins a rockin'"]] ((BUMP GRIND SPLUT XXX!!)) [[The rockin' slams the box's corner, squirting something free.]] ((SLAM poink!)) [[It's Mr. Lincoln the Evil Penny, a crossover from the webcomic Insanity for the Poor. He bounces across the floor.]] Mr. Lincoln: MUHAHAHAHA!! Lincoln: Foolish hormone-ridden fleshbags! I'm free! FREE!

Monday , August 30 , 2004
[[Mr. Lincoln the Evil Penny from the webcomic Insanity For The Poor bounces past two Smyts.]] Lincoln: No longer pinned beneath that breeding tank, I am now FREE to- [[He crashes into a rock, wedging himself upright.]] ((CRUNCH!)) Lincoln: EX-cellent! This will be my new headquarters, from which I will TAKE OVER THE WORLD!! Child Smyt: Pa? Whatit? Pa Smyt: Evil penny. Letsgo. Lincoln: Yes! Flee from me, worms! But it will do you *no good!* [[Two creatures like small Gobules with antenna appear.]] Lincoln: In the end, ALL will bow to the will of- Minigob #1: Whatit? ((CHOMP!)) Minigob #2: It lunch! [[Lincoln looks at the bite in his side.]] Lincoln: Merely a *minor* setback!! ((CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP))

Tuesday , August 31 , 2004
[[A portrait of a smiling Rosemary with sword and shield, by NJ Huff of the webcomic Emergency Exit.]]

Wednesday, September 1, 2004
[[Hector "uncliks" a control on his workbench. Nunsuch can be seen in the background.]] Hector, to himself: Accessing "to do" list. [[A list of scalpsucker types.]] Hector: List accessed. 21235.8 items listed. Access sublist 142-A, Class C vermin breeding collection. Sublist accessed. 529 items listed. Scan for.. Scalpsucker. Three pronged. Male. Located... [[An empty box next to "three-pronged scalpsucker".]] [[The box is half-filled with an X.]] [[The box is fully filled.]] ((PING)) Hector: The amount of satisfaction I derive from that is really quite pathetic... Nunsuch: PEEP!

Thursday , September 2 , 2004
[[Inside Hector's workroom.]] Nunsuch: PEEP! Hector: Yes, Nunsuch, *what is it*? Nunsuch: [Three stylized symbols.] Hector: Yes, of course. It's next on my high-priority to-do list. Just as it is *every day*. [[Hector limps off.]] Nunsuch: [insulting symbols] Hector: Don't you use that kind of language with *me*! Nunsuch: [disrespectful symbol] Hector, thinking: Sir may have been onto something with that whole "reprogramming" idea..

Friday , September 3 , 2004
[[A row of specialized robot hands: a hook, a pair of snippers, and others less immediately identifiable.]] [[Hector appears next to the display.]] ((cliunk scrape)) [[Hector looks at his own hand.]] [[He takes his hand in hand.]] [[He twists.]] ((CLICK)) [[He places his disconnected hand on the rack, next to one covered with fine manipulators.]]

Saturday , September 4 , 2004
[[Hector attaches his "knob-hand" to his arm.]] ((click)) [[He walks off, followed by Nunsuch.]] ((cliunk scrape skitterskitter)) [[He pulls aside a curtain.]] [[An enormous gong hangs from two chains.]] Hector: Deactivating aural imputs.. Nunsuch: [symbol indicating the same thing.]

Sunday , September 5 , 2004
[[Hector limps off out of sight, in the direction of the enormous gong, watched by Nunsuch.]] ((clunk scrape)) [[Nunsuch continues to watch.]] [[A very pathetic bonk sound.]] [[Nunsuch watches.]] ((bonk bonk bonk)) Voice: GRARGH! Hector: Finally. Must you be such a sound sleeper? Get up and do your job. [[Hector reappears.]] ((clunk scrape)) [[The voice-owner is revealed to be a Boogieman wielding an enormous mallet. Nunsuch smiles.]] Boogieman: [grumbled insults.] Hector: I imagine now come the grumbled insults. This is the real reason I turn off my ears.

Monday , September 6 , 2004
[[The Mallet-Boogieman pats Nunsuch on the head with a finger.]] Nunsuch: [Symbol indicating love.] [[The Boogieman raises the mallet, flexes his muscles.]] ((pose ominously)) [[The mallet swings.]] [[a very large BONG]] [[Way down in Le Tree, Rosemary and Sylvester hear it.]] Rosemary: What the Zark was *that*? Sylvester: The Middle Gong. The day's half over.

Tuesday, September 7, 2004
[[Inside Le Tree]] Rosemary: The day is half over? It's not noon, is it? Sylvester: No. But the sun has reached its zenith... Sylvester: ..and the Middle Gong rings every day at that point. It always has. Rosemary: Who rings it? Sylvester: We don't know... Sylvester: It's very hard to track down the source of sounds in the Mansion. Rosemary: Doesn't it worry you that you've got some unknown immortal gong-ringer running around? [[Sylvester is sarcastic]] Sylvester: Oh no! It puts a smile on my face and a song in my heart! Rosemary: It worries *me* that I'm not 100% sure that you're being sarcastic.

Wednesday , September 8 , 2004
[[Heading for Spatchcock's office.]] Sylvester: But seriously, I believe the Middle Gong is an old automated system. There are still many of them in the Mansion. Rosemary: Are there High and Low Gongs? Rosemary: ...I mean, I didn't hear anything last night. Sylvester: No. There's only the Middle Gong. Sylvester: And, *yes*, I know that doesn't make sense. It's called the Middle Gong because it's always been called the Middle Gong. Rosemary: *What?!* A social institution hamstrung by inertia?? Why, I've never seen the like!! Snoot: Sir? Madam? *This way*, please.

Thursday , September 9 , 2004
[[Inside Le Tree, Rosemary and Sylvester face Snoot]] Rosemary: Oh. Right. We were supposed to be following you. Rosemary: It's just.. we seem to have developed a bad habit of distracting each other.. and.. [[They look at one another.]] Rosemary: BOO! [[Snoot remains impassive.]] [[More looking.]] Rosemary: I was curious if you're physically capable of blinking or twitching. Snoot: This way, please.

Friday, September 10, 2004
[[Inside Le Tree. Whispering throughout. A large arrow is on the wall.]] Sylvester: I didn't know that Motihauls could teleport and breath hallucinogenic gas. Rosemary: Well.. *Normal* ones that don't live in the Mansion can't. And I don't think Snoot can either. [[Snoot is carrying a small tube.]] Rosemary: I admit he startled me. Twice. But I was being facetious with the teleport comment. And he didn't breath gas. He shot powder out of a small tube. [[A staircase, one step of which has a "crack". Writing on the walls, mostly illegible.]] Sylvester: So he's packing weird chemicals and he can sneak up on *you*. Rosemary: Puts a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Snoot, not whispering: Up here, please.

Saturday , September 11 , 2004
[[Climbing steps towards Spatchcock's office.]] Snoot: Sir, mind the sixth step. Sylvester: Why? What do- Sixth Step: CHOMP Sylvester: AIIGH! [[Snoot watches the off-panel action.]] Sylvester: getitoff! ((BAM BAM BAM SPLORCH)) [[A moment of silence.]] [[Rosemary appears in view.]] Rosemary: You no longer have to mind the sixth step. Snoot: Duely [sic] noted, Madam.

Sunday , September 12 , 2004
[[Passing an alcove.]] Rosemary: Um.. Mr. Snoot? What's in here? Snoot, thinking: Sigh.. Snoot: This is a small exhibit set up by Mr. Nevus. It contains certain.. acquisitions.. of which he is especially proud. He encourages visitors to examine them. [[Inside the alcove are three glass domes, one each containing a "Glowing Ball of Light", a Plant, and a Hamster.]] Plant, thinking: call.. the.. police. [[Sylvester and Rosemary stare.]] Sylvester: OK, I understand the rare Plant and the Tribbletounged Hamster, but a *GBOL*? Rosemary: That hamster's alive. How does it breath in- a G-what?

Monday , September 13 , 2004
[[Snoot: That is not a GBOL in the display, sir. Sylvester: But it- Snoot: It is an ABOL, the only one in the world. Sylvester: Oh. An ABOL. That's more understandable. Sylvester: But "the only one in the world"? That's just not true. You can find them- [[He sees Rosemary's expression.]] Sylvester: You don't know what GBOLs and ABOLs are. I should explain! Rosemary: Yes. Excellent idea.

Tuesday , September 14 , 2004
[[Sylvester explains to Rosemary.]] Sylvester: "GBOL" is short for "Glowing Ball of Light". [[He points at the light on the ceiling.]] Sylvester: They are alive.. sort of.. and tied into and regulated by the Tree. They supply all the light we've been using down here. Rosemary: Oh. So why were we using candles at dinner last night? [[Sylvester turns to Snoot.]] Sylvester: A lot of GBOLs upstairs are "dead." Snoot.. most of *yours* seem to be working. How? Snoot: Mr. Nevus has an exclusive replacement contract with Gboler Lux of Kine Hall, sir. Sylvester: Exclusive? Would one of the *other*.. Gbolers.. be interested in parting with some? Snoot: You will have to make your own inquiries, sir. *After* you speak to Mr. Spatchcock.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004
[[Snoot watches as Rosemary and Sylvester discuss Glowing Balls of Light.]] Rosemary: So. What's an ABOL? Sylvester: An -Amorphous- Ball of Light. Much rarer than GBOLs. Sylvester: Unlike GBOLs, ABOLs are free-floating and self-powered. Thus they don't live.. or last.. as long as GBOLs. There are tales from the olden days that they might be sentient, even erudite, but there's no hard evidence. Rosemary: WHAT? Keeping a hamster locked up is one thing, but a thinking being? That's totally immoral! Sylvester, from off-screen: Um, Rosemary.. Sylvester: That's not your property, and remember what happened with- ((ZZAP)) Sylvester, from off-screen: Oh, dear. Snoot, thinking: I wonder if they actually need to be -alive- when Spatchcock talks to them...

Thursday , September 16 , 2004
[[Rosemary has been zapped and is lying on the floor.]] Sylvester: Rosemary? Are you.. going to live? Rosemary: Yes. Sylvester: Good. You know, you are almost as bad as Mortimer when it comes to touching things which *really* shouldn't be t- Rosemary: Yes. Maybe I'll "touch" you next. Sylvester: I'll just shut up now.

Friday , September 17 , 2004
[[Rosemary recovers on the floor.]] Rosemary: So what's this "Kine Hall"? Sylvester: No idea. Rosemary: And a "Gboler"? Sylvester: At a guess, someone who breeds GBOLs. My family called them Glowmasters. Sylvester: Look, Rosemary.. this'll probably be our last chance to talk before we meet this "Spatchcock." Now while I may not have graduated top of my class at the University, I also didn't flunk out. We need to- Rosemary: Wait. Rosemary: *You* attended the University? In the Capital? How- Sylvester: We *are* going to swap life-histories, Rosemary Ripley, but not now. Sylvester: Whatever happens, act confident. Don't give away information. Try not to display too much ignorace. And... And why am I telling you these things? You could have taught some of my classes.

Saturday , September 18 , 2004
[[Rosemary gets up from the floor.]] Sylvester: If you can, we'd better get moving. I think Snoot's becoming annoyed with us. Rosemary: Yes. OK. [[She speaks to the ABOL inside the glass display dome.]] Rosemary: But if you can understand me, if you are sentient, I'll be back. This too is not over. [[The ABOL and the Plant sit in their cases.]] [[More sitting.]] ABOL: Lady.. Pretty.. Plant: I have no mouth and I must scream.

Sunday , September 19 , 2004
[[The Plant, the Hamster and the Glowing Ball of Light are all in glass cases.]] Plant: So that's the Ball's scintillating contribution to the conversation. How about you, Hamster? Plant: Anything to add? Anything at all? [[The Hamster turns away for a moment.]] Plant: ? [[The Hamster turns back, now in full pirate regalia, hat, hook, eye patch, cutlass.]] Cap'n Hamster: AVAST ME HEARTIES! Run up th' Jolly Roger and weigh anchor! We be settin' sail for th' Far East, where th' galleys, they be simply wallowin' with booty n' plunder!! [[Silence.]] Plant: I'll just be over here.. Cap'n Hamster: ARR! {{All three characters are cameos from other Keenspace/ComicGenesis webcomics: Station V3, Furmentation, and Reasoned Cognition (rip). Also be a Talk Like A Pirate Day strip. Arr.}}

Monday , September 20 , 2004
[[On their way to Spatchcock's office.]] Rosemary: So, Snoot, is there anything else interesting that Mr. Nevus wants his guests to see? Snoot: *No*, Madam. [[They walk past a tall multicolored Growth, topped with bulbs, a flag and a horn-like object which spits out something like a flutterby. It is all attached to a small branch of the Tree.]] ((buuth! SCOP! brock! slaaade!)) [[They take this in. The 'flutterby' tumbles overhead.]] [[The flutterby ((poofs)) to dust.]] Rosemary: You're right. That's about the most *uninteresting* thing I've ever seen! Sylvester: My jaw is cramping up from all the yawning.

Tuesday , September 21 , 2004
[[A shot of the Growth in all its glory.]] ((snooble fwip brik)) [[Closer in, looking at the three bulbs on top. Two of them split in an X-shape. A bubble begins to inflate on another part]] ((zzup zzup)) [[The bulbs open, revealing two snake-like heads, Ahz and Skiv, who watch the departing humans. The bubble floats free.]] ((foop foop waft)) Skiv: Ahz? Was that who I think it was, just now with Snoot? Ahz: Yes. Skiv, I'm afraid it almost certainly was. ((glitch glitch)) Skiv: I'd heard the rumors, all the stories about the.. atrocities.. ..but I didn't want to believe... [[More watching. The bubble floats overhead.]] ((noopneep nioopneep noopneep)) Skiv: And who was that woman who was with him? Ahz: I don't know. ((The bubble pops)) Ahz: I don't like it. Things are getting just too zarking weird around here..

Wednesday, September 22, 2004
[[Snoot: Mr. Spatchcock's office. Please wait here while I announce you. Rosemary, whispering: I heard what you said before about not showing ignorance, but.. offices.. aren't my forte. Why didn't he just take us in? Sylvester, whispering: It's partly psychological. Keeping us waiting establishes whose timetable we will be operating on. Sylvester, whispering: But also, it also allows for one last chance for eavesdropping by Spatchcock's other.. employees. [[Rosemary walks off]] Rosemary: Oh. That explains the other thing I was wondering about.. Sylvester: Huh? ((POKE!)) off-screen Gnoll: eep! [[Rosemary returns]] Rosemary: Why that Gnoll was hiding inside that enormous vase. And I -poked-. I didn't -touch-.

Thursday, September 23, 2004
Narration: While Rosemary and Sylvester wait for their meeting... Rosemary: I'm getting real sick of all this -waiting-... [[Snerk glares at Agita, while Mortimer watches]] Narration: Mortimer has been forced into conducting an auction... Mortimer, thinking: Trouble-magnet senses tingling! Narration: Comshaw and Niddle reach the end of a tunnel... Comshaw: There it is. That's the forest up ahead. Narration: Camora and Hax lurk in wait... Hax: -Must- you lurk so conspiculously (sic)? Camora: Yes. Narration: Sina prepares to confront "Crazy" Rhid... Sina: Where's Sepf- Oh. There you are. Is something wrong? You look like you've been running. Sepferb: No. No. Everything's fine. Narration: And Scruffy eats his lunch. Ratch: Who th' zark are you? Scruffy: Scruffy. And I'm eatin' my lunch. Ratch: Teriff. Go do it in -someone else's- stall.

Friday, September 24, 2004
[[Three eyebolts are sitting at a table writing]] ((skritch)) ((skritch)) ((skritch)) ((skritch)) ((skritch)) [[The middle eyebolt stops writing and looks to his right. The other two continue to write]] ((skritch)) ((skritch)) ((skritch)) [[The middle eyebolt looks to his left. The other two continue to write]] ((skritch)) ((skritch)) ((skritch)) [[The middle eyebolt smiles and "weirds", causeing shapes to radiate out in waves around him]] [[The other two eyebolts stop writing and look at the middle eyebolt as he resumes writing]] ((skritch)) ((skritch)) [[The other two eyebolts resume writing, having moved slightly away from the one in the middle]] ((skritch)) ((skritch)) ((skritch)) ((skritch)) ((skritch))

Saturday, September 25, 2004
[[Three eyebolts are sitting at a table writing]] ((skritch)) ((skritch)) ((skritch)) ((skritch)) [[The door opens]] ((SLAM!)) Inspector Petyphrog: Everybody freeze! [[Inspector Petyphrog, an eyebolt with an A.W.S. badge, has entered the room]] Inspector Petyphrog: Inspector Petyphrog of the A.W.S. We've been getting some /very/ disturbing reports about this skritchpod. [[Inspector Petyphrog looks at something]] Inspector Petyphrog: It seems that /someone/ may have been engaged in- [[Inspector Petyphrog looks at the chairs]] Inspector Petyphrog: Well, well. Chairs pushed further apart than the standard twenty-three bloits. [[Inspector Petyphrog's antenna has 'seen' something]] Inspector Petyphrog: and... Yesss... The putrid afterbuzz is /unmistakable/. Some piece of filth has been /WEIRDING/

Sunday , September 26 , 2004
[[Inside a Eyebolt skritchpod.]] Eyebolt #1: Him! He's the Weirder! Eyebolt #2: Yes! I did it! Eyebolt #2: And I'm *glad!* Weirding is glorious and natural! One day, no matter how much Agita and the AWS try to supress it, everyone will see the *truth!* [[He is ((GRABBED)) by Pettyphrog's goons.]] Pettyphrog: Take him away. Eyebolt #2: *Long live the Weirders Liberation Front!!* Pettyphrog: The Anti-Weirdness Squad thanks the rest of you for your cooperation. [[The door to the skritchpod ((SLAMS)) shiut.]] [[The two remaining Eyebolts stare.]] [[Eyebolt #1 gets back to skritching. #3 makes a bit of Weirdness in his hand, and stares down at it.]]

Monday , September 27 , 2004
[[A flutterby with the eggs she has laid on a cavern wall.]] [[One of them hatches.]] ((snap crack)) [[A baby emerges]] ((pop)) Baby: Hi Mother: Hi. Baby: Yr my ma? Mother: Ys. Baby: Oh. [[They study each other.]] [[The baby looks around.]] [[Looks back at her.]] [[The baby flies away.]] Baby: bye. Mother: Thy grwup sofast.

Tuesday , September 28 , 2004
[[Two Smyts see a new flutterby approaching.]] Nontool Smyt: Whatit? Tool Smyt: New flutterby. [[The flutterby does some fancy arial maneuvering.]] Nontool: Why it do that? Tool: Dunno. Sheer exuberence? (sic) Pleasure at being alive? [[Nontool thinks about this.]] [[He does a little dance, flails his arms.]] Nontool: Woo! Yip! Live live live! Tool: Feel better? Nontool: Yes. Yesdo.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004
[[Leny the Trog is stacking rocks and humming off-key.]] Wrawa, from off-screen: Leny! -Finally!- There you are! Leny: Oh, hi, Wrawa! Wrawa: Come with me. Leny: OK! [[They walk along in silence.]] Wrawa, thinking: If only all of life were this simple.

Thursday, September 30, 2004
[[Leny and Wrawa the Trogs are in a corridor. A small flutterby flaps towards them.]] Leny: Hey, lookit! A flutterby! I love those things! [[Leny chomps the flutterby as it gets into range.]] ((CHOMP)) [[Leny looking happy, his mouth full.]] [[He has an unpleasant realization.]] [[The flutterby prys open his jaws from the inside.]] ((P-rry)) [[The flutterby flies away.]] Wrawa: Too strong for my taste.

Friday , October 1 , 2004
[[Leny and Wrawa in a corridor.]] Wrawa: Kronk? Are you down there? Kronk, from off-panel: G'way, Wrawa. [[Kronk, an adult Trog, is sitting and staring at a large gem-like object.]] Wrawa: Are you still sulking? Kronk: Not sulking. Tryin to member. Used to work with these. Used to be *smart*. Now lookit me. Cant member what they are *called.* Kronk: Now Im justa dummy. Shooda taken the Plunge like Yurd and Hamble did. Maybe still will. Nothin worth stickin around for nymore. just gonna get worse. Wrawa: Kronk.. Kronk: and you keep coming around and *talking*. Nothin you can say with yer big words thatll change it. So just- Wrawa: Come with me, and you might get to beat someone up, and no one will yell at you for it. [[Kronk stares ahead.]] [[He shoots Wrawa a glance.]] [[All three of them are walking down the corridor.]] Kronk, thinking: Life is good.

Saturday , October 2 , 2004
[[Wrawa, Kronk and Leny the Trogs are walking along a large-panelled corridor.]] [[Leny has a sudden realization.]] Leny: hee hee! Wrawa: ? Leny: "Too strong for your taste"! That was a *joke*! [[Wrawa smiles.]]

Sunday , October 3 , 2004
[[In a corridor with Kronk, Leny and Wrawa the Trogs.]] Leny: I know a joke, too! Wrawa: You do? Leny: Yeah! Skibble told it to me: Why did the Jibjib cross the Great Chasm? Wrawa: Why? Leny: To get to the other side! [[Kronk and Wrawa silently consider this.]] [[Kronk turns away.]] Kronk: Thats the dumbest thing I ever heard. Wrawa, thinking: "To get to the other side.."

Monday, October 4, 2004
[[Walking in a corridor]] Wrawa: Leny? How come you're always so.. cheerful.. even after you.. changed? Leny: That's easy. I wasn't smart when I was little. Leny: Well, OK. I was *smarter*, but not like Kronk n' Hamble n' the others. Not a *big* change when *I* got big. Not inside anyway. [[points at Kronk]] Leny: And also.. Kronk.. Leny, whispering: Kronk was a big pootyhead. Even when we were little.

Tuesday , October 5 , 2004
[[The Trogs Wrawa, Leny and Kronk are walking down a corridor in the Basement.]] Leny: Wrawa.. when its time for /you/.. I hope you dont take the plunge. it's not so bad this way.. Wrawa: I probably won't get a choice, Leny. I'm a- girl, remember? When the time comes.. it's 90% likely that I'll just die. You'll outlive me by five or six /years/. [[They recede into the distance]] Leny: Oh. Right. [[Nearly gone.]] Leny: I'll try n remember you as long as I can. Wrawa: Thank you, Leny.

Wednesday , October 6 , 2004
[[Guest art by Simon Shepard, creator of the webcomic NeTrek. Rosemary and Sylvester in a corridor, she armed with sword and shield, he with a frying pan.]] Narration: Tread carefully... may not be the only one watching your step. The Mansion of E.

Thursday , October 7 , 2004
[[At an auction site in the forest. Agita the Miotihaul faces Nevus the small Wyrm and Guttle the Gobule. Snerk the Saur lurks in the background.]] Agita: Ah. Feeling better, are we? Guttle: Yes. [[Agita turns towards Mortimer.]] Agita: Good. Are /you/ ready to begin, auctioneer? [[Mortimer holds the Zorper/HJ42.]] Mortimer: Um. Yes. Unless you all want me to push this /other/- Everybody except Mortimer: NO Mortimer, thinking: EEP! And whew!

Friday , October 8 , 2004
[[In the forest of E.]] Mortimer: So. Anyway. An auction. I guess we can.. open the bidding at.. uh- one simol- [[Snerk approaches]] Mortimer: Yes? [[Snerk whispers in Mortimer's ear.]] Mortimer: Really? Snerk: Yup. I know *that* much about auctions. Mortimer: Oh. Well. OK then. We can open the bidding at.. one fleeb.

Saturday , October 9 , 2004
[[In the Forest of E, at an auction site. Nevus the Wyrm sits on his tray.]] Nevus: I bid one fleeb for the Zorper Guttle the Gobule: Two fleebs. Agita the Motihaul: Three fleebs. Snerk the Saur: Three and a half fleebs! Agita: You've been snacking on your employer's property, Snerk? Snerk: It's all squashed, and I thought- Nevus, from offpanel: FOUR fleebs.

Sunday , October 10 , 2004
[[In the forest of E, Mortimer the "auctioneer" watches silently as the bids climb higher. All voices from off-panel.]] Agita the Motihaul: Five fleebs Nevus the Wyrm: Six fleebs. Guttle the Gobule: Seven! Snerk the Saur: Eight! Nevus: Eight, and a keg of squeezejuice! Guttle: Grr. Nine and a skimgibber! Snerk: Ten! Mortimer, thinking: I wonder if any of them would even notice if I just slipped away at this point...

Monday , October 11 , 2004
[[Somewhere in the Basement, a compartively large Fuzz is crushing Smyts.}} Fuzz: Haha! Stoopid Symts! me crush! Off-screen voice: Stop, Miscreant! Fuzz: Huh? [[Soopersmyt poses heroically. He wears a cape and has an S on his chest.]] Smyts: SOOPERSMYT! [[The Fuzz springs to the attack, throwing away his current victim.]] Fuzz: RAR! [[The Fuzz is pummeled.]] ((POW CRUNCH SLAM)) [[Soopersmyt stands over the Fuzz's body. The Smyts look on in awe, one of them is Loos, a clearly smitten female.]] Soopersmyt: Work here is done! [[The Smyts watch him depart.]] Soopersmyt: Up and away! Smyts: YAY SOOPERSMYT! [[Clur, a Smyt wearing a bulky shirt, appears on the scene.]] Clur: Loos? What happen? Loos: Oh, it you, Clur. You just miss! Soopersmyt here! /Save day!/ Clur: oh. [[Clur trudging away dejectedly.]] Clur, thinking: It no fair. Why me always miss /good stuff/? {{Dedicated to Christopher Reeves, 1952-2004}}

Tuesday , October 12 , 2004
[[Somewhere in the Basement. Yaypo the Wyrm watches as three Gnolls (Frag, Forfend, and Blim) go past. Frag: Those Phizzers on the Council are goin' after Le Tree! Faldstool's calling in everybody! Let's move! [[Two Gobules go past in the opposite direction.]] {{Their names are Shote and Sile}} Gobule #1: Maw and Nash are fighting! Now's our chance to nail both of them! The boss says we're going in! Yaypo, thinking: OK, that does it. [[He turns to go. In the background can be seen Vipthiboo the Ghast carrying a young Dornbeast on his catchpole.]] Yaypo, thinking: ..I'm out of here. Time to head somewhere *safe*. [[He reaches a passageway sloping downward.]] [[It is narrow, and descends sharply. A human skull can be seen in a small pocket of space. There is red below.]] [[Everything becomes tinged with red. On the wall is written in Manglish WELCOME TO THE HOT ZONE.]]

Tuesday , October 12 , 2004
[[Somewhere in the Basement. Yaypo the Wyrm watches as three Gnolls (Frag, Forfend, and Blim) go past. Frag: Those Phizzers on the Council are goin' after Le Tree! Faldstool's calling in everybody! Let's move! [[Two Gobules go past in the opposite direction.]] {{Their names are Shote and Sile}} Gobule #1: Maw and Nash are fighting! Now's our chance to nail both of them! The boss says we're going in! Yaypo, thinking: OK, that does it. [[He turns to go. In the background can be seen Vipthiboo the Ghast carrying a young Dornbeast on his catchpole.]] Yaypo, thinking: ..I'm out of here. Time to head somewhere *safe*. [[He reaches a passageway sloping downward.]] [[It is narrow, and descends sharply. A human skull can be seen in a small pocket of space. There is red below.]] [[Everything becomes tinged with red. On the wall is written in Manglish WELCOME TO THE HOT ZONE.]]

Wednesday, October 13, 2004
[[Two Wyrms are in the Hot Zone]] Yaypo: Hey, Syth. Syth: Yaypo. How are things? ((BOOM)) [[A rock breaks free from the ceiling and crashs to the floor]] Yaypo: The Coldzoners are fightin' again. Syth: Yeah. Heard about that.

Thursday, October 14, 2004
[[Wyrms down in the Hot Zone.]] Yaypo: Here comes Gybb. Syth, thinking: Oh, dear. Syth: Hello, Gybb. How are y- Gybb: QUIET! I'm hunting rocks. -Talking- rocks. And when I find one, there's -gonna be trouble!- [[Yaypo and Syth silently watch Gybb leave.]] Yaypo: He's going to die out there. Syth: Maybe the rocks will be merciful, and merely cripple and mutilate him.

Friday , October 15 , 2004
[[A rock deep in the Hot Zone.]] [[Yaypo the Wyrm appears.]] Yaypo: *You* look like a talking rock. Are you? [[No reply. Another rock is visible nearby.]] Yaypo: *WELL??* Second rock: No, he isn't! But I am! [[Yaypo looks at the second rock.]] [[Yaypo is gone. The second rock has been broken into several small pieces.]] Pieces: Hate you.. so much.. First Rock: I knew those ventriloquism lessons would come in handy.

Saturday , October 16 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone. Rock #1 is with the remains of Rock #2.]] Rock #1: Sorry you got smashed by that Wyrm, but it was you or me. Remains: [musical note] Rock #2: ? Remains: [same note, bone-shakingly loud.] ((CCRACK)) [[Rock #3 falls from the ceiling, smashing Rock #2, sending pieces flying, including the one that will eventually become SuperRock.]] ((WHAM)) [[A moment of silence.]] Rock#3: Hey, guys. Wazzup? Remains of #1: OK, that's it. You're gonna die. Remains of #2: Bring it on!

Sunday , October 17 , 2004
[[In the Hot Zone. Gybb the Wyrm is alone...]] Gybb, thinking: Hah! Yaypo and all the others, going on about how dangerous talking rocks are.. ((WHAM)) {{as behind him one rock falls on another rock}} [[SuperRock goes flying by unnoticed in the background.]] Gybb: Show me a talking rock! I'll take care of it just like that last one! SuperRock: Yahh! [[SuperRock bounces off a wall, falls.]] Rock-voice, from off-panel: Youse talkin ta me? [[Gybb turns. There is a big talking rock there. SuperRock falls out of sight.]] SuperRock: ARRRGH! [[It's a very big talking rock.]] Very Big Talking Rock: I dont see nobody else here, so youse must be talkin to me.

Monday, October 18, 2004
[[SuperRock falls down a shaft in the Hot Zone.]] [["He" bounces off a bulge in the wall]] ((BANG!)) [[And then another.]] ((BOING!)) [[He lands on the very tip of an outcropping.]] SuperRock: Oof! [[He teeters for a moment]] SuperRock, thinking: Oh no! [[He falls onto the outcropping, instead of further down.]] SuperRock: Whew! Very Old Rock: Well well. Hello there, Sonny! Nice of you to -drop in-! Hee hee! SuperRock, thinking: My relief may have been slightly premature.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004
[[On a ledge in the Hot Zone.]] SuperRock: Sooo.. you been here a while, old-timer? OldRock: Oh, yes, Sonny. Longer than you can *possibly* imagine. hee hee. SuperRock, thinking: Terrific. SuperRock: And what's the bottom of the cliff, here? OldRock: That's the *real* Hot Zone! You don't wanna go there! Even us talking rocks don't survive! SuperRock: Oh. Guess I won't- [[Noises, heavy vibrations.]] ((CRIPPLE! MUTILATE!!)) [[The ledge has broken off, sending SuperRock down the cliff.]] OldRock: Pity. Kid coulda kept me amused for *decades.*

Wednesday, October 20, 2004
[[A sea of lava, ribboned with black rock, viewed from overhead.]] [[SuperRock plunges into the shot, falling further towards the lava in each panel.]] SuperRock: YYYAAAA SuperRock: AAAAAA SuperRock: AAAAGG SuperRock: GGGGHH SuperRock: !!

Thursday , October 21 , 2004
[[SuperRock plummets into the deep Hot Zone.]] SuperRock, thinking: So. This is it. I'm going to die. [[There is an island in the sea of lava below, on which are two black objects.]] [[Closing in on one of the objects. It's a grate.]] [[Closer still.]] ((SHATTER)) [[A closeup of part of the grate; each hole in the grate is 'covered' by a smaller grate. SuperRock has punctured a hole right through this.]]

Friday , October 22 , 2004
[[A flight of small steps, beneath a low jagged-looking roof. SuperRock is bouncing helplessly down the steps.]] SuperRock: whimper ((BOOP ... BOOP)) [[Darkness.]] ((BUMP)) ((bobble bobble bobble)) SuperRock: Wha? ((CLUNK)) SuperRock: OOF! [[More darkness]] ((WHIRRR)) SuperRock: ? ((beep beep BEEP)) SuperRock:?? ((CLICK CLICK CLICK *CLICK)) [[A closed hatchway in a room. Everything is tinted red.]] ((CLICK CL-)) [[The hatch flips open, and SuperRock is forcibly ejected.]] ((flip PA-TUI!)) SuperRock:!!! [[The hatch flps shut.]] ((unflip)) Automatic voice: scan and analysis complete. 87 % certainty that intruding object is: rock, talking, sub-strain 4254-a. threat level equals 06 % Have a productive day.

Saturday , October 23 , 2004
[[Inside a mysterious complex, deep in the Hot Zone, SuperRock has been spit out by some machinery onto the ground.]] SuperRock: uhh.. [[Something large and white looms into view next to him]] SuperRock: ? [[It's the toe of a boot. A set of gloved fingers come down to pick SuperRock up.]] [[It's a figure wearing a full-body protective suit. He studies SuperRock.]] SuperRock: eep. {{It will be revealed that this is a male Nome named Kulkad.}}

Sunday , October 24 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone. Kulkad the Nome, wearing a protective suit, plods along carrying SuperRock.]] ((plod plod plod)) [[He passes a Human skeleton wearing a uniform (with an "E" patch) sitting behind a desk. Sitting on the desk is a broken mug and an old-style telephone. The desk is labeled GUARD STATION. On the wall above, the lower half of a sign reads, in part, THIS IS A TRIPLE RESTRICTED ZONE. AUTHORIZED INDIVD[..] ONLY. VERIFICATION CARDS MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES. [[A new room. Fizmo the Nome, also wearing a suit, is there.]] Kulkad: Fizmo. Fizmo: Hey, Kulkad. What's that you've got? [[Kulkad sets SuperRock on a slablike table.]] Kulkad: A rock. Fizmo: What, did that talking flap spit out /another/ one? That's three just this week. I don't like this /at all./

Monday, October 25, 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone]] Fizmo: And it's not just that flap acting up. The other sounds have come back, and the temperature's gotten worse, too! [[Fizmo gestures a telescope mounted near by.]] Fizmo: In fact, the one single solitary thing that hasn't changed recently is that zarking whatzit we were sent down into this fratzhole to watch! [[A device with a light and a large button.]] Fizmo: It never changes! Ever! And if it does change, what did that shifty little phizzer say, the one who hired us? "Push this 'button' thing and run"? Fizmo: Groan... Why did I ever take this job? I should have just stayed in the zarking forest. Yeah, OK, things are lousy there, but at least you don't have sip phiz through a straw, and sit on top of some... unBrushed explody thing! [[Fizmo and Kulkad look at each other.]] Kulkad: Talk a lot, don't you? Fizmo: Hey, you got some better way to pass the time, I'm all zarking ears !

Tuesday , October 26 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone. Fizmo the Nome is in a suit, grumbling. SuperRock sits on the table or whatever nearby]] Fizmo: /I talk a lot/ he says. HAH! That's a laugh. I remember Filfre. Before that zarking Spyder got him, /he/ was the one who talked all the time. I mean, it was like the guy had [[Something is happening to SuperRock.]] SuperRock: uhhh.. Fizmo: a busted hinge on his fratzing jaw, once he got started, there was /no/ shutting him up. Especially on the subject of clingroots. Which is kinda weird, cuz ol' Filfre was maybe the /worst/ clingroot grower in the entire forest. Well, except [[Fizmo's grumbling continues in the background.]] SuperRock: Something is.. wrong? Or just.. differ- [[More grumbling. A pointy insect-like leg emerges from SuperRock's side]] ((SPA-ROINGG)) SuperRock: YAHH!!

Wednesday , October 27 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone. SuperRock has just acquired a leg.]] SuperRock: What's happening?? [[Three more legs appear.]] ((boing spoop sprang)) SuperRock: AAAGH! [[That's it.]] SuperRock: These things! What am I gonna- Wait a second.. [[The legs can be controlled.]] ((Flex flex flex flex)) [[SuperRock plants the legs.]] ((CLUNK)) SuperRock: Now that's interesting..

Thursday , October 28 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone, SuperRock, sitting on a desk-sized block, has suddenly sprouted legs.]] SuperRock, thinking: If I can /move/ these things, then /maybe/ I can- [[He stands up.]] SuperRock: Oof! SuperRock, thinking: Hah! Yes! I can stand! [[He starts walking.]] SuperRock, thinking: I can perambulate! [[He has walked off the edge of the block, dropping out of sight.]] SuperRock, thinking, from the floor: I can fall! This is so keen!

Friday, October 29, 2004
[[Deep inside the Hot Zone, "SuperRock" gets to "his" feet.]] SuperRock: oof SR: Yes! I can fall, *and* get back up! With these new superpowers.. SR: If I can.. climb.. yeah, that's the word.. climb out of here, *those Wyrms will never know what hit them!* SR: *Forward to victory!* Or sideways, or whatever direction this is!

Saturday , October 30 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone. Fizmo the Nome, in her protective suit, has just seen SuperRock walk away.]] Fizmo: Kulkad! [[Kulkad the Nome finally appears]] Fizmo: KULKAD! Kulkad: Yyyes? [[The now-empty platform]] Fizmo: That rock! /It sprouted legs and walked away!!/ [[Kulkad says nothing.]] Fizmo: WELL?! Kulkad: Now you've got something to do. And yet you're still talking.

Sunday , October 31 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone. Fizmo the Nome, in full protective suit, goes past the skeleton-manned guard station.]] Fizmo: "Now I've got something to do." Hmph. Thinks he's so zarking clever. Fizmo, from off screen: OK, fine. Where the zark is that rock? It couldn't have gotten far, it wasn't moving that fast.. [[Nothing happens]] [[One of SuperRock's legs jabs into view on the chair behind the skeleton.]] ((chuk))

Monday , November 1 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone, SuperRock has climbed the back of a chair occupied by the skeleton of a Human security guard.]] SuperRock, thinking: Almost there.. [[He starts climbing the skeleton's head.]] SuperRock: urg oof [[He is now standing on the skeleton's hat.]] SuperRock, thinking: OK. Good. But gotta keep /climbing./ Where.. Wait. Up there. What's that? [[A small hole in the wall labeled AIRSHAFT 23A DO NOT BLOCK. The cover-grill hangs below by a single screw.]] SuperRock, thinking: Yess..

Tuesday , November 2 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone. SuperRock is standing on the head of a skeleton, looking up at an airvent overhead.]] SuperRock, thinking: So how do I get up to that hole? [[He taps the wall with a leg.]] SuperRock, thinking: I can't dig into the wall. It's made of metal. SuperRock, thinking: But wait.. What if I were to /push/ myself vigorously off the ground? [[He "crouches"]] SuperRock, thinking: My momentum might counteract gravity just long enough. [[He leaps.]] ((SPROING!)) [[He snags the lip of the airvent with one of his legs.]]

Wednesday , November 3 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone, SuperRock scrabbles to climb into the airshaft he has just leaped to.]] ((scrabble scrabble)) SuperRock: urg oof ((He's made it, and stands at the entrance to the shaft.)) SuperRock: So. Anyrock here? [[No reply.]] ((oop blip beeblebeeblebeeble ping)) [[He thinks about this for a moment.]] [[He advances down the shaft.]] SuperRock: OK then..

Thursday , November 4 , 2004
[[A quite gory piece of fan-art which depicts an unsuspecting Comshaw being crushed by the Operator's elevator. Contributed by "ymmot", creator of the Keenspace/Comic Genesis strip Bob.]]

Friday , November 5 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone, SuperRock advances down the airshaft.]] Computerish voice: BEEP. Unauthorized movement detected in airshaft 23a. Engage anti-vermin systems. [[He is sprayed with fire]] ((FOOM)) [[He is zapped with electricity.]] ((ZZAP)) [[He pelted with small projectiles.]] ((blam bonk phew)) SuperRock, thinking: Odd. After hearing those noises I thought something /bad/ might happen.

Saturday , November 6 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone, SuperRock walks down an airshaft. There is a closed panel in the wall.]] Computerized voice: Beep. Unauthorized unabated movement in airshaft 23a. Engage Verminator 444 unit. [[A shot of the panel.]] [[The panel slides open.]] ((SHUNK)) [[The lights of the Verminator mini-robot become visible in the darkness.]]

Sunday , November 7 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone, SuperRock is walking along inside an airshaft.]] [[He pauses in front of a stain on the wall.]] SuperRock, thinking: Wait.. what's that up ahead? [[There are bars blocking his path.]] SuperRock, thinking: Hey! Those things are blocking my path! [[Behind him, the Verminator minirobot approaches.]] ((VROOOM)) SuperRock, thinking: How am I supposed to get past!?

Monday , November 8 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone. Inside an airshaft, SuiperRock faces a set of bars blocking his path. A stain is visible on the wall behind.]] SuperRock, thinking: Perhaps if i were to vigorously propel my body against the obstruction, it might.. Verminator, from off-screen: BEEP! [[The Verminator is a wheeled minrobot equipped with a clamping hands. It appears to be grinning.]] SuperRock: Gah! Verminator: Prepare to die, vermin! SuperRock: What? Who? i'm not a vermin! Verminator: Beep. Verminator: ?Please clarify statement? SuperRock: Im a rock! I don't even know what a "vermin" is! Verminator: Beep. Verminator: ???? Does not computate. SuperRock, thinking: I can see /this/ is going to be an intellectually stmulating conversation...

Tuesday , November 9 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone, iinside an airshaft, SuperRock faces a Verminator minirobot.]] SuperRock: Haven't you got visual inputs? Can't you /see/ that I'm a rock? Verminator: BEEP [[The Verminator's antenna swivel forward.]] ((scan probe analyze)) Verminator: Scan completed result: confirmed. Target is mineral. SuperRock: /Yes./ Ii am a rock. Verminator: But the target walks and talks. SuperRock: Yes, that's sort of new. The walking anyway. [[The Verminator calculates some more.]] Verminator: ???? Rocks do not walk and talk. You walk and talk. You are a rock ??? SuperRock: um... I'll just be moving along now..

Wednesday, November 10, 2004
[[Superrock taps a bar with his leg]] Superrock: This material is too strong. I'd shatter further if I pushed myself into it. No more legs. ((beep)) Superrock: Why is the metalthing going to pieces? That other metalvoice didn't have any problems when it identified me.. Verminator: beep BEEP err or.. Verminator: err or fa tal err or walktalk replace lo gic fili ments re- ((SPROING)) Verminator: I am a Verminator 444 unit. I was activated at The Factor E on the 23rd of June in Audrayear 9. Hail E! My trainer was L. Skagg. He taught me to attack things. Would you like me to attack? [[Superrock points at bars with his leg]] Superrock: Well.. um.. You could remove these blocking things here.. [[Verminator charges the bars]] Superrock: Whoa! Verminator: RAR! ((WAM))

Thursday , November 11 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone. Inside an airshaft, a malfunctioning Verminator minirobot has just destroyed some bars.]] SuperRock: Wow. That's... wow! You did it! You removed the blockers! Thank you! [[The Verminator is completely malfunctioning.]] ((!!RAR!!)) ((BOOM CRASH)) SuperRock: Ah.. There's really no need to attack the wall as well.. ((ZZAP FOOM!)) SuperRock: Or those glowing things behind the wall... Computerized Voice: ALERT ALERT ALERT

Friday , November 12 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone, inside an airshaft. A malfunctioning Verminator minirobot has crashed through the wall and attacked the machinery beyond. SuperRock: What's going on in there? [[The Verminator is tangled in the wreckage it has created. All that follows is (sic)]] Computerized Voice: ALERT ALERT ALERT airsh aft 23a logic fil ments heavily dam maged en eng age sel frepair prot oculls [[The lights begin to fade.]] Voice: by byp ass damaged sys tems- FAILED sum mun kwal ified repa re teem- FAILED [[It goes dark]] Voice: ENGAGE AUTO DESTRUCT CONFIRMED

Saturday , November 13 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hot Zone, inside an airshaft.]] Computerized voice: Attention! Airshaft 23A self-destruct has been intitiated. you have 15 seconds to evacuate the airshaft. SuperRock: Hello? [[A view of the entrance to the airshaft. The cover-grate hangs by one screw.]] [[A metal cover slams shut, sealing the shaft. The grate falls completely off.]] ((SLAM)) voice: For your safety and protection, the airshaft has been sealed. you have 10 seconds to evacuate the airshaft. SuperRock: How can I leave if- voice: You have 5 seconds to evacuate the airshaft. Have a productive day. SuperRock: Oh, d-

Sunday , November 14 , 2004
[[The deep Hot Zone, a mixture of stone and lava, with large pillars reaching up to the ceiling; one of the pillars is marked with a string of lights. Stalagmites and Stalactites scattered about.]] [[An explosion from one of the stone sections, spewing a thread of light up to the roof.]] ((KA BOOM))

Monday , November 15 , 2004
[[Deep in the Hotzone. A Stalactite hangs over the magma sea.]] [[SuperRock, riding shaft explosion, comes flying up into view.]] SuperRock: AEII!! [[SuperRock lands on the Stalactite as rubble from the explosion explodes.]] ((Glomp Pow)) SuperRock: coff wheeze SuperRock: ! [[SuperRock begins climbing]] SuperRock: Look out, world, here I come!

Tuesday , November 16 , 2004
[[Fizmo stalks along]] Fizmo: grumble mutter. [[An explosion. (The airshaft blowing up.)]] ((KABOOM)) Fizmo: What the Zark? [[Fizmo surveys the destroyed airshaft, the damaged skeleton and desk.]] Fizmo: OK.. Fizmo, thinking: That does it. [[Back in the telescope room.]] Fizmo: I have *had* it! One of those airholes out in the hall just *blew up*. Even if I have to climb every last one of those giant stairs.. Fizmo: I'm outta here before anything else happens! And if you're smart you'll *join me!* [[Kulkad watches Fizmo leave.]] [[He turns back to the telescope.]] Kulkad, thinking: Peace and quiet at last.

Wednesday , November 17 , 2004
[[In the Hot Zone]] Narration: Meanwhile, A Bit Higher Up.. Syth: Why does Gybb hunt talking rocks, anyway? If we just leave them alone, they can't come after us.. Yaypo: Who knows. Maybe one yelled at him when he was a grub. Yaypo: Here he comes. Looks like he's done for the day already. [[They both look down at Gybb, who is out of sight on or near the ground.]] Yaypo: So, how did it go? Gybb, brokenly: Our glorious mineral-based overlords displayed mercy..

Thursday , November 18 , 2004
[[In the tunnel from the Basement to the Forest of E.]] Narration: At the end of a tunnel.. Comshaw: Well, here we are. That's the forest. Niddle: Did you.. the Council.. put in that gate? [[The gate in question, a thick lattice made of metal. The sky and trees are visible beyond.]] Comshaw: Yes. Top of the line. We had Hesper's team down in Hammer Hall build it. After huge arguments in the Council. Niddle: Agruments? Comshaw: This tunnel is supposed to be free to anyone who wants to use it. That's why I'm going after whoever hired Skoil, and why some didn't want the gate. Niddle: But then why- Comshaw: Adult Trogs and Dornbeasts are bad enough. We don't need Spyders and Tree Squids roaming the Halls as well.

Friday , November 19 , 2004
[[In a tunnel, nearly in the Forest of E.]] Niddle: So you think the gate was a good idea, Comshaw? Comshaw: The /theory/ is good, but.. Hesper's the best metalworker in the world, and he personally constructed the gate-hinges... [[Comshaw reaches for the gate-latch]] Comshaw: ..and I'm still afraid that a Tree Squid could just rip this thing down, if it really wanted to. They're strong... As for the Spyders... [[He pulls up on the latchpin]] ((CLUNK)) Comshaw: They have no effective manipulating appendages, and aren't nearly as strong as the T-Squids.. but they are way smarter than most people realize. And so any lock that's (oof) truly Spyder-proof... [[He shifts his grip on the latch.]] [[He pushes the latch the rest of the way open.]] ((SHUNK)) Comshaw: going to be (grunt) "half-the-population-of-the-world proof" as well.

Saturday , November 20 , 2004
[[Comshaw opens the gate for Niddle.]] Comshaw: So. Anyway. [[Trees and sky.]] Comshaw: The forest. [[Niddle looks around, as Comshaw watches him.]] [[Overhead view of the two of them.]] [[A wider overhead view, as Niddle looks up.]] [[Wider still.]] Comshaw: Oh yes. And the sky.

Sunday , November 21 , 2004
[[Niddle is aboveground for the first time in his life. He looks up at the sky.]] Comshaw: You shouldn't stare at the sky too long, Niddle. Sometimes people get a little- Niddle: Does it really go up /forever?/ [[Niddle points.]] Comshaw: Forever? No one knows. It goes a Zark of a long ways, though. Even the Jibjibs can't fly that high. Some have tried. Niddle: And that's the Sun over there? [[The sun in the sky above the trees of the forest. In this black and white comic, it is yellow and the sky around it is tinged blue.]] Comshaw: Yes. I think it's some kind of giant GBOL. Or maybe an ABOL, because it moves across the sky each day, and finally goes down behind the Edge of the world. Niddle: What happens then? Comshaw: The sky turns black, but fills with lots of tiny white lights. They call them 'stars'. [[Back to Comshaw and Niddle]] Niddle: I hope I can watch that. It sounds beautiful. Buzz the Saur, from off-screen: Yes, indeed! It's a sight to see!

Monday , November 22 , 2004
[[A depiction of Rosemary and her sword in an action pose. Guest-art by The Loser Hero, creator of the Keenspace comic Twice Destined. (]]

Tuesday, November 23, 2004
[[Comshaw and Niddle have just emerged into the forest]] Off-screen Saur: Howdy there! Comshaw: Can we help you with something? Saur: That depends.. [[Buzz the Saur is standing on the hill over the tunnel entrance, along with two Pales. One of the Pales is carrying a flag on a pole.]] Buzz: Is one of you named "Comshaw the Poker"?

Wednesday , November 24 , 2004
[[In the Forest of E, Comshaw and Niddle have met Buzz the Saur and his Pale escort.]] Comshaw: Niddle. Those are Pales up there. I'll hold them off. Go back down the tunnel, go home. If I don't come, tell Camora what happened. Buzz: No, no. [[Buzz indicates the nearest Pale.]] Buzz: My chatty friends are just along to see that I arrived here safely. So I could deliver my message. Comshaw: "Your message." Buzz: Yes, indeed. I have words for 'Comshaw the Poker'. Buzz: So.. Are you he? [[Comshaw glares, Niddle wait silently.]] Comshw: Yes. Buzz: Oh, /good./ Buzz: Before I give you the message, however, I wish to make clear that I'm only passing these words on from my employer, and can neither explain nor endorse them. I pause to issue that disclaimer because the first part of the message is, and I quote: /today is the day that changes everything, and your world is coming to an end./

Thursday , November 25 , 2004
[[Holiday filler. Happy hoildays from Mortimer with a shirt that saiys THE, Sylvester holding a framed painting saying MANSION, Rosemary holding a small paper reading OF, and Comshaw, Niddle and Camora struggling with a large letter E.]]

Friday, November 26, 2004
[[Comshaw and Niddle are talking to Buzz the Saur in the forest.]] Comshaw: "The world is coming to an end?" Your boss is a member of the Doomsayer's Guild, is he? Buzz: I don't know what that is, or if he is member of it. To continue.. Buzz: "The situation underground rapidly deteriorates, and if events spiral down their present path, a true evil will rise from the depths. You alone might be able to stop this, if you turn back now." Comshaw: I'm sensing a "but" here. Buzz: "Something waits for you in the forest, and if you do not go forward and meet it, the end of things will be even more spectacularly worse." Comshaw: /Ter/riffic. So why are you even telling me all this? Buzz: You know, I asked that very same question. And I was informed that it's "vitally important that a person be allowed to make their own decisions." And that, it seems, is all the answer that either of us are going to get.

Saturday , November 27 , 2004
[[In the forest of E. Comshaw and Niddle have met Buzz the Saur and his Pale escort.]] Comshaw: So that's it? You come along, spray a load of cryptic phizz on me, and expect me to toddle away satisfied? Comshaw: Well, /that's not good enough!/ Who is this employer of yours? What the Zark is going on here? Buzz: I wasn't quite finished, but the boss's name is Boss. Or Sir. If you want more, you'll have to find it for yourself. Buzz: As for the last of your message... You are here, it seems, because "Three old friends" attracted your attention by hiring some guard. Having done that, they are now waiting for you... [[Buzz points]] Buzz: ...right over yonder. [[Comshaw looks in the indicated direction, and sees trees.]]

Sunday , November 28 , 2004
[[In the Forest of E, Comshaw and Niddle have been talking to Buzz the Saur.]] Comshaw, thinking: "Three Old Friends are waiting for me"... Niddle: Comshaw! That Saur and the Pales are leaving! Comshaw: Yes? So? Niddle: Well... I thought you'd want to follow them. And see if they lead you to this Boss person. [[Comshaw stares at him silently.]] Niddle: What? Comshaw: That suggestion was almost worryingly rational. Niddle: I won't let it happen again.

Monday , November 29 , 2004
[[In the Forest of E, at the entrance to the tunnel to the Basement.]] Comshaw: Oh, and .Niddle, you did very well while I was talking to the Saur. Thank you. Niddle: I thought if I said anything, Digger would stomp on my foot a- [[Niddle turns to look around.]] Niddle: Hey! Where'd Digger go? Comshaw: He can walk right between the bars of the gate. I imagine he's off digging that tree of his. [[A killer tree is displaying all of its deadly implements, a noose, buzzsaw, sickle, etc.]] Narration: Meanwhile, not too far away.. Killer Tree, thinking: I hear someone coming. Better get ready. [[The implements disappear.]] Tree: Slow moving. EX - cellent. That Human may have gotten away, but with this one, I'm definitely feelin' /lucky!/

Tuesday , November 30 , 2004
[[In the Forest of E]] Narration: "Digger" Odel and a killer tree... Tree, thinking: Thaat's right. Just a *liittle* closer.. Digger: ((shuffle shuffle)) [[Digger screeches to a sudden halt.]] Tree: ? [[Digger starts digging.]] ((KA-CHUNK)) ((CHUNK)) [[And digging..]] ((CHUNK)) ((CHUNK)) [[And dropping out of sight..]] ((CHUNK)) [[He has disappeared into a hole.]] ((CHUNK)) Tree, thinking: I suddenly have a very bad feeling about this..

Wednesday , December 1 , 2004
[[Digger digs.]] Killer tree, thinking: What?! That little phizzer's digging under my roots! I can't get at him! ((CHUNK CHUNK CHUNK)) [[Vezza and Umboz watch this.]] Tree: RRRAAAGGH! Vezza: Paw? Why's that tree yelling? Umboz: That's a killer tree, Vezza. You wanna avoid 'em. They're *bad news*. Umboz: Wish someone would do something about *that* one. It's right by the- ((CCRREEEAK!!)) [[He realizes the tree is starting to lean.]] Vezza: Hmph! Any old tree can fall on y- EEK! Tree, clawing at them: GRARR! [[Umboz yanks her to safety.]] {{Umboz and Vezza underwent an immediate character re-design after this strip, as he looked too much like the previously-appearing Frotz.}}

Thursday, December 2, 2004
[[Vezza and Umboz are in the forest.]] Vezza: Nasty ol' tree! Paw! You can do -anything-! Go kill it! Umboz: Vezza, we only went -near- that tree because I got a message- [[The Killer Tree is being tunneled out from underneath by Digger]] Killer Tree: Hate you! Hate you! ((CHUNK CHUNK CHUNK)) [[The tree crashes and breaks on a rock]] Tree: Hate you all foreverrrrr.. Vezza: Yay! Paw killed the bad tree! Umboz: I- Nome #1: Hey, look, everyone! She's right! Umboz just took out that killer tree! {{It has yet to be revealed in-strip, but Nome #1's name is Blorb.}} {{Author note: Once again, tight deadlines brought about a mistake on my part. Only after drawing the "father nome" in yesterday's strip did I realize that I had used a look for him that made him identical to a nome who has briefly cropped up a couple of times before in forest scenes. They are not the same character, and I'd rather push on with new strips than re-doing old ones, so I just tweaked the appearance of the father/daughter for today. These are the same characters yesterday and today. }}

Friday, December 3, 2004
[[Following the death of the Killer Tree.]] Blorb: Umboz! How'd you kill the tree? Umboz: I didn't- Koyeeb, from off-panel: Time for that later, Umboz. Umboz: Mayor Koyeeb!? What are you doing h- Koyeeb: We must act quickly! That accursed tree has long blocked the only path to the North gnoll village. Now, while they are busy with the pales, we strike!

Saturday , December 4 , 2004
[[Various Nomes have been gathered by Mayor Koyeeb.]] Koyeeb: Glorf! Assemble the troops! Glorf: Yessir! [[Koyeeb points.]] Koyeeb: And since his bravery and cunning have just been proven beyond doubt, I name *Umboz* to lead the first- ..the first.. [[He realizes he's pointing at empty space.]] Blorb: Weird! He was right here a second ago! Koyeeb: !!! [[Umboz is running offf, carrying Vezza.]] Vezza: Paw? The nome village is the other way! Umboz: Not now, Vezza. Your paw's busy being set up.

Sunday, December 5, 2004
[[Umboz running, carrying Vezza]] Vezza: Paw, I don't unnerstand! Why'd you run away from the Mayor? Umboz: Cuz he wanted to make me do something I'm not able to do. Vezza: Why'd he do that? Umboz: Cuz he's an evil-minded cowardly dummy. [[Vezza considers this]] Vezza: So /why/ is he the Mayor? Umboz: I've been asking that question a lot myself lately. Guess someone heard me.

Monday, December 6, 2004
[[Umboz puts Vezza down.]] Vezza: Paw? Why're we stopping? Umboz: Have to decide where to go. Vezza: Can't we just go home? Umboz: No, sweetie. Someone's probably waiting there for us. Vezza: Who? Uncle Frotz? You always say he's loafing around when he should be- Umboz: No. Heh. For once, I wish it was him. But he's off harvesting with his friend Gnusto. It would be someone.. a lot less fun. Vezza: I don't understand. Umboz: sigh Umboz: Come here, Vezza. I need to tell you a story. [[They shelter behind a wall fragment.]] Vezza: This isn't going to be a happy story, is it? Umboz: No. No, it isn't.

Tuesday, December 7, 2004
[[Fan-art of Rosemary stalking down a hallway, by Roland Lowery, creator of the webcomic Role of the Die.]]

Wednesday, December 8, 2004
[[This is a collection of non-plot "filler", some of it by guest artists.]] [[Rosemary and Sylvester, as they might appear on the TV program South Park, by Arthur Levesque.]] [[A sketch of Comshaw by McDuffies.]] [[Rosemary, Sylvester and Mortimer, as "Micro Heroes".]]

Thursday, December 9, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Umboz: It all started with... The War. [[Scene of some Nome and Gnoll forces closing in on each other, with wreckage and explosions in the background]]

Friday, December 10, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Vezza: What's a war? I hear people use that word, but no one ever explains stuff to me. Umboz: It's a big raid. The biggest ever. Instead of just a few folks attacking a village, /everyone/ goes. Umboz: Weed doesn't get harvested. [[Pictured: a surprized Nome in mining attire.]] Umboz: T-Squids don't get coaxed. Umboz: And lots of people die. [[Pictured: a snuffed-out candle and a pickaxe lying on the ground, next to a missed arrow; on the background, fire burns next to an untended mine cart, out of which an arrow juts out, too.]] Vezza: Die? Forever? You mean.. like Ma did? Umboz: Yes. Just like your Ma.

Saturday, December 11, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza. First use in the strip of black silhouettes for flashbacks }} Vezza: But... Ma didn't die in the war, did she? Umboz: No. That was later. [[Pictured: Umboz mourning at his wife's grave.]] Umboz: The War was in your greatgrandpa's day. He told me about it, when I was your age. [[Pictured: Said greatgrandpa, ranting at a young Umboz.]] Umboz: Heh. Til your Grandma Bayala made him stop. Umboz: Before the war, most of us Nomes lived underground. Umboz: Hard to believe, but we were miners. Worked with metal and rocks. [[Pictured: Three nomes in mining attire, walking and singing "HE HO, HE HO, it's off to dig we go..."]] Umboz: But there's only so much space in the world, and it started getting crowded. [[Pictured: The last of the previous three nomes, glancing behind his back, only to see a Gnoll glancing back at him.]] Umboz: And there were the gnolls.

Sunday, December 12, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Vezza: So the Gnolls attacked us and started the war? Everyone always says how bad they are- [[Pictured: A Gnoll, grinning maniacally with his claws in the air.]] Umboz: I wish it were that simple. Umboz: I've talked to Gnolls. They're just people, like everyone else. [[Pictured: A Gnoll and Umboz peacefully meeting in the forest.]] Umboz: Kinda dumb, though. Vezza: You've talked to Gnolls? But, Paw! That's- Umboz: Illegal? Yes. I never told you because.. Vezza, I love you more than anything in the world, but you can't keep a secret. [[Pictured: Vezza happily explaining something to Umboz.]] Vezza: HEY!! I can too! You'll see! I'll never tell anyone! Umboz: It doesn't matter now, sweetie. [[Pictured: An angry Mayor Koyeeb.]]

Monday, December 13, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Umboz: But whatever Gnolls are like, there were too many of them, and too many of us. And tempers began to fray. [[Pictured: A Nome miner arguing a Gnoll, as a second Gnoll tries to seperate them.]] Umboz: Then there were the OTHER species. Are and were a lot of 'em down there underground. Umboz: Some were smart enoug to just stay out of it... [[Pictured: A Ghast, watching, as curses emanate from off-panel.]] Umboz: But others... Vezza: They were stupid? [[Pictured: A Motihaul selling some sort of an explosive to a cautious-looking Nome. An Ooze watches the two from behind a rock.]] Umboz: You pile enough cleverness, it can turn into stupidity real fast. Umboz: And they piled it, all right, and tangled themselves up in it, two stinking mounds up to the sky. Umboz: And in the end, all it took was a single spark... [[Pictured: The lit wick of a bomb.]]

Tuesday, December 14, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Umboz: The spark that started it all was an explosion... a big fire... in one of our mines. [[Pictured: Said explosion.]] Umboz: The Nome leaders said the Gnolls did it. And lauched an attack. [[Pictured: The Nome king watches from the ramparts as troops march to war.]] Umboz: So really, WE started the war. Vezza: But DID the Gnolls burn the mine? Umboz: No one knows. The few true witnesses were lost in the war. [[Pictured: Burial mounds, two marked by five-pronged spires, and one with a Nomish helm hanging at the end of a pole.]] {{The spires are a symbol of Brush, the main deity in the comic's world.}} Umboz: But my grandpa.. he later claimed he spoke to one of them as he was dying. Umboz: And he said that the witness swore it wasn't Gnolls at all, but a huge insane monster. Umboz: Or demon. [[Pictured: A humanoid creature, with wildly flaying hair, glowing red eyes, and a sinister grin.]] {{SPOILER ALERT: This being later turns out to have been Mortimer in his teen years.}}

Wednesday, December 15, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Vezza: What's a demon? Umboz: Powerful and evil creatures that come from /under/ the world. Or so they say. [[Pictured: Assorted demons, all red-eyed, grinning, and immersed in fire.One of them is possibly Edgar.]] Vezza: Those big things that Uncle Frotz and the other harvesters see at the edge of the world? Umboz: Nnno... Something different. More dangerous. There aren't any in the forest, but there's at least one of them down underground. [[Pictured: The Operator, grinning. Someone's cursing off-panel.]] Umboz: But even though he was alive back then, I don't think he was the one who started the fire. Vezza: Why not? Umboz: He's trapped inside a magical box. He couldn't get to the mine. [[Pictured: The Operator, pushing in annoyance at the elevator car's walls. The square tapestry wavers and stretches beyond the elevator, filling the whole panel.]] Umboz: On the other hand, it's true that being confined didn't stop him from.. contributing... to the war after it started... [[Pictured: A devious-looking Nome warrior being handed a pulsating skull-shaped thingie from the Operator.]]

Thursday, December 16, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Vezza: Paw? Did the Box-Demon cause us Nomes to lose the war? Umboz: No, he just helped- Umboz: You figure out we lost, huh? [[Pictured: The earlier Nome warrior eagerly showcasing the pulsating skull thingy he got from the Operator to other troops.]] Vezza: You said this was a sad story. So that means we lost. [[Pictured: An explosion engulfs the previous scene. A demon's face can be seen in its midst.]] Umboz: It would have been a sad story even if we had won, Vezza. Umboz: But yes, you're right. [[Pictured: A Nome warrior fleeing for his life. A pile of his fallen comrades lies between him and approaching Gnolls.]] Umboz: We lost.

Friday, December 17, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Vezza: But /how/ did we lose the war, when Gnolls are so weak and dumb? Umboz: Yes, Vezza, we Nomes have more physical strength... [[Pictured: A muscular Nome lifting two boulders in each hand, while a weedy-looking Gnoll struggles to lift even two small stones. In the background, there's a faint picture of scales tipping to the Nome's side.]] Umboz: ...but there's also quickness and agility. [[Pictured: A smarter-looking Gnoll, a Poker judging by his cane, juggling three pebbles with one hand and balancing a pile of four others by one finger of his other hand]] Umboz: And they say the smart gnolls all live underground. Umboz: And I believe it. Umboz: Because we lost the war due to /leadership/. Umboz: Each side had a 'General', someone who runs a war like a Mayor runs a village. Umboz: While we were stuck with Zabern... [[Pictured: A long-bearded Nome, weighing small figurines in his hands]] Umboz: The Gnolls had /Compline/. [[Pictured: A menacing-looking Gnome with one ear and numerous scars.]]

Friday, December 17, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Vezza: But /how/ did we lose the war, when Gnolls are so weak and dumb? Umboz: Yes, Vezza, we Nomes have more physical strength... [[Pictured: A muscular Nome lifting two boulders in each hand, while a weedy-looking Gnoll struggles to lift even two small stones. In the background, there's a faint picture of scales tipping to the Nome's side.]] Umboz: ...but there's also quickness and agility. [[Pictured: A smarter-looking Gnoll, a Poker judging by his cane, juggling three pebbles with one hand and balancing a pile of four others by one finger of his other hand]] Umboz: And they say the smart gnolls all live underground. Umboz: And I believe it. Umboz: Because we lost the war due to /leadership/. Umboz: Each side had a 'General', someone who runs a war like a Mayor runs a village. Umboz: While we were stuck with Zabern... [[Pictured: A long-bearded Nome, weighing small figurines in his hands]] Umboz: The Gnolls had /Compline/. [[Pictured: A menacing-looking Gnome with one ear and numerous scars.]]

Saturday, December 18, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Vezza: Why was Compline so special? Umboz: Unlike Zabern, who /inherited/ his post... [[Pictured: Young Zabern receiving the crown from a High Priest at the time of his father's death.]] Umboz: Compline grew up rough, in the "Fringes". Umboz: (Which is like living near the Spike here in forest...) Umboz: Then, while still a whelp, he was in a bad accident. [[Pictured: A rectangular object with two tentacles falling over on a young Compline.]] Umboz: Everyone thought he was going to die, but somehow he survived. [[Pictured: Compline, all patched up, is returned to his mother. A Healer watches in the background.]] Umboz: Not only survived.. But went on to become very successful in all things he did. [[Pictured: Compline, stacking glowing caltrop-like objects (glowgems). A crystal-ball-like object can be seen in the background.]] Umboz: But then it became clear that the War was coming, and some of the other Gnolls begged him to take charge. Umboz: He was hesitent. [[Pictured: Compline stands at a stong railing, while another Gnoll pleads with him.]] Umboz: It was Caytid who finally convinced him that he had to do it. Vezza: Who's Caytid? Umboz: Compline's mate. She was almost as remarkable as him... [[Pictured: Caytid, a long-haired female Gnoll.]]

Sunday, December 19, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Umboz: Oddly, while /everyone/ knew Compline's story, Caytid kept to the shadows. [[Pictured: Compline appears before troops, who chant his name. Caytid lurks in the background.]] Umboz: But even we Nomes learned a few things.. Umboz: The Biggest was.. Umboz: I guess I need to explain about magic first. Vezza: I know what magic is, Paw. Umboz: But do you know that we Nomes, and the Gnolls, used to be able to /do/ magic? [[Pictured: A Nome magician zapping a Giant Spyder.]] Vezza: We did? Umboz: Yes. Not just tree-warping. We could do all sorts of wonderful things. Umboz: But then, somehow, we all lost it. It just... faded away. [[Pictured: A Gnoll shockedly staring at a diminishing bolt of magic, as Tree-Squid tentacles close in on him.]] Umboz: Caytid.. she could use magic. Not as well as the old Magickers could, but it worked for her. Umboz: She was the first in a long time, and, for now, the last. [[Pictured: Caytid telekineting a mace off the hand of a Nome warrior.]]

Monday, December 20, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Umboz: But while her magic was useful, it wasn't Caytid's truly vital contribution to the war... [[Pictured: A Nome warrior brushing away Caytid's attempt to disarm him.]] Umboz: That honor goes to her bringing the other female Gnolls into the fight... [[Pictured: Caytid motions a finger at the Nome, and a volley of arrows hones in on him.]]

Tuesday, December 21, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Vezza: Girl Gnolls fought in the War? Umboz: /You/ are not fighting in any war, Vezza, but yes... Compline, and Caytid, were better leaders than Zabern because they were innovaters [sic]. [[Pictured: Zaberne, at a strategy-table, shooing away a Nomish inventor/promoter with a periscope]] Vezza: Inno-what? Umboz: That means they were willing to try new ideas and new ways of doing things. [[Pictured: A Gnoll warrior, hiding behind a rock and using a periscope to get a view of the battlefield. Another Gnoll warrior is loading a large sling behind him.]] Umboz: As you said, we Nomes are bigger and stronger than Gnolls, and Compline needed more troops. Neither side wanted the 'girls' fighting... [[Pictured: A Nome warrior telling his wife to stay in the kitchen.]] Umboz: But Caytid argued that Compline had no choice. Umboz: So they compromised, which is another thing that a good leader knows when to do. Umboz: And they trained the girl Gnolls to be archers. [[Pictured: Two gnolls: a male handing a bow to a grinning female.]]

Wednesday, December 22, 2004
[[{{Umboz is narrating a history of the Nome War}} [[A male Gnoll attacks while a female shoots an arrow.]] Vezza: Why was making the Gnoll girls into archers a compromise? Umboz: They stood behind the attacking males and shot at us Nomes over the males' heads. [[A Gnoll jumps on a Nome from behind as a third Gnoll lays on the ground.]] Umboz: So while it was still dangerous... unlike the male Gnolls, they weren't involved in the actual fighting. [[Two male and one female Gnoll observe a pile of dead Nomes.]] Umboz: When there was any actual fighting... Vezza: Huh? Umboz: Some of the female Gnolls proved to be very.. enthusiastic.

Thursday, December 23, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Umboz: But anyway. The war. Umboz: Both sides did terrible things, that I'm just not going to talk about now. [[Pictured: Burning Oozes, one of them already dead. A Nome warrior with a torch stands in the background.]] Umboz: But overall... Umboz: A series of fights decided who controlled the important.. um.. Umboz: we'd call them "clearings" here in the forest. [[Pictured: A Nome warrior hiding from an explosion between a boulder and an artificial tree-like structure.]] ((This will eventually be revealed to be a large clock/fountain}} Umboz: A few of these fights we Nomes won. Umboz: Like the first "Battle of the Bridges" [[Pictured: Nomes attacking & driving Gnolls away from a series of bridges.]] Umboz: But all victories proved to be temporary... [[Pictured: The same two bridges. Gnolls are driving the Nomes away with artillery support.]] Umboz: And we were pushed south, and up, and up, and up...

Friday, December 24, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Umboz: And so, finally, except for a handful that was given refuge by other species.. [[Pictured: a female Motihaul sneaking a Nome mother and her child to safety from Gnoll warriors.]] Umboz: ... the surviving Nomes were driven from the underground. Umboz: Fortunately, a few of us already lived here in the forest, and proved willing to help my grandfather, and the other escapees. [[Pictured: Umboz' grandfather, pretty roughed-up, approaches a female forest Nome (his future wife).]] Umboz: Not that Compline gave them much choice. Umboz: Zabern was dead, and the Nomish army broken.. [[Pictured: Compline, looking determined.]] Umboz: But he wasn't a Gnoll to leave a job three-quarters done. Umboz: It might have been the end of all of us, except for two things. Umboz: First, we received more help from an unexpected source. [[Pictured: The two Nomes from panel 2, both now wearing armor, are greeted by a Flagpale.]]

Saturday , December 25 , 2004
[[Santa Gnoll poses next to a Christmas tree with his sack of presents and his enormous candy cane.]] Narration: Merry Christmas from Santa Gnoll and everyone else at the Mansion of E.

Sunday, December 26, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Vezza: The Pales helped us? Why? Umboz: Hard to tell sometimes why a Pale does anything. Umboz: But it seems they were worried that the Gnolls were getting too strong. [[Pictured: A Pale, symbolically weighing a Gnoll and Nome in either hand.]] Umboz: Whatever their reason, they are tough fighters, and with them on our side the war stalemated, and mighta dragged on for /weeks/. [[Pictured: An entrenched battlefield, with Gnolls on one side, and Nomes and Pales on the other. A few projectiles are half-hartedly exchanged.]] Umboz: But then, there was the second thing I mentioned. [[Pictured: A Gnoll and a Nome warrior, getting ready to brawl]] [[...the scene starts dimming...]] Vezza: Paw? What happened? [[The scene is pitch black now, save for the eye whites of the two warriors.]] Umboz: The Sneeches happened.

Monday, December 27, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Vezza: Sneeches? What did *they* do? Umboz: They came out of their dens. Vezza: But everyone says Sneeches never *ever* come out- [[Pictured: Nothing but black.]] Umboz: Like Caytid's magic, it was the first and last time. [[The picture starts to zoom out, to reveal two black ellipses on a white background.]] Vezza: But what did they DO? [[By now now see that the picture is of the skull of a Nome stripped white of all flesh; unlike humans, Nome ears have some bones in them.]] Umboz: I don't know. That was one thing your great-grandpa would never talk about. Umboz: But whatever it was.. Remeber how I said Gnolls are people? Vezza: Yes.. [[The picture zooms out even further, to show the skull surrounded by white, teeth-like appendages.]] Umboz: Well, so are Pales, and Saurs, and.. maybe even T-Squids... {{And so are Giant Spyders, but they're seen as too utterly alien by the Nomes to be considered as such.}} Umboz: Sneeches... Sneeches aren't people.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Vezza: But Paw.. if you don't know what the Sneeches did.. what happened to everyone else? [[Pictured: Umboz has picked up a stick]] Umboz: It's easier to show you... Umboz: Say this is the underground, [[he draws an oval]] with the Great Chasm dividing it into two unequal parts. Umboz: All the old paths to the forest were and are up here [[in the middle of the smaller part]], and that's where the fighting had moved. Umboz: And the sneech colony was here, more or less. [[At the far end of the smaller part.]] Umboz: When they came out, whyever they came... Umboz: They did this. [[He draws a large arrow thru the smaller side of the underground.]] Right into the front lines of the war. Umboz: And so... People on both sides fled. Wherever they could [[Pictured: A mixed group of Nome and Gnoll warriors retreat, looking scared]]

Wednesday, December 29, 2004
[[A very worried Gnoll talks to a Trog, a Helipath and a Gobule.]] Umboz, narrating: Bad news like Sneeches travels fast. [[A Nome adds a boulder to a pile.]] Umboz, narrating: All they could do here in the forest was plug up the tunnels with boulders. [[A bridge over the Great Chasm. Small sparks are visible]] Umboz, narrating: But down underground.. they could and did take more drastic action. [[The bridge blows up.]] Vezza, narrating: Drastic? Umboz, narrating: They destroyed the bridges which crossed the Great Chasm.

Thursday, December 30, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Vezza: What's so /drastic/ about cutting down a bridge? [[Pictured: A small ropebridge between two trees. A Nome hangs out on one of them.]] Umboz: These weren't like the treebridges we weave, Vezza. Umboz: Grandpaw said they were huge, and made all out of stone. [[Pictured: One of the Earls of past (Ludwig) supervizing the installment of the final piece of a bridge.]] [[Close-up on Ludwig. He is envisioned as being demonic.]] {{Which is at best a wild exaggeration.}} Umboz: Made by *humans.* Vezza: Humans? But humans aren't.. Umboz: Aren't real? They at least /were/. And I think they still /are/.

Friday, December 31, 2004
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Umboz: But we're getting off the subject again. The bridges were all destroyed... [[Pictured: A Gnoll archer, sitting on what formerly constituted the base of a bridge.]] Vezza: Paw? What's wrong? Umboz: Just a point I'm not real clear on, Sweetie. Umboz: I say all the bridges were gone, but now, today, there is /one/ bridge across the Great Chasm. [[Pictured: The bridge. A lone Pale is approaching with trade goods. At the bridge's base, an Ichyoid and a Gnoll seated in a fortified "desk" await next to large torches. There are two bowls with something growing in them in front of the two.]] Umboz: The Pales use it sometimes, when they want to trade down underground. Umboz: I've never seen it, and don't know if the undergrounders risked leaving an old one standing, or somehow built a new one later on... Umboz: Either way, the Sneeches never came across the Chasm. Umboz: Or into the forest. Umboz: And so the war was over. [[Pictured: Umboz's grandfather casts aside his helm and accepts a pointy hat.]] Umboz: But to this day, no one dares live on the Sneech side of the Chasm. Umboz: And the forest and the underground have been almost totally cut off from each other. [[Pictured: A panel divided in half with a black crack, with a cavern on one and forest on the other side.]]

Saturday , January 1 , 2005
[[A portrait of Rosemary being heroic and Sylvester cowering, by Will Ritter of the Keenspace/ComicGenesis webcomic Thatguy.]]

Sunday, January 2, 2005
[[{{Part of the story of the Nome War, as told by Umboz to his daughter Vezza.}} Vezza: But if the Sneeches live between us and this Chasm thingy now, how do the pales get down to trade? [[Pictured: Another panel divided by a black crack. On the left is a Motihaul holding a glowgem; on the right, a Pale holding a plant.]] Umboz: The Sneeches DO something on their side of the Chasm, but they still LIVE just in their old original colony. Or that's how it seems, anyway. Umboz: The Pales unplug one of the tunnels, and try to sneak thru the smallest, tightest spaces they can find... [[Pictured: A Pale doing just this, pushing a pot of exotic plants along]] Umboz: Sometimes it works, and they come back with glowgems, and other.. goodies.. from the underground. [[Pictured: A Pale, carrying a glowgem and a sack, arrives to two others, who are visibly bappy.]] Umboz: And sometimes... Vezza: It doesn't work? Umboz: Yes. [[Pictured: Two Pales wait in the night, looking as hopeless as you can without any facial features.]]

Monday, January 3, 2005
[[Umboz: But anyway. All of that brings us *finally* to your original question. Vezza: My original question. [[She thinks about this.]] Vezza: Oh right. Why's the Mayor Mayor when he's a big pootyhead? Umboz: A very good question.

Tuesday , January 4 , 2005
[[Umboz details the Nome War to Vezza; outlines throughout. Compline examines one of Zabern's models. Zabern's crown lies on the nearby table.]] Umboz: Zabern was killed when the Gnolls overran his headquarters. [[Gizgum being crowned in a very ad-hoc ceremony in the forest.]] Umboz: His brother, Gizgum, escaped to the forest and was made the Nomes new leader. [[Gizgum tosses away his crown, even as he gives orders.]] Umboz: Luckily, he was smarter than Zabern, or more scared. He made a lot of changes. [[Gizgum talking to a Pale.]] Umboz: He married the daughter of the forest Nomes' old chief, and worked closely with the Pales. Even learned some of their lingo. {{Note that Pales don't actually speak; Umboz probably doesn't exactly understand what was involved here.}} [[Tinsot wearing a horned crown, yelling at a Pale who is stalking away.]] Umboz: But maybe he was a better *leader* than a *father*.. because when his son Tinsot later inherited the post of Mayor, he took after his long-dead uncle [[Koyeeb being crowned by a very nervous priest.]] Umboz: And then Tinsot died.. unexpectedly.. and *his* son Koyeeb was waiting..

Wednesday, January 5, 2005
[[Vezza: So, the Mayor is Mayor only cuz Zabern was his.. Umboz: Greatuncle. Yes. Vezza: That's.. that's stoopid! Umboz: Yes. It is. Vezza, angry: But.. why doesn?t everyone else see that? Umboz: Heh. That?s the big problem with being squid-coaxers like we are. Vezza: Huh? [[Outline of Umboz sitting alone in forest, getting idea.]] Umboz: Everyone else, even Uncle Frotz, keeps too busy. We wait out there in the forest all day. Gives a Nome waaay too much time to think about things.

Thursday , January 6 , 2005
[[Umboz and Vezza the Nomes hide and talk in the forest of E.]] Vezza: So.. is that why the Mayor wanted you to attack the Gnolls? Cuz you think too much? Umboz: It must be. I didn't do anything. I just *talked*. I didn't think anyone was even listening... [[Outline of the Killer Tree crashing to earth.]] Umboz: Sweetie.. you probably already figured this out, but I didn't kill that tree. And I don't know who did, or how. But the message that lured me there, and that mob, turning up out of nowhere... [[Outline of Mayor Koyeeb lurking in his guarded tree.]] Umboz: And the Mayor! In person! He never leaves his home-tree! They must've been planning this for *days*. [[Umboz touches Vezza's head.]] Umboz: I'm so sorry, Vezza. Vezza: For what? Umboz: For everything. Umboz: I didn't see how bad things must really be, if the Mayor is this scared. I should have kept my mouth shut. [[Outline of his wife's grave.]] Umboz: I should have given you a real hometree. I should have re-married after your Ma died.

Friday , January 7 , 2005
[[All panels in this comic are Outlines. First is Vezza being very unenthusiastic as she is lectured by a hypothetical stepmother.]] Vezza: Paw! Get remarried?! If you did that, I'd have to stay in the hometree all day! Umboz: Maybe.. that'd be better than tramping around in the woods with me. [[Umboz and Vezza setting out on their rounds, being watched by two disapproving female Nomes.]] Vezza: I *like* tramping around with you! Umboz: So do I, Sweetie, more than anything, but it would have made things.. easier.. [[Tuza and Yula the Nomes, with a broken heart behind them.]] Vezza: Oh.. OK. But who would you marry? Umboz: Heh. Well.. there's.. um.. Tiza. Or Yula.. Vezza: Tiza smells funny, and Yula's dumber'n a blobwart. Umboz: Vezza! [[Piu the Healer Nome, casting a suspicious eye.]] Vezza: It's true! ...wait! I know! You should marry Miz Piu Umboz: *Piu?* She's a.. fine Nome, but, Sweetie, she hates me. Vezza: (sigh) Oh, Paw. She *likes* you!

Saturday , January 8 , 2005
[[In the forest of E, in a not-too-secure hiding place..]] Umboz: Piu likes me? Nitfol, from off-screen: She does, you know. [[Umboz and Vezza stare at him, still off-screen.]] Nitfol: Personally, Umboz, I can't fathom how you attract such high-caliber females, but there you are. Vezza: Paw! He's not wearing his *hat*! [[Nitfol. He is indeed not wearing a hat, has bits of Spyder webbing all over him, and is accompanied by two Pales.]] Nitfol: Yes, Vezza, I've had a most trying day. But that, and your Paw's romantic travails, will have to wait for another time. Umboz: *Nitfol?* Nitfol: Yes. Equally well spotted. Now, you both really need to come with us. Vezza: HEY! And those are Pales!!

Sunday , January 9 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, by a ruined stone wall.]] Umboz the Nome: Nitfol? What are you doing here? Your tree is clear over on- Nitfol the Nome: Yes. It was. Umboz: "Was"?? Nitfol: There *will* be a question session later. I've got a *pile* of them for certain individuals. But right now, we have to go. [[Vezza the Nome and one of the Pales exhange waves.]] Umboz: Go? Go where? Nitfol: To the Pale village. Nest. Hive. Whatever the Zark the right word is. [[Nitfol turns to go.]] Nitfol: Or, you can stay here and wait for Glorf and the rest of the Mayor's goons to find you. And Vezza. [[Umboz and Vezza look at each other.]] Umboz: Looks like we're going to go visit the Pales, Sweetie. Vezza: OK!

Monday , January 10 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E. Umboz and Vezza the Nomes walk out of the shot.]] Umboz: Um.. Nitfol? [[Empty scene, voices coming from off-panel for rest of strip.]] Umboz: ..does *everyone* know that Piu likes me? Nitfol: *Yes*. Umboz: Right. Right. It's just..if she does, the Mayor is just dumb and short-sighted enough to.. [[POV begins to slowly pan away from the voices, which begin to fade.]] Umboz: You know.. do something to her. [[In the distance, the main tower of the Mansion of E looms into view.]] Nitfol: Zark it. FINE! One more zarking stop! [[There is a flash of light near the base of the tower.]] Vezza: Paw? What about Uncle Frotz? Umboz: Sweetie, the Mayor can do *whatever he wants* to Uncle Frotz. Nitfol: Your brother, you mean? HAH! I'd buy a ticket to watch!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005
[[A crossover scene with the webcomic Beyond Reality; Rosemary and Sylvester attend a prom with siblings Orion and Laura. Rosemary and Orion are comparing their weapons.]] Orion: Yours is so cool! Rosemary: Oh, please, this old thing? Look at the edge on yours! Sylvester: You of course realize that they're both quite mad. Laura, holding her super-tazer: Oh, yes.

Wednesday , January 12 , 2005
[[Part two of an art-swap, drawn by Orion Gates of the Keenspace/ComicGenesis comic Beyond Reality. Sylvester and Orion's character Laura are having their picture taken at a prom. They are in formal wear. Laura has a super-taser.]] Cameraman, off-screen: Okay you two, say "Keen"! Sylvester: Would it be possible for you to put that away during the picture. Laura: 'Fraid not. Sylvester: Couldn't you at least turn it off? Laura: You're awfully demanding for someone who doesn't have a taser.

Thursday , January 13 , 2005
[[A shot of the Mansion towering over the trees of the forest; the ocean is visible in the background.]] [[Zooming in closer. The main tower stands above the Temple of the Brush, the Barracks, the Gatestone and a branch of the Tree.]] [[Closer to one of the sub-towers on the main tower. There is a large hole and a smaller hole in the side.]] [[Closing in on the smaller hole. The larger hole is a balcony, on which grows a much smaller branch of the Tree.]] [[The smaller hole up close. It is jagged edged. Circuit-like structures are visible on the surface of the Mansion.]] [[Passing through the hole.]] [[At the far end, inside the Mansion, there appears to be a rampaging Ghast, hir mouth filled with fangs.]] {{It's actually a statue.}}

Friday, January 14, 2005
[[An abandoned corridor in the Mansion. A Ghast menaces.]] [[Pulling back to reveal the Ghast is actually a statue.]] [[Panning. A Tree branch comes into view.]] [[Panning. A ladder and a hole. A pair of scissors, a piece of paper and a rock.]] [[Panning. A battered-looking device with a trailing powercord.]] [[Panning. A pile of boxes and such.]] [[A small desk or table on which sits a stack of papers.]] [[Same. Nothing happens.]] ((fzt)) [[A small light appears]]

Saturday , January 15 , 2005
[[A desk-like object sits in a corridor of the Mansion. There is a pile of papers on it. Other objects are stacked nearby.]] [[There is a flash of light/energy in midair.]] ((fzzt)) [[Silence again.]] [[Pulling back from the desk. The other objects are a pile of boxes, with a pole leaning against them. A bit of a large picture-frame is visible.]] [[Panning along the corridor. The frame is empty, and leans against the wall. Some sort of device sits here, a tattered-looking spring emerging from a flapped hole in the top. A power cord trails away.]] [[More panning. The cord's plug, lying on the ground. A lighted passageway connects to the corridor.]] [[The passageway is open to the outside. A figure (The Woman of Mystery) stands at a balcony, overlooking the forest.]] [[The noise of the light flashing again, louder this time.]] [[The figure hears it, and turns to look.]]

Sunday , January 16 , 2005
[[Scary Lady walks out of shadows towards source of noise]] fzzt! fzzzt [[The noise is coming from a glowing swirl in the air.]] fzzzt [[The swirl grows stronger and brighter.]] fzzt fzzzt fzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Scary Lady: Dare I begin to hope that hence-forth EVERY day will be packed with such fascinating diversions? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Monday , January 17 , 2005
[[A corridor in the Mansion. The Woman of Mystery stands before a large swirl of energy which hangs in midair. Various abandoned devices and bits of furniture can be seen in the background.]] ((zzzzzZZZZZZ)) [[The swirl opens up into a magical Portal, sending out light and wind. The WoM lifts her hands.]] ((ZA WOOMP))

Tuesday , January 18 , 2005
[[A magical portal has opened, connected to some distant dimension. A small black speck can be seen at the center.]] [[The speck grows larger. It's a human figure.]] [[Larger. It's a man wearing a t-shirt and pants.]] [[Almost here. He has spiky hair, and looks angry.]] ((This newcomer is Zay, from the ComicGenesis webcomic Sandwich World; SW's creator sent him on an extra-dimensional trip, and let anyone who wanted to use him in their strip.))

Wednesday , January 19 , 2005
[[Side view of a magical portal.]] [[The portal bulges.]] ((Sound Effect))Bloomph [[The portal opens and Zay comes flying out of it.]] Zay - Crap! ((perf)) [[The Woman of Mystery, on guard, watches the result.]] ((Crunch)) [[Zay has gone right through a wooden door, his feet sticking out into the corridor.]] Zay - !@#$ing Portals. [[The portal collapses..]] [[..and is gone.]] ((tzf)) [[The WoM relaxes.]] WoM, thinking: How monumentally disappointing.

Thursday, January 20, 2005
[[Zay climbs through the door he just smashed with his arrival.]] Zay: Gah. Zay: What a dump. Where the hell am I now? [[The Woman of Mystery is standing nearby.]] Zay: Well? WoM: It has many names. But currently, one of the more popular is The Mansion of E.

Friday , January 21 , 2005
[[Zay from Sandwich World looks back out through the door he has just crashed through. The Woman of Mystery is present.]] Zay: "Mansion of E"? So it's a drughouse? I can believe it. ((PZOW CRUNCH splinter)) [[Zay has been blown backwards, smashing into some wall-mounted shelving.]] [[The WoM stands in the now-vacated doorway, her hand crackling with magic.]] WoM: You are a guest here, and you are being /rude/. [[Zay glowers at her.]] [[He smiles and plucks a bit of shelf-wreckage from his shoulder.]] Zay, thinking: Heh. My kind of woman. Zay: Fine. It's a damn glittering palace, filled with prancing frilly unicorns.

Saturday , January 22 , 2005
[[Zay from the webcomic Sandwich World has arrived at the Mansion via portal. He has met The Woman of Mystery.]] WoM: The Mansion's towers do glitter, when the moonlight hits them just so. Zay: Terrific. I'm happy for you. But that's not why I'm here. WoM: I suspected as much. Zay: A co-worker of mine got lost recently. Really lost. I got a guy to open a dimensonal [sic] portal, so I could go search. I've been to a bunch of places with no luck. So.. Zay: Anyone new turn up around here recently? WoM: Is your co-worker a woman with curly dark hair and a predilection for wearing silly hats? Zay: Uh, no. He doesn't have hair. And he's a guy. Sort of. Technically. WoM: Then the answer to your question is no. {{Zay is being more-or-less accurate here, if skipping over a few details, as can be his wont.}}

Sunday , January 23 , 2005
[[Zay: Damn. Another dead end. Now I have to find another portal... Zay: Unless *you* can open one for me? The Woman of Mystery: No, sadly, that's not possible. [[The WoM turns to go.]] WoM: But I know where you can find something *better*. WoM: Walk this way. [[Zay watches her silently.]] WoM: You seem hesitent. [sic] Zay: Just trying to figure how to make my hips move like that.

Monday , January 24 , 2005
[[Zay from the webcomic Sandwich World and the Woman of Mystery are walking the corridors of the Mansion of E.]] Zay: So what exactly is this thing that is "better" than a portal? WoM: They call it a "panegate". Unlike a portal, it is permanent. Anchored. Stable. [[Zay thinks about this.]] [[Zay thinks about this some more.]] WoM: Pane. P-A-N-E. As in a window. Not P-A-I-N. You step right through. Zay: I knew that.

Tuesday , January 25 , 2005
[[Guest art of a suspiciously cheerful Rosemary, complete with sword and shield. Drawn by Carissa Neuharth of the (now defunct) webcomic AlexBezZoe]]

Wednesday , January 26 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery/Scary Lady is leading Zay through the Mansion. Zay is visiting from the webcomic Sandwich World.]] Zay: This panegate thing is close by? WoM: Oh yes. Around this corner.. [[They turn the corner.]] WoM: Down the hall, and.. [[A wall slides shut, blocking the hallway.]] ((SHUNK click)) WoM, thinking: bah. [[She turns away.]] Zay: Not that I care, but your walls are moving. WoM: It happens just often enough to be annoying. Now we shall have to take the liong way.

Thursday, January 27, 2005
[[A corridor in the Mansion.]] Woman of Mystery: It's the Panegate which causes the walls to move. It requires much power and a special.. adjustable.. infrastructure to- Zay: I -said- I don't care. [[The WoM eyes him.]] [[She touches his forehead with her finger.]] WoM: Remarkable. You really don't. Zay: I don't care that it's remarkable.

Friday , January 28 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery is leading Zay through the Mansion. Zay is from the webcomic Sandwich World.]] WoM: Now we must go down these stairs. I loathe these stairs. [[Seen from the distance, they walk down a long flight of stairs. A pane gate is visible in a separate chamber.]] [[More stairs.]] [[More stairs. A landing is visible.]] [[On the landing. Only it's more than that, it's Uncle Bob's Landing O' Family Fun, featuring Spyderburgers, the Star Board, and the Whirl-a-Puke.]] ((A homage to Keenspace/ComicGenesis artist Bob Oosterwijk}} [[They are back on the stairs. Something has changed, but details are not clear.]] [[More stairs.]] [[More stairs. A branch of The Tree can be seen growing in a separate chamber.]] [[Back to a close-up view. The WoM is carrying a helium(?) balloon. Zay wears a silly hat, and is carrying something in a wrapper.]] WoM: Or, to be more precise, I loathe that landing. Zay: You look ridiculous.

Saturday , January 29 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery is leading Zay through the Mansion. Zay is a visitor from the webcomic Sandwich World. The walls here are made of hexagonal tiles. The WoM releases the balloon she was holding. Zay realizes he is wearing a silly hat.]] [[As Zay removes the hat, the balloon floats up out of sight. The WoM eyes him with a smile.]] [[She turns to face him.]] Zay: What? [[A close-up of what Zay is holding in his other hand, something in a wrapper.]] WoM: That is one of "Uncle Bob's" Spyderburgers that you are eating? Zay: Yeah, I guess it is. Why? [[She walks away, still smiling.]] WoM: No reason at all. [[Zay looks at the Spyderburger.]] [[He takes a very deliberate bite, swallows it.]] [[He follows her.]] Zay, thinking: Nice and bristly. And they removed the poison sacs. Trust a chick to not know a good burger when she sees it.. {{As for why Zay is an spiderburger connoisseur.. there are two possibilities; 1. over the years, Sandwich World has featured a very extensive list of offerings, and 2. once you start dimension-hopping, you quickly learn that if it remotely resembles food, you chow down, cuz on your next stop the local inhabitants may be eating granite and swilling sulfur... }}

Sunday , January 30 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery is leading Zay through the Mansion. Zay is a visitor from the webcomic Sandwich World. The wall behind them features hexagonal patterns. Zay discards his Spyderburger wrapper.]] WoM: It would be better if you didn't talk while we go through this bit. Zay: Oh, really? Guardbot, from off-panel: BEEP [[The enormous immobile Guardbot G446 guards the passage. It is equipped with a pincer and a flamethrower.]] Guardbot: PREPARE TO BE THWARTED, INTRUDERS! Zay: You're afraid I'm going to hurt his liddle feewlings, aren't you? WoM, thinking: It would be so /easy/ to just rip out his tongue..

Monday , January 31 , 2005
[[Zay and the Woman of Mystery stand before a robot approximately three times their own height. They stand next to a wall made of a pattern of hexagonal tiles of varying shades.]] Robot: THIS CORRIDOR IS A DOUBLE-RESTRICTED ZONE! Robot: YOU HAVE 12 SECONDS TO STATE YOUR NAME AND VERIFICATION CODE! Woman of Mystery: Melvin Dwamish. Code: CRM114 Robot: ((BEEP)) Robot: CODE VERIFIED. YOU MAY PROCEED, MR. DWAMISH. [[WoM and Zay proceed to walk forwards.]] ((WOOP!)) Robot: INTRUDER HAS BREACHED PERIMETER! [[Zay is blasted by some sort of flamethrower.]] ((FOOM)) Robot: ENGAGE! [[Zay stands there, frowning, with smoke floating off of his hair.]] WoM: Oopsie! He's with me. ((BEEP)) Robot: GUEST STATUS CONFIRMED, MR. DWAMISH. [[Zay walks on past a smoking cannon-like object]] Zay [[Thought Bubble]]: I'm either gonna kill this chick, or marry her.

Tuesday, February 1, 2005
[[Zay from the comic Sandwich World and the Woman of Mystery walk down a restricted corridor.]] Zay: So, "Melvin", what's your big scary robot guarding? Military black-ops? Some kind of doomsday weapon? WoM: No, no. [[A view of an arched door with a fancy lock. It is surrounded by several signs: ERNEST'S SUPER-SECRET STASH. KEEP OUT. SCRAM. BEAT IT. get lost. THIS MEANS YOU.

Wednesday , February 2 , 2005
[[Zay and the Woman of Mystery stand before a door. Above the door is a sign: ERNEST'S SUPER-SECRET STASH. On either side of the door are five other signs; they are mostly out-of-frame, but two say "KEEP OUT" and "SCRAM". The door is closed.]] Zay: Ernest? So he's the boss around here? You work for him or something? Woman of Mystery: He was the boss. Once upon a time. Woman of Mystery: Things tend to linger here. Zay: And what kind of moron hides his stash behind a door labelling his stash? [[The door is now open, and a shadowy object can be seen inside the room.]] WoM: If you care... the door is unlocked, and you can find out for yourself. {{Comic #: 533}}

Thursday , February 3 , 2005
[[Walking the corridor of the Mansion. Zay is a visitor from the webcomic Sandwich World.]] Zay: OK. I'll look at Ernest's "stash" The Woman of Mystery: I'll be out here.. WoM: ..I'm already well aware of what kind of moron Ernest was. Zay: Fine. [[He goes inside. The WoM waits. Vague objects are visible through the door.]] [[She waits some more.]] [[Zay is coming back.]] Zay: So. He was a real.. fun-loving guy. WoM: Yes. Ernest was the life of the party. [[An outline of Ernest, about to be stabbed by an off-screen knife-weilder.]] WoM: But he didn't learn until too late. Parties always end. The music always stops playing.

Friday , February 4 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery is leading Zay through the Mansion. Zay is a visitor from the webcomic Sandwich World. They walk away from Ernest's Secret Stash, passing by an enormous immobile Giuardbot equipped with a pincer and some sort of electrical weapon.]] Guardbot: BEEP! YOU ARE NOW EXITING YOUR DOUBLE-RESTRICTED ZONE. HAVE A PRODUCTIVE DAY! WoM and Zay, both thinking: Too late for that..

Saturday , February 5 , 2005
[[Zay from the comic Sandwich World and the Woman of Mystery are in a corridor in the Mansion.]] Zay: Are we there yet? WoM: Nearly. Assuming there are no further distractions. [[Nellie Grubb appears, wearing a coat and carrying a walking stick.]] WoM, thinking: Frizzlegarb. {{Frizzlegarb is a somewhat archaic swear-word.}}

Sunday , February 6 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery is leading Zay through the Mansion. Zay is a visitor from the webcomic Sandwich World. They have met Nellie Grubb, who is dressed for outdoor travel.]] WoM: Prunella. Nellie: M'am. WoM: What a lovely new coat. You are, no doubt, going down to the village to spread the joyous news about Sylvester's "ladyfriend"? [[Nellie points at Zay]] Nellie: I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about, M'am. Is he one of your.. friends? [[Closeup of the WoM]] WoM: As you know all too well, Prunella, I have only one friend. Zay, from off-screen: Aww, Melvin! Now you're hurting my feelings. {{"Melvin" was the name the WoM used to get past a Guardbot. It is not her real name.}}

Monday , February 7 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery is leading Zay through the Mansion. Zay is a visitor from the webcomic Sandwich World. They have met Nellie Grubb.]] WoM: Will you excuse me for just a moment, Mr.. [[She touches Zay's forehead with a finger.]] [[She and Prunella eye each other.]] WoM: ..Zay? Prunella and I need to have a private conversation. Zay: A little girl talk, huh? WoM: Yes. Quite. Girl talk. Zay: You might want to see someone about those nails of yours. WoM: I shall make an appointment with my manicurist forthwith.

Tuesday , February 8 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery and Nellie Grubb confront one another. Nellie is dressed for outdoor travel.]] WoM: sigh.. Do you remember, Prunella? There used to be a manicurist's shop right here in the village.. Nellie: M'am.. [[The WoM forms a bit of magic in her hand.]] WoM: They would try and hide when I came by. Good times. /Interesting/ times. [[A vision of The Crash hitting Eetown. The sky is red, buildings explode, an airship falls from the sky. The Mansion looms in the background.]] WoM: But then the Crash came, and now we have fishermen, and pudding farmers. And Nomes and Gnolls squabbling over the rubble. [[Back to the present.]] Nellie: I was /there/, M'am. You don't hafta- WoM: You were /very/ young, Prunella. You might have needed a refresher.

Wednesday , February 9 , 2005
[[Inside the Mansion, The Woman of Mystery and Nellie Grubb confront each other. Nellie is dressed for outdoor travel.]] WoM: But anyway. Getting back to the present- Nellie: I know what yer doing, M'am! WoM: oh? Nellie: That man! I don't know why he's callin' you "Melvin", but I do know he's why you went out fer a stroll! WoM: No, Prunella. Mr. Zay is an entirely unexpected, if amusing, distraction. Nellie: I'm still gonna warn him! Yer gonna- [[The WoM thrusts her hand in Nellie's face. Nellie's eyes go blank.]] WoM: That's enough, Prunella.

Thursday, February 10, 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery speaks from off-screen to the hypnotized Prunella.]] WoM: Such misplaced bravery... [[The WoM appears in the scene.]] WoM: But it does remind me, Prunella, that you were and are a prize worth fighting for. WoM: Personally, I think the better man lost that fight.. but then, I am quite -horribly- biased.

Friday , February 11 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery has brain-zapped Nellie Grubb.]] WoM: Now, what we're going to do is.. ah. You can hear me, can't you, Prunella? Nellie: i can hear you very well, M'am. [[The WoM glances aside.]] WoM: Good. I'm not going hurt Mr. Zay. No. No. We must be accurate. [[Zay stands nearby, eying them. He is a visitor from the webcomic Sandwich World.]] WoM: I'm going to give him exactly what he says he wants. Whether it /hurts/.. I guess we will see. [[Back to the two women.]] WoM: But, you won't believe me when I say that. And you will go around /telling/ people. Such, somehow, is my reputation. So. [[Close up of the WoM's eyes.]] WoM: You will erase this entire conversation from your memory. /Do you understand, Prunella?/ Nellie: i understand, M'am. i will erase this entire conversation from my memory. WoM: /Good/.

Saturday , February 12 , 2005
[[Guest art by Ymmot of the webcomic BioB. A group shot of various Mansionites, including Sylvester, Rosemary, Mortimer, Agita, Niddle and Camora. Also present are a Gobule, a Wyrm, a Troglodyte and a Ghast.]]

Sunday , February 13 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery has brain-zapped Nellie Grubb, with Zay of the webcomic Sandwich World as a witness. The WoM picks up Nellie's dropped walking stick.]] WoM: Now then, Prunella.. [[She has given Nellie the stick, and pats her on the head.]] WoM: You run along and do whatever it was you were doing before. [[Nellie turns to go.]] WoM: yes, M'am. [[She walks past Zay, who watches her go.]] WoM: Oh.. and be extra-careful to stay on the path in the forest. The natives are restless. Nellie: yes Ma'm. thank you Ma'm.

Monday , February 14 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery is leading Zay through the Mansion. Zay is a visitor from the webcomic Sandwich World. They have just parted ways with Nellie Grubb.]] Zay: You did something to her head. WoM: Hmm? Zay: The old gal. I only mention it cuz, if you try that with me, I'll slug you. WoM: I wouldn't worry Mr. Zay. WoM: Even the best craftswoman needs /some/ raw material to work with. [[Zay sorta smiles.]] [[They walk away.]] Zay: That friend of yours.. he a guy? WoM: Yes Mr. Zay. Very much so.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005
[[Prunella is blank-eyed, walking along a corridor.]] [[She snaps out of it, blinking.]] [[She pauses thoughtfully.]] Prunella, thinking: Did somethin' just happen? [[She plants her walking stick]] ((CLUNK)) [[She leaves the shot.]] Prunella, thinking: Course not. I'd remember if it had.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005
[[A darkened room with no visible ceiling. There are holes and doorways in the walls; one of them is barred. A low pillar stands at the center of the room, topped with a glowing light.]] [[Zooming in on the pillar. The light is a glowing white sphere, bracketed on either side by inward-pointing spikes.]] [[Close-up of the sphere. It appears to be floating in the air between the two spikes. Music plays in the background.]]

Thursday , February 17 , 2005
[[Somewhere in the Mansion. A small pillar is topped with two inward-pointing spikes. Suspended between them is a glowing sphere. Music plays.]] [[The Woman of Mystery and Zay silently appear on the scene. Zay is a visitor from the webcomic Sandwich World.]]

Friday , February 18 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery is leading Zay through the Mansion. Zay is a visitor from the webcomic Sandwich World. They are at the bottom of a deep shaft, looking at suspended sphere which glows and plays music. This panel is a close-up of the sphere.]] Zay: So this hunk of junk is your panegate-thing? WoM: Oh, no, Mr. Zay. WoM: We have reached the penultimate stage of our journey. The panegate.. WoM: up there. [[A look up the shaft. It disappears into the gloom, with various holes studding the walls at different levels. One hole is barred.]]

Saturday , February 19 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery is leading Zay through the Mansion. Zay is a visitor from the webcomic Sandwich World. They are at the bottom of a deep shaft, looking at suspended sphere which glows and plays music.]] Zay: "Up there"? So how do we get- [[The WoM grab the sphere, which glows brighter.]] WoM: Door eight, please. [[She rises up out of sight as Zay watches.]] ((WOOSH)) Zay: Oh.

Sunday , February 20 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery is leading Zay through the Mansion. Zay is a visitor from the webcomic Sandwich World. She has shown by example how to use a sphere-elevator.]] Zay, thinking: When in Rome.. or Weirdoland.. [[He grabs the sphere.]] Zay: Door eight. ((Ping)) [[He rises out of sight.]] ((WHOOSH))

Monday , February 21 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery is leading Zay through the Mansion. Zay is a visitor from the webcomic Sandwich World. He is shooting up a shaft thanks to a sphere-elevator. He is being watched by an unknown and shadowy individual from behind some bars which seal off a passage in the wall.]] Zay, thinking: OK. I'm a big enough man to admit it. This is moderately cool. ((WHOOSH))

Tuesday , February 22 , 2005
[[A shaft somewhere in the Mansion. In the side of the shaft is a passageway sealed off with bars. Behind the bars are two shadowy individuals.]] Shadow#1: Glorf! I heard the ping! Was it.. Glorf: The Destroyer? Yes. Yes, it was. Shadow#1: Oh, dear. Glorf: Had someone with her this time. I think he was male. [[They think about this.]] Shadow#1: She's not planning to /breed/, is she? Glorf: I'm hoping he's a snack she's saving for later.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005
[[Two shadowy creatures {{Shades}} lurk behind some bars.]] Creature #1: So, do I send the message back home? Creature #2: No. We have our orders. Only if the Destroyer breaks through the bars. Creature #1: If she comes, we won't be able to stop her, will we? Creature #2: Probably not. But nevertheless we shall try.

Thursday , February 24 , 2005
[[A shaft somewhere in the Mansion. A passageway which leads off from the shaft has bars installed in it. Two shadowy figures are lurking behind the bars.]] Shadow #1: I'll return to base camp and- oh. The light's out. Do yo want me to get- Glorf: No no. Go on. It justneeds to be flibbled again. Shadow #1: Right. Call me if.. Anything happens. Glorf: Of course. ((FLIBBLE)) [[A "Glowing Ball Of Light" attached to the ceiling on a pole flares to life.]] [[Glorf is still shadowy.]] Glorf: Was it good for you? GBOL: !!

Friday , February 25 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery is leading Zay of the webcomic Sandwich World through the Mansion. She waits at the top of a shaft as he comes shooting up into view.]] [[Close-up of his feet as they land.]] ((CLUNK)) [[He looks back down the shaft.]] WoM: Something is wrong? Zay: I've ridden in elevators in.. what.. five different dimensions now? And every damn one of them has played really crappy music. WoM: Did any of them have operators? In the car? Zay: Uh.. no. Why? WoM: Because installing one is the only way to stop the music. Of course, sometimes.. The cure is worse than the disease.

Saturday , February 26 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery is leading Zay through the Mansion. Zay is a visitor from the webcomic Sandwich World. They have just used an "elevator" to rise up a shaft.]] Zay: Sso.. Muzak is a kind of virus, and elevator operators are the only antidote. WoM: Yes. [[Zay looks at her.]] [[He walks off.]] Zay: Sounds reasonable to me. WoM: And as an added bonus, hiring back all of the operators cuts the unemployment rate.

Sunday , February 27 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery is leading Zay through the Mansion. Zay is a visitor from the webcomic Sandwich World. He can seen at the far end of an open corridor.]] Zay: Hey. We're at the other end of the hall where that wall moved. WoM: Yes. [[He looks down the corridor, she looks at him.]] Zay: But now it's gone. WoM: So it would seem. [[She turns to go.]] Zay: So if we'd just waited, it would have opened again. WoM: Sooner or later, yes. [[He walks after her.]] Zay: I get it. You wanted to spend more time with me. WoM: Am I that transparent?

Monday , February 28 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery and Zay walk along a passageway. Painted on the wall in enormous letters: BEWARE! PANEGATE 100 METERS AHEAD!! Both are smiling as they speak.]] Zay: Are we there NOW? WoM: No.

Tuesday , March 1 , 2005
[[A gray circle in a white field. A line leads into the circle from the edge of the panel.]] Narration: Meanwhile.. [[The line turns red, lighting up a network inside the circle as well.]] ((ZIP BREEP!)) [[Pulling back from the circle.]] Computer-type "voices": ALLUNITS REPORT! INTRUDERS APPROACH! CONTACT IMMINENT! POWERUP GRID DEFENSES! [[The circle and the white are in a larger field of black.]] [[And are one of three controls in a cluster.]] [[The entire control panel attached to crossbars. Behind it can be seen purple.]] [[The panel, further back.]] [[More of the same.]] ((trudge)) [[A trundlebug comes into view, trudging along one of the crossbars.]] ((trudge trudge))

Wednesday , March 2 , 2005
[[A trundlebug trudges along a crossbar. Purple swirls in the background.]] ((trudge trudge trudge)) [[A hand reaches into the shot, aiming for the trundlebug.]] trundlebug: ! [[The hand belongs to the Woman of Mystery, who now has the t-bug perched on one of her fingers. Zay of the webcomic Sandwich World glowers in the background.]]

Thursday, March 3, 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery carefully puts a trundlebug on the ground.]] [[She pats the confused bug on the head.]] [[The bug runs for it.]] WoM: Now then, Mr. Zay... Where were we? [[WoM and Zay from Sandwich World are standing in front of a Panegate, behind which swirls purple shapes.]] WoM: Oh, yes. We are /here/. This is the panegate.

Friday, March 4, 2005
[[Zay from Sandwich World is in front of a panegate, talking to the Woman of Mystery.]] WoM: The "Pgate" is- You seem agitated. Zay: I thought maybe you were /different/. But you go around saving /bugs/. [[The WoM in front of the gate.]] Zay: That's the dumbass kind of thing /Phil/ would do. WoM: Ah. Would it help if you know one of them once pulled a sliver out of my paw? Zay: /No it wouldn't!/ {{Phil is another character from Sandwich World with whom Zay has an antagonistic relationship.}}

Saturday, March 5, 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery is talking to Zay from Sandwich World in front of a panegate.]] WoM: What an interesting personal philosophy you have, Mr. Zay. Dispensing minor acts of kindness to hapless animals is a sign of weakness? Zay: /Yes./ [[The WoM literally gets in Zay's face.]] WoM: So you'd rather that I was "strong"? I can be strong. Zay: I'm hearing a lot of /talk/. ((SMACK))

Sunday, March 6, 2005
[[The lower left corner of a panegate.]] [[Zay from Sandwich World sits up from the floor, where he has been SMACKed in some fashion by the Woman of Mystery.]] [[An angry WoM appears in the shot, and Zay smiles.]] Zay: That's my girl. WoM: I'll open the gate, and you can be on your way.

Monday, March 7, 2005
[[A panegate's control panel, covered with buttons.]] The Woman of Mystery: This is both the panegate's control and its lock. [[Zay from Sandwich World watches as the WoM pokes at the control with a finger.]] ((boop beep)) WoM: It is unlabled, complicated, counterintuitive and riddled with security measures. Zay: More than you can handle? [[They are both hit with a powerful electric shock.]] ((BEEP)) [[The WoM is frazzled but upright. Zay is out of sight on the floor.]] ((beep boop beep)) WoM: No. But /you/ may wish to stand a bit further back. Zay: Nah. I'm good.

Tuesday , March 8 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery has brought Zay (visitor from the webcomic Sandwich World) to a panegate. She is working on opening it.]] Zay: This is stupid. I can just squeeze through the hole between the bars- ((beep beep)) [[His (five-fingered) hand slaps against an invisible barrier.]] ((BWHUMP)) Zay: OK. I can just break the glass and climb through the hole between the bars. WoM: It's not glass. And people have tried to break it with things far bigger and heavier than your fists or feet, with a notible [sic] lack of success. ((boop be-beep bap))

Wednesday, March 9, 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery pokes at the control panel on a Panegate. She is thinking silently throughout]] ((BOOP)) [[More poking.]] ((BEEP BLIP)) WoM: This would be so much easier if I had an extra hand or two. ((BOOPs BEEPs BLIPs)) [[A discharge from the panel pushes her hands away.]] WoM: Or an extra brain perhaps. ((SNAP crizzle plip.)) [[She resumes.]] WoM: But I think I'm just about there. Thank Ghu it's not a- ((BEEP BEEP *BEEP*)) [[The panel buttons switch from white..]] [[..To red.]] Panel: [short cryptic statement in not-English.] WoM: yess...

Thursday , March 10 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery and Zay of the webcomic Sandwich World are at a panegate. She has successfully operated the controls, the they have turned from white to RED.]] [[One of the crossbars slides away.]] ((SHUNK)) [[And then the other. The control panel remains hanging in midair.]] ((SHUNK)) [[The two of them stand in front of an open panegate. A ring of small white lights can be seen on the wall around the gate.]] WoM: You may be on your way, Mr. Zay. ((ZAWOOMP))

Friday , March 11 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery has opened a panegate for Zay, of the webcomic Sandwich World. Zay stands before it.]] Zay: So.. [[He pokes at the gate.]] ((poke)) Zay: ..the "glass" between the bars just disappears when the bars open. WoM: Yes. [[He waves at the swirl beyond.]] Zay: And that purple swirly crap- that's the passageway to the other dimension? WoM: No, no. WoM: As I said before, this is a panegate, not a portal. If you can pry it open, you just step through. What you see before you, Mr. Zay, is your new "dimension".

Saturday , March 12 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery has opened a panegate for Zay, a visitor from the webcomic Sandwich World. Beyond is a swirling purple mass.]] Zay: /That's/ the other dimension? WoM: Yes. Zay: OK, we've established I'm not a big whiner, but is there oxygen, and gravity, and stuff, over there? I've heard stories about some of these dimensions, and I've gotten in the habit of breathing. [[Unnoticed by Zay, something pokes out of the panegate from the other side.]] WoM: Oh, yes. There's oxygen and gravity. [[It is a large purple-colored tentacle. It wraps itself around Zay.]] ((GLOMP)) WoM: Along with other things.

Sunday , March 13 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery has opened a panegate for Zay of the webcomic Sandwich World. A purple tentacle has come through the gate and grabbed him.]] Zay: #$%!! {{Must be a truly dreadful word!}} [[The tentacle yanks Zay through the panegate.]] ((YOINK!)) Zay: Tentacles! More #$%ing tentacles! [[The WoM touches the control panel.]] Zay: FINE! Bring it on! Zay: /HA! That all you got, suckerbutt?/ [[The gate snaps shut, and the controls power down.]] Zay: My /GRANDMA/ squeezes harder th- ((CLUNK)) [[The WoM walks away from the panegate, smiling. On the other side, Zay is rapidly receding into the distance, surrounded by strife.]]

Monday , March 14 , 2005
[[The Panegate through which Zay (from the webcomic Sandwich World) has been dragged by a tentacle. He just barely visible in the distance, amid swirls of whatever.]] [[The Woman of Mystery reappears. Zay vanishes from sight.]] WoM: Hurry up back there or I shall leave you behind. [[Nothing happens.]] [[The WoM's "pet" balloon scoots into view, following her.]]

Tuesday , March 15 , 2005
[[The Woman of Mystery walks through the Mansion, followed by her new "pet" balloon.]] WoM: So.. [[She walks past a panegate. On the far side can be seen the character Ted, from the comic Sandwich World, for whom the just-departed Zay was searching.]] WoM: Should I have told Mr. Zay about all the /other/ panegates? balloon: ! WoM: Really? WoM: Oh well..

Wednesday , March 16 , 2005
[[A filler-strip featuring Rosemary, Sylvester, Mortimer and the Woman of Mystery, as created by a website which allows you to dress and equip a "doll" and save the result.]]

Thursday, March 17, 2005
[[trundlebug running away from his encounter with the Woman of Mystery...]] ((Screech!)) [[Looks beind]] ((Whew!)) [[must be all safe now]] ((Trudge, trudge, trudge, tr-)) [[a big slimegrub with an evil grin appears]] ((STOMP!))]]

Friday, March 18, 2005
[[trundlebug and a big nasty slimegrub face off]] Slimegrub:((chhho-)) [[trundlebug runs away, slimegrub bites empty air]] ((CHOMP)) ((zip)) [[trundlebug is running as fast as its poor little legs can move, looking back at the pursuing slimegrub]] Trundlebug: ! Slimegrub: RARG! ((TROMP TROMP TROMP)) [[trundlebug runs off a ledge because it wasn't looking where it was going]] Trundlebug: !!

Saturday , March 19 , 2005
[[Being chased by a slimegrub, a trundlebug has gone over the edge of a shaft. The bug sees the remains of something sticking out of the shaft wall, from which wires protrude.]] [[The bug manages to grab one of the wires.]] ((GLOMP!!)) [[The bug hangs from the wire and looks down into the shaft.]] T-Bug: whew [[The bug is gone down the shaft; the wire has snapped.]]

Sunday , March 20 , 2005
[[A trundlebug has fallen down a shaft somewhere in the Mansion. Above it is the broken remains of some sort of cover. Below, a beam of light extends across the shaft, and below that is two darkened globes, one on either side of the shaft.]] Trundlebug: !! !

Monday , March 21 , 2005
[[A shaft somewhere in the Mansion. From recesses on either side, laser-like devices shoot a beam across the shaft.]] [[A trundlebug which fell into the shaft drops into view, breaking the beam. One of the lasers sends a signal down a wire.]] ((BEEP)) [[Further down the shaft, two darkened globes are again mounted in alcoves on either side of the shaft.]] [[The signal arrives at one of the globes, and they both light up, power flowing between them.]] ((BEEP FOOM)) [[The bug again drops into view, and is hit by the power, with dramatic results.]] ((ZZZAPP!!)) [[The bug is gone, leaving only a bit of spark behind.]]

Tuesday, March 22, 2005
[[A small Trundlebug has been "ZAPPED" by some strange machinery.]] [A globe is lit] ((BEEP)) [[A path is traced through a maze of circuits. There is damage here and there, and cryptic markings.]] [[Ditto, heading down.]] [[Ditto. heading down more.]] [[Ditto, along with some graffiti.]] [[Another globe lights up.]] ((BEEP))

Wednesday, March 23, 2005
[[Near a ceiling, two globes light up, sending a blast of energy between them.]] ((FOOM)) [[The Trundlebug rematerializes between the globes, hanging in the air.]] ((PAZZ!!)) [[The Trundlebug fall towards some nasty-looking spikes.]] Trundlebug: whimper

Thursday , March 24 , 2005
[[Inside a vermin filter, the Trundlebug falls towards a large pile of debris; the thing on top of the pile looks spiked and dangerous.]] [[He hits the pile.]] ((CRUNCH)) [[The spiked thing was less dangerous than it looked, and is now shattered. The T-Bug staggers about.]] [[He falls off the pile.]]

Friday , March 25 , 2005
[[A trundlebug has fallen off a relatively-enormous pile of debris, and is headed for a large white object.]] [[The white object proves to be soft, and the bug bounces off.]] ((BLOOMPH)) [[The bug finally lands on a slope, relatively gently.]] ((plop)) [[The bug regains its feet, looking slightly dazed.]] Trundlebug: whew [[The bug begins to slide backwards.]]

Saturday, March 26, 2005
[[A curved surface.]] [[The trundlebug appears, sliding smoothly backwards despite his best scrabbling efforts.]] [[He falls off the edge.]] [[The edge leds into a shaft. He is joined by a bit of rubbish from the other side.]] Trundlebug: sigh

Sunday , March 27 , 2005
[[A trundlebug falls through a hole in the ceiling, near the base of a Glowing Ball of Light.]] [[The bug slowly falls, bringing the actual GBOL into view.]] [[Down past the GBOL.]] [[Down some more.]] [[A white surface comes into view below.]] Trundlebug: zzz

Monday , March 28 , 2005
[[The Trundlebug lands on a white surface.]] ((WHUMP)) [[He sits.]] [[He looks around.]] [[He gets back to his feet. More looking.]] Trundlebug: whew? [[He realizes something.]] [[He rubs his feet on the "floor"]] ((skitter skitter scrape scratch)) [[There is friction!]] [[He marches away]] ((whew trudge trudge))

Tuesday , March 29 , 2005
[[A trundlebug has landed on some white surface, and is trudging along it.]] ((trudge trudge)) [[Pulling back the POV. The surface is revealed to be a wing-like thing, attached to..]] [[Rosemary Ripley wears her winged helmet, and looks around suspiciously.]]

Wednesday, March 30, 2005
[[Sylvester and Rosemary wait outside Spatchcock's office.]] [[Sylvester gives the angry Rosemary a nervous glance.]] Rosemary: What? Sylvester: Have you ever eaten chocolate? {{Author's note: For any nitpickers in the audience, yes, I gave Sylvester a collar on his shirt. This way, he can stop stapling his tie to his chest.}}

Thursday , March 31 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester are waiting to see Spatchcock of Le Tree, and he has asked her a question..]] Rosemary: "Have I ever eaten chocolate?" What the Zark kind of question is that? Here? Now? Sylvester: You're becoming impatient and irritable, and it's my pathetic attempt to distract you from doing something rashly impulsive. [[Rosemary glares at him.]] Rosemary: Yes, actually. Just once, but I got to eat some chocolate.

Friday , April 1 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester are waiting to meet with Le Tree's Spatchcock.]] Sylvester: I asked about chocolate because.. you're from Moonin province, aren't you? Your accent.. Rosemary: Yup. Land o' the Lobster-fishers. Sylvester: My mother's from Fredonia, right next to Moonin- Rosemary: Not really. They're on opposite sides of the Ridgebacks. Sylvester: Right. But still, you were a lot closer than here in Audravania. And Mom said once they still make some chocolate in Fredonia, even after the Crash cut off easy access to the cocoa beans. So I just wondered if it was for sale in Moonin. Rosemary: No. At least not like it was before the Crash. Aunt Eva told me that as a kid she bought it for pennies in the local World O' Pots... I got a piece as part of my wages. While I was working on the Caravan.

Saturday , April 2 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester have a discussion while waiting to talk to Spatchcock of Le Tree.]] Sylvester: You worked on one of the big merchant caravans Out West? Rosemary: Yes. Sylvester: You were a guard, weren't you? You worked for that big mercenary-for- hire outfit, Hack N' Slash. [[Rosemary makes air quotes.]] Rosemary: Very shrewd. Except that the preferred term is 'hero', not 'mercenary'. Sylvester: You mentioned reading their training manual, and I understand they don't just hand out copies of that to people on the street. Sylvester: Not that... that would stop /you/ if you really wanted to read a copy.. Rosemary: I'm flattered. But when I first read the Hack N' Slash Heroing Manual, I had every legal right to do so.

Sunday , April 3 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester have a conversation while waiting to talk to Spatchcock of Le Tree.]] Sylvester:So, Hack N' Slash is willing to hire women, or were you a special case ? Rosemary: Well... [[An outline of Rosemary woman-handling a bearded man. Her Hack N' Slash colleague Baldy is stepping in to save the victim.]] Rosemary: There are always a few knuckle-draggers who have to be convinced.. [[A man with a dagger is menacing an overweight man wearing a top hat. Rosemary is behind the dagger-wielder, poking a sword into his back. She is wearing a very silly hat.]] Rosemary: ..But the big shots at HnS know that having female employees can be useful when people don't /expect/ female employees..

Monday, April 4, 2005
[[Outside Spatchcock's office.]] Sylvester: So you worked "undercover" on the Caravan? Rosemary: Yes [[Rosemary turns away.]] Sylvester: What did you pretend to- [[Rosemary's hand picking up a rock.]] Rosemary, thinking: Probably disturbing "Nevus's" favorite rock collection. Oh well... [[Sylvester is impressed as Rosemary juggles some rocks.]] Rosemary: It's not just merchants who travel with the Caravan..

Tuesday , April 5 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester are having a conversation while waiting to see Spatchcock of Le Tree. Rosemary is demonstrating her juggling prowess; in this panel the chunks of rock are rising into sight from below. Above is a Glowing Ball of Light. A pair of eyes are peering down on the scene through a hole in the wall. Sylvester: Wow, Rosemary! That's really great! Rosemary: Thanks, but really.. [[The view descends to where Rosemary is actually juggling.]] Rosemary: You should see my big finale, with the torches, axes, and the triblot. Knocked 'em dead in Ootope and Alloy.. {{"Triblot" is the Western name for a Fleeb.}}

Wednesday , April 6 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester have a discussion while waiting to talk to Spatchcock of Le Tree. Rosemary is juggling some rocks.]] Sylvester: Are the stories true? Rosemary: What stories? Sylvester: We have small caravans here in the east, but they are for convenience, mostly. [[Closeup of Sylvester's hands, as he removes his glasses and points at them.]] Sylvester: (I bought these off the Medical Caravan that comes round to the village every few weeks) But I've read stuff in the Times... Have things really gotten so bad Out West that it's the only safe way to travel anymore? [[Rosemary frowns, still juggling.]] Rosemary: Well.. it's not like we were under constant attack... [[An outline of her and Baldy, standing back to back as they are attacked by swordsmen. Baldy is running one of them through.]] Rosemary: But yes. In some places.. things have gotten very bad.

Thursday , April 7 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester are having a conversation while waiting to speak to Spatchcock of Le Tree. Rosemary is juggling some rocks.]] Sylvester: The big Caravans don't run any further east than Impass. How'd you end up all the way out here? [[Rosemary catches one of the rocks.]] ((GLOMP)) [[She tosses it back to the ground where she found it.]] ((THUD)) [[Along with the rest.]] ((THUD)) [[Rosemary's head. The trundlebug on her helmet is radiating white lines.]] Rosemary: I /will/ tell you everything. Even the parts I'm not real proud of. But not here. Not now. Waaay too many eavesdroppers.

Friday , April 8 , 2005
Sylvester: OK, no big secrets. But.. you were in Alloy once? Did you ever go near the Infer- ((SWOOMP)) Rosemary: What was that? Sylvester: What was what? Rosemary: I heard a noise. "SWOOMP" Sylvester: Oh. That's just the sound of a trundlebug's body fully rebigulating [sic] after passing through one of the Mansion's automatic verminfilter teleports. [[He sees her expression.]] Sylvester: Of course, when I say "fully", it doesn't always.. mean.. [[They look at each other.]] Sylvester: What? Rosemary: I'm.. just not going to talk to you for a while now.

Saturday , April 9 , 2005
[[Inside Le Tree, Erud the Gnoll has been eavesdropping on Rosemary and Sylvester's conversation, through a small hole in the wall. He has a chair and a small tablet for taking notes. Snoot the Motihaul approaches him.]] Snoot: So. Erud. What are your conclusions in regards to our guests? Erud: Well, Mr. Snoot.. Erud: They found Dyte in the vase, and the.. female.. is physically quite dextrous.. but listening to them talk.. Snoot: Yes? Erud: It is either some kind of subtle and complex code.. Or they are both babbling morons. Snoot: I see. [[Snoot turns to go.]] Erud: The only part that made any sense was the bit about swoomping trundlebugs. Snoot: I'll pass that along to Mr. Spatchcock.

Sunday , April 10 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester, who are Not Speaking To Each Other for a moment, wait to talk to Spatchcock of Le Tree.]] [[More waiting. Unnoticed behind them, a flutterby flies past, trailing a small banner which reads "600", written in the numbers used by Basement-dwellers.]] [[The flutterby disappears off the panel, but something happens..]] Flutterby: !? !!! [[The flutterby reappears, being chased by a flying predator. Call it a flooper, for lack of a better name. It is also trailing a banner, which reads "WOO HOO"]] [[The fliers disappear. Both Rosemary and Sylvester realize something.]] [[The Humans turn to each other, just as Snoot the Motihaul appears.]] Sylvester: What's a "triblot"? Rosemary: We're in Audravania? Snoot: Mr. Spatchcock will see you now.

Monday , April 11 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester are being taken by Snoot the Motihaul to meet Spatchcock of Le Tree. They arrive at a doorway. To one side is a potted plant. Beyond the door can be seen branches of The Tree.]] Snoot: In here, please. [[They go in; Snoot prepares to close the door.]] [[The door is closed. Mounted on it is the name SPATCHCOCK, and a Basement version of a skull-and-crossbones.]]

Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Narration: Meanwhile, out in the forest, an auction is nearing completion.. [[In addition to the speakers below, Mimsy the Gnoll is also present.]] Guttle: Eleven fleebs. Nevus: Twelve. Snerk: Thirteen. Agita:... Fourteen. Mortimer, thinking: Can I just go back to being chased by the shark?

Wednesday , April 13 , 2005
[[An auction is underway in the Forest of E.]] Guttle the Gobule: Gr. I'm out. Nevus the Wyrm: As am I. Snerk the Saur: Fifteen fleebs. [[Agita the Motihaul considers.]] Agita: Very well. [[Mortimer, not realizing.]] Mortimer: Oh! So. Um. Going once..? Mortimer: Going twice.. [[He holds up the Zorper/HJ42.]] Mortimer: Sold to.. uh.. what was your name again? Snerk: Snerk. Mortimer. Snerk.

Thursday , April 14 , 2005
[[At an auction in the Forest of E.]] Nevus: You really have fifteen fleebs? Snerk: Yes, Nevus, I do. [[Snerk produces a sack. Mortimer looks at the zorper/HJ42 he's holding.]] Snerk: I've even got them in this /official/ fleebsack, which I- [[He sees Agita's expression.]] Snerk: What? Agita: I was engaged in appalled speculation as to where you possibly could have been hiding that. Mortimer, thinking: Were these little button-things glowing like this before?

Friday , April 15 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, Snerk the Saur has won an aiuction. He removes fleebs from a sack.]] Snerk: So. Fifteen fleebs. That means I keep.. [[He sets a fleeb on a rock.]] Snerk: One. [[He adds another.]] Snerk: Two [[He gives a sidelong glance.]] [[Agita looks back angrily.]] [[He puts a rather squashed-looking fleeb on the rock.]] Snerk: And /one-half/ fleebs.

Saturday , April 16 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, Comshaw and Niiddle have a discussion.]] Narration: About the same time, not far away.. Niddle: Are we going to follow that stripy Saur, and see who he works for? Comshaw: No. Whoever this Boss person is, I suspect he?'ll still be around tomorrow. My "three friends" on the other hand... Comshaw: If it's who I think, and they're all up here, together, with things back home so tense... we have to find out why. Niddle: You... don't want us to split up, do you? Have me follow the Saur? [[Comshaw puts his hand on Niddle's shoulder.]] Comshaw: Niddle, you are my Finagler, and my best friend, but I wouldn't trust you to follow a /rock/ if it were wedged at the bottom of SubShaft 44g and chained to the wall. [[Niddle stares as Comshaw turns away.]] Comshaw: Let's close the gate, and go see what's waiting for us. Niddle: I'm really your best friend?

Sunday , April 17 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E.]] Comshaw: Yes, Niddle, of course you're my best friend. Niddle: But I thought that Boffin- [[Comshaw touches the back of his head.]] Comshaw: (sigh) Boffin's /dead/, Niddle. You know that. But still.. Comshaw: I do wish he was here right now. He was a good tracker, and he knew the forest better than me. Comshaw: (sigh redux) Boffin's dead, and his panicky idiot of a brother is the zarking gnollish representative on the zarking Council. Maybe the world /is/ coming to an end.

Monday , April 18 , 2005
[[Comshaw and Niddle are walking through the Forest of E.]] Comshaw: Boffin may have been the real forest expert, but I've learned a few things. First, you have to be constantly on the alert. Comshaw: This area isn't as bad as some, which is one reason the tunnel's here; the T-Squids and the Spyders prefer to.. roost.. in bigger trees than these. But still, you- [[He turns. Niddle has disappeared.]] Comshaw: Niddle? [[Comshaw looks down.]] Comshaw: But still, you need to watch out for things like holes in the ground. Niddle, from off-panel: yes, all right..

Tuesday, April 19, 2005
[[Niddle is in a hole in the forest]] Niddle: Comshaw? Comshaw: Yes? Niddle: There's something in this hole with me. Comshaw: Oh? Niddle: I think it's a... /tree-squid/. Comshaw: Don't be silly, Niddle. There's no way a tree-squid could possibly fit in that hole. It's far too small. [[Niddle emerges from the hole with a scalpsucker glued to his face.]] Comshaw: There. You see? That's clearly some sort of scalpsucker. Scalpsucker: RAR!

Wednesday , April 20 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, Niiddle has fallen into a hole, and emerged with a scalpsucker attached to his face.]] Comshaw: Hold still. [[Comshaw stretches the 'sucker. by the top of it's "head"]] ((STTRRRETCCH)) [[He poises his poking stick.]] ((Bap)) [[He holding up the stunned 'sucker.]] Comshaw: You just might come in handy.. Niddle: HEY! You could have /hit/ me!

Thursday, April 21, 2005
[[Comshaw and Niddle are walking in the forest. Comshaw carries a Poking stick and a scalpsucker. NIddle carries a gem]] Comshaw: I wasn't going to hit you, Niddle. After all, I scored a perfect 8 on the Bapping portion of my Poker registration test. [[They walk in silence.]] Comshaw: What? Niddle: Didn't you help the Council -create- the Poker registration te- Comshaw: Yes. I still only got a 5 on the Empathy portion. I'm -good- at Bapping.

Friday , April 22 , 2005
[[Comshaw and Niddle are walking in the Forest of E. Comshaw has a scalpsucker, Niddle has a hitchhiking gem.]] Comshaw: Well, well. Look who we have here. [[A female Gnoll is perched on the remains of a stone wall, looking very disgruntled.]] Comshaw: It's Shona. Niddle: Doesn't she work for Mr. Nevus? Comshaw: Yes. Niddle: Doesn't she hate you? Comshaw: more or less.. [[Comshaw pushes Niddle forward.]] Comshaw: ..but she likes /you/. Go talk to her. Niddle: eep!

Saturday , April 23 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, Niddle has been sent to talk to Shona. He is carrying a hitchhiking gem]] Niddle: Um.. hi, Shona. Shona: Hm? Oh, hello, Niddle. [[Shona realizes who she is talking to.]] Shona: Niddle? What in earth are /you/ doing up here? Niddle: Well, Digger was feeling mighty low, so we- Shona: No no. Never mind. I've already had to talk to Furphy today. One of /your/ explanations might finish me off.

Sunday , April 24 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, Niddle has met Shona.]] Niddle:You're unhappy. What's wrong? Shona: Oh, it's this wretched auction. Niddle: Auction? Shona: I /told/ Mr. Nevus it was a very bad idea to come up here, but ever since he got that strange invitation, he's insisted on coming. [[Shona points off-panel.]] Niddle: Strange invitation? Shona: And now I have an /important/ message from Mr. Faldstool, and those.. /cretins/.. on the security perimeter won't let me through! Niddle: Security perimeter? Shona: But anyway, thanks for noticing! It's just wonderful how you Finaglers are always so understanding!

Monday, April 25, 2005
[[Niddle and Shona are standing next to a ruined wall in the forest.]] Niddle: If you need to get through a.. perimeter.. maybe Comshaw could- Shona: Comshaw? -hmph!- All -he- ever does is -cause trouble!- [[The gem Niddle is carrying glows slightly. Shona seems to think of something.]] Niddle: Oh. Niddle: In that case, I really should- Shona: But maybe -trouble- is just what we need!

Tuesday , April 26 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, in front of a low stone wall.]] Shona the Gnoll: So where is Comshaw, anyway? Niddle the Gnoll: He's right over... [[No sign of Comshaw beside the indicated tree.]] [[Comshaw appears beside them, carrying "Bowtruckle" the Scalpsucker.]] Niddle: ...there? Shona: Niddle, sweetie, are you sure he's even inside the forest? Comshaw: Shona! Fancy running into you!

Wednesday , April 27 , 2005
[[A filler comic depicting how some Mansion of E characters might appear on the TV program South Park, using an online character generator: Rosemary, Sylvester, Mortimer, Uncle Frederick, the Woman of Mystery, and the Weirdo.

Thursday , April 28 , 2005
[[A space in the Basement. Wrawa the Trog is leading Leny and Kronk the Trogs towards a staircase set in the side of a low cliff. At the top of the cliff is an alcove in which idle Dap the Gnoll and Tuft the Gobule. Other alcoves contain sections of machinery and cables. A Gobule skull is stuck on a stalagmite. Unseen off to one side, an Ichyoid does something behind a pile of rocks and boards.]] Narration: Meanwhile, back down below.. Wrawa, thinking: Now comes the /fun/ part.

Friday , April 29 , 2005
[[Wrawa, Leny and Kronk the Trogs are walking through the Basement.]] Leny: Hey! Wrawa: What's wrong, Leny? Leny: We have tails! Wrawa: sSigh.. Leny: Kronk? Did /you/ know we had tails? Kronk: um. Yeah. 'Course I did.

Saturday , April 30 , 2005
[[Wrawa climbs some steps. Leny and Kronk are down below.]] Leny: Wrawa? We almost where we goin? Wrawa: Yes, Leny. Just one more sadly unavoidable stop. Wrawa: sigh.. I wish Villipend was still around. He would have been perfect for this. But he took the Plunge into the Great Chasm, didn't he? Like your friend Yurd? [[Leny and Kronk exchange a glance.]] Kronk: Yeah. Villipend took the zarkin plunge. Just wish Id been there to cheer him on.

Sunday , May 1 , 2005
[[Wrawa, Leny, and Kronk the Troglodytes are walking through the Basement.]] Wrawa: Kronk, I know that Villipend sometimes was a little- Kronk: You don't know /nothin'/, Wrawa. Yoor too young. You weren't /there./ [[Leny looking nervous.]] Kronk: And Leny, you say /I'm/ a big pootyhead? Leny: I- Kronk: /Villipend/ was the pootyhead. [[Kronk, looking angry.]] Kronk: He was the.. the.. /mayor/ of pootyheads. But now he's dead. And I'm /glad/. So wheres this guy we get to beat up?

Monday , May 2 , 2005
[[Wrawa, Leny and Kronk the Troglodytes are climbing a staircase.]] Wrawa: Yes, we need to get to work. And we need one more, which means- wait.. Leny! Leny: Yes, Wrawa? Wrawa: Do you know where your friend Grum is? Leny: I dunno.. he said somethin about goin up to see the forest.. Wrawa: The forest?! It's still daytime! He'd be totally blinded! Leny: I /told/ him that and said he better come pile rocks with me but he said hed keep his eyes shut but I said how can yousee the forest if yoor eyes are shut, but he said- Wrawa: Never mind, Leny. Leny: Grums kinda dumb sometimes. Kronk: Only when hes breathin.

Tuesday , May 3 , 2005
[[Tuft the Gobule and Dap the Gnoll are idling in their niche. Dap is engaging in rock-stacking, the Basement version of solitaire.]] [[Dap pauses, examing his current pile]] Dap: Wait! What's this! I sense.. a presence! Dap: Grim.. Forboding.. Ruthlessly sucking every last drop of joy and cheer from the atmosphere! [[Wrawa is standing at the entrance to the niche.]] Dap: Wrawa! Wrawa, icily: Hello, Dap.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005
[[Dap: So.. what could *possibly* prompt everybody's favorite killjoy to visit our humble abode? Wrawa: Where's Odum? [[Tuft listens silently.]] Dap: Odum? Now how should I know that? Wrawa: He has the monumentally bad taste to regularly associate with you and Tuft. Wrawa: ..and I can *smell* him. So, for the very last time... Wrawa: *Where's Odum?* Kronk: Daps the one we get to beat up? *Cool.*

Thursday , May 5 , 2005
[[Wrawa has arrived at Dap the Gnoll and and Tuft the Gobule's niche.]] Dap: Now, now, Wrawa, don't go making empty threats.. [[He grabs a hold of a lever, from which trails a cord, running out of sight off-screen. On the next shelf down is a fleeb and Dap's stacking-rocks.]] Dap: We both know that as long as I have my hand on my- heh- well-connected little friend, you won't- [[He is abruptly yanked away, leaving the lever unpulled.]] ((YOINK)) [[Leny the Trog is holding Dap by his neck.]] Dap: Leny! How goes the rock stacking? Leny: Wrawas notta a killjoy. she just told me a funny joke.

Friday , May 6 , 2005
[[Leny the Troglodyte is holding Dap the Gnoll by the neck. Wrawa the Troglodyte is nearby.]] Dap: Really? Wrawa told a joke? What was it? Leny: There was this flutterby, and- Wrawa: Thank you, Leny. but not now. [[Leny moves Dap so the Gnoll and Wrawa are face to face.]] Leny: Oh.. OK. Wrawa: Hello, Dap. Dap: Wrawa! Hi! You must be looking for Odum!

Saturday , May 7 , 2005
[[Dap the Gnoll is being held by his neck by Leny the Troglodyte. Wrawa the Troglodyte is also present.]] Dap: Odum! [[Tuft the Giobule silently watches all of this from his side of the niche.]] Dap: These nice people would like to have a word! [[Behind Tuft, a Troglodyte drops into view from above, landing heavily on the floor.]] ((WHEEE THUD))

Sunday , May 8 , 2005
[[Leny the Troglodyte holds Dap the Gnoll by his neck. Next to them stands Wrawa the Troglodyte.]] Wrawa: Odum? Is that you? Odum: oof.. [[Odum gets up, clinging to a stalagmite for support. Tuft the Gobule watches him.]] Odum: Oh, hi, Wrawa! Wrawa: What were you doing up there? Odum: Just hangin from the ceiling by my feet. Wrawa: Oh. Wrawa, thinking: It's good to know that there's one Adult who remains capable of behaving normally... {{Calling a Trog like Odum an "Adult" is something of misnomer, but it is standard practice in the Basement nonetheless.}}

Monday , May 9 , 2005
[[Wrawa the Troglodyte is attempting to recruit Odum the Troglodyte.]] Odum: Wassup? Wrawa: We need to borrow you for a little while. To help imbue an argument with the proper tone. Odum: 'Imbue'... oh, right. Odum: /Loom/ all over the other guy, then beat on im if he wont go along. Sure. long as Dap dont mind. [[Dap is being held by the neck by Leny the Trog.]] Dap: Why no, Odum! No problem at all! Odum: OK then. Lets imbue.

Tuesday , May 10 , 2005
[[Wrawa has recruited her fellow Troglodyte Odum.]] Wrawa: All right. We ready to go? Leny: Yes, Wrawa. Kronk: Yup. Odum: Sure. [[Dap is being held by the neck, sideways, by Leny.]] Dap: Well, actually, now that you mention it- Wrawa: Move out!

Wednesday , May 11 , 2005
[[Wrawa has collected some of her fellow Troglodytes for a mission. Leny the Trog is holding Dap the Gnoll by the neck.]] Wrawa: Leny, Dap doesn't need to come with us. Leny: Oh. Right. Wrawa: He can get back to his own rock-stacking. Leny: Right. [[Leny places Dap back in his niche.]] [[He places a large white rock on Dap's head.]] ((STACK x 5)) [[Dap is covered in rocks up to his snout.]]

Thursday , May 12 , 2005
[[Tuft the Gobule and Dap the Gnoll sit in their alcove. Dap is mostly buried under a pile of rocks.]] Dap: Your enthusiastic spring to my defense in my moment of peril is duely [sic] noted and appreciated. Tuft: I'm bored again.

Friday , May 13 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester stare.]] Narration: Behind the scenes at Le Tree.. Snoot: Your guests, sir. Spatchcock: Thank you, Snoot. That will be all. [[Spatchcock the Eyebolt, sitting at his diesk, which features a small branch of The Tree. Behind him is a window looking out onto Le Tree.]] Spatchcock: Greetings. My name is Spatchcock. [[He looks over as an anonymous Gnoll is forcibly slammed into the window from below.]] ((WHAM)) [[He gestures as the Gnoll falls back out of sight.]] Spatchcock: Come. Sit. We have much to discuss. ((THUD))

Saturday , May 14 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester approach Spatchcock's desk in Le Tree, as fighting continues outside.]] Sylvester: Um. Hello. ((WHUMP. AARG!)) [[Sylvester looking nervous.]] Sylvester: I'm not saying we're unwilling to talk.. but you appear to have a sort of.. war breaking out down there. Is this really the best time? ((GRAAA! SPLUT CRUNCH WAM)) Spatchcock: A war? Perhaps. Or perhaps just another scuffle. Either way, it is quite officially no longer my responsibility. Running Le Tree still is. Which is why we need to discuss /napkins./

Sunday , May 15 , 2005
[[Inside Spatchcock's office in Le Tree.]] Sylvester: What exactly about napkins did you want to know, Mr. Spatchcock? Spatchcock: It is not so much that I want to know, Mr.. Ah. Spatchcock: I am informed that your female is named "Rosemary", but no one seems to have heard your name. Sylvester: Sylvester. Spatchcock: "Sylvester". Forest herbs and names a boogieman might use. Very well. Rosemary: "His" female?? Spatchcock: It is not what I know about napkins, Mr. Sylvester, but what /you/ know about them.

Monday , May 16 , 2005
[[Inside Spatchcock's office in Le Tree.]] Sylvester: So.. you want to know what we know.. about napkins? Spatchcock: Yes. Sylvester: I'm.. not sure what to say beyond what we already told Mr. Snoot. They are flat squares used to clean up after you eat. They are made of cloth, or paper- Spatchcock: Paper. Sylvester: Um.. Yes? Spatchcock: You would use one of the most valuable and precious substances in the world as a method for wiping people's faces. Sylvester: Well, I.. yes.. what?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005
[[A discussion continues in Spatchcock's office.]] Sylvester: Paper is 'precious'? It's true that since the Crash, getting -good- paper can be hard, but- Spatchcock: Since the what? Sylvester: The Crash. You know. When all the Magic.. [[He sees Spatchcock's expression.]] Sylvester: ..stopped working. Sylvester: This is going to be a long and trying conversation, isn't it?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005
[[Spatchcock: No, "Sylvester". While this conversation is already trying, it will not be long. Sylvester: Oh? [[Rosemary watches the conversation.]] Sylvester: You just said we had much to discuss. Spatchcock: Snoot is a fine matre d', with many admirable qualities. Sylvester: What? What the zark does that have to do with- Spatchcock: Still, it is not surprising that you were able to fool him. Sylvester: WHAT? Spatchcock: He was not able to Scan you. I, on the other hand, am. And thus, I know -exactly- what you are.

Thursday , May 19 , 2005
[[In Spatchcock's office in Le Tree.]] Sylvester: You "scanned" us? Rosemary: He's an Eyebolt. Those antenna 'see' a lot. [[Rosemary listens]] Spatchcock: Yes. The way you dealt with poor Percy was evidently.. impressive. And you are friends with Mr. Protus. And you know something about napkins. [[Sylvester listens.]] Spatchcock: Snoot was thus fooled into thinking he had some all-new species on his hands, one with arcane intelligence-gathering abilities. [[Spatchcock at his desk.]] Spatchcock: But if you think I don't know a /Nome/ when I Scan one, you are very sadly mistaken. [[The Humans both listen. Rosemary is angry. Sylvester thoughtful.]] Spatchcock: And of course, only a species who lives in sunlight and pumps toxic smoke into their lungs would be deranged enough to suggest paper napkins. Rosemary: That is the dumbest- Sylvester: OK. You caught us. We're nomes.

Friday , May 20 , 2005
[[In Spatchcock's office in Le Tree.]] Rosemary, angry: /NOMES!?/ We are NOT a pair of Zarking- Sylvester, whispering: I know you'll beat on me for this later, but please just shut up. Spatchcock: Excellent. All that remains is.. who sent you here to try to learn more about our plans for adding napkins to the Le Tree experience? It was those upstarts at Le Gnollhole, wasn't it? Sylvester: I don't know. They didn't give any names and we didn't ask. Rosemary, thinking: "Le /Gnollhole/?" Spatchcock: Of course.

Saturday , May 21 , 2005
[[In Spatchcock's office in Le Tree, Sylvester tells a bunch of lies.]] Spatchcock: You didn't get any name, but someone went up to the forest and hired you. What did they look like? What species? Sylvester: I dunno. It was.. some gnoll. Spatchcock: "Some gnoll." I know you nomes have no sense of smell or ability to Scan, but you must have noticed what this gnoll's hair looked like. Sylvester: Hair? I.. don't really recall seeing any hair.. Spatchcock: Of course. [[Looks to one side.]] Spatchcock: Comshaw.

Sunday , May 22 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester are meeting with Spatchcock the Eybolt in his office in Le Tree.]] Spatchcock: So. If Comshaw is involved in all of this, that means the Council is probably involved as well.. [[Sylvester realizes something as Rosemary eyes him.]] [[Behind Sylvester is Malcolm the Boogieman, who does not otherwise appear or participate during the interview.]] Sylvester: Actually, Mr. Spatchcock.. ..sir.. ..that's one reason I didn't work harder to deny the truth. Spatchcock: Oh? Sylvester: Those ghasts. They were /not/ part of any arrangement we made, and they were sent here by the "Council". Spatchcock: /Really./ Well, then.. Perhaps we can come to our own arrangement.

Monday , May 23 , 2005
[[In Spatchcock's office.]] Sylvester: An arrangement? I'm listening. Spatchcock: Comshaw will no doubt be contacting you to see how your mission went? Sylvester: The gnoll? He was.. a little vague. Said he'd.. um.. 'be in touch'. Spatchcock: Of course. [[Spatchcock reaches for..]] Spatchcock: It's quite simple. I will pay you to let me know when he, shall we say, reappears on the scene. Sylvester: Pay. Pay sounds good, but I'm not sure we use the same medium of exchange out in the- [[..a fleeb.]] Spatchcock: Oh, please, Sylvester, or whatever your name really is. You use fleebs just like we do. One now, one on delivery of the information. What do you say?

Tuesday , May 24 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester are meeting with Spatchcock the Eyebolt in his office in Le Tree. Sylvester is reaching for the fleeb which Spatchcock is offering]] Sylvester: If and when we see the person who sent us here, we report back to you. Spatchcock: Yes. Sylvester: Fine. We have a d- Rosemary: No. Rosemary: /Stop./

Wednesday , May 25 , 2005
[[Rosemary has interrupted Sylvester and Spatchcock the Eyebolt's agreement.]] Sylvester: Rosemary, this /really/ isn't a good ti- Rosemary: Give me the fleeb. Now. [[He does so.]] Rosemary: Thank you. [[Sylvester watches as Rosemary does something off-panel with the fleeb.]] ((poke prod stretch)) [[Ditto]] ((URG GUMP FLIBBLE)) [[Ditto again.]] Fleeb, evidently: FLEEEB! [[Rosemary tosses the fleeb back. It appears unchanged.]] Rosemary: OK. Carry on. [[Sylvester stares down at the fleeb.]] Spatchcock: You act as if you've never conducted a rabid fleeb test. Sylvester: ..Rabid.

Thursday , May 26 , 2005
[[Inside Le Tree, Snoot the Motihaul is listening to an Aurilnode (telephone) hooked to a branch of The Tree.]] [[Erud the Gnoll is watching him.]] Erud: You're listening in on Spatchcock's private conversation? [[Snoot looks back at him.]] [[He has grabbed Erud by the throat.]] Snoot: He thinks they are /nomes/ [[He has dropped Erud and is stalking away.]] Erud: I'll take that as a "Yes"..

Friday, May 27, 2005
[[Inside Spatchcock's office. Sylvester tosses the fleeb.]] Sylvester: Of course! A rabid fleeb test! What kind of idiot doesn't know what a rabid fleeb test is? It's just that I usually.. [[Rosemary catches it.]] Sylvester: ..let Rosemary handle that sort of thing. Cuz she's so much better at it than I! Spatchcock: I see. Spatchcock: And what exactly do you bring to the relationship? Sylvester: People can talk to me and not be in constant fear of their lives! Spatchcock: Ah. Yes. A skill which is both useful and sadly undervalued.

Saturday , May 28 , 2005
[[Snoot the Motihaul walks along a corridor in Le Tree.]] [[A cabinet labelled, in Manglish, "STUF" (sic)]] [[Snoot's hand reaching out to open it.]] [[He roots around inside, mostly hidden by the open door.]] [[He has a crowbar-like item, and is headed back the way he came.]]

Sunday , May 29 , 2005
[[Sylvester and Spatchcock the Eyebolt have reached an agreement in Spatchcock's office in Le Tree.]] Spatchcock: So. Where in the forest will we be able to find you, when it is time to.. check in? Sylvester: Well.. we- Spatchcock: Not that I need to ask. Sylvester: Oh? Spatchcock: It's really quite obvious. You are.. /Spikefolk/.

Monday, May 30, 2005
[[Rosemary, Sylvester and Spatchcock the Eyebolt are in Spatchcock's office.]] Rosemary: "Spikefolk"? You call us that again, Spatchcock, and the deal is -off-, I don't care -how many- fleebs you offer! Sylvester: Rosemary! Please! No! [[Sylvester herds Rosemary away from the nervous Spatchcock.]] Sylvester: Ah ha ha! Just gimme a moment or two, here sir, to calm her down.. Spatchcock: Of course.. [[Sylvester and Rosemary whisper to each other.]] Sylvester: -I'm- supposed to be the Mansion expert. First "rabid fleebs" and now this. What're "spikefolk"? Rosemary, smiling: Not a clue. But I know when I'm being insulted.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005
[[The Growth sits and makes noises:]] ((OOOP frel zurp ibble brak)) [[Snoot appears, holding a crowbar. The growth's "flag" changes from a star to a scowling "face".]] Growth: BREEP!

Wednesday, June 1, 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester are in Spatchcock's office at Le Tree]] Sylvester: Waait a second.. Rosemary: What? Sylvester: "Spikefolk.." Sylvester: Mr. Spatchcock. Spatchcock: Yes? Sylvester: Putting aside the issue of proper labels.. Sylvester: You were right, if you meant we live near the Spike. Spatchcock: Of course. It was the only explanation for your enormous size. Along with.. ah.. Spatchcock: Your mental eccentricities. Sylvester, from off screen: Oh? Spatchcock: You have Miss Rosemary, and yet you felt the need to attempt to be even -more- frightening by claiming to be a fairytale monster.

Thursday , June 2 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester are finishing their meeting with Spatchcock in his office in Le Tree.]] Sylvester: "Fairytale monster"? What? When did I say that I was- Spatchcock: You didn't tell Snoot you were The Earl? Sylvester: Oh. Yeah. I said that, didn't I? That was pretty stupid of me. Sylvester: Cuz.. the Earl of E stopped being scary a long long time ago.

Friday , June 3 , 2005
[[Mortimer smiling and waving, wearing a t-shirt saying E.B.A #1]] Narration: A note from the artist. My regular computer is in for repairs, but I just can't stay away, and I have gained access to an emergency back-up computer, along with a beat-up old version of my drawing program, and so for the next few days you get.. EMERGENCY BACKUP ART!!]] Mortimer, thinking: I feel so retro!

Saturday , June 4 , 2005
[[Filler strip done while the artist's computer was in for repairs. A male Motihaul smiles widely while holding a large glowing blue-green sphere labeled E.B.A. 2]] Narration: Emergency Backup Funfact for the day. If you're lucky enough to see one in color, a healthy adult Motihual has blue teeth!]]

Sunday , June 5 , 2005
[[Filler strip done while the artist's main computer was in for repair. A Motihaul's hand holds a balance scale labeled EBA3. On one tray is a Fleeb, and on the other is a glowgem.]] Narration: Emergency Backup Funfact #2. The two major currencies used in the Mansion basement are fleebs and glowgems. Glowgems because they are useful, and fleebs because they are nearly totally useless..

Monday , June 6 , 2005
[[Following a real-life technical interruption of three days, the action resumes with Sylvester "explaining" things to Spatchcock in the latter's office in Le Tree.]] Sylvester: But anyway. The Spike. Rosemary: Did something just happen? Sylvester: Around its base is an enormous pile of rubble- Spatchcock: You live right /under/ the Spike? Sylvester: You didn't let me finish. A short distance to the south from that pile is a more.. intact.. collection of ruins. Sylvester: We live there. Second entrance on the right. You can't miss it.

Tuesday , June 7 , 2005
[[Snoot the Motihaul is at the "uninteresting" Growth inside Le Tree. He is carrying a crowbar-like device. His proximity is causing the Growth to make noise and display a stylized angry face on its "flag."]] Snoot: Squeeb? ((BREEP BREEP BREEP)) [[A close up as Snoot prods the Growth with the crowbar, producing a jolt of electricity, or something similar.]] ((prod fzzzrt)) Snoot: I know you are in there, Squeeb. ((BREEP BREEP)) [[A closeup of the small Tree branch connected to the base to the Growth, as up above, he jabs with more force.]] ((JAB ZORP!)) [[A small Wyrm angrily pops out of the "leaves" of the Tree-branch.]] Squeeb: WHAT? Whadda want? [[A closer look at him, which does not improve upon first impressions.]] Sqeeb: Oh. It's you. Snoot: Yes, Squeeb. And you /know/ what I want. ((BREEP))

Wednesday, June 8, 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester are talking to Spatchcock in the latter's office.]] Sylvester: So that's that. We'll be off. Spatchcock: Not quite. [[Spatchcock at his desk.]] Sylvester: Oh? Spatchcock: Two things. A possibility. And a warning.

Thursday , June 9 , 2005
[[In Spatchcock the Eyebolt's office in Le Tree]] Spatchcock: Possibility: It would be worth an extra fleeb to know how Comshaw learned about napkins. Sylvester: For the record, I never said it was this Comshaw person. Spatchcock: Warning: Don't think that just because you live near the Spike, /we won't come looking for you./ Sylvester: The thought hadn't even begun to speculate about the possibility of crossing my mind

Friday , June 10 , 2005
[[Snoot the Motihaul has dragged Squeeb the Wyrm's attention away from the Uninteresting Growth in Le Tree. Snoot is carrying a crowbar-like tool]] Snoot: It's time for you to earn your keep, Squeeb. Squeeb: I'm /busy./ Squeeb: Go get one of the /flunkies/ to do it! ((SNAG)) [[Snoot is now carrying Squeeb in the prongs of the tool.]] Squeeb: HEY! You /deaf/ or something, Needlenose? Snoot, thinking: I only wish.

Saturday , June 11 , 2005
[[With Snoot and Squeeb moving away, Ahz and Skiv emerge from their bulbs in the top of the Uninteresting Growth. The Growth's "flag" is displaying a flower.]] ((foop foop. BREEP)) Skiv: So Snoot's dragged Squeeb off to do one of his snooping jobs. Ahz: Looks like it. ((BREEP)) Skiv: Something to do with.. the Earl? Ahz: So it would seem. ((BROOP)) Skiv: Squeeb could die! Ahz: It's certainly a possibility. But we mustn't get our hopes up. ((BRUP))

Sunday , June 12 , 2005
[[Inside Spatchcock the Eyebolt's office inside Le Tree.]] Sylvester: So. We'll be off. Sir. Spatchcock: Yes. Rosemary: No. I have a question. Spatchcock: Yes? Rosemary: You seem pleasant enough. Why do you have a skull-and-crossbones posted on your door? Spatchcock: I have a skull-and-crossbones on my door? Rosemary: Yes. Spatchcock: Sigh. Those scamps in the outer office. I really do need to get out more.

Monday, June 13, 2005
[[Squeeb: Take me back to the Growth NOW! Snoot: No. Squeeb: Fratz it! I'm so close! Those two snake-things at the top of the Growth, they *know* stuff! Stuff no one else does! I've *seen* it! And when I finally crack into their zarking system, I'll know it too! *We'll* know! Squeeb: *Nevus* understands! When he hears that you- Snoot: *Mr.* Nevus *tolerates* you because his mate is your sister. Snoot: And yes, because you are good at "snooping." And now it is time for you to snoop. It will be easy. There is a pack just waiting for you to crawl into...

Tuesday , June 14 , 2005
[[Inside Spatchcock's office in Le Tree. Interview concluded, Spatchcock has already returned to his metaphorical paperwork.]] Sylvester: So. We'll just.. show ourselves out.. Spatchcock: Yes. Assuming there are no further questions. Sylvester: No. No more questions. [[He and Rosemary look at each other.]] Sylvester: At least, no more for /you!/ Rosemary, waving: Bye.

Wednesday , June 15 , 2005
[[Skoil the Gnoll is lying battered on the floor, with just his hand showing.]] Narration: In the tunnel to the forest.. [[Flange the Helipath comes into view, looking down at him.]] Flange: My word, Sprocket.. It would appear that Mister Hand wasnt [sic] exaggerating about Skoil here. [[Sprocket the Gnoll comes to look as well. He is unimpressed.]] [[He walks on.]] Flange: Do you not wish to- Sprocket: I wish to pry open the zarking metalmin and get the fratz out of here.

Thursday, June 16, 2005
[[In the forest. Snerk hands Mortimer a fleeb sack.]] Narration: An auction has been completed. Snerk: Fifteen fleebs. Mortimer: Um. right. [[Snerk waits with hand extended. Mortimer stares down at the HJ42.]] [[Ditto]] Snerk: This is the part where you give me the Zorper. Mortimer: Are you *sure* you want this thing? Cuz.. I *really* don't think it's safe.

Friday, June 17, 2005
[[In the forest, following an auction.]] Mortimer: No. By Frizzlegarb's second beard, No! I see now. This was all a horrible mistake. I'm calling off this auction. [[Mortimer glares down at the HJ42]] Mortimer: I'll give you back your fleebs, and I'll go put this snotting thing in the Quiet Room where it can't *hurt* any- [[Snerk snatches the HJ42]] Snerk: *Giiive* me that.

Saturday , June 18 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, Comshaw has chosen to join Niddle and Shona's conversation. He has a scalpsucker and his poking stick.]] Narration: Meanwhile, quite close by.. Shona: Oh. There you are, Comshaw. We were just talking about.. [[She looks down at his possessions.]] Shona: Comshaw: Something wrong? [[Shona points.]] Shona: Why are you carrying that hideous thing? Comshaw, feigning outrage: Hideous!? For your information, this is the finest Pointy Stick in the world!

Sunday , June 19 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, Comshaw is annoying Shona, as Niddle watches.]] Shona: /I wasn't talking about your wretched stick! What's that thing you're carrying?/ Comshaw: /Oh!/ This! It's a scalpsucker! They have a thousand and one uses! Shona: Name one. Comshaw: Let see.. As Niddle and I were reminded earlier today, people use their tendril muscles to make bowstrings.. Comshaw: Properly boiled, their eyeballs contribute to brittlevine gumbo's distinctive flavor. Mix their gripping secretions with skimgibber drool, and you make glue. Live ones can speed up the sealing of old unused treewarping Cracks, although no one knows quite why.. Shona: Oh. Why would a Poker need to learn all of that? Comshaw: I didn't My grandfather hunted them for a living.

Monday , June 20 , 2005
[[Out in the Forest of E. Shona, Comshaw and Niddle the Gnolls are having a discussion.]] Shona: Your grandfather did not hunt 'scalpsuckers!' Everyone knows that Compline was in glowgems before the Nome War! Niddle: I think he meant Bivit. His other grandfather. Shona: Other.. Niddle: We have his picture on our wall. Shona: I suppose that you /must/ have had two of them, but it never really occured (sic) to me.. Comshaw: Yes. For whatever reason, it seldom does.

Monday , June 20 , 2005
[[Out in the Forest of E. Shona, Comshaw and Niddle the Gnolls are having a discussion.]] Shona: Your grandfather did not hunt 'scalpsuckers!' Everyone knows that Compline was in glowgems before the Nome War! Niddle: I think he meant Bivit. His other grandfather. Shona: Other.. Niddle: We have his picture on our wall. Shona: I suppose that you /must/ have had two of them, but it never really occured (sic) to me.. Comshaw: Yes. For whatever reason, it seldom does.

Tuesday , June 21 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, Comshaw lectures to Shona and Niddle.]] Comshaw: To be strictly accurate, Grandpa Bivit only started out as a "suckerguy" [[The surrounding trees, with the Mansion in the distance.]] Comshaw: In those days, the best hunting grounds were up.. up above. [[An outline of Bivit looking up a steeply-sloping passage with light shining down.]] Comshaw: The passages up weren't all sealed off like they are now, but things up there were just as strange. [[Outline of Bivit carrying a dead Scalpsucker, and looking dazed.]] Comshaw: Suckerguys would go, and sometimes come back /changed./ Bivit was one of these. When I was just a whelp, he told me how- [[Comshaw sees the other two's expressions.]] Comshaw: Annd... Neither of you care. At all. So. Moving on. Comshaw: Shona. You have something that needs Poking? Niddle: I do too care! Comshaw: Shut up, Niddle.

Tuesday , June 21 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, Comshaw lectures to Shona and Niddle.]] Comshaw: To be strictly accurate, Grandpa Bivit only started out as a "suckerguy" [[The surrounding trees, with the Mansion in the distance.]] Comshaw: In those days, the best hunting grounds were up.. up above. [[An outline of Bivit looking up a steeply-sloping passage with light shining down.]] Comshaw: The passages up weren't all sealed off like they are now, but things up there were just as strange. [[Outline of Bivit carrying a dead Scalpsucker, and looking dazed.]] Comshaw: Suckerguys would go, and sometimes come back /changed./ Bivit was one of these. When I was just a whelp, he told me how- [[Comshaw sees the other two's expressions.]] Comshaw: Annd... Neither of you care. At all. So. Moving on. Comshaw: Shona. You have something that needs Poking? Niddle: I do too care! Comshaw: Shut up, Niddle.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005
[[A clearing in the forest.]] Shona: Don't tell Niddle to shut up like that! He has -feelings-! Comshaw, staring: I just- [[Shona spins to face Niddle.]] Shona: And -you-! Why do you put up with that? People yelling at you, and telling you what to do! Stand up for yourself! Niddle, also staring: Anything you say. Shona: All right then!

Thursday , June 23 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E. Comshaw is carrying "Bowtruckle" the Scalpsucker. Niddle is carrying a glowing gem.]] Comshaw: Anyway, getting back to the poking- Shona: You see, Niddle? He's not even going to apologize. Shona: Putting up with him, and with Camora yelling all the time! Everyone knows you're the best Finagler in the world! You deserve better! You could /have/ better! Comshaw: /Anyway, getting back to the poking/ Niddle, thinking: Oh dear..

Friday , June 24 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, near the remains of a stone wall.]] Niddle: sigh.. Now I understand. Shona: Understand? Comshaw: Understand what? Niddle: Sina. It's not this auction-thingy you're really upset about, or Comshaw. You and Snerd are getting ready to mate, and you're worried that Wubb can't handle his Finagling duties. [[Shona buries her face in her hands.]]

Saturday , June 25 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E. Comshaw listens as Shona and Niddle talk.]] Shona: I really am worried about this.. STUPID auction. I won't feel safe until we're all back underground. Shona: But you're right about Wubb. It's a horrible thing to say, but sometimes I just think that he's going to- to- Niddle: Fail. Shona: Yes. And my whelps will end up being the next.. /Crazy Rhid./

Sunday , June 26 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E]] Niddle: Your whelps will be fine, Shona. Wubb is a quite competent Finagler. Shona: Competent. That's not the same thing as "good." Niddle: No. It isn't. But it's also not the same thing as "bad". I should know. Comshaw: And the parents matter too, Shona. Rhid's were idiots. You and Snerd aren't. Shona: Thank you, Comshaw. Comshaw: Now please don't prove me wrong by continuing to discuss this topic /out in public./

Monday, June 27, 2005
[[In the forest of E]] Niddle: You're right that we need to stop talking about Finagling out here.. but.. Comshaw? Comshaw: Yes? Niddle: Wubb owes you a favor, doesn't he? Comshaw: Yess.. I got him some of those stripy pussbeetles you Finaglers like so much.. Niddle: Mmm.. *stripy pussbeetles*.. Shona: *You* gave him those!? Comshaw: Took a *week* to scrub the stink off me.

Tuesday , June 28 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E.]] Shona: /You/ smelled like pussbeetle? My hair still reeks of those horrid things! Niddle: Shona, it's all right.. Shona: Niddle, stay out of this. Niddle: No. I mean, Comshaw is going to use his favor with Wubb, and tell Wubb to hear some Finagling.. advice from me, without Wubb getting.. um.. all upset. That's why I asked. [[Niddle beckons Shona closer.]] Comshaw: I'm going to WHAT? Shona: Advice? What advice? Niddle: I'll tell you. Privately.

Wednesday , June 29 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E]] Comshaw: Niddle, I am *not* going to use up Wubb's Favor on *Finagling advice*- Niddle: Yes you are, Comshaw Niddle: Mostly, I do what you say. Because you know better than I do about stuff. But this is Finagling, the only time when I know best. If I don't do this, I won't be the best Finaglar [sic] in the world anymore. So we're doing it. Right now. [[Comshaw stares at him.]] Comshaw: OK then.

Thursday , June 30 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E. Niddle leads Shona off for a private conversation.]] Niddle: Come over here, please, Shona. Comshaw: I'll just- Niddle: Please wait there, Comshaw. This will not take long. [[Comshaw stares.]] [[He holds up the stunned scalpsucker he is carrying and speaks to it.]] Comshaw: I have decided that we shall wait here.

Friday , July 1 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E.]] Shona: I do appreciate this, Niddle, but we really need to get back to the Auction.. Niddle: Yes, all right. What you need to tell Wubb is... [[They both glance around.]] [[Niddle whispers something into Shona's ear.]]

Saturday , July 2 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E. Niddle has just whispered some Finagler advice to Shona. She thinks about it.]] Shona: I... [[She thinks some more.]] Shona: I was going to say "I don't understand", but.. somehow.. that gibberish you just spouted made perfect sense. Niddle: Did I forget to mention? I'm the best Finagler in the world.

Sunday , July 3 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E. Comshaw holds a stunned scalpsucker and watches as Niddle and Shona interact off-panel.]] Shona: Thank you, Niddle. That was- Niddle: sigh.. That's not all, Shona. There is one more thing I should do. Shona: Oh? What's that? Shona: Niddle, what are you- ((poke prod flibble)) Shona: /Oh Niddle!/

Monday , July 4 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E. Comshaw stares as a flushed Shona wanders back into view, after being "flibbled" by Niddle.]] Shona: Oh.. Hi, Comshaw! (giggle) [[Shona wanders on out of sight, and is replaced by Niddle.]] Comshaw: I didn't know you could do that. What other talents have you kept hidden? Niddle: I can whistle Ghast squimming ballads through my nostrils. {{Squimming is a Ghast mating ritual involving the use of a Fugehorn.}}

Tuesday, July 5, 2005
Comshaw: Niddle.. How come you've never.. flibbled.. with Camora and I? Niddle: You've never needed it. Comshaw: Sso.. should I be flattered or insulted? Niddle: And Camora said she'd eviscerate me if I ever tried to do it with /her/.

Wednesday , July 6 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E.]] Comshaw: So. You and Camora have talked about flibbling, and you didn't tell me? Niddle: I just did tell you. Didn't I? Comshaw: So.. /Camora/ has talked about flibbling, and she didn't tell me. Niddle: I'd ask her, but she's not here. Comshaw: Niddle, sh- Please stop talking now.

Thursday , July 7 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E.]] Comshaw: But, anyway. Getting back to Shona. Niddle: Why do you treat her like you do? Comshaw: What? Niddle: Before, even I knew she was talking about the scalpsucker, and not your stick. Why do you act that way around her? Comshaw: Well, I could say that it's my way of expressing my disapproval over her choice of employers.. Comshaw: But really, it's just so much fun winding her up.

Friday, July 8, 2005
[[Niddle holds a small British flag on a stick.]] {{A commemoration of the then-recent bombing attacks in London, England.}}

Saturday , July 9 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, Comshaw and Niddle stand in front of a crumbling stone wall. Comshaw is carrying "Bowtruckle" the Scalpsucker]] Comshaw: What? You going to remind me that Pokers are supposed to help people, find out the truth, expose cruelty and evil-doers? Comshaw: And that by teasing Shona I'm betraying those principles, the very ones that I helped codify when the Council and I created the whole Poker registration system? FINE! [[Comshaw turns to go.]] Comshaw: I'll try and behave. But I swear, I don't know what's come over you today, Niddle. Niddle, thinking: I figured all that out? Wow, I'm smart!

Sunday , July 10 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E. Shona watches a large flutterby flit about as Comshaw comes up behind her, carrying a stunned Scalpsucker. Behind both of them is the ruins of a Human stone building, with the faded remains of a sign attached.]] {{The sign originally read ARCADIAN FRIED JIBJIB}}

Monday , July 11 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E.]] Shona: A flutterby. Comshaw: Yes. [[The flutterby circles about overhead.]] Shona: I've never seen one with bands like that. Comshaw: They're called Vagabonds. Don't live down underground. They have an even shorter lifespan than the normal ones. Shona: They only live a few days? Comshaw: Yes. But they fly beyond the end of the world. Maybe it's a fair trade.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005
[[Shona and Comshaw are in the forest.]] Shona: Don't you -ever- stop being silly? Nothing can go beyond the end of the world. Comshaw: I'm not joking, Shona. Vagabonds really can go beyond the end of the world. Boffin saw some do it. Shona: Boffin..? Oh. That friend of yours who died in that accident. Comshaw: Yes. He died. Shona: You were in that same accident, weren't you? Comshaw: I don't remember much. Something heavy fell on us. Getting back to that poking you needed-

Wednesday , July 13 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, discussing flutterbys.]] Shona: Wait.. if Boffin saw these Vagabonds leave.. he'd have to go to the edge of the world. Comshaw: Yes. [[Outline of Boffin following a Nome "harvester"]] Shona: But.. no one goes to the edge of the world. Comshaw: Nome harvesters do. All the time. Boffin followed some of them. [[The Outline of Boffin pauses, looks out at the viewer.]] Shona: . . . Comshaw: What? Shona: Isn't that insanely dangerous? Comshaw: Well, yes, but the Nomes have to earn a living /somehow/.

Thursday , July 14 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E.]] Comshaw: Oh.. you meant it was dangerous for /Boffin/ to follow the Nomes. Shona: Yes. Comshaw: He was a Poker. The second-best in the world. He was paid well to perform a dangerous job, and he did it. Shona: Someone hired him to go to the edge of the world? Who? Comshaw: Pokers also don't discuss their client list. Even with other Pokers. Even when they beg and plead.

Friday , July 15 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E.]] Shona: Boffin was the "second-best" Poker? So you, like Niddle, are number one? Comshaw: I'm not going to engage in false modesty. Yes. Shona: Fine. But who's number two, now that Boffin's gone? Comshaw: Well.. now that you mention it.. it's probably Skoil. Comshaw: And that is unacceptable. I need to do something about that..

Saturday , July 16 , 2005
[[In the forest of E]] Comshaw: It feels like I've been up here two *months*, but if I ever make it home, there are going to be *changes* on the overall poking front. Shona: That's nice, but.. we need to discuss poking in the here and now. Comshaw: Oh. Right. You have some poking you want me to do? Shona: Actually, no. Comshaw: No? Shona: Comshaw, I really do appreciate your and Niddle's help with my *you-know-what* problems, and for that.. I now officially owe the two of you a joint favor. Shona: But I had a moment to think, and I see now I *don't* need poking help. So the two of you can move along.

Sunday , July 17 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E.]] Comshaw: You don't want my help? But you said- Shona: Mr. Nevus doesn't want me going through the security perimeter. So I'm not going through. Shona: He'll just have to get Faldstool's message about the humans /after/ he- Shona: Say.. Comshaw. You're always around when- You're well-connetecd. Shona: Have you heard anything about humans maybe returning to the world? Comshaw: There have been certain rumblings..

Monday , July 18 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E]] Comshaw: Putting humans aside, that's your final word? You don't want help? Shona: Yes, Comshaw. I honestly don't know what came over me, when Niddle suggested- [[She realizes something.]] [[They look around.]] Shona: Where /is/ Niddle, anyway? Comshaw: He's right... [[No sign of Niddle.]] Comshaw: ..over.. there. Oh /phizz./

Tuesday , July 19 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E. Niddle, wearing a backpack and carrying the Hitchhiking Gem, has been backed up against a tree by Thrash the Pale and Thrash's two assistants, "Flagpale" and "Antlerpale". The Pales look angry.]] Niddle: eep

Wednesday , July 20 , 2005
[[A guest-comic by Wendy Sonnenburg, creator of the Keenspace/ComicGenesis comic Hole In the Sky. Rosemary and Sylvester at sitting at their table in Le Tree. Rosemary shows Sylvester a picture she is carrying.]] Rosemary: That's me and my Aunt Eva on my second birthday. I always carry it with me. Sylvester: Heh. You've got your foot in your mouth. [[Rosemary eyes him.]] [[She scoots a little closer.]] ((scoot scoot twitch twitch)) Rosemary: Say it, Sylvester. You know you want to. Sylvester: No, no. Rosemary: And why not? Sylvester: Because your other foot is pointed at my shin.. {{This strip was declared more-or-less officially canon. Rosemary at least carries the described picture around with her.}}

Thursday , July 21 , 2005
[[A tribute to James Doohan upon his death: Two Gnolls are standing next to a large pot which is piled high with blastbulbs, all ominously fizzing. One of the Gnolls is holding another blastbulb]] Bulbless Gnoll: But Carpin! If I give 'er anymore, she'll blow! {{The objecting Gnoll is/was named Sotty.}}

Thursday , July 21 , 2005
[[A tribute to James Doohan upon his death: Two Gnolls are standing next to a large pot which is piled high with blastbulbs, all ominously fizzing. One of the Gnolls is holding another blastbulb]] Bulbless Gnoll: But Carpin! If I give 'er anymore, she'll blow! {{The objecting Gnoll is/was named Sotty.}}

Friday , July 22 , 2005
[[In the Basement, near Crazy Rhid's place. Sina hears a voice..]] Wrawa: Sina? I'm back. Wrawa: I'm sorry it took so long, but I found three adults. Sina: No, Wrawa, your timing is perfect. [[Sina speaks to the gathered multitude: Leny the Trog, Snerd the Gnoll, Ploot the Wyrm, Wrawa, Spot the Gobule, Ishkibble the Motihaul, and Sepferb the Ghast, who is carrying a cakeshroom on a tray.]] Sina: Let's do this. Let's go talk to Rhid.

Saturday , July 23 , 2005
[[Near Crazy Rhid's.]] Sina: OK, Ploot. Sepferb and I are going in. You and the other Wyrms stay close, but stay out of sight until we deal with Rhid. One way or the other. Ploot: Right. Snerd: Why again do you have to stay out of sight? Ploot: Rhid really doesn't like us Wyrms. Snerd: Why.. Ploot: Jealousy. We can go into the Hot Zone, and he can't. Snerd: But what can he do to hurt you? Ploot: He doesn't just play around with /fire/. Sina, off-panel: Wrawa! Keep the adult Trogs close, but out of sight!

Sunday , July 24 , 2005
[[Near Crazy Rhid's]] Sina: If.. when.. we give the signal, send in.. who did you find, anyway? Oh. Kronk, and .. oh dear.. Wrawa: You're worried about Leny. I think he may surprise you. Sina: No, actually. Odum. He still thinks way too much. (sigh) We'll have to make allowances. I just wish Villipend hadn't taken the Plunge. He would have been perfect for this.

Monday, July 25, 2005
[[Near Crazy Rhid's. Sina and Odum are also present]] Leny: Wrawa? Wrawa: Yes, Leny? Leny: Rhid.. is he that crazy guy who likesta blow up things? Wrawa: Yes, Leny. Leny: Yay! I remembered it right! Kronk: Yeah, yeah..

Tuesday , July 26 , 2005
[[Sepferb the Ghast and Sina approach Crazy Rhid's place..]] Sina: I smell smoke. Please tell me it's the elevator. [[In front of them is a large pot spewing fire. On the wall behind them is painted a large dashed line with "RHID" aliongside it]] Sepferb: No. I am afraid that it is quite definitely Rhid. [[Their POV down the corridor. There is another flaming pot, and an open doorwar over which is written in Manglish "RHID" Beyond that, more flames. Sina: Maybe we could just.. set fire to the cakeshroom and toss it at the plant in the Death Hall.. Sepferb: It's been tried. We have to go in. Sina: Sigh.. I know.

Wednesday , July 27 , 2005
[[Approaching Crazy Rhid's place.]] Sina: Before we go in.. you understand the plan? Sepferb: Yes, but I'm curious.. ..ghasts are not at all fireproof. Why did you choose me to help you? Sina: Wrawa's got her claws full, and I didn't trust anyone else to not eat the cakeshroom and/or bolt on me. Sepferb: Not even your fellow Gnoll? Sina: Snerd, you mean? HAH! Just because my idiot sister decided to mate with him, I have to start /trusting/ him in life and death situations? I don't think so.

Thursday , July 28 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's place.]] Sina: But then, the whole idea of 'mating' is gibberish to you, isn't it? You go Squirm with some lucky female Ghast, and that's that. Sepferb: "Squim". And it's not quite that simple. [[A shape can be seen behind Sepferb in the corridor.]] Sina: Oh, yes. You have to learn how to play a fugehorn. Sepferb: No, first you learn to alter your interior structure to create lungs, /then/ you learn to play a fugehorn. [[Crazy Rhid is standing behind them, holding a blastbulb.]] Sina: Ghasts are born without lungs? But how do you- Sepferb: Sina, this is neither the time nor the place. Rhid: No, please go on! It sounds fascinating!

Friday , July 29 , 2005
[[Crazy Rhid has appeared unexpectedly behind Sina and Sepferb the Ghast. He is carrying a dangerous-looking blastbulb.]] Sepferb: urk Sina: eep! Sina: ummm.. Sina: Hello.. Mr. Rhid. Rhid: Tut tut, Sina! We must always call things by their proper names! CRAZY Rhid! [[The word CRAZY is in a CRAZY font.]]

Saturday , July 30 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's place.]] Sina: You.. know my name? Rhid: Oh yes. I know all sorts of unimportant stuff like that. Sepferb: And you know that people call you.. Crazy? Rhid: I refer you, Mr. Ghast From the Southeastern Pool, to my previous answer. [[Closeup of Rhid and the glowing blastbulb he is carrying.]] Sepferb: --- Rhid: And of course, now you want to know how I know which Pool you were spawned in. This conversation is already starting to /bore/ me. Sepferb: ---!

Sunday , July 31 , 2005
[[Sina finds herself facing Crazy Rhid.]] Sina, thinking: Suck it up, Sina Sina: I'm sorry we're short of witty banter, /Mister/ Rhid, but you startled us. [[Rhid holds up the blastbulb he is carrying.]] Sina: ..we expected you to be in your home, not out here in the hallway. Rhid: Ah. Yes. I've been out hunting specimens. I found /this!/ [[A closeup of the bulb.]] Rhid: A stroke of luck. They are quite rare after that most unfortunate Carpin incident.. Sina: Yes, Mr. Rhid, it's a very nice blastbulb. Please stop waving it around like that.

Monday , August 1 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's place. Rhid has a blastbulb which is glowing threateningly.]] Rhid: Well, if the blastbulb goes off, at least it will be /interesting./ Sina: You want an interesting question. All right. Sina: I could ask why my name is "unimportant", while it is important to properly label /you/.. But instead, I'll ask, why are you wearing /clothes?/ [[Rhid listening to her.]] Sina: And don't say it's because you're "Crazy Rhid". That's an excuse, not an explanation. [[The blastbulb is no longer glowing so brightly.]] Rhid: Well well. Not bad. Not great, but not bad.

Tuesday , August 2 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's place.]] Rhid: The real question you should ask is not why /I/ wear clothes, or why Nomes and Motihauls started doing it. Sina: Still.. why do-? [[Sepferb the Ghast, listening as he holds the cakeshroom on a tray.]] Rhid: The /original/ reason, you silly child, was because certain portions of their anatomies are especially fragile, and clothing offers both cushioning and protection. Sina: ew. Rhid: Even the Boogies are just covering up to protect their skin from the GBOLs. No. It's the /Ichyoids/ you should be wondering about.

Wednesday , August 3 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's place.]] Sina: Ichyoids are peaceful and- Rhid: Ichyoids? Who said anything about Ichyoids? You asked about my clothes. [[Outline of two Motihauls, one of which is proudly sporting trim on his shirt as the other glares enviously.]] Rhid: Clothes began as protection, but they soon became a method of establishing status.. [[Outline of an Ooze tending a large mushroom while "wearing" a pointy hat.]] Rhid: It's such a useful /social shortcut/, that even among those who don't "need" them.. you now have fungi farmer hats.. [[Outline of Telic the Helipath.]] Rhid: Healer bands.. [[Outline of a less-raggedly looking Rhid, studying the lit candle he is holding.]] Rhid: ..aand, of course, Candle Monk robes.

Thursday , August 4 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's place.]] Sina: Of course. You used to be a Candle Monk. I suppose you came to a parting of the ways, because they lacked vision. Rhid: No no. [[Sepferb the Ghast puts down the cakeshroom he is carrying.]] Rhid: They kicked me out because I liked to blow things up. [[Sepferb withdraws his hand.]] Rhid: But I bear them no ill will. At least their hearts are in the right place... [[Sepferb looms up behind Rhid.]] Rhid: And yes, they let me keep my robes.

Friday , August 5 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's place. As Rhid lectures to Sina, Sepferb the Ghast reaches for the blastbulk Rhid is holding.]] Rhid: But, to answer your question, Sina... Rhid: The reason I kept these robes.. [[He reaches into his robes.]] Rhid: ..after the Candle Monks and I.. [[He produces a small glass sphere with a white squiggle inside.]] Rhid: ..came to our parting of the ways.. [[He tosses it in the air.]] Rhid: actually [[The sphere in mid-flight.]] Rhid: quite [[It's about to hit Sepferb in the face.]] Rhid: magical [[It does so, causing a messy blast.]] Rhid: You see.. They have these marvellous [sic] things called /pockets./ ((SPLAT))

Saturday , August 6 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's place. Sepferb the Ghast is lying incapacitated on the floor. The cakeshroom he had been carrying sits nearby. Sina recoils from Rhid, appalled.]] Rhid: But, we're allowing ourselves to be distracted by irrelevencies. [sic] Rhid: No one /ever/ just stops by my home for a visit, so.. Rhid: ..what was it you wanted to see me about?

Sunday , August 7 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's place. Rhid has just incapacitated Sepferb the Ghast. Sina tries to rally.]] Sina: I.. we.. Rhid: Yes? Sina: We have a little job that needs doing. We want to hire you.

Monday, August 8, 2005
[[Sina and Rhid outside of Rhid's home.]] Rhid: A job? You want to offer me a j- Dead Cat: Ahh! [[Dead Cat drifts into view]] Dead Cat: The little critters of nature! They don't realize that they're ugly! [[Dead Cat closeup]] Dead Cat: That's very amusing! A fly marrying a buzzlebee [sic] I warned you I'd shoot! But you didn't believe me! [[Dead Cat extreme closeup]] Dead Cat: WHY didn't you believe me?! AHH!! {{Dialogue lifted from the Ren & Stimpy cartoon "Stimpy's Invention"}} [[Dead Cat drifts away]] Rhid: So. Anyway. A job? {{Author note: the Dead Cat appears courtesy of the Comic Genesis strip The Misadventures of Okk. Cuz the creator, Brian Raddatz, issued a general dare to do it. And also, it's a funny strip, so go check it out!}}

Tuesday , August 9 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's, Sina and Rhid have just witnessed a visitation by MoE-visitor Dead Cat.]] Sina: I- but- job? Didn't you just /see/ that? Rhid: Of course I did. I'm not blind. Or deaf. [[Sina stares at him.]] Rhid: Ah. I understand. You don't live near a time twistpoint, do you? Rhid: These things happen. They pass through and then are gone. You quickly learn to ignore them; otherwise, they may drive you /mad./

Wednesday , August 10 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's, Sina is suffering from a busy day.]] Sina: I.. think I'm just going to go have a little lie down somewhere.. Rhid: Now now, Sina, stay focused. [[Sina stares silently at him.]] [[She hides her face in her hands.]] Sina: /Crazy Rhid/ is telling me to stay focused. Rhid: Hey, you take a long enough view, I'm nothing /but/ focus!

Thursday, August 11, 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's]] Sina: Anyway. Your job. It isn't exactly in your normal area of expertise.. Rhid: You don't want me to blow something up? I'm shocked. [[The cakeshroom sitting on the ground.]] Sina: ..but I think you can handle it. You see that cakeshroom over there? Rhid: Yeesss... Sina: The job is.. you take that genuine birthday cakeshroom, go find a quiet corner somewhere.. and eat it. Slowly.

Friday , August 12 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's place, Rhid has been offered a cakeshroom to eat.]] Rhid: You make a generous offer. Unfortunately, cakeshroom causes me to break out in a rash. Sina: You could blow it up, instead of eating it. Rhid: Tempting. But since, quite inescapably, the only logical explanation for your offer is that you are trying get me out of the way while you engage in some activity of which you know I would violently disapprove, I am sadly forced to decline.

Saturday , August 13 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's place.]] Rhid: You didn't /really/ think that I'd agree to your offer. Sina: No. Not really. Even before Sepferb tried to improvise. But I had to give you the chance. Sina: The Operator has ignited a large fire at the Elevator, and it is burning out of control. Will you stand aside and let us run a bucketchain through your home? Rhid: No. [[A close-up of Sepferb the Ghast's hand as he lies incapacitated on the floor.]] Rhid: And that would have been my answer even if you were going to the Elevator to /start/ a fire. Rhid: So, I suggest that you, without delay, move onto Phase Two of your no-doubt cunning plan.

Sunday , August 14 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's place, Rhid has refused to cooperate with the bucketchain.]] Sina: WRAWA! Rhid: Phase Two of the plan is screaming? That's the sort of thing /I/ might have come up with... Sina: You're proving to be a very bad influence on me.

Monday , August 15 , 2005
[[Near Crazy Rhid's place, a group of Troglodytes waits: Odum, Kronk, Leny and Wrawa. From off-panel comes Sina's voice.]] Sina: WRAWA! Leny: Wrawa? That mighta been the signal.. Wrawa: Yes. It's time for us to go.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005
[[Wrawa, Leny and Kronk go past a large bowl filled with flames, sheilding their eyes.]] Wrawa: We go down to the end of the hall. Rhid will be in his home. We might even take him by- [[Wrawa realized Rhid is standing right there, giving her an unpleasant smile over his shoulder.]] Wrawa: -surprise...

Wednesday , August 17 , 2005
[[A confrontation outside Crazy Rhid's place between Rhid, and Sina and Wrawa the Troglodyte.]] Rhid: Ladies, please.. Troglodytes surprise me? [[Rhid holds up one of his bombs.]] Rhid: In the darkness, yes. [[He flings the bomb.]] Rhid: But right next to a giant flaming torch? [[The bomb is headed straight for Wrawa's face.]] Rhid: I don't th- ((snag)) [[Leny has caught the bomb between thumb and fore-talon.]] Rhid: nk..

Thursday , August 18 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's. Leny the Trog looks at the Rhid-bomb he just snatched out of the air. Wrawa the Trog looks at Leny.]] [[As do Sina and Crazy Rhid the Gnolls.]] [[Leny throws the bomb away.]] Leny: You shouldnt (sic) throw stuff at people. Sina: LENY! NO!! [[The bomb flies into the nearby flaming pot.]]

Friday , August 19 , 2005
[[Outside of Crazy Rhid's, the now-empty pot which previously contained a blazing fire.]] Sina, from off panel: AAGGH!! Sina: My eyes! Rhid: Yes. Tossing a #28 onto a type 7 fire tends to produce that result. Rhid: Fortunately, I knew from painful experience to avert my gaze. Now, while you are all incapacitated, I will- ((GLOMP)) [[Leny is holding Rhid's neck.]] Leny: I can /hear n smell/ you real good Rhid, thinking: brilliant, Rhid. just brilliant.

Saturday , August 20 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's, Leny the Troglodyte holds Rhid by the neck. Rhid hold a blastbulb.]] Leny: Youre not nice. Rhid: Leny, was it? Oh.. wait.. I remember you now. [[Rhid smashes the blastbulb into Leny's face.]] ((PUM)) Rhid: You were always a little /slow/.. [[Leny falls out of sight. Rhid, released, drops to the ground as well.]] Rhid: But yes, I'm a /terrible/ person.

Sunday , August 21 , 2005
[[Rhid holds up his damaged hands.]] Crazy Rhid: So. Anyone else want to play? [[Odum and Kronk stare at him.]] [[Odum flees.]] Kronk: I dunno. That sounded like it *hurt.* Wrawa: Leny? Sina: I.. i don't think.. Rhid: Alrighty then. We'll call it a day, and you all can just- [[An enraged Wrawa hurls herself at him.]] Rhid: eep

Monday , August 22 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's, Wrawa the Troglodyte has attacked Rhid. As they tumble across the panel, his various bombs begin to go off.]] ((BOOM POW GLORCH ZUM)) [[A blnded Sina and Kronk the Trog semi-witness this.]] Sina: ..Wrawa? [[A very big blast.]] ((CACOPHONY))

Tuesday , August 23 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's. The aftermath of a series of explosions; flames, drifting smoke.]] Sina, weakly, from off-panel: wrawa? [[A very angry and battered Wrawa stalks into view, holding a bit of Rhid's cloak.]] [[She tosses the remnant over her shoulder.]] ((fizzle)) [[Wrawa's voice now matches her appearance.]] Wrawa: hes gone [[Sina and Kronk are hiding behind the large former fire-pot.]] Sina: good. good!

Wednesday , August 24 , 2005
[[A portrait of Uncle Frederick with his axe, by the ComicGenesis artist Eunice P., creator of the webcomic I Come From Mars.

Thursday, August 25, 2005
[[The closed door to Spatchcock's office.]] [[Rosemary and Sylvester open the door.]] Sylvester: So. Rosemary. So. Sylvester: Yes, this is Audravania. Rosemary: Ah. [[Rosemary holds up a fleeb.]] Rosemary: -This- is a triblot. Where I come from, anyway. Sylvester: Ah. Thank you. Sylvester: But I'd rather hear how you didn't know which Province you're in. Rosemary: It'll have to tide you over for now.

Friday , August 26 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester move along a corridor inside the Le Tree restaurant.]] [[Snoot appears.]] Rosemary: Mr. Snoot. Snoot: Madam. Sir. [[Rosemary and Sylvester go on past him.]] Rosemary: We're showing ourselves out. [[After they have walked out of the scene, Snoot holds up the crowbar he is carrying, on the end of which is perched Squeeb the Wyrm.]] Snoot: Very good, Madam.

Saturday , August 27 , 2005
[[Inside Le Tree, Snoot the Motihaul and Squeeb the Wyrm have just encountered Rosemary and Sylvester. Squeeb is being held in a crowbar-like tool.]] Squeeb: What /were/ those things? Snoot: That, Squeeb, is what /you/ will determine. [[A voice, probably Spatchcock, comes from off-panel.]] Voice: Snoot. Report to Mr. Spatchcock's office immediately. [[Snoot flings Squeeb through the air towards Rosemary and Sylvester.]] Snoot: Determine /right now./ Squeeb: Fine. The Growth ain't goin' nowhere, and they got me curious.

Sunday , August 28 , 2005
[[Inside Le Tree. Squeeb the Wyrm lands on Sylvester's backpack. Sylvester does not notice the new arrival.]] Squeeb: oof [[Squeeb falls off.]] ((slip)) Squeeb: gah! [[He snags the pack's latch with the point that comes from the back of his head.]] ((SNAG)) [[Looks down.]] Squeeb: /whew/ [[He slithers inside the pack.]] ((schloop)) [[Still the exterior of the pack.]] [[Ditto]] Squeeb, thinking: What the Zark is /this/ th- ((ZAP))

Monday , August 29 , 2005
[[Inside Le Tree, Squeeb the Wyrm has slipped inside Sylvester's backpack, where he has encountered something which has zapped him. All of this is seen from outside the pack.]] Squeeb: cough Squeeb, thinking: So that's the way you want to play it, Mr. Whatsit? Squeeb, thinking: We'll just /see/ about th- ((ZAP)) [[Beat panel.]] [[A bit of smoke leaks out of the pack.]]

Tuesday, August 30, 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester leave Le Tree. Smoke trickles from Sylvester's backpack.]] Sylvester: Snoot was carrying something. Rosemary: Yes. Looked like a rookbar. He's got some plan brewing. Just be glad he's not the one calling the shots here. Sylvester: And do you smell smoke? Rosemary: I hope it's only the fracas down on the main floor of the restaurant. Rosemary: Cuz I am -not- going to be caught underground in a fire. The air can go bad waay too fast. Sylvester: Could be worse. Rosemary: Oh? Sylvester: If there's a branch of the Tree around, there's fresh air. And it's surprisingly fire-resistant. Rosemary: So. As long as a fire down here has material fuel, it can burn. Let's pick up the pace.

Wednesday , August 31 , 2005
[[Post Hurricane-Katrina filler, with pitch for Red-Cross donations.]] Do you know what is means To miss New Orleans I miss it each night and day The longer I stay away Miss the moist covered vines The tall sugar pines Where mocking birds used to sing And I like to see the lazy Mississippi Running into spring Moonlight on the bayous Creole tunes fill the air I dream of oleanders in June And soon I'm wishing that I was there Do you know what is means To miss New Orleans...

Thursday , September 1 , 2005
[[Leaving Le Tree]] Rosemary: Wait.. you're telling me the Tree supplies air, food /and/ light? Sylvester: Yes. All the way down to the Hot Zone. Rosemary: And it doesn't demand blood sacrifices, or fertilizer, or something, in exchange? Sylvester: Um.. no. It's entirely self-regulating. Rosemary: That's awfully.. convenient. Sylvester: Well.. yes.. I suppose it is..

Friday , September 2 , 2005
[[Outside Spatchcock's office. The trundlebug is riding on Rosemary's helmet. Sylvester puts his hand on her shoulder.]] Sylvester: Rosemary. Wait. Rosemary: Sylvester, we don't have *time*- Sylvester: It's important. Rosemary: *What*? Sylvester: The Tree. Don't. Rosemary: What are you babbling about? Sylvester: You're not ready for the Tree.

Saturday , September 3 , 2005
[[Leaving Le Tree.]] Rosemary: I'm "not ready." Sylvester: Don't misunderstand. You are ready. For Snoot, and this Nevus person, and the Ghasts, and probably even that bottle of "penalty wine". But the /Tree/.. [[An outliine of a Treebranch growing underwater. A sucker-mouthed fish and an Ichyoid are also visible.]] Sylvester: You can't just whack it with a sword. [[A Treebranch pokes down from above, next to a nest occupied by a Jibjib reading something from a slab.]] Sylvester: It is gigantic. It has branches /everywhere/. [[An outline of a Wyrm in the Hot Zone, looking down at the Treeroot going past him.]] Sylvester: Its main root is so far down in the Hot Zone that even Wyrms can't get near it. [[A symbolic outline of the Tree, in day and night. A Human's hand is visible in one corner, probably attached to a dead person.]] Sylvester: For nine long generations, it has quietly helped everyone in the Mansion. Sylvester: On at least two occasions, it was the only thing saving this place from being entirely destroyed. Sylvester: And.. people who directly attack it.. they often come to very bad ends. {{The two occasions were the Crash, and Audra's poking around down in the Hot Zone.}}

Sunday , September 4 , 2005
[[Leaving Le Tree.]] Rosemary: WHAT? The Tree /kills/ people? And you're /defending/ it? Sylvester: People who aggressively and obnoxiously go after the Tree sometimes turn up dead. Maybe its a coincidence. Maybe it kills them. [[An outline of a sword-wielding Rosemary facing an "evil" tree, with Sylvester backing her up.]] Sylvester: And maybe someday we will have to go to war against it. If that day comes, I will do what little I can to help. [[The outline-sword disappears, to the evil-Tree's glee.]] Sylvester: But until that day.. until we're /ready/.. Rosemary, right now, you don't even have a sword! [[Rosemary glares. The trundlebug is standing on top of her helmet.]] [[Rosemary turns to go.]] Rosemary: /Fine./ I'll tread lightly. But I am /not/ eating any more of that zarking fruit. Sylvester: OK.. but it's three days hard travel to the nearest Arcadian Fried Jibjib..

Monday , September 5 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester walk past the Uninteresting Growth in Le Tree.]] ((gump darth doob dur)) [[Ahz and Skiv emerge from their bulbs at the top of the Growth.]] ((foop foop grinn)) Skiv: There they go. Was Squeeb with them? Ahz: I think so. Getting /very/ odd readings.. ((cree grum)) Skiv: Guess all we can do now is sit and wait Ahz: Unless you have some alternative course of action to suggest. Skiv: Well, we could flail about and scream in panic. Ahz: Fine, but if you tie your neck in a knot again, don't come crying to me. ((end))

Tuesday , September 6 , 2005
[[Leaving Le Tree, nearing the display cases which held cameos of three other Comic Genesis characters.]] Rosemary: Changing the subject completely.. Sylvester: Yes? Rosemary: I do owe you an apology, Sylvester. Sylvester: Oh? Rosemary: I didn't really believe you. Before, when you described what your ancestors were like. Sylvester: Oh? Sylvester: Did my "shrewd negotiating" with Spatchcock just now change your mind? Rosemary: No. ..Although I /was/ impressed by that, too. Particularly with that boogieman looming over us in the corner... [[It's now revealed the cases are all broken and empty.]] Rosemary: ..I was referring to the fact that you're descended from "fairy-tale monsters". Sounds like someone earned themselves a reputation.. [[Sylvester turns back to look the way they came.]] Sylvester: Boogieman in the corner?

Wednesday , September 7 , 2005
[[Leaving Le Tree.]] Rosemary: And also.. I never would have expected that you were such a good liar. Sylvester: I'm not. I'm a pathetically bad liar. Spatchcock is an even worse "lie-ee". I just told him what he demanded to hear. Rosemary: I admit, I don't get why he was so sure we were Nomes. Eyebolts are supposed to be more perceptive than that.. Sylvester: Ah. For shame, Rosemary! You obviously haven't been keeping up with the latest scientific theories! Rosemary: Huh? Sylvester: He thought we were Nomes, because, in a sense, we probably ARE Nomes.

Thursday, September 8, 2005
[[Leaving Spatchcock's office.]] Rosemary: "In a sense" we're Nomes? Sylvester: There's been a big discussion about it lately in the Times. We can't interbreed, but it's been pretty well established that we and Nomes are somehow related. [[Outlines of a generic Human, Nome and Motihaul.]] Sylvester: Our societal habits. As noted, our olfactory prowess or lack thereof. Our internal structures.. they are all too similar to be a coincidence. Even though a Motihaul, for example, is a human-sized non-amorphous biped, the differences are- Rosemary: That is a good point. I mean, take one look inside a Motihaul's ribcage.. Not that you can call those things they have "ribs".. Sylvester: Um. Yes. Exactly.

Friday , September 9 , 2005
[[Leaving Le Tree, discussing various species...]] Rosemary: Oh. You think that I once ripped open a Motihaul and- Rosemary: No. Sylvester: Good. But I'm still guessing you didn't view a dissected specimen at the University. [[Outline of Rosemary and her Hack N' Slash co-worker Baldy looking at a dead male Motihual sprawled on the ground.]] Rosemary: No. I saw someone else's attempts at.. dissection..

Saturday , September 10 , 2005
[[Leaving Le Tree. The living stair which Rosemary killed previously is visible.]] Rosemary: And to answer your next question, I saw the dead Motihaul at the SAR.. Sylvester: The SAR.. [[A outline-map of the SAR and surrounding Provinces.]] Rosemary: The Motihaul- Sylvester: The Motihaul Semi-Autonomous Region. Sylvester: A cluster of mountains where the borders of three western Provinces meet. Yes, Rosemary. I've heard of it. Sylvester: True, with most folks in these parts, you /would/ have had to explain. Sylvester: But there are one or two advantages to a University education..

Sunday , September 11 , 2005
[[Leaving Le Tree]] Rosemary: People back here have never even /heard/ of the SAR? Sylvester: Uh huh. We all had a private tutor growing up, and I /still/ didn't learn about it until I went to the University. Rosemary: (sigh..) It happened, what, twenty years before we were born, and it's still all about The Crash, isn't it? Sylvester: Yes. For most folks.. The SAR, or Erewhon, or Moonin may as well /be/ in the Moon. What did you know about Audravania, before you came here? [[Rosemary realizes something.]] Rosemary: Well.. you grow puddings.. and there's that whole- Sylvester: What? [[Rosemary grabs Sylvester's tie.]] Rosemary: "We /ALL?/" You and Mortimer have.. have.. Sylvester: Other siblings? Yup. 'Fraid so.

Monday , September 12 , 2005
[[Leaving Le Tree]] Rosemary: Fine. You have siblings. All I wanna know for now is, are any of /them/ here in the Mansion? Sylvester: No. They're all... hm [[Sylvester points]] Rosemary: What? Sylvester: Well. Last I knew they were all away.. but technically any one of them could, oh, walk in through that door over there.. [[The door in question. It is empty.]] [[Still empty.]] [[A flutterby flies through it.]] [[Rosemary and Sylvester watch.]] [[They turn to go.]] Sylvester: Or not! Rosemary: Hoo rah.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester are leaving Le Tree.]] Sylvester: So.. at the SAR.. did you actually go down under the mountains? Rosemary: No. The Motihauls don't let humans in. My Caravan stopped at the northern edge, to trade. [[A map of the Country's western provinces, showing the Infernal Engine as a skull and crossbones.]] Sylvester: What was it like? Rosemary: Before we met Spatchcock, you started to ask me if I've ever seen the Infernal Engine. Sylvester: What? Uh.. yes.. why? [[Rosemary on a tower, looking at something glowing red.]] Rosemary: There's this tower in Alloy. Cough up a couple of Simoleans, and you can climb it. Look at the Engine through a telescope. That's the closest I've ever been, and I'm glad. [[A shot of the mountains of the SAR. They are studded with lights, and the tallest sports an antenna.]] Rosemary: But the /smoke/ from the Engine mostly blows west, over the SAR. Before I visited there, I wouldn't have said that its possible for a place to be both drab and creepy. But the SAR manages it.

Wednesday , September 14 , 2005
[[Leaving Le Tree.]] Sylvester: So.. in the SAR, who /did/ kill the Motihaul you saw? Rosemary: I don't know. We never found out... [[An outline of Rosemary at the SAR, eyeing a Nome who is peering up from the bottom of the panel.]] Rosemary: ..but personally, I think it was one of the Nomes. Sylvester: Nomes? [[Outline: a male Nome offers Rosemary a tray of goods to examine, while a maile Motihaul stands aloof. The Motihaul has a cane with a small white object mounted on it.]] Rosemary: Many of the Motihauls in the SAR refuse to deal directly with humans. Rosemary: So there's this colony of Nomes there. They act as go-betweens. [[Outline: Rosemary watches as the Nome and the Motihaul glower at each other.]] Rosemary: I guess it works most of the time, but when we were there, you could feel a certain.. tension.. in the air.

Thursday , September 15 , 2005
[[A Flashback of Rosemary at the S. A. R., pounding on a brick wall while a male Motihaul ignores her.]] Sylvester: Why were the Nomes in the SAR acceptable for the Motihauls to talk to, and you weren't? Rosemary: We asked that question, Sylvester, and never got an answer. [[Flashback: Rosemary glares down at female Nome offering a hammer for sale. Other Nomes hold a sign saying "WALLSMASHERS 4 SALE CHEEP", and a trowel dripping mortar.]] Rosemary: The local Nomes didn't exactly help. I think maybe you've got something about our being related.. Cuz at least their motives were /understandable/.. [[Imaginary: Rosemary pokes at Snoot the Mothaul with a stick, while Sylvester takes notes on a clipboard.]] Rosemary: Motihauls are just.. weird. You know, Snoot's the most /human-acting/ Motihual I've ever met. Why is that? Sylvester: Question #754 for The List..

Friday, September 16, 2005
Sylvester: We're almost back to the lobby. We're going to have to deal with that female Ghast... Rosemary: Yes... [[Outline-memory of Hopobfivfer holding up her Council badge.]] Rosemary: ...'squad-leader Hopobfiver' of the 'Council Police'. I was just -thinking- about her..

Saturday , September 17 , 2005
Rosemary: What do you know about Ghasts? Sylvester: Um.. not much, I'm afraid. Sylvester: They are somewhat amorphous.. they can reattach limbs if severed.. the ones here in the Mansion eat moss or something, and in the past have been peaceful enough as long as we humans stayed away from their "breeding pools"... [[Shadow-memory: A Ghast holds up his hand, blocking Ludwig, probably, from advancing any further.]] [[Inset shadow-memory: a three-part diagram of a Ghast's arm being pierced by a sharp object.]] Sylvester: ..and this is the point where you tell me this is freakishly abnormal and/or bizarre. Rosemary: No, actually. For the very first time, someone in this Mansion is behaving normally...

Sunday , September 18 , 2005
Rosemary: When I was training with Hack N' Slash, I had to sit through a whole series of lectures.. sorry.. "briefings".. about Ghasts.. [[Shadow-memory: A Ghast waves to a departing traveler, who waves back. The traveler is holding an Anti-Sneech Stick.]] Rosemary: Most Ghast colonies in the Known World are like you said, closed-off and static, but peaceful enough. [[Shadow-memory: A Ghast (wearing a mortorboard) and a human stand in front of a chalkboard that is covered in mathematical equations. The Ghast is explaining something to the human, who reacts with surprise.]] Rosemary: Also, Ghasts are usually pretty smart, and often willing to swap knowledge as long as it isn't specifically about Ghasts.. [[Shadow-memory: The red eyes of three angry Ghasts peer out from the opening of a cave.]] Rosemary: But then there are the exceptions...

Monday, September 19, 2005
Sylvester: You're talking about that place in southern Erewhon. Ghastvale. Rosemary: Yes. Did you learn about that at the University, too? [[A young Sylvester and Mortimer listen to Uncle Fred tell campfire-ghost stories. The Woman of Mystery is in the background, dressed as a maid and carrying a tray with cups on it.]] Sylvester: No. No. Unlike the SAR, we've heard about Ghastvale in Audravania. Probably because the Motihauls don't eat people.. [[Rosemary and a pirate/"Pyriter" watch a disturbing presentation. A parrot sits on the Pyriter's shoulder.]] Rosemary: Eat? Nothing so pleasant. That Hack N' Slash briefing was particularly memorable, even before they unveiled the daguerreotypes.. ((Author's note: Fun and Interesting Fact For The Day: "dagurerreotype" (sic) is a real-life word, an early method of photography named after its French creator, Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre. If you thirst for more information on the subject, you can consult the experts here. As for my invented-life, as detailed in W. M. Sonnenberg's guest strip a while back, Rosemary owns a daguerreotype of herself and her Aunt Eva. And yes, the man who invented the process was also called Daguerre. His first name, however, was "Willi". And he wasn't French. ACK! I almost be forgetting! Today be International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Arr!))

Tuesday , September 20 , 2005
[[Shadow-memory: A man in an armored helmet watches in horror at offscreen carnage. A broken sword, a skull and a broken bone fly into view.]] Sylvester: Nothing so pleasant as eating you? What do they - Rosemary: Ghasts can be very bad news. Bad enough that "Plan B" is your only viable option. Let's just leave it at that for now.. [[Shadow-memory: Hopobfivfer analyzed Sylvester and Rosemary. Various unreadable analytical notes point out features of interest, including a large note consisting entirely of a question mark.]] Rosemary: And as Squad-Leader Hopobfivfer showed us, their senses are very keen. She saw right away that we weren't Nomes or Motihauls... Rosemary: ..Heh. [[Shadow-memory: Sylvester and Rosemary look down at an unseen object - the Djinnoscope-generated egg - which emits a loud noise.]] ((QUEEP)) Sylvester: What's so funny? Rosemary: It just occurred to me.. if we could get that Djinnoscope of yours to spit out another batch of that goop it coated us with.. Rosemary: ..there are merchants in Erehwon and Abalone who would be very interested in purchasing it from us..

Wednesday , September 21 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester are leaving Le Tree. An outline of a Human watching in horror from behind a rock as Ghasts do something horrible to a robot off-panel, sending various bits flying.]] Sylvester: Why would merchants want to imitate Ghasts? Rosemary: Because of Ghastvale. Any sentient being who goes in there dies. [[Outline/map of Ghastvale and surrounding regions.]] Rosemary: People would just stay away, but the 'Vale blocks the only useable pass over the Enginetail Mountains between Abalone and Erewhon. [[Outline showing an airship flying over mountains, as a churnboat goes by on the ocean in the opposite direction.]] Rosemary: Before the Crash, it wasn't as big a problem. Airships went over. Churnboats could dash along the coast between the ports of Woldercan and Bitler City... [[An outline showing a stylized passage under the Enginetail mountains via the SAR.]] Rosemary: But now, all that's left is.. Sylvester: Ah. The SAR.. Rosemary: Yes. The Caravans don't go haggle with the Motihauls because they /enjoy/ it..

Thursday , September 22 , 2005
[[Leaving Le Tree, however slowly.]] Sylvester: OK. Synthetic Ghastcoating as a commercial possibility. We'll have to bear that in.. Sylvester: Oh dear. [[Smoke begins to drift into the background.]] Rosemary: What? What's wrong? Sylvester: (sigh) Something just occured [sic] to /me/. One of my.. I have a sister. Her name is Lenore. Rosemary: OK.. Sylvester: This is very important. If, when, the two of you meet, do /not/, under any circumstances, tell Lenore that we have a Tree-branch which now grows nearly addictive fruit. Rosemary: Does Lenore have.. addiction issues? Sylvester: Lenore has "amoral moneygrubbing little weasel" issues.

Friday , September 23 , 2005
[[Leaving Le Tree. Rosemary waves away some smoke.]] Rosemary: Ugh. Much as I'd like to discuss the /rest/ of your family, it's time to go. I just wish there was a back door out of this place. [[She and Sylvester walk along.]] Rosemary: I /assume/ you'd have mentioned if there was a back door out of this place. Sylvester: Not that I'm aware of. We could always go back and ask Mr. Snoot.

Saturday , September 24 , 2005
[[Leaving Le Tree. Smoke wafts in the background.]] Rosemary: Actually, /while/ we go.. is there any other member of your family you need to warn me about? Sylvester: No. Well.. Sylvester: I have a brother His name is Mortimer. While he's a nice enough guy, he's a total trouble magnet who has the unfortunate habit of bringing home strange and dangerous women. Rosemary: Sylvester, I'm trying to be serious here. Sylvester: So am I. You weren't the first, and probably won't be the last. Sylvester: I'm just glad he hasn't married any of you.

Sunday , September 25 , 2005
[[Leaving Le Tree. Smoke floats in the background.]] Rosemary: /Marry?/ I am /not/ going to marry your brother! Sylvester: So you deny that you find Mortimer physically attractive. [[Rosemary thinks about this.]] Rosemary: OK. Fine. He's sorta cute, in a gormless puppydog kind of way. Sylvester: That's been good enough for some of his women.

Monday , September 26 , 2005
[[Leaving Le Tree. Smoke floats in the background. A faint image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is just visible on the wall.]] Rosemary: "His" women? Sylvester: sigh. All of Mortimer's.. relationships.. while sometimes /eventful/, have been completely voluntary on both sides. Rosemary: And what about you? Do you "have women"? Sylvester: Because I am the Earl, and it is thus a matter of public concern, I am obligated to answer that question. Sylvester: No. Not since.. no. I don't. Rosemary, thinking: "Since". Even Sylvester has a "since".. Sylvester, thinking: But if she does decide to stay here in the Mansion, maybe I can go and /do/ something about that..

Tuesday , September 27 , 2005
[[Rosemary and Sylvester leave Le Tree. Smoke floats in the background.]] Rosemary: Right. The lobby. It looks calm now, but there's definitely been fighting... [[On the wall behind Sylvester is written: TELAMON MAGIC WALL PLATE COMPANY hadleyburg wirtwam]] Rosemary: while, like I just said, you've done really well so far, let's not blow it now. Rosemary: Whatever's happening out there.. Rosemary: I don't care if an entire /colony/ of Ghasts is tapdancing the chorus to "Springtime for Kaylu".. Rosemary: ..stay near the wall, head to the right to the exit crack, and /keep moving/. OK? [[Rosemary sets off.]] Sylvester: No, but since we're going to do it anyway.. Rosemary: That's the spirit! GO!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005
[[Near the lobby of Le Tree]] Sylvester, thinking: You heard the woman, self! Go! Gogogo... [[Rubble and fire in the lobby]] Sylvester, thinking: Yeek! Sylvester, thinking: No, Zark it! *Not* gonna freeze up again! We're gonna get out of here, and- [[A very angry Hopobefever is blocking the exit.]] Sylvester, thinking: and..

Thursday , September 29 , 2005
[[In the lobby of Le Tree, Rosemary and Sylvester re-encounter Hopobefevfer the Ghast.]] Hopo: /There/ you are. Now that I've chased off Nevus's rabble.. [[She reaches for them.]] Hopo: we can have our /little tal-/ Off-panel voice: THERE SHE IS! /GET HER!/ [[Something happens to Hopo, concealed behind a large sploosh]] ((SPLOOSH))

Friday , September 30 , 2005
[[Inside the lobby of Le Tree, Hopobefevfer the Ghast has been impaled on a large branch, mounted on the head of a Gobule; she is still alive and very angry. A helmeted Gnoll and, evidently, another Gobule are riding on the branch as well. All of this is observed by Sylvester.]]

Saturday , October 1 , 2005
[[Inside the lobby of Le Tree. Sylvester watches the back half of the branch-wielding squad which has impaled Hopobefevfer the Ghast. Bringing up the rear is an Ooze carrying torches.]] Hopo: RAARRRGGGH!! [[Sylvester turns to go.]] Sylvester: This is obviously a bad time. We'll have that talk later.. Hopo: get back here! ((CRUNCH FOOM AIIEEE!))

Sunday , October 2 , 2005
[[Sylvester and Rosemary leave the lobby of Le Tree, as Hopobefevfer the Ghast fights with a group of Nevus-employees off-panel.]] ((CRUNCH SPLAT BAM)) Rosemary: Which part of "keep moving" did you not understand? Sylvester: /You/ stopped. [[A Gnoll's hand rises into view in front of Rosemary.]] Rosemary" Which part of "whatever is happening" did you not understand? Gnoll: HALT! {{The Gnoll's name is never given in-strip, but it's Findfor.}}

Monday, October 3, 2005
[[Leaving Le Tree's lobby.]] {{The gnoll's name is Findfor.}} Findfor: Identify yorselves!(sic) Are you with Mr. Nevus, or the *Council?* Sylvester: So, Rosemary, it's do what I say, not what I do? [[Findfor is brushed aside.]] Rosemary: When dealing with matters of.. life-and-death physical action.. yes, cuz I know what I'm doing, and you don't! If we were.. uh.. what's something you're really good at? Sylvester: Sitting quietly in a small room, making long rows of sums add up properly. Rosemary: Yes! Exactly! You tell me to sharpen the Frobozz #2's and I'll hop to it! Sylvester: Hah! You lie. But I appreciate the sentiment. Findfor, thinking: Anyone asks, they just stopped in to grab a quick bite to eat. Yeah.

Tuesday , October 4 , 2005
[[Just outside Le Tree]] Rosemary: I really am good at sharpening pencils, actually. Sylvester: My family still has a few Frobozz shares in our portfolio. Did you work in their factory? [[Rosemary peers out onto the Long Path, checking the scene.]] Rosemary: No, I've never been up north to Alifbay. It was when I was with.. Rosemary: Edwird (sic) Sylvester: Edwird? What do they make? Or do? Rosemary: Edwird. A man. Not a company. We.. he.. sigh [[Outline of Rosemary handing a sharpened pencil to Edwird, who reaches in from off-panel.]] Sylvester: You sharpened his pencils. Rosemary: Yes. Until.. It's another one of those things I'm not proud about. But I'll tell you, when I tell the rest.

Wednesday , October 5 , 2005
[[At the doorway of Le Tree, Sylvester looks back inside.]] Sylvester: Hopobfivfer appears to have her new debate opponents wriggling in the crushing grip of reason. Sylvester: You know, one of these times, our luck on the whole "angry Ghast" front is finally going to run out. Rosemary: Yes. Which is why we're going to the elevator. Right now. Speck the Gobule: The Elevator? Rosemary: Yes..? Speck: No. I mean, You really don't wanna gota the elevator right now. Trust me on this.

Thursday , October 6 , 2005
[[Outside Le Tree.]] {{The Gobule's name is Speck.}} Rosemary: Something is wrong with the elevator? More wrong than usual? Speck: A buncha us got wind of a fresh kill over that way. A Trog. [[Outline of confrontation outside the Elevator.]] Speck: Only we get there, there's an *Event* on. The Operator's *stretched out*, and Gorphiga are goin' at it with a coupla Guttle's gummers. Rosemary: "Gorphiga". Speck: Yeah, yeah, I know. A couplea topshaft phizzers, but it was *Guttle*, so we had to pitch in. {{This is Gorp and Phiga, a "married" pair of Gobule scavengers.}} [[Outline of the Operator exploding into flame.]] Speck: That's when the Elevator went up.

Friday , October 7 , 2005
[[At the doorway of Le Tree, Rosemary and Sylvester get a report from Speck the Gobule.]] Sylvester: The elevator "went up"? The car left? Speck: Naw, dummy. KaFoom. Bam. Pow. Mondo explosion. [[An outline of Sepferb the Ghast annoying one of Guttle's enforcers.]] Speck: There was a Ghast there. Heh. he was raggin' on the gummers. most wall-lickers ain't that with it... [[Outline of Ningle the Gobule inside the Elevator, about to bite the Operator's tail.]] Speck: Just before the boom, he spouted at Ningle. Ningle musta done something dumb. Whatta Surprise.. [[Rosemary and Sylvester exchange glances.]] Speck: But anyhoo, now there's this mondo fire everywhere, and the Ghast's really phizzed.

Saturday , October 8 , 2005
[[At the doorway of Le Tree.]] Sylvester: When you say this Ghast at the elevator was "phizzed", that means.. angry, right? Speck the Gobule: Ain't that what you Nomes call it? He was all burned, too. That's why I legged over here. Sylvester: I'm sorry? Speck: I hear Hopebfever's around. You saw her? Owe her a favor, thought I'd spill bout her friend. [[Speck turns.]] Sylvester: Yes, she's in Le Tree.. but she's.. rather busy.. Speck: Thanks. I can wait. not like I gotta be nowhere. And with Nevus and the Council goin' at it, the pickings should be keen... [[She walks out of sight. Rosemary and Sylvester stare at her.]] Speck: HA! See what I'm saying? Layin' right out here in the open! ((CHOMP CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH))

Sunday , October 9 , 2005
[[Outside Le Tree]] Rosemary: Soo... The elevator's on fire, and there's another angry Ghast? Sylvester: That was the gist. Unless.. [[Speck the Gobule eating leavings.]] Sylvester, whispering: ..she's lying, and is working for Snoot? Rosemary, ditto: No. Not enough time for him to set it up. And it fits the facts. Rosemary: There were *four* Ghasts in the Hall of Achievement, and only *three* in Le Tree. One stayed behind, to cut us off... Rosemary: ...but something happened. Sylvester: The Operator happened. I'd bet my last Ficklegruber share. But it doesn't matter. We have to go. Now.

Monday , October 10 , 2005
[[In the Basement of the Mansion of E]] Rosemary: Go? Where are we going? Sylvester: The only other way out of here. The Riddles. The River of Fire. The Great Chasm. [[An Outline of sharp things closing around a skull]] Rosemary: Ah. I also seem to recall /someone/ mentioning something about- Sylvester: Sneeches. Alabaster Sneeches. Rosemary: I'm sure you see the irony in /my/ pointing out how dangerous this is. Sylvester: Sneeches or an angry flaming Operator. Choose. Now. [[Rosemary thinks.]] [[Rosemary comes to a decision.]] Rosemary: Which way to the Great Riddler? Sylvester: Down here. I hope.

Tuesday , October 11 , 2005
[[Leaving Le Tree.]] Rosemary: You /hope/ this is the right way? You don't know? Sylvester: It /was/ the right way. As we've learned, things have changed down here since my last visit. Sylvester: As much as it pains me to say it, what we could really use right now- Camora, from off-panel: a /guide/? [[Camora, with Hax the Fixit on her head.]] Sylvester: Um.. Maybe.. Camora: Well then, /maybe/ today is your lucky day!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Narration: Meanwhile, further up... [[Blank panel with tesselated tiled walls]] [[Enter Yasmine Fotherinby round the corner, wearing her hooded outfit]] Yasmine: Fratz. This wretched place is a maze. I could have sworn there was a passage right over there... Yasmine: I only hope I can get out of here before I- [[Protus the Willygig is floating in her path, engaged in some cryptic task.]] {{Start of "Part Three". Includes a quote from W. B. Yates' The Second Coming.}}

Thursday, October 13, 2005
[[Yasmine is watching Protus the Willygig work on some cryptic task.]] Yasmine, thinking: It's the Willygig Arthur described in his report. Should I engage? Yasmine, thinking: No. It hasn't seen me. Just back away sl- Protus, from off-panel: Well, well.. if it isn't Yasmine Fotheringby! Yasmine: ...

Friday, October 14, 2005
[[Yasmine is looking at Protus's rear end in a corridor.]] Yasmine: Hello... Mr. Protus. Protus: Be with you in a moment.. Yasmine: That is really not- [[Protus fiddles with a collection of glowing shapes.]] Protus: Dunno how this got misaligned.. [[The shapes disappear]] ((BLIP)) Protus: But I /think/.. Ah. There we are! [[He turns to face Yasmine.]] Protus: Now then. What was it you wanted to ask me? Yasmine: ---!

Saturday, October 15, 2005
[[Yasmine and Protus talk in a corridor.]] Yasmine: You assume I have a question for you.. Protus: It's all humans ever have. You are worse than probeulators. Yasmine: If you /object/ to answering questions.. Protus: Well.. I /am/ a busy sentient.. Wait! I know! If you /answer/ a question, you can /ask/ one! Yasmine: That.. seems fair. Protus: Good! My question is.. why do you talk differently than the other humans? Yasmine: I grew up in Shibolith. Everyone from there talks this way. Protus: Shibolith? But it was d.. Right. Right. Sorry. One query apiece.

Sunday , October 16 , 2005
[[In a corridor in the Mansion, Yasmine has met Protus the Willygig.]] Protus: So what is your question for me? Time's a-wastein'! [[Yasmine stands conflicted. All dialogue is thought bubbles.]] Yasmine: ... Who really runs the Mansion of E? Yasmine: What caused the Crash? Yasmine: What did Arthur do to annoy you.. or has that even /happened/ to you yet? Yasmine: Is Shibolith.. doomed? delightful? desert? (I already /knew/ that last one..) Yasmine: What's a probeulator? Yasmine: Will I be happy? Yasmine: Will I be rich? Yasmine: What will the future bring? [[She plants her stick.]] Yasmine: sigh. What's the quickest way to get down to the forest from here?

Monday , October 17 , 2005
[[In a corridor in the Mansion, Yasmine Fotheringay has asked Protus the Willygig for directions.]] Protus: The quickest way to the forest.. hmm. That would be very difficult to explain.. Protus: Better just show you. [[He reaches out a hand.]] Yasmine: I would be most gratef- [[He is suddenly holding something, a thick white strand with branches coming off it.]] Yasmine: !? ((GLOMP)) [[He pulls on the strand. It stretches.]]

Tuesday , October 18 , 2005
[[Thinking to himself throughout. He is touching a "pylon"]] Protus: Lucky for Yasmine we were right on one of the pylons. Otherwise, she'd have had to walk down those stairs.. [[The pylon fades]] Protus: Oh wait.. that's right. Humans *like* to walk, don't they? Protus: Pity I can't try it sometime and see what all the fuss is about... Protus: Ah well. Can't be as much fun as being Stretched and turned outside in.. ((DISAPPEAR))

Wednesday , October 19 , 2005
[[A broken stone wall in the Forest of E. Comshaw goes by, looking very worried.]] Narration: Simultaneously, in the forest. Comshaw: Niddle! [[A white strand appears behind the wall, cutting across the sky.]] ((ttww-)) [[It splits open into a gap showing darkness. Yasmine appears, and slams against the wall.]] ((-WWANGG! WAM)) [[Yasmine falls to the ground behind the wall, just her hand visible. the strand snaps shut.]] ((thud crunch)) [[The strand is gone.]] Yasmine: urk.

Thursday , October 20 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, next to a stone wall, Shona watches Comshaw leave.]] Shona, thinking: Oh dear. I hope Niddle's all right. Shona, thinking: Wait. What's that behind that w- [[A noise turns her attention in a new direction.]] ((SPROING! -wwangg wam)) [[Frowgler the not-currently hormed frog is sitting on the wall.]] Frowgler: RIBBET Shona, thinking: What in the earth is /that/ thing?

Friday , October 21 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, Shona approaches Frowgler the not-currently horned frog, who is sitting on the remains of a stone wall.]] Shona: Who are you? /What/ are you? Frowgler: RIBBIT. Shona: OHH no. You're trying that "I'm a dumb animal" routine. Forget it. I can see the sparks burning back behind your eyes! Frowgler: ssigh.. [[Frowgler glowers at her.]] Frowgler: You Gnolls are incredibly annoying. Has anyone ever mentioned that to you? Shona: And do /not/ try and distract me with flattery.

Saturday, October 22, 2005
[[Frowgler and Shona are talking in the forest]] Frowgler: But anyway. To answer your questions, I am known as.. Frowgler: FROWGLER, the horned frog. ((He currently has no horns.}} [[Shona stares at him.]] Shona: Should that fact have impressed me for some reason? Frowgler: There was an outside chance that you'd.. No. You're right. It's nothing impressive.

Saturday, October 22, 2005
[[Frowgler and Shona are talking in the forest]] Frowgler: But anyway. To answer your questions, I am known as.. Frowgler: FROWGLER, the horned frog. ((He currently has no horns.}} [[Shona stares at him.]] Shona: Should that fact have impressed me for some reason? Frowgler: There was an outside chance that you'd.. No. You're right. It's nothing impressive.

Sunday , October 23 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E. Shona has encounter Frowgler sitting on the remains of a stone wall.]] Frowgler: Now, if you'll excuse me, I am /extremely/ busy, and- Shona: How come I've never heard of a "frog" before? Frowgler: Educating ignorant basement-dwellers about forest fauna is not my.. [[He realizes something.]] Frowgler: hmm. Frowgler: Or maybe it /is/ my responsibility. Frowgler: /FINE./ Frowgler: Frogs are amphibious insectavores [sic]. Mostly live in the pond, near the Spike. With me so far? Shona: You eat bugs and breath both air and water. What's a pond?

Monday , October 24 , 2005
[[The Forest of E. Shona talks to Frowgler, who is sitting on the remains of a stone wall.]] Frowgler: The pond is like.. an Ichyoid grotto. Except that it's exposed to the sky. Shona: So you keep a fugehorn there? They don't work underwater. Frowgler: What? Shona: You claim to be the 'horned frog'. [[Frowgler looks at himself.]] Frowgler: I call myself that because I /have/.. Frowgler: Oh. Wait. Frowgler: Right. [[A closeup of Frowgler's head.]] Frowgler: Forgive me. [[A set of horns pops from the sides of said head.]] ((shunk)) Frowgler: It's been a very hectic day..

Tuesday, October 25, 2005
[[In the Forest of E]] Shona: So.. those are "horns" Frowgler the Horned Frog: Yup. Now are you impressed? Shona: Not really. Frowgler: Oh? Shona: You can't possibly get any decent music out of those; the *wide ends* should be pointing outward. Frowgler: . . .

Wednesday , October 26 , 2005
[[The Forest of E. Frowgler sits on the remains of a stone wall. He and Shona discuss his horns.]] Frowgler: I begin to suspect you're being deliberately obtuse. These are not musical instruments. They are /weapons./ Shona: Really. Frowgler: Yes, /really./ And you're not impressed that I made them pop out of my head? Shona: Oh, /please./ Shona: We know all about tree-warping down in the real world. Mr. Nevus uses it in his office! Frowgler: "Real world". Right. Shona: Although.. it was clever of you to somehow make it portable..

Thursday , October 27 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E. Frowgler the Horned Frog sits on a wall and talks to Shona the Gnoll.]] Frowgler: Absolutely typical. Shona: What? Frowgler: Some clever bugger finds a way to bend the fabric of space, create tiny extra /worlds/.. Frowgler: And Nevus used it to hide a couple of lunk-headed Trogs. At least Nomes /live/ "inside" their trees.. Shona: You know about Mulch and Grind? Frowgler: Oh yes. I am a vertiable(sic) fountain of useless trivia. Shona: /Really/..

Friday , October 28 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E. Frowgler sits on the remains of a stone wall as Shona reaches for him.]] Shona: You need come with me. I'm beginning to think Mr. Nevus will want to talk to you. Frowgler: You work for Nevus. too. What a surprise. ((SPROING plop)) [[Frowgler is sitting on Shona's head.]] Shona: Hey! Frowgler: If it were Agita, or even Guttle, I just might go and offer a few sage words of council.. ((SPPROInNGG! plop!)) [[He is now higher up on the wall.]] Frowgler: But I have absolutely /nothing/ to say to Nevus. Frowgler: As for /you/, whatever your name is.. Frowgler: Heh.. I have /two/ pieces of advice..

Saturday , October 29 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, Frowgler the horned frog and Shona the Gnoll have been talking. Frowgler sits on top of a stone wall, looking down at her.]] Frowgler: First piece of advice: working for Nevus has no future. Join Comshaw; there's a fellow who's going places. Shona: /Comshaw/? [[Frowgler turns to leave.]] Frowlger: Secondly, the next time you cross paths with someone who has sharp pointy things attached to his head.. [[Frowgler's devil-tail emerges from his body.]] ((SHUNK)) [[He leaps away.]] Frowgler: Treat the situation with a bit more gravity. ((SPROING))

Sunday , October 30 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E. Frowgler has just given some adivice to Shona, shown her his tail, and departed.]] Shona, thinking: Wait.. Shona, thinking: Spears attached to the head... shovel-shaped tail... [[An outline of a memory of her childhood, with her and her sister Sina being told about the Operator in lurid detail by their (presumably) father.]] [[A wide shot of Shona standing alone in the Forest.]] Shona: eep

Monday , October 31 , 2005
[[Guest-art from Tim Volpe's webcomic Alternate Delusions, featuring that strip's characters dressed as MoE residents: Bill wearing a copy of Hax, Sym as Comshaw, Fuchsia as Rosemary, Tim as Sylvester, and sitting naked in a tree, the Green Lantern Corp member Flerpnip.]] Sym, poking Bill with a stick: poke poke poke Tim, to Flerpnip: What are you doing up there? Flerpnip: I'm a tree-squid, duh.

Tuesday , November 1 , 2005
[[The Forest of E. Shona realizes how dangerous Frowgler might actually be.]] Shona, thinking: Comshaw, or the security perimeter? [[She zooms out of sight.]] ((ZOOM)) Shona, thinking: Security perimeter! [[The scene remains empty.]] ((SPROING)) [[Frowgler is back sitting on the lower portion of the stone wall.]] Frowgler, thinking: Thought she'd never leave.

Wednesday, November 2, 2005
[[Frowgler sits on a ledge]] [[He realizes something.]] Frowgler: That wasn't -Sina-, was it? No, of course not. Don't be stupid. Frowgler: But then it must have been.. Oh dear. Frowgler: Groan. And I told her my name. Frowgler: Oh well, as always, what's done is done.

Thursday , November 3 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, at the auction site. Snerk is studying the HJ42/Zorper he has just won. Mortimer is watching the angry reactions of the losers: Agita, Guttle, and Nevus. Nevus is being carried by Mimsy the Gnoll, who displays little interest.]] Mortimer, thinking: Oh dear..

Friday , November 4 , 2005
[[At the Auction-site in the Forest of E. Snerk the Saur has the HJ42.]] Mortimer: Um.. Mr. Snerk.. Snerk: I'm /not/ giving this thing back. [[Nevus on his plate, glaring.]] Mortimer: It's not that. Snerk: What? Miortimer: Remember when Agita said you get a 40-count headstart once the auction's over? Snerk: Yess..? [[Snerk realizes what Mortimer is saying.]] Mortimer: Well, if they started counting silently as soon as you won, they m [[Snerk departs, rapidly]] ((ZIP)) Mortimer: ight have almost reached 40 already..

Saturday , November 5 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E, an auction has concluded, and Snerk the Saur has departed with the Zorper/HJ42. Mortimer turns to see he's gone.]] Mortimer: maybe you should leave while.. oh. Mortimer: He left. [[The other auction participants, Agita and Guttle glare at him.]] Mortimer: ... Oh. [[Agita approaches him.]] Mortimer: Maybe /I/ should leave..

Sunday , November 6 , 2005
[[In a clearing in the Forest of E, Mortimer faces Agita.]] Agita: Leave? So soon? [[They are face to face.]] Agita: I wouldn't /hear/ of it. Our little tet-a-tet isn't /nearly/ done.

Monday , November 7 , 2005
[[At the auction-site in the forest of E. Mortimer is facing Agita.]] Mortimer, thinking: Gottathink Gottathink [[An outline of Rosemary hitting Guttle on the top of his head.]] Mortimer: What would Rosemary do? [[An outline of Sylvester literally talking Nevus to death.]] Mortimer: Sylvester? No! Sylvester: blah blah drone drone really big words [[An outline of Mortimer facing an angry Human female wielding a rolling pin.]] Mortimer: Whatcan I do? Whathave Idone before? Wait! /Of course/! ((The woman is probably Olga, a former girlfriend of Mortimer's.}}

Tuesday , November 8 , 2005
[[In the forest of E, at the auction site. An angry Agita and a worried Mortimer face each other.]] [[Mortimer kisses her on the mouth.]] ((smack))

Wednesday , November 9 , 2005
[[A clearing in the Forest of E. Mortimer has just kissed Agita. She turns away in horrified disgust.]] Agita: GAK! [[As Guttle and Mortimer watch, she falls to the ground.]] Agita: gag puke retch [[Mortimer leaves, carrying the bags of fleebs he got from Snerk.]] Mortimer, thinking: Not the reaction I normally get, but guess it will do.. Agita: choke burble Guttle: If you're dying, can I have all your stuff? NevusL Can WE have all your stuff.

Thursday , November 10 , 2005
[[In a clearing in the Forest of E, the Basement VIPs have a discussion following Mortimer's kiss and departure.]] Nevus: So, you're going to live? Agita: It was like sticking my mouth in one of Guttle's composting vats. But yes. Agita: cough. What's the matter with you two? Why didn't you go after him? Nevus: I guess I'm just a stickler for the /rules/. An auctioneer is inviolate. Nevus: But of course, you knew that. Guttle: And /I/ was busy thinking how much easier my life would be if I just /ate/ both of you.

Friday, November 11, 2005
[[In the forest of E, following the auction. Guttle looms over Nevus, Agita and Mimsy.]] Nevus: Eat us? That's whats so charming about you, Guttle.. [[Mimsy discards the tray cover]] Nevus: You're [[She roots in her hair.]] Nevus: so de [[She produces one of Rhid's bombs, filled with white twisty shapes.]] Nevus: lightfully un [[The bomb is hurled at Guttle]] Nevus: complicated..

Saturday , November 12 , 2005
[[In the Forest of E. Nevus's employee Mimsy the Gnoll has tossed one of Rhid's bombs at Guttle. It sails through the air.]] [[Guttle catches it with his tongue.]] [[He pulls it into his mouth.]] [[Mimsy watches calmly.]] ((CRUNCH)) [[As does Nevus.]] (((boom))) [[Some smoke leaks from Guttle's mouth.]] Guttle: Gonna have to do better than that.

Sunday , November 13 , 2005
[[In a clearing in the Forest of E, the Basement VIPs have a confrontation.]] Guttle: ..And since I don't think you /can/ do any better, I- Agita, pointing: What's that in your mouth? [[A white growth appears in Guttle's mouth.]] Guttle: eh? [[It quickly exploded into a larger mass.]] Guttle: Grah? [[Nevus watches this.]] Guttle: !?!! Nevus: /Dearest/ Rhid. He must lay awake every single night coming up with these ideas..

Monday, November 14, 2005
[[Guttle is being enveloped by the strands of one of Rhid's inventions]] ((GRAAAAAARRR))

Tuesday , November 15 , 2005
[[In a clearing in the Forest of E. Off-panel, Guttle battles growths spewing from one of Rhid's bombs. Agita watches as Nevus turns away]] ((CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP)) Agita: He appears to be chewing his way free. Nevus: Yes, I believe Rhid did warn that it would prove to be merely a temporary hindrence. [sic] [[Nevus jumps from his tray to Mimsy the Gnoll's head.]] ((sproing)) Nevus: That being the case, I shall gather my retinue and depart. [[Mimsy tosses away the tray.]] Nevus: What you choose to do is, as always, your affair. [[Agita watches as Mimsy leaves with Nevus.]] Agita: ... ((foomp)) [[Agita has opened her umbrella, and is leaving as well.]] Agita, thinking: Fine. Very Well. For a certain value of 'depart'

Wednesday , November 16 , 2005
[[A clearing in the Forest of E. Agorn the Gnoll and Capper the Gobule and Orfis the Trog stand watch. Agorn carries a spear. Orfis is perched on a rock, and is wearing a blindfold.]] {{Only Agorn's name has yet been given in-strip.}} Narration: Nearby, at more or less at the same time.. Agorn: I still say we shoulda gone in when we saw that weird explosion. Capper: The Big Three said no one goes in. So like we told Shona, we don't go in. Orfis: They're all still upright and breathing. I can smell them. Orfis: But something else, too.. Orfis: Very strange..

Thursday, November 17, 2005
[[On the auction security-perimeter in the Forest of E.]] {{Character names have not been given in-strip.}} Capper the Gobule: Whadda mean you smell something "strange"? Orfis the bliindfolded Trog: I don't know. All these unfamiliar.. *plants*.. get in the way. Orfis: It smells sort of like a nome, but not exactly. I th- ((sniff)) Orfis: Wait. Someone's coming out. [[Snerk the Saur races past.]] Capper: Who? The Nome-thing? Orfis: No. It's a sau- ((ZIP))

Thursday, November 17, 2005
[[On the auction security-perimeter in the Forest of E.]] {{Character names have not been given in-strip.}} Capper the Gobule: Whadda mean you smell something "strange"? Orfis the bliindfolded Trog: I don't know. All these unfamiliar.. *plants*.. get in the way. Orfis: It smells sort of like a nome, but not exactly. I th- ((sniff)) Orfis: Wait. Someone's coming out. [[Snerk the Saur races past.]] Capper: Who? The Nome-thing? Orfis: No. It's a sau- ((ZIP))

Friday , November 18 , 2005
[[Mortimer hurriedly leaves the auction site in the Forest of E, carrying his bag of Fleebs.]] Mortimer, thinking: No.. wait.. this is the direction Snerk went. They might chase him.. [[He turns sharply.]] Mortimer, thinking: I'll go /this/ way! It will be /safer/! [[He has disappeared from sight.]] [[His thought comes from out of sight, at the bottom of the panel.]] Mortimer: Ouch.

Saturday , November 19 , 2005
[[Snerk is fleeing through the Forest of E, carrying the Zorper/HJ42 with him.]] [[Just as he turns to look behind him, Shona comes running into the shot from the opposite direction, also looking behind her.]] ((CRUNCH)) [[Close-up of the Zorper crushed between their bodies. Both of them are touching it.]] ((BEEP))

Sunday, November 20, 2005
[[Snerk the Saur and Shona the Gnoll are sitting on the ground in the forest facing each other]] Snerk: You stupid wormmuncher! What've you /done/?! Shona: /Wormmuncher/? Shona: Some grubby little.. forest-dweller, calling /me/ a wormmuncher? And /you/ were the one who didn't watch wher- ((gigantic PROZ)) [[Nearby, Agorn the Gnoll, Topper the Gobule and Orfis the blindfolded Trog silently witness a bright light in the sky.]] {{Only Agorn has been named in-strip.}}

Monday , November 21 , 2005
[[In the Basement, Hiblehoy the Miotihaul and Snerd the Gnoll watch nervously.]] Narration: Down near Crazy Rhid's.. Hiblehoy: The explosions seem to have stopped. Snerd: Yes. Hiblehoy: I suppose one of us is going to.. [[Crazy Rhid goes by. blackened and smoking.]] [[Hiblehoy, Snerd and Spot the Gobule silently watch this. Hiblehoy drops the buckets he is carrying.]] Snerd: ..have to go see what happened.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005
[[A discussion on the bucketchain near Crazy Rhid's, between Spot the Gobule and Snerd the Gnoll. Spot is covered with soot-marks. Hiblehoy the Motihaul is nearby as well.]] Spot: Even if that was Rhid just now, /I/ ain't going in there. I've /filled/ my explosion quota for the day! Snerd: Fine. [[Snerd reaches to pick up a flat white rock from the floor.]] Snerd: Hiblehoy and I will have to deal with it. Or rather...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005
[[Snerd scratches a flat rock with his fingernail.]] [[He shows scratched side.]] [[He shows unscratched side.]] [[He flips it in the air.]] Snerd: Call it in the air. Hiblehoy: Scratched. [[The stone PLOPs to earth.]] [[The scratched side is up.]] Snerd: Sigh.. [[Snerd leaves, watched by Spot and Hiblehoy.]] Spot: Didn't know Gnolls had such sharp digittips. Hiblehoy: I'm sure they will be a great help if Snerd's caught in an explosion.

Thursday , November 24 , 2005
[[Thanksgiving filler, showing Mortimer about to tuck into a turkey dinner while wearing a bib which says GOBBLE on it.]] Narration: Since most folks are probably following Mortimer's fine example, we'll resume the story tomorrow. HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

Friday , November 25 , 2005
[[The battered hallway outside of Crazy Rhid's place. A former firepot now stands empty.]] [[Snerd the Gnoll inches into the scene.]] Snerd: Sina..? Are you.. all right? Sina, from off-panel: No, Snerd, I'm not. [[Sina stands with Kronk the Troglodyte. Wrawa the Trog, also looking battered, crouches and touches the dead hand of Leny the Trog, which just juts into sight from the floor.]] Sina: But I'm alive. The rest I'll have to deal with later.

Saturday , November 26 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's place. Snerd and Sina recap, witnessed by Kronk the Troglodyte.]] Snerd the Gnoll: What happened? We saw Rhid.. I think.. Sina: Yes. Wrawa chased him off. Sina: Leny's dead. And Sepferb's in bad shape. Sina: We can't do anything for him. Sina: While the rest of us start the bucket chain.. Someone's going to have to go tell the other Ghasts.

Sunday , November 27 , 2005
[[In the battered hallway outside Crazy Rhid's place.]] Snerd the Gnoll: "Someone" has to tell the Ghasts that Sepferb's been badly hurt? You mean me, don't you? Sina: Yes, Snerd, I mean you. Snerd: I'm not going down to the wall-lickers' breeding pools and telling them that! Who knows how they'll react! Sina: Of course not. You're going to go tell the guards at the /entrance/ to the breeding pools. And they won't bite your head off. Snerd: Only because that's too quick and merciful! /I'm not doing it/!

Monday , November 28 , 2005
[[In the battered hallway outside of Crazy Rhid's place.]] Kronk the Trog: Sina?... You want /me/ ta.. go tell th Ghasts bout Sepferb? Sina: No, Kronk. Thank you, but they wouldn't.. take you seriously. Or they'd take you TOO seriously. [[Close-up of Sina's angry, currently-blinded eyes.]] Kronk: Huh? Sina: But what you /can/ do is, is take Snerd and toss him into Rhid's room. There are going to be booby-traps, and /someone/ needs to set them off. [[Kronk reaches for Snerd.]] Kronk: Oh. OK. Snerd: /WHAT?!/

Tuesday , November 29 , 2005
[[In the battered hallway outside Crazy Rhid's, Knonk the Troglodyte has a grip on Snerd the Gnoll's neck.]] Snerd: Throw me into Rhid's? I won't! You /can't!/ Sina: Ah. So what you're saying is, you don't want any of the /easy/ jobs. Snerd: um.. Snerd: Why don't I just go tell the Ghasts about Sepferb? Sina: Yes. Good. You go do that. Sina: Put him down, Kronk. Sina: I have a better job for you.

Wednesday , November 30 , 2005
[[In the hallway outside Crazy Rhid's]] Sina: Snerd. On your way to the Ghasts, tell Hiblehoy and the others to get down here. Snerd, leaving: Right. OK. Sina: And Kronk.. Kronk: I aint going in Rhids place either! Sina: No, Kronk. What I need from you is dangerous, but not that bad. Sina: I need you to go after Rhid himself.

Thursday , December 1 , 2005
[[In the hallway outside Crazy Rhid's place.]] Kronk: Go after Rhid? Thatll be even worse than goin in his place! Sina: No, Kronk. Not right now... [[Outline of a battered Rhid going up a slope, leaving a scent and/or smoke trail behind him.]] Sina: He's injured, cut off from his.. tools, and leaving a scent-trail a /Nome/ could follow. But if we just let him go.. Sina: He'll get patched up. Circle around, or go to some other stash he has. He'll be back. Please. /Go./

Friday , December 2 , 2005
[[In the hallway outside Crazy Rhid's]] Kronk: Allright Ill go after Rhid. Sina: Thank you, Kronk. Kronk: But Im doing it cuza what he did to leny, not cuz.. [[Kronk stops.]] [[He turns back.]] Kronk: Why are you all doing this? Sina: We're.. well, we're trying to save the world, Kronk. Kronk: Oh. that splains it. Sina: I'm sorry? Kronk: Try save the world, and people start /dyin'./

Saturday , December 3 , 2005
[[In the corridor outside Crazy Rhid's place, Kronk sets off after Rhid.]] Sina: Kronk? You're.. claiming you once saved the world? Kronk: Me? Kronk: Nah. Kronk: Im justa old dummy, member? Kronk: But I was there when Digger and Yurd and.. the others did it.

Sunday , December 4 , 2005
[[In the corridor outside Crazy Rhid's.]] Hiblehoy the Motihau, off-panel: Sina? Are you.. [[Hiblehoy and Ploot the Wyrm come into view.]] Hiblehoy: ..blind? Sina: It'll pass, evidently. If not, I'll live. Not like my nose got chopped off. Hiblehoy: But- Sina: Have either of you ever heard of someone named "Yurd" or "Digger"? Hiblehoy: Yurp? The Demon-King from those old stories about the Earl? Sina: No. Yur-D Hiblehoy: Then.. no. Ploot: There was a Trog named Yurd. Really smart. He took the plunge into the Great Chasm when his mind started to go. Ploot: Can't help you with "Digger".

Monday , December 5 , 2005
[[The corridor outside Crazy Rhid's]] Sina: Digger and Yurd were friends of Kronk, back when he was young. Not important now. We need to get through Rhid's place, and there are going to be booby-traps. Ploot: I suppose you want me to go in. I'm willing to stick my nose in the door, at least. [[Behind Sina, Spot the Gobule looks on as Wrawa mourns over Leny.]] Sina: Thank you, Ploot, but not yet. Because.. if I was Rhid.. a Wyrm cautiously sticking in his nose is exactly what I would expect intruders to do. [[The large now-snuffed firepot, mounted on its stem.]] Sina: We're going to be a little more forceful about this...

Tuesday , December 6 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's, Sina gives instructions to Ploot the Wyrm and Hiblehoy the Motihaul.]] Sina: Ploot, what I want you and the other Wyrms to do is.. Ploot: What's wrong? Sina: Just a moment. [[Spot the Gobule is standing near where Wrawa the Trog mourns over Leny the Trog's body.]] Sina: Spot? Spot: Yeah, Boss? Sina: Get away from Leny. Sina: Or if Wrawa doesn't rip your tongue out by the roots, /I will./ Spot: You're the Boss, Boss. But there's gonna be problems about it..

Wednesday , December 7 , 2005
[[In the corridor outside Crazy Rhid's.]] Sina: What do you mean, problems? Spot the Gobule: Everyone knows the deal, Boss. There's a mess, we Gobules get to clean it up. Spot: Like I say, you're the Boss, so /I/ won't eat the morsal. [sic] But.. Spot: Others'll've smelled it. They're on their way. If you don't want that.. you gotta ditch the.. body. Right now. [[Sina facepalms.]] Sina: ssigh. Fine. Hiblehoy. Get over here.

Thursday, December 8, 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's]] Hiblehoy: What is it? Sina: Go help Wrawa take Leny to.. wherever she thinks he should go. The Great Chasm maybe. Hiblehoy: Leave? But if I don't get those buckets back to Tunktal, he's going to.. Sina: JUST - GO! Hiblehoy: OK, OK.. Sina: Spot! Spot: Yeah, Boss? Sina: Go up the chain and tell whatever slackjawed cretins are next in line to -get down here-!

Friday , December 9 , 2005
[[Ouside Crazy Rhid's. Hiblehoy the Motihaul approaches Wrawa the Troglodyte, who is blackened by her meeting with Rhid, and mourning over the body of her compatriot Leny.]] Hiblehoy: Um.. Wrawa? Sina says we need to move Leny's body, so where do you- [[Wrawa's claw slashes at him.]] ((SLASH)) Wrawa: DON'T TOUCH HIM [[Hiblehoy's shirt now has two gashes in it.]] Hiblehoy: OK, but we're still doing this, cuz Sina's still scarier than you.

Saturday , December 10 , 2005
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's place. Sina grumpily waits.]] [[Ploot the Wyrm comes into view.]] Sina: I appreciate your being here, Ploot. A little fire probably isn't a big deal to you, is it? Ploot: Before they were bottled, Chauncy and Edgar went down into the Hot Zone for extended periods on at least two occasions. They can't be allowed to escape. [[Voog the Wyrm joins them.]] Ploot: Unfortunately, a lot of my.. our.. compatriots do tend to ignore coldzone problems and hope they just go away. [[They approach the snuffed-out firepot, mounted on its stem.]] Sina: If you think that's a trait unique to your species, you need to get out more. Sina: Let's do this.

Sunday , December 11 , 2005
[[Clochard the Gnoll walks along a corridor.]] Narration: Meanwhile, fairly close by.. Clochard, thinking: sigh. Better think about heading home and.. wait. Who is that? [[A female Motihaul appears.]] Clochard: Oh.. hello, Nugabela. Nugabela: Clochard. Clochard: I was just speaking to your mate. I'm sure he sends his regards. Nugabela: My mate? Clochard: Izchak. The fellow you copulate with. You've born his whelps. Nugabela: Oh. Him. "Mate". 'Husband.' Why do nearly all non-Motihauls /insist/ on weighting down such a simple business transaction with so much unneeded baggage?

Monday , December 12 , 2005
[[Nugabela: It's ironic, really, that it's the *Gobules* who are the only ones who are sensible in regards to procreation, and- Clochard: Yesyes. We're all insane perverts. Nugabela: Nno.. Both of those words are overstatements. Clochard: Oh good. Moving on.. What you've got hidden in your clothes-pouch thingy there.. I believe I detect the unmistakable smell of Bung.. Nugabela: Yes. It's one of Bung's mushrooms. Faddle had it, and auctioned it off. Clochard: And did Faddle happen to mention where he got it? Nugabela: No. It was probably lying in the path and he tripped over it. Or he made someone so angry they threw it at his head. Clochard: Be grateful; if he was just slightly more ambitious, he'd no doubt be ruling the world from a throne of skulls.

Tuesday , December 13 , 2005
[[In a corridor in the Basement, Clochard the Gnoll and Nugabela the Motihaul are having a discussion when Nugabela sees something.]] Clochard: So, are you going to eat the Bungshroom yourself, or resell it? Nugabela: I haven't decided. I may wait a few hours and see if.. I.. Clochard: What's the matter? What.. [[He turns around]] Clochard: Oh dear.. [[A procession of robed and hooded figures of various species is coming towards them. Each carries a candle.]] Nugabela: Candle monks Clochard: All of the Candle Monks..

Wednesday , December 14 , 2005
[[Clochard the Gnoll and Nugabela the Motihaul encounter Father Tartuf of the Candle Monks, an Ooze. Tartuf speaks with an elaborate "Gothic" font.]] Clochard: Hello, Tartuf. What brings you out of the Hall of the Brush? Tartuf: No time for trivialities, Clochard. Tartuf: The Evil One roams free once more. Tartuf: We go forth, to BATTLE! Clochard: Ah. I see. [[Tartuf and the other Monks go on by.]] Nugabela: I suppose /you/ know who the 'Evil One' is, you nosy old phizzer. Lux, or one of the other GBOLers? Clochard: Of course. I know everything. Clochard: And no, it's not Lux. If you want more.. [[Nugabela turns to go.]] Clochard: can either follow them and face the screaming horror for yourself, or.. it'll cost you a Bungshroom. Nugabela: Goodbye, Clochard.

Thursday , December 15 , 2005
[[In the Basement. Clochard the Gnoll watches Nugabela the Motihaul leave.]] Clochard, thinking: Nugabela always did suffer from a lack of curiosity. Pity. It's held her back. She makes petty deals with Faddle, and Agita rules one third of the world. [[A singed Gobule wanders past.]] Clochard, thinking: On the other hand, on days like this.. /not/ being a nosy phizzer is probably a survival trait. [[He turns to go himself.]] Clochard, thinking: But miss seeing the Candle Monks once again confront The Evil One? I'd rather die!

Friday, December 16, 2005
[[Sylvester and Rosemary meet Camora (and Hax)]] Narration: Outside Le Tree.. Camora and Rosemary, thinking: What an incredibly stupid-looking hat.

Saturday , December 17 , 2005
[[Outside of Le Tree.]] Rosemary: So.. you're willing to be our guide? Camora: Yes, I am. Rosemary: And you're doing this out of the goodness of your heart? Camora: Well, I.. Hax, inaudibly: Expect to be paid. Camora:-expect to be paid, of course. [[Rosemary turns away.]] Rosemary: Of course. Rosemary: You'll understand if my associate and I wish to confer about this in private for a moment? Camora: No problem. [[Camora glares up at Hax as they speak inaudibly to each other.]] Camora: Thanks for that. Hax: No problem. Camora: Almost makes up for FORGETTING TO TUCK YOUR ZARKING ANTENNA BACK IN!

Sunday , December 18 , 2005
[[Outside Le Tree. Hax is sittiing on Camora's head, and they conduct an inaudible conversation.]] Hax: Oh. I did forget about my.. antenna. Well, can't restow them now. might raise questions.. Camora: Oh, you /think/? [[Rosemary and Sylvester confer in the mid-distance.]] Camora: /Anyway/. You claim those two are humans? Hax: Yes. [[Outline of an Evil Human standing despotically on a balcony with a large E flag, as Basement-dwellers cower below him.]] Camora: I don't believe it. They smell like Nomes. And they are wearing Nomish mining helmets (Sort of.) And the old stories all say- Hax: You do not have to be 5 meters tall and shoot eye-beams to gain a reputation as a monster. {{Hax is referring to the local variety of Sneeches.}} [[Outline of Nevus the Wyrm standing despotically on a small platform with an N flag, as Basement-dwellers cower above him.]] Camora: OK. Good point. I suppose even /Nevus/ is a monster, in his way. Camora: Fine. We'll carry on with the plan. Camora: For now.

Monday , December 19 , 2005
[[Outside Le Tree.]] Sylvester: So.. maybe /this/ is Snoot's plan? This 'guide' shows up, leads us into trouble? Rosemary: How'd he know we need one? No, I think she's just out to score a little dosh. [[Camora glaring up at Hax.]] Rosemary: ..and even if she /is/ a plant.. we're already going into a Sneech den. Rosemary: Where could she lead us that's worse? [[Rosemary holds up the Fleeb they got from Spatchcock.]] Sylvester: OK. We give her a try. Stick to our 'forest Nome' story. Rosemary: Right. But if we pay her, do we give her the fleeb? [[Sylvester holds up the To-Do List that Rosemary gave him much earlier.]] Sylvester: No, let's hang onto that if we can. There's something else we should try first..

Tuesday , December 20 , 2005
[[Outside Le Tree. Sylvester walks away from Rosemary.]] Rosemary: You're going to give that Gnoll my to-do list? Sylvester: Yup. Rosemary ... You still /have/ my to-do list? Sylvester: Yup.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005
[Sylvester: So, anyway. Your name is..? Camora: Camora. Sylvester: Camora.. Camora: Something wrong? Sylvester, from off-screen: No.. It just sounds vaguely familiar.. Camora: My grandsirette was an Archer. All -three- of my sires helped seal the Breach. Comshaw is my mate. Little wonder if you've heard of me.

Thursday , December 22 , 2005
[[Outside Le Tree. Rosemary and Sylvester stare down at Camora.]] [[Camora and Hax talk inaudibly.]] Camora: Why are they staring at me like I suddenly started babbling in Ichyoid lingo? Hax: Because they are /Humans/. They've never heard of the Nome War, The Breach in the River of Fire, or your mate Com- Sylvester: Comshaw.. Is he a sn.. /inquisitive/ bald-headed Gnoll?

Friday , December 23 , 2005
[[Outside Le Tree.]] Camora: You know Comshaw? Sylvester: We may have met. Rosemary: Briefly. Sylvester: But either way.. you might warn him that the folks in Le Tree are.. upset with him. Camora: Wow. Really? Next you'll be telling me that fire is hot and fountain fluid is toxic.

Saturday , December 24 , 2005
[[Outside Le Tree.]] Rosemary: "Fountain fluid". I'm guessing we're not talking about water here.. Sylvester: The short answer is "no". Camora: HAH! [[An overhead view of the three of them and Hax, along with bits of rubble lying on the floor.]] Camora: You really are from the forest, aren't you? Do you know how much /easier/ everyone's life would be if the Fountain spewed /water/? Rosemary: No. But I suspect you're about to correct that by going into tedious detail.

Sunday , December 25 , 2005
[[A Secret Santa strip by Ian Jay. A large wrecked room.]] Sylvester: Well, here it is! The Wreck Room! Rosemary: "Rec" as in "Shag carpets and wood wall panels"? Sylvester: Wreck as in..well. wreck. We did just get a pool table, though! [[They and CamoraHax are playing pool.]] Rosemary: Wow. I've seen so many amazing rooms in this house. The Sumatran Room ...the Low Masquerade Room.. ..the Diaries of the Flood Room.. You have no idea what a weird and wonderful place you live in. Camora: What I don't get is, why dion't you open this place to tourists and stuff? You could probably make a hefty chunk of chainge, giving tours, selling shirts.. Sylvester: WHAT. [[Shaking Camora]] Sylvester: Do you have any idea how dangerous that would be?!? The Mansion can't handle inexperienced tourists! And they can't handle it! Hax: Crap! Camora: D-dude, ch-ch-chill... Rosemary: Well, I don't... Sylvester: Listen, Rose, not everyone's a warrior like you! I've lived here all my life, and I still get scared! Death lies within these silent walls! Not.. not gift shops! Camora: I don't know.. have you checked? Narration: 6 minutes of searching later... [[They are seated at a table, drinking sodas.]] Sylvester: Well, this is embarrassing. Camora: How about that? A gift shop, a theme motel and a food court. What're the odds? Rosemary: I still can't believe that they have a Sbarro's in here. Camora: Well, they're kind of a given, when it comes to food courts.

Monday , December 26 , 2005
[[Outside Le Tree. Sylvester and Rosemary have hired CamoraHax as a guide.]] Sylvester: No, we're going to curtail Fountain stories for now. Sylvester: We'll be seeing it soon enough. [[Outline of Hopobefevfer fighting with Nevus employees.]] Sylvester: And we really need to get a move on. [[Sylvester points over his shoulder.]] Sylvester: So. Camora. Sylvester: I'm Sylvester. That's Rosemary. We are forest nomes. Who live near the Spike. [[An outline of a younger Sylvester, fleeing the Basement with the Woman of Mystery/Scary Lady, being pursued by Basement inhabitants. The WoM is repelling a Trog with a blast of magic.]] Sylvester: I have been down here in the basement before, but it's been.. a long time.

Tuesday , December 27 , 2005
[[Outside Le Tree.]] Camora: The what-ment? Sylvester: The basement. All of this. Underground. [[A longer shot of them and Rosemary.]] Camora: Why do you call it that? Sylvester: Because it's the base of the Mansion. [[An outline showing the local cross-section of the Basement, with tunnels, lights, Tree-branches, enormous gears, etc.]] Camora: That what? Sylvester: The Mansion! The gigantic stone-ish thing above us? Dominates the forest? Looks like a cactus? [[Sylvester face-palms.]] Sylvester: ... "Cactus". Right. I'm just digging myself deeper here, aren't I? Camora: Oh. God's Cactus. Why didn't you say so in the first place?

Wednesday , December 28 , 2005
[[In the Mansion's Basement, Rosemary and Sylvester react to a comment from Camora the Gnoll.]] Rosemary: "God's Cactus"? Camora: What? Sylvester: Do you have any idea how many questions that phrase raises? [[An Outline of a large chamber filled with cactus and sand. A Gnoll skeleton lies on the sand in the classic "lost in the desert" pose. Overhead is some sort of large light attached to stalactites]] Camora: /What?/ It looks like a cactus. One of those spiky plants which grow in the Cavern of Extreme Aridity. And God lives up there somewhere. What's to understand? [[An Outline of the Mansion's main tower, behind some trees, sporting a question mark.]]

Thursday , December 29 , 2005
[[In the Basement, Sylvester talks to Camora. Hax is on Camora's head.]] Sylvester: When you say "God", you're not referring to The Brush or.. the Earl.. are you? Camora: What? Of course not. [[A depiction of a Brush-symbol painting the Basement.]] Camora: The Brush painted the world and everything in it. [[A Gnoll makes an Earl-shadow on the wall with hir hand.]] Camora: The Earl's a shadow thrown on the wall to scare whelps. Sylvester: That's two kinds of power. What does God have? [[Camora looks at God's minion Hax.]] Camora: God's just.. what? Old and rich. Hax, telepathically: It could have been phrased more elegantly. But that is essentially correct.

Friday, December 30, 2005
[[Rosemary and Camora]] Rosemary: So when you say God, you mean- Sylvester, from off-panel: Ladies, we can have the theology roundtable -later.- Sylvester: Here's the deal, Camora. You tell how things have changed down here, and lead us to the Riddle Pool. [[Memory of the door into the Riddle Pool/Grotto]] Sylvester: Assuming there still -is- a Riddle Pool Camora: Assuming you're talking about the Riddle -Grotto-, yes. [[Sylvester produces Rosemary's to-do list.]] Sylvester: Good. In exchange, you get half of this now, and half when we're done. What do you say?

Saturday , December 31 , 2005
[[Outside Le Tree. Sylvester rips Rosemary's to-do list in half.]] Camora: You want to trade /that/ for guiding services? Sylvester: Take it or leave it. I'm not in the mood to haggle. [[Camora snatches one half of the list from Sylvester's hand.]] Camora: Neither am I. We have a deal. Camora: This way to the Riddle Grotto. [[Camora and Hax speak inaudibly.]] Camora: Explain to me where all this paper is suddenly coming from. Hax: Guess what /I'm/ not in the mood to do...

Sunday , January 1 , 2006
[[Filler strip, showing Rosemary holding up a sign/piece of paper which reads HAPPY NEW YEAR in multiple colors. Streamers and confetti fall in the background.]]

Monday , January 2 , 2006
[[Outside Le Tree. Camora turns to lead Rosemary and Sylvester off. Rosemary notices Frag the Gnoll go by, carrying a spiked mace.]] Camora: So, off to the Riddle Grotto. Rosemary: No, actually.. there's someplace I need to go first.. [[A closeup of the mace.]] Camora: Oh. OK. There's a drophole right around the corner, behind- Rosemary: No. Where's the nearest place to get something like /that?/ Camora: Ah, you want something sharp and pointy. We'll go see Izchak. Rosemary: Although, if a drophole is what I think it might be, I should stop there, too...

Tuesday , January 3 , 2006
[[As Camora leads Rosemary and Sylvester down the Long Path in the Basement, she stuffs her payment of paper into her hair.]] Rosemary: This Izchak person makes weapons? Camora: No, he's more of a.. middlebeing. [[Camora and Hax talk inaudibly.]] Hax: I know we need to get them to trust you, but.. You're going to /arm/ them? Camora: Relax. The situation is completely under contr- Tartuf, aloud: EVIL ONE!!

Wednesday , January 4 , 2006
[[A guest strip by Tom Truszkowski of Station V3. A spaceship flies over the Forest of E and drops something to the ground.]] Gobule: That thing just dropped some sort of package! Gnoll: Let's go see what it is! [[The Gnoll reads the card attached to the package (which has airholes.)]] Gnoll: "To E from V3. Enclosed find one very useful security officer. Enjoy" [[He looks inside the box.]] Gnoll: But the box is empty! Gnoll: Whatever it is, it must have already escaped from the box! Gobule: That can't be good. [[Linton the V3 Security Officer, wearing a bird-themed float-ring around his waist, has found Frowgler.]] Linton: Which way is the pond?

Thursday , January 5 , 2006
[[A clearing in the forest. A large flowering plant grows here, a stalk with two blooms sprouting from it. In the background can be seen a headless statue, bearing a shield with "HS" on it. Comshaw is carrying his poking stick and a scalpsucker.]] Comshaw: *Niddle!* Comshaw, thinking: Zark it! How could he have gotten away so *fast*?

Friday , January 6 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. Comshaw has found a large stinky plant. He is carrying his poking stick and a scalpsucker. All dialogue is mental.]] Comshaw: Zark! That plant's so skunky, now I've lost Niddle's scent! Comshaw: What a disaster. What else could go wr- Comshaw: No, you drooler! Don't ask that! Never ask that! [[From behind him, a bright light illuminates the scene.]] ((PROZ)) [[Beyond some trees, a blast from the Zorper rises into view.]] [[Comshaw stares up at it, as does the scalpsucker, which is now sitting on his head.]] Comshaw: Cuz you'll always get an answer..

Saturday , January 7 , 2006
[[ In the Forest of E. Comshaw has witnessed a HJ42/Zorper blast, as has the scalpsucker which is sitting on his head.]] Comshaw, thinking: That explosion.. or whatever.. it happened back where Shona was.. [[Beyond some trees, the blast dies away.]] Comshaw, thinking: So.. do I go see what that was., or go find Niddle? Comshaw: sigh [[He turns to go. The scalpsucker continues to stare back at the blast site.]] Comshaw, thinking: We make it home, I'm buying one of those Dornbeast leashes for him. [[Comshaw walks out of sight.]] Comshaw: AND GET THE ZARK OFF MY ZARKING HEAD! Scalpsucker: RAR! ((BAP)) Scalpsucker: - - -

Sunday , January 8 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. Comshaw carries his poking stick and a stunned scalpsucker.]] Comshaw, thinking: So, if Niddle's scent got covered by that.. stink-plant's smell.. Comshaw, thinking: What do I do? [[A scent-trail leading away into the trees.]] Comshaw, thinking: I follow the fresh stink-plant trail going off into the forest...

Monday , January 9 , 2006
[[The Forest of E. A suar (Ig) is lying on the remains of a stone wall. Only his feet are visible.]] [[Comshaw stalks into view, carrying his poking stick and a scalpsucker.]] [[He has gone on already.]] IgSaur: Oh, hey.. IgSaur: It's "Comshaw", right? [[Comshaw has returned, and looks at him.]] Comshaw: /What?/ You got another zarking /message/ from some zarking... Comshaw: Oh. It's you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006
[[Among some ruins in the Forest of E, Ig the Saur lounges on the remains of a stone wall.]] IgSaur: Well well. It *is* Comshaw the Poking Gnoll. After I heard Boffin checked out, I didn't think I'd be seeing *you* around again. Comshaw: Hello, Ig. No one regrets my presence here more than me. Now if you'll excuse me, I don't have time to chat. IgSaur: *Looking* for someone, are you?

Wednesday , January 11 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, Comshaw has encountered Ig the Saur lounging on the remains of a stone wall.]] Comshaw: "Looking for someone". IgSaur: Boffin and you were always looking for /something/.. This time. . That gnoll wearing the pack, perhaps? Comshaw: And what do you know about that? IgSaur: Just that he went by a moment ago. With Thrash and some other Pales. Comshaw: /PALES?/ IgSaur: Be careful; they seemed /grumpy/.

Thursday , January 12 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, Comshaw has met Ig the Saur, who has passed along info about Niddle. Comshaw turns to go.]] Comshaw: More Pales. /Fine./ IgSaur: Maybe grumpy wasn't the right word. Pales are /always/ grumpy.. [[Comshaw stalks through the forest.]] [[Ig reappears behind him.]] IgSaur: Perhaps 'miffed '.. or even 'vexed '... Comshaw: Ig, go away. Now.

Friday , January 13 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, Comshaw chases after the Pales who have taken Niddle. Ig the Saur is tagging along.]] IgSaur: Aw, c'mon, Comshaw! Let me come with you! You need my help! [[They walk along.]] IgSaur: OK, OK, fair enough, ''need'' was a little strong. You can /use/ my help.

Saturday , January 14 , 2006
[[In the forest of E.]] Ig the Saur: As for my motives for joining you on your noble quest.. Comshaw: I know why you want to come along. You're hoping that when the Pales and Niddle and I finish our business, there'll be some leavings. [[Outline of two forest Gnolls, one of them Louch, confronting a Pale.]] IgSaur: No no. It's true that if you and Thrash go at it, things *will* get messy. But the pickings have already been good lately. [[Outline of Boffin the Gnoll (now deceased) whacking a Tree-Squid with a poking stick as Ig watches.]] IgSaur: The real reason is that Boffin was always good at keeping me entertained, and I have high hopes for you as well! Comshaw: Oh good. A chance to do my impression of Council Chairbeing Preznit.

Saturday , January 14 , 2006
[[In the forest of E.]] Ig the Saur: As for my motives for joining you on your noble quest.. Comshaw: I know why you want to come along. You're hoping that when the Pales and Niddle and I finish our business, there'll be some leavings. [[Outline of two forest Gnolls, one of them Louch, confronting a Pale.]] IgSaur: No no. It's true that if you and Thrash go at it, things *will* get messy. But the pickings have already been good lately. [[Outline of Boffin the Gnoll (now deceased) whacking a Tree-Squid with a poking stick as Ig watches.]] IgSaur: The real reason is that Boffin was always good at keeping me entertained, and I have high hopes for you as well! Comshaw: Oh good. A chance to do my impression of Council Chairbeing Preznit.

Sunday , January 15 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, Comshaw chases the Pales who have taken Niddle. Ig the Saur tags along.]] IgSaur: Council Chairbeing who? Comshaw: A fellow I know; he's trying to save the world, irregardless of its wishes in the matter. Comshaw: Tell me about your friend Thrash. [[An outline of Thrash the Pale, surrounded by question marks.]] IgSaur: ''Friend''.. Hm. How much do you know about Pales? Comshaw: Probably not as much as I should. [[Thrash smacks the question marks with his weapon, sending their parts scattering.]] IgSaur: They don't really have friends. Or names. As such. Thrash is more of a... job title

Monday , January 16 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, Comshaw follows the Pales who took Niddle. Ig the Saur has been allowed to tag along.]] Comshaw: So Thrash thrashes people, does he? IgSaur: Well, yes.. but that's almost incidental.. IgSaur: He trashes.. whole situations. [[An outline of Thash the Pale and Comshaw being dispatched on missions by pointing fingers.]] IgSaur: The Pale Nexus has a problem.. Thrash gets sent. IgSaur: ..sort of like /you/, maybe, and... Preznut, was it? Comshaw: Preznit. And from what I do know of the Nexus, no, it's not remotely the same thing. IgSaur: Of course.

Tuesday , January 17 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. Comshaw follows the Pales who took Niddle. Ig the Saur tags along. In the background can be see enormous rib-like structures poking out of the ground.]] {{They are the remnants of a crashed Human airship.}} Comshaw: Fine. "Thrash" is leading these Pales. Was there anyone else? A Saur with rings around his neck, and on his tail? Smells sort of.. mossy? IgSaur: That's gotta be Buzz. But no. Just your friend and the Pales. Comshaw: But Buzz /does/ work with Pales. IgSaur: Not that I'm aware. He lives mostly down near the Pond. But that Boss person Buzz works for.. /he/ has something to do with Pales..

Wednesday , January 18 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. Comshaw chases the Pales who took Niddle. Ig the Saur tags along. Human wreckage can be seen in the background.]] Comshaw: Tell me about this Boss of Buzz's... IgSaur: All I really know is that he scares me. IgSaur: He came out of nowhere just a little while ago. No one can even learn his real name. And like you've seen, he's been working with the Nex. The Nex, who never works with anyone. igSaur: (sigh) I really do wish Boffin was still around. He would have..done something.

Thursday , January 19 , 2006
[[In the forest]] Comshaw: I may not be the forest expert that Boffin was, but *I* plan to do something about the Boss. Ig: What? Comshaw: It depends on how the rest of this day plays out. At a bare minimum, he and I are going to have a *very* long chat. Ig: Can I watch?

Friday , January 20 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. Comshaw is chasing the Pales who took Niddle. Ig the Saur is tagging along. Ahead of them, a large white shape looms up above the trees.]] Comshaw: If you help me find the Boss, yes, Ig, you can watch whatevcr [sic] the result is. Comshaw: But we need to focus on the present. Because I very much believe that's our destination up ahead.

Saturday , January 21 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. Chasing after Thrash and his fellow Pales, Comshaw and Ig the Saur emerge from some trees.]] Comshaw: That thing the trail's headed straight towards... That's The Pit, isn't it? IgSaur:Yes. Up at the top there. [[A wide view of "the Pit", which is in fact a hill studded with tall white objects.]] Comshaw: The stories Boffin told me.. Comshaw: ..I was expecting something a little more impressive. Comshaw: And maybe a little more pit-like.. IgSaur: It goes through.. cycles.. It's been quiet up there for a long time. IgSaur: Maybe even too long... Comshaw: Great.

Sunday , January 22 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, Comshaw and Ig the Saur are at "The Pit"]] Comshaw: Speaking of reoccuring phenomena, that strange explosion just before we met; has /that/ happened before? [[Ig looks behind himself.]] IgSaur: There was another explosion? Comshaw: Ah. You know, to a degree, that comment is actually comforting.

Monday , January 23 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E]] ig the Saur: Comforting? How is that comforting? Comshaw: Your reaction indicates that explosions, while not unknown, are also not a commonplace occurrance [sic] up here. ..almost like being back home.. [[An outline of Frotz the Nome passing along news to Ig.]] Comshaw: But anyway. Tell me about the previous ones. IgSaur: Just one. It was earlier today. I only heard the "ZORP" But a bunch of folks also saw it, Frotz the Nome for one.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006
[[In the forest]] Comshaw: Frotz. I've heard that name.. Ig: He's a harvester. You know, goes out to the edge of the world, and snags stuff that dribbles in from.. outside? Nomes are the best at that, dunno why. Comshaw: That's right. Boffin mentioned him o- wait.. *"ZORP"?* Ig: Um.. yes? Unless you absolutely insist that's impossible.

Wednesday , January 25 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, at The Pit. Comshaw carries a scalpsucker as he hurries along.]] Comshaw, thinking: Rrrgh! The only thing worse than a pair of explosions is a pair of perfectly /matched/ explosions. Comshaw, thinking: I wonder if.. [[A giant light flashes ahead of him.]] ((CLICK)) Comshaw, thinking: ..Rhid's up here.

Thursday , January 26 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. Comshaw is looking up at the blast of off-screen magic coming from "the Pit".]] ((CLICK)) [[ig the Saur comes into view, also watching.]] Ig: The Pit's never done THAT before! What is that? Comshaw: That is Fire. {{Back down in the Basement, the River of Fire is a vast flow of magic that comes up from the depths of the Hot Zone.}}

Friday , January 27 , 2006
[[A blast of "Fire"/color/magic shoots up from the top of hill which is called The Pit; white bone-like object stick out of the ground. In the distance can be seen the Mansion. The sun shines overhead.]]

Saturday , January 28 , 2006
[[The middle of the strip. In the Forest of E, a beam of color/magic shoots into the air from The Pit. Reaction shots alternate down both sides, as follows.]] [[Comshaw and Ig the Saur.]] IgSaur: That's not fire! I've seen fire! [[Vezza, Umboz and Nitfol the Nomes, plus one of their Pale escorts.]] Comshaw: I didn't say fire, Ig. [[Nellie Grubb, on her way to Eetown.]] Comshaw: I said /Fire./ With a big fat "F" in the front of it. [[Frowgler sitting on his wall.]] IgSaur: A fat /what/? Comshaw: Sigh. Never mind. [[Agita, Nevus and Mimsy.]] Comshaw: It's a /different/ kind of Fire. Comshaw: Back underground.. [[The Scary Lady/Woman of Mystery looking out a window in the Mansion.]] Comshaw: There's a whole River of it.

Sunday , January 29 , 2006
[[In the forest, a beam of Fire/a rainbow shoots into the sky from "the Pit"]] IgSaur: You're saying that's not a river? Comshaw: That's a *trickle* of Fire. A nice, safe, clean, trickle. Comshaw: If you want to see a river, go down. All the way down, to the Observatory. Ig: GO UNDERGROUND? Comshaw: You're the one who wanted to be entertained. Ask for Blit, he'll be more than glad to show you around. Goodbye, Ig.

Monday , January 30 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, at The Pit. Off-panel, a flare of Fire reaches into the sky.]] Ig the Saur: Why isn't it making those noises any.. ""Goodbye""? {{There are two sets of " becaiuse it looks better with the font used by Saurs.}} Comshaw: I'm going up there, and I assume you're not coming with me. IgSaur: But you'll /die/! Comshaw: As for the noises, that's what old Human devices often sound like when they 'wake up'.. [[The Fire shuts off]] ((CLICK)) Comshaw: Or go back to sleep.

Tuesday , January 31 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, at The Pit]] Ig the Saur: It's gone? I don't understand any of this! Why is this happening? Comshaw: Niddle and the Pales triggered it. I'd bet my last fleeb. [[Comshaw turns to go, walking past one of The Pit's towering white structures.]] Comshaw: The only real question is.. did Thrash and his pals do it deliberately.. Comshaw: ..or if Niddle's being Niddle again. Comshaw: Thanks for your help.

Wednesday , February 1 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. Comshaw walks up the hill which is "The Pit".]] [[Ig the Saur sticks his face into view.]] [[He thinks for a moment.]] [[He follows Cosmhaw.]] IgSaur: sigh...

Thursday , February 2 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, climbing the hill which is "The Pit"]] Comshaw: Ig, why are you still here? Ig the Saur: I like words. I /like/ being able to talk. But. . IgSaur: I haven't learned /all/ the words, like you undergrounders.. Comshaw: Huh? Only those fanatics in the Spelling Guild claim to know- IgSaur: What's the word for.. saying one thing, and doing the opposite? Not ""liar"". Comshaw: "Hypocrite". IgSaur: Hypocrite. OK IgSaur: I said I wanted to be entertained. So here I am.

Friday , February 3 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, at "The Pit".]] Comshaw: Fine, you can stay, if only because I forgot to ask before..How /many/ Pales were there? Ig the Saur: Three. Thrash and two others. [[An outline of a typical Pale weapon.]] Comshaw: And how were they armed? IgSaur: Apart from the Flagpale? Thrash and the third one had those hooks they use.. Comshaw: Made of what? Metal? Stone? /Wood/? {{Wood is currently rare in the Basement.}} IgSaur: Something sharp. Never felt the need to ask more closely. Comshaw: Wait.. Flagpale?

Saturday , February 4 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. Shadow-scene of three Pales leaving the Camp.]] Ig the Saur: Pales almost never travel away from their Home alone, and almost never without a Pale carrying a flag on a pole. Comshaw: OK. Right. One of Buzz's Pales had one.. [[Shadows. One Pale holds a flagpole, another looks on angrily.]] IgSaur: Everything with Pales is complicated. But who gets to carry a flag.. whether it has a stabber with it.. it's a sign of favor with the Nex. Comshaw: But Thrash is *not* the Flagpale for his group..? [[Shadows. Close up of a Pale flag, complete with hole.]] IgSaur: Thrash is, as always, a special case. And to head off your next question, no, no non-Pale knows why the flags have holes cut in them.

Saturday , February 4 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. Shadow-scene of three Pales leaving the Camp.]] Ig the Saur: Pales almost never travel away from their Home alone, and almost never without a Pale carrying a flag on a pole. Comshaw: OK. Right. One of Buzz's Pales had one.. [[Shadows. One Pale holds a flagpole, another looks on angrily.]] IgSaur: Everything with Pales is complicated. But who gets to carry a flag.. whether it has a stabber with it.. it's a sign of favor with the Nex. Comshaw: But Thrash is *not* the Flagpale for his group..? [[Shadows. Close up of a Pale flag, complete with hole.]] IgSaur: Thrash is, as always, a special case. And to head off your next question, no, no non-Pale knows why the flags have holes cut in them.

Sunday , February 5 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. At "The Pit."]] Ig the Saur: And that's all I can tell you about Pales that's useful, except... Comshaw: Yes? IgSaur: Be careful. Especially with Thrash.. IgSaur: I.. don't think you've dealt with anyone like him.. Comshaw: I brought down the Raver brothers. I killed Crudbean. I share a nest with Camora. One Pale doesn't stack up. And if NIddle is hurt, Thrash is going to learn that the hard way.

Monday , February 6 , 2006
[[Filler: a message from MoE creator Robert Cook.]] Robert: Comic Genesis did not automatically update like it was supposed to on this date (Feburary 6, 2006). Very late in the day, I forced through a manual update, so presumably a dedicated handful of visitors finally saw the day's strip. Having belated second thoughts, I decided to quickly redo and expand the strip, and post the new version the next day. For those who saw the original, I apologize for the repetition. For the rest of you, carry on.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006
[[In the Forest of E. A outline-memory of Comshaw facing two Trogs.]] Ig the Saur: Um, who were the Raver Brothers? Comshaw: A pair of Trogs. While not nearly as bad as Chauncy and Edgar, they were.. quite exceptional. In all the wrong ways. [[A memory of Comshaw facing a plant-monster.]] Comshaw: And to head off your next question.. Crudbean was a well-intentioned horticultural experiment that went horribly wrong. [[A memory of Comshaw and Camora touching.]] IgSaur: Wh- Comshaw: Horticulture. Farming. The art of growing fungi and tubers. Ig: I actually knew that one. I was going to ask why you ended up mating with -Camora.-

Wednesday, February 8, 2006
[[Comshaw and Ig are in the forest, near "The Pit"]] Comshaw: What do you know about Camora? Ig: Well.. Boffin said you were going to mate with.. uh.. Mushy.. or whatever her name was, not Camora. It was all settled and everything. Comshaw: Ah. He told you that, did he? Well, it /wasn't/ settled. And so I'm with Camora. It's for the best. Comshaw: But as much as I love rehashing my personal history, we have no time. We've arrived.

Thursday , February 9 , 2006
[[The Forest of E. Comshaw and Ig the Saur have reached the top of the hill which is called "The Pit". White bits of tech surround them. Behind them, in the diistance, can be seen the Spike, which is flashing the message "900 WOO HOO".]]

Friday , February 10 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. On top of the hill which is called The Pit.]] Ig the Saur, sniffling: Pales don't have much scent at the best of times, but.. they're close.. Comshaw: Yes. If they were standing here when the Fire came... [[He looks down the hill, and sees the legs of a Pale lying on the ground.]] Comshaw: ..they probably got knocked off the top of the hill..

Saturday , February 11 , 2006
[[The Forest of E, at "The Pit". No one is in sight.]] [[Thrash the Pale was lying on the ground, and he jerks himself upright.]] [[He gets back to his feet, and is joined by his helper "Flagpale".]] Comshaw, from off-panel: Hey, Thrash! Heads up! [[A scalpsucker comes sailing into view. Thrash ((ducks)) it, and it ((WHAPs)) Flagpale square in the face.]]

Sunday , February 12 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, at "The Pit". Thrash the Pale ignores "Flagpale", who is struggling with a scalpsucker plastered to his face.]] Scalpsucker: RAR! [[Thrash stands and waits. More struggling.]] Scalpsucker: RAR! [[Comshaw comes into view.]] ((THUMP BANG CRUNCH))

Monday, February 13, 2006
[[Comshaw and Thrash the Pale face each other at "The Pit" in the Forest of E]] Comshaw: Where is he? [[Thrash silently points.]] [[Thrash turns and walks away.]] [[Niddle appears in the scene.]] Niddle: You're probably mad at me again, aren't you? Comshaw: He turned his back on me, and -walked- away.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
[[On the hill of "The Pit"]] [[Ig is looking down the hill at Comshaw and Thrash.]] [[Ig sniffs in puzzlement as a Pale {{Antlerhelper}} appears behind him.]] [[Ig turns, missing the Pale as it dashes past him down the hill.]]

Wednesday , February 15 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, at "The Pit", Comshaw and Niddle watch Thrash the Pale walk away from them, carrying both his own weapon and his team's flagpole.]] [[Thrash's helper "Antlerhelper" hurries to catch up with him.]]

Thursday , February 16 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. Thrash the Pale carries both his own weapon and his team's flagpole.]] [[He looks down, where Flaghelper is struggling with a Scalpsucker.]] [[Thrash plants the butt of the flagpole in the ground, startling a nearby Trundlebug.]] [[Thrash grabs ahold of the Scalpsucker.]] ((GLOMP))

Friday , February 17 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. Off-screen, Thrash pulls the scalpsucker from Flaghelper's face and throws it away.]] ((rrRRIP! RAR! FLING!)) [[Antlerhelper marches into the scene.]] [[The flung scalpsucker hits him square in the face.]] ((WHAP)) [[Thrash glares down at the result, while Flaghelper watches nervously.]] Scalpsucker: RAR!

Saturday , February 18 , 2006
[[Trees in the forest of E.]] [[The scalpsucker, flung by an angry Thrash, flies up above the trees at a steep velocity.]]

Sunday , February 19 , 2006
[[Guest art from Comic Genesis resident Vorticus: a smiling Rosemary as she appears early in the strip, wielding a sword and carrying a shield.]]

Monday, February 20, 2006
[[Near total blackness]] Motimer: uh...? [[Mortimer is lying on the ground, along with some rubble and a bug]]

Tuesday, February 21, 2006
[[Dim underground scene, dirt walls with no people]] [[Mortimer Sits up]] Mortimer : Wow. Mortimer : At least three meters deeper than the hole in the orchard... not quite as bad as the one in the Forest of Burzee... Looks like I've got a new number three on my all-time-best list..

Wednesday, February 22, 2006
[[Underground Scene]] Mortimer: Strange. Mortimer: What kind of hole is this? Mortimer: Usually by this point... [[A hand reaches out of the darkness on the right and a large rat type creature bears it teeth to the left of the oblivous Mortimer]] Mortimer: Some lurking thing has leaped out and attacked me.. {{Title Text: The Hole Thing. The thing with the hand is a Lurker, and the rat is a Tunnel Rat}}

Thursday, February 23, 2006
[[A hole in the Forest of E. The Tunnel Rat launches itself from the left and the Lurker creeps closer from the right towards a completely oblivious Mortimer]] Mortimer: Sigh.. Oh well.. [[Mortimer bends over and the Tunnel Rat misses completely, heading now instead for the Lurker.]] Mortimer: Guess I better climb out of here... [[Mortimer stands up having retrieved a sack labeled with the word FLEEBS in Manglish]] (( GRAHH! RRRCH! CHOMP! CHOMP! CHOMP!)) Mortimer: ... Mortimer: do I -really- want to lug this stupid sack with me? It's just going to get in my way...

Friday, February 24, 2006
[[Beneath the Forest of E. A Tunnel Rat and a Lurker are fighting at the edge of a hole.]] ((GRRRAG!)) [[They fall in]] [[...]] [[Mortimer's feet appear at the edge of the hole]] Mortimer: Someone there? Mortimer: Hello? ((SPLAT! splat))

Saturday, February 25, 2006
[[Close up of Mortimer's head]] Mortimer: Guess I was hearing things for once... Mortimer: ...still, gotta go and find Nitfol... [[Close up of hand poking wall]] Mortimer: all of this soft dirt cushioned my fall... Mortimer:but I wonder if I can climb o- [[The poked section of the wall crumbles away]] Mortimer: Oh dear..

Sunday, February 26, 2006
[[Mortimer stares at the collapsed section of wall]] Mortimer: better try a different wall [[close up of Mortimer, noticing something off-panel]] Mortimer: looks a little more solid over.. Mortimer: wait.. Mortimer: what's that? [[Mortimer turns to go off panel to investigate.]] [[..]] [[...]] Unseen Monster: RAR!

Monday, February 27, 2006
Mortimer: Hello there! Female Scalpsucker: RAR! [[Waves at him]] Mortimer: I'm trapped down here! Quick! Go for help, girl! Female Scalpsucker: RAR! [[Salutes]] [[Female scalpsucker inches her way up the wall.]]

Tuesday, February 28, 2006
[[The female scalpsucker inches up the wall as Mortimer watches]] [[The female scalpsucker inches up the wall as Mortimer watches]] [[The female scalpsucker millimeters up the wall as Mortimer watches]] Mortimer: thank the Brush that she's a speedy scalpsucker, or i might never get out of here!

Wednesday, March 1, 2006
[[Scalpsucker inching up wall]] [[Scalpsucker is struck with a thought]] [[Scalpsucker turns to look at Mortimer]] Mortimer: What's wrong girl? Scalpsucker: RAR? [[Mortimer looks up at the out of panel scalpsucker]] Mortimer: Oh right. Go to the Mansion! Find Sylvester! He's got the pack with the knotted rope and the bandages and Lurker repellent and stuff! Scalpsucker: RAR!

Thursday, March 2, 2006
[[Mortimer looks up at out-of-panel scalpsucker]] Mortimer: No, wait! Stop! I just realised... Scalpsucker: RAR? [[Scalpsucker stuck to wall, Mortimer below out of panel]] Mortimer: Sylvester's real smart about a lot of stuff but... he wouldn't understand... [[Mortimer close up]] Mortimer: sigh.. OK, you need to go find Uncle Frederick. Or even better M- ((very loud THUMP!)) [[Mortimer looks round]] Mortimer: Did you hear that? Scalpsucker (out of panel): RAR! Mortimer: Poot. I was hoping that these noises were in my brain and not in my ears.

Friday, March 3, 2006
[[Motimer stands in a dimly lit dirt pit]] ((THUMP!)) Mortimer: There it is again.. That's not a.. a Lurker or a Tunnelrat or something. Mortimer: It sounds sorta mechanical.. [[Mortimer faces a wall, in which is a roughly rectangular shape.]] Mortimer: And it is coming from behind that wall.. Scalpsucker (out of panel): RAR! Mortimer: Yes behind that shape in the wall.. {Storyline Title: The Hole Thing}

Saturday , March 4 , 2006
[[In a hole in the Forest of E.]] Mortimer: Well.. if the dirt's same [sic] over here.. [[He pokes the wall.]] ((poke)) [[He waits. No reaction.]] [[The scalpsucker watches as well.]] Scalpsucker: RAR? Mortimer: Nothing. Guess I'll just hav- [[A lot of dirt falls all at once.]] ((WHUMP))

Sunday , March 5 , 2006
[[A hole in the Forest of E. A large pile of dirt.]] Scalpsucker: RAR? RAR!! [[Mortimer's head and shoulders emerge from the pile of dirt.]] ((GHASP))

Monday , March 6 , 2006
[[The female scalpsucker looks down at Mortimer in concern.]] Scalpsucker: RAR! [[She leaps off the wall she was climbing.]] ((SPROING)) [[While in midair she does a FLIP.]]

Tuesday , March 7 , 2006
[[A hole in the Forest of E. The resident scalpsucker lands on the pile of dirt in which Mortimer is half-buried.]] ((plop!)) Scalpsucker: RAR? Mortimer: No, I'm fine. You don't need to administer the kiss of life. [[Mortimer thinks about this.]] Mortimer: . . . Mortimer: How would you do that? You don't have lips. Scalpsucker: RAR! Mortimer: Really? Wow..

Wednesday , March 8 , 2006
[[Mortimer and "Terpsichore" the Scalpsucker are in a hole in the Forest of E. Mortimer is digging himself out of a pile of dirt.]] Mortimer: So. Anyway. What was behind all this dirt..? Oh. [[It's a door mounted in a stone wall.]] Terpsichore: Rar? Mortimer: Never seen one of those before? Careful, they can be /bad news/.

Wednesday , March 8 , 2006
[[Mortimer and "Terpsichore" the Scalpsucker are in a hole in the Forest of E. Mortimer is digging himself out of a pile of dirt.]] Mortimer: So. Anyway. What was behind all this dirt..? Oh. [[It's a door mounted in a stone wall.]] Terpsichore: Rar? Mortimer: Never seen one of those before? Careful, they can be /bad news/.

Thursday , March 9 , 2006
[[A hole in the Forest of E. Mortimer brushes dirt off himself.]] ((pat pat brush)) Mortimer: It's a door. It's a way some clever guy or gal invented for passing right through walls... Scalpsucker: RAR? Mortimer: Some of them are bad news because some walls are there for a reason. [[Mortimer reaches for the doorknob.]] Mortimer: But this just an old store basement, from before The Crash. [[A closeup of the knob and lock.]] Mortimer: I can tell, cuz this is one of those old Ficklegruber locks everybody used back then. [[He tries the knob.]] Mortimer: And I think I can.. ((RATTLE TWIST RATTLE)) Mortimer: Yeah, there we are. ((CLUNK))

Friday, March 10, 2006
[[Mortimer and the female scalpsucker peer cautiously through the door in the side of the pit.]] ((THUMP))

Saturday , March 11 , 2006
[[Under the Forest of E. Mortimer walks down a darkening corridor.]] Mortimer, thinking: So. A hallway. [[It gets darker.]] [[And darker.]] ((CRUNCH)) Mortimer, thinking: And another door. Mortimer, thinking: Ow.

Sunday , March 12 , 2006
[[Under the Forest of E. Mortimer has followed a corridor to a door. All dialogue is internal.]] Mortimer: Hey.. that light's coming from under the door.. Mortimer: And it's not sunl- [[A loud noise comes from beyond the door.]] ((THUMP)) Mortimer: If Sylvester were here, he'd point out that the sensible thing to do would be to go back and climb that wall out of the hole. [[He reaches for the knob.]] Mortimer: Too bad then that he's not here..

Monday , March 13 , 2006
[[Under the Forest of E. Mortimer is at the end of a tunnel, opening a door. All dialogue is internal.]] ((CLICK)) Mortimer: Not even locked! That's a good sign.. ((crumble)) [[Mortimer finds himself holding the entire knob-mechanism in his hand.]] Mortimer: This omen, however, is less clear..

Tuesday , March 14 , 2006
[[Under the Forest of E. Mortimer finds himself holding the the entire knob-mechanism from a crumbling door. All dialogue is internal.]] Mortimer: OK. [[The door, sans knob. Light is visible through the resulting hole.]] Mortimer: I can still use it to open the door.. [[He throws the knob at the door, which collapses further.]] ((CRUMBLE))

Wednesday, March 15, 2006
[[Under the Forest of E. Mortimer is peering through a shattered doorway.]] Mortimer: Um.. Mortimer: Hello? [[Pull back to reveal a storage room full of boxes and crates: "Bilgwater Brand Sphagnum Semi-Premium Grade." "Stembolts, Selfsealing, 100 Gross"]] Mortimer: Look, sorry about your door, but.. ((THUMP))

Thursday , March 16 , 2006
[[In a diusty storeroom under the Forest of E. His path into the room blocked, Mortimer is pushing at a large box. The box is labeled Bilgwater Brand Sphagnum Semi Premium Grade. Twenty Four (24) Bulbs. There are various other boxes, one of them labeled Oopakirk.]] [[The box tips off, heading for the floor.]] Mortimer: oof! [[An enormous cloud of dust.]] ((SPLORP)) [[Mortimer is coated in it.]] Mortimer, thinking: Poot. Now I'm gonna smell like sphagnum dust for a /month/. There goes my date with Sharona on Friday.

Friday , March 17 , 2006
[[Under the Forest of E. Mortimer has broken through a door and climbed over a row of boxes. Sphagnum dust lingers in the air. All dialogue is internal.]] Mortimer: so anyway. now what? [[He waves away some of the dust.]] [[He faces a whole bunch more large crates, festooned with cobwebs. A skull floats in something resemlbing a giant snowglobe. Some of the crates are labelled: BULKCO. THULL ROCKS DELUXE ASSORTMENT WARNING VERY HEAVY. DO NOT OPEN. ACME ANVIL CORP. TELAM- 10 TO- WEIGH-]] Mortimer: oh.

Saturday , March 18 , 2006
[[Under the Forest of E. Mortimer is crawling through a collection of crates and other objects in an old storeroom. A "C&A ZAPOMATIC" sits on a large safe and trails a wire. Some of the other stuff is labelled: DO NOT OPEN. ACME ANVIL CORP. TELAMON 10 TON WEIGHT. SLIMEGRUB TRAPS. A large glass jar contains DR. TEETH'S HAMMOCK SAUCE.]] Mortimer: OOF! ((TRIP ZZAP!)) MortimerL OW! ((SNAP crawl crawl)) [[Mortimer finally emerges from the pile, still lugging his bag of fleebs.]] Mortimer: gasp! coff coff [[He is suddenly face-to-face with an angry-looking robot. (A Shopbot)]] ((THUMP))

Sunday , March 19 , 2006
[[Under the Forest of E. A wheeled, angry-looking shopbot fills an open stone doorway. There are noticeable cracks in the edges of the door.]] Shopbot: ... ... BZZ WHRR grind

Monday , March 20 , 2006
[[In an old storeroom under the Forest of E. Mortimer faces a shopbot which is poking its head through a doorway.]] ((CLUNK!)) [[The shopbot retreats out of sight.]] ((TRUNDLE TRUNDLE)) [[It can no longer be seen, but there are noises.]] ((TRUNDLE TRUNDLE TRUN- CLUNK VROOOM!!)) [[It charges forward and slams into the doorway frame again.]] ((THUMP)) Mortimer, thinking: I think I'm detecting a pattern here..

Tuesday , March 21 , 2006
[[The basement of the former World O' Pots, Mortimer confronts a Shopbot.]] Mortimer, thinking: It's a robot. I wonder if it knows any of the old override codes. Shopbot: bzz. whrr. grind. Mortimer, thinking: . . . I wonder if /I/ know any of the old override codes.. Shopbot: CLUNK

Wednesday, March 22, 2006
[[Mortimer faces an ancient shopbot]] Mortimer (thinking): think, think! uncle Frederick taught you those codes! ((TRUNDLE)) Mortimer: Oh! Wait! Mortimer: "Tumbug Hock!" Shopbot: BEEP Shopbot: CODE CONFIRMED MODE 12 ENGAGED [[Mortimer watches nervously.]] ((SHUNK)) ((GLEEP)) ((TWANG)) Mortimer (thinking): uh oh.. ((HUMMMMMMMM))

Thursday , March 23 , 2006
[[Under the Forest of E, in an old storeroom. An angry-looking shopbot fills a doorway and makes ominous noises.]] ((HUUMMMMMMMMMMMM)) [[The shopbot's scowl abruptly shifts to a "winning" smile.]] ((CHUNK)) [[A full sideview of the shopbot; it is wheeled. It has "WORLD O' POTS" printed on its side. Flags have popped up and started waving, small firework-like blasts are shooting out of a hole, music is playing. Mortimer watches all of this.]] Shopbot: HELLO CITIZEN! HAPPY UNIFICATION DAY! WELCOME TO WORLD O' POTS! DEALS GALORE! Mortimer, thinking: but Unification Day isn't for another four months..

Friday , March 24 , 2006
[[Under the Forest of E, in an old storeroom. Music plays in the background.]] Shopbot: To celebrate Unification Day, World O' Pots is proud to offer Mortimer, thinking: ok.. right.. most robots are really dumb. he.. it.. just /thinks/ today is Unification Day... Shopbot: FREE SAMPLES! Mortimer, thinking: but still.. Shopbot: Here, citizen! Have a taste of our wide-world-famous SPLOO! Mortimer, thinking: ..World O' Pots? the WP store is way down in the village, and i /know/ Mr. Hooper doesn't own a r- Mortimer, thinking: wait.. what? ((SHUNK)) [[Mortimer gets splatted in the face and chest with flying globs of Sploo.]] ((FOOM SPLUT FOOM SPLAT))

Saturday , March 25 , 2006
[[In an old storeroom under the Forest of E. Music plays in the background throughout. Mortimer has been splatted with sample of Sploo, a supposed food-substance. He reacts violently.]] Mortimer: GLAARG! [[The shopbot filling the doorway.]] Mortimer: Caveberry Sploo! I /hate/ caveberries! Shopbot: BEEP Mot to fear citizen! [[Mortimer listens nervously.]] Shopbot: World O' Pots is proud to offer 42 flavors of sploo for your consuming pleasure! Mortimer: ... ((FOOM SPULP)) ((FOOM SPORP)) ((FOOM SPLOP)) ((FOOM SPERP))

Sunday , March 26 , 2006
[[An old storeroom under the Forest of E. Mortimer has just been completely coated in variety of Sploo, a supposed food-substance. Music plays in the background.]] Mortimer, thinking: now I remember for sure? [[He points at the shopbot.]] Mortimer: "Igloo Mukluk Sploo" Shopbot: BEEP [[The music cuts off.]] [[The shopbot electrically probes at Mortimer's hand.]] Shopbot: The attempted code is graded /restricted-level/. Commencing herediscan.

Monday , March 27 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the World O' Pots. Mortimer waits as..]] Shopbot: Herediscan complete. Processing... ((BEEP)) Shopbot: Herediscan confirmed. 75% likely subject is member of E family. [[Shopbot shifts out of "sales pitch" mode]] ((CHUNK)) Shopbot: How may this unit assist you, sir or madam?

Tuesday , March 28 , 2006
[[In an old storeroom, under the Forest of E.]] Mortimer: Can you tell me where I am? Shopbot: BEEP Sir or Madam, you are in the village of EEtown, in the district of Local E, in the Province of Audravania, in the nation of Y- Mortimer: Yes, OK, right. Thank you. Mortimer: I meant, what is this building? Or was? Shopbot: BEEP Welcome Sir or Madam to World O' Pots outlet 2756! World O' Pots is proud to offer "everything you need" at h- Mortimer: "Highly affordable rates." Yes. Thank you again.

Wednesday , March 29 , 2006
[[In an old storeroom under the Forest of E. The shopbot waits as Mortimer considers.]] Mortimer, thinking: 2756.. that /is/ the number in Mr. Hooper's shop.. Mortimer, thinking: ... Mortimer, thinking: OK.. i get it. [[Outline of the Eetown World O' Pots before the Crash. There are numerous other buildings, and the Mansion looms in the background. An airship flies overhead.]] Mortimer: ..this is the basement of the old World O' Pots, from before the Crash.. Mortimer: uncle Frederick said it was really /huge/..

Thursday , March 30 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O' Pots, Mortimer, covered with sploo, is faced with a large wheeled Shopbot.]] Mortimer, thinking: so now all I need to do is find out why the lights are still on down here. Mortimer aloud: Back up, please. Shopbot: BEEP. [[The shopbot slowly gears up to comply.]] ((BZZ whrr grind)) [[Something goes wrong.]] ((KARUNK)) Shopbot: Gleep! Siror Madam havea freesampl of yummysticks! ((FOOM)) [[Mortimer now has a sprinkling of yummysticks on him as well. Some went in his mouth, and his chewing on them.]] Mortimer, thinking: marshberry flavored! That's more like it! ((chew chew trundle trundle))

Friday, March 31, 2006
[[Mortimer is in a hallway along with Shopbot. He is coated in goo and covered with yummysticks]] Mortimer, thinking: some sort of hallway.. ((chew chew)) Rufus: Who's making all this racket? Shopbot, if you- ((chew ch-)) Rufus: Who's that? [[Mortimer turns to suddenly to find himself face-to-face with his younger brother Rufus]] Mortimer: RUWFRR? Rufus: urk! ((chewchewchewchew gulp)) Mortimer: Or.. um.. to put that another way.. Hi Rufus.. Rufus (from floor): Hello, Mortimer.

Saturday , April 1 , 2006
[[In a hole in the Forest of E, the resident scalpsucker sits in the open doorway through which Mortimer passed.]] Scalpsucker: RAR?

Sunday , April 2 , 2006
[[A tree in the Forest of E. A ring hangs from a stick mounted on the trunk. The remains of a stone wall can be seen in the background.]] [[Zooming in closer toward a hole in the side of the tree.]] [[It is not a hole at all, but a window, through which the shape of a Nome is dimly visible.]] [["Inside" the tree. A large room with more windows set in the far wall. Piu the Nomish healer is at her cluttered workbench, pouring various substances into a large wooden bowl. A shelf in the background contains various items including a skull.]]

Monday , April 3 , 2006
[[In her hometree in the Forest of E, Piu the Nomish healer takes small round objects from a small bowl and sprinkles them into a large bowl.]] [[She picks up a spoon and watches the bowl closely.]] [[A purplish glop lunges up from the large bowl.]] glop: Grar! [[She whacks the glop with the spoon. A Nomish hand reaches into the shot behind her.]] ((WHACK)) {{The hand belongs to Umboz.}}

Tuesday , April 4 , 2006
[[Inside Piu the Nome's hometree. She is working at a table with a large spoon. Someone taps her from behind.]] Piu:! [[She turns. It's Umboz the Nome.]] Piu: Oh. It's you. Umboz: Hello, Piu. [[She turns back and whacks something in a bowl with the spoon.]] ((Whack!)) Piu: Didn't your mother teach you not to sneak up on a Healer holding a Wacking Spoon? Umboz: I sorta assumed you're going to use it on me anyway once you hear why I'm here.

Wednesday , April 5 , 2006
[[Inside Piu's Hometree in the Nomish village.]] Piu: Before "why", /how/ did you get in here? I sealed the front crack. Umboz, pointing: Vezza told me about the back way. She comes here sometimes, I gather. Piu: I see, Someone really needs to teach that girl about keeping secrets. Umboz: Yes. Umboz: Someone does. [[Piu thinks about this.]] Piu: How /and/ why. Alrighty then.

Thursday, April 6, 2006
[[Inside Piu's Hometree]] Umboz: Piu, I'm not going to pretend I'm deeply in love with you.. Piu: Nor I with you. Piu: You're not the brightest bloom on the bush. But you're a decent-enough fellow. Conscientious, a hard worker, not afraid to speak your mind. And I am quite fond of your daughter. [[An outline shot of two female Nomes glaring at Pru as she walks away]] Piu, narrating: And yes, getting married will make -my- life easier, and in a heartbeat I'll take you over Nitfol, or Booznik, or your broth- ... Piu: That -is- what you are suggesting, right? Getting married. It is important to be clear on these points. Umboz: Um, yes. But remember that bit about speaking my mind..?

Friday , April 7 , 2006
[[Inside Piu's Hometree in the Nomish village.]] Piu: Your outspokenness has gotten you into trouble. Umboz: Mayor Koyeeb tried to have me killed today. I took Vezza and ran away. [[Piu turns away.]] Piu: That was encouragingly sensible of you. I'll get my bag and we'll be off. Umboz: Right. Wait. What?

Saturday , April 8 , 2006
[[Inside Piu's Hometree in the Nomish village. Piu rummages in a chest.]] Umboz: You accepted all of this awfully.. quickly.. Piu: (sigh) [[An outline of Umboz coaxing a Treesquid into position.]] Piu: I'm the village Healer, Umboz. I don't spend all day out alone in the woods, coaxing tree-squids into taking up guard duty.. Piu: (Which is an important job, don't get me wrong!) [[An outline of an abandoned Nomish village, complete with cobwebs.]] Piu: I talk to people. I talk to everyone. Even now, I know better than you what Koyeeb is capable of. Piu: And I know if we don't do something about him, before long there won't be any more Nomes in the world.

Sunday , April 9 , 2006
[[Inside Piu's Hometree.]] Umboz: No more Nomes? Piu: The War. It's always the War. We weren't wiped out, the Bugs in the old story.. [[Outline of Umboz, Piu and Umboz's late wife, looking down at the newly-born Vezza.]] Piu:..but we aren't /recovering/. Every generation, there are fewer of us.. Piu: ..which, by the way, is the /real/ reason everyone's so hep on marriage. [[Outline of Mayor Koyeeb.]] Piu: And now, at the moment we most desperately need rational far-sighted leadership.. Umboz: We get paranoia, and scapesquiding, and.. and murder.. Piu: Yes. Exactly. We get Koyeeb.

Monday, April 10, 2006
[[Piu gets something out a of box.]] Piu: Oh yes. Almost forgot. Umboz: What? [[Piu holds up a ring-shaped object.]] [[It's a hairband, which she puts on in place of the one she had.]] Piu: Can't wear the hat, of course, til we visit that idiot of a priest. Umboz: You have a hat? Um.. Just how long have we been planning to get married?

Tuesday , April 11 , 2006
[[Inside Piu's Hometree.]] Piu: OK. I'm ready. We get Vezza, and set up in an abandoned hometr- Umboz: We're going to the Pales. [[Piu stares at him.]] Piu: You're serious, aren't you. Umboz, turning to go: For better or worse, yes. Yes I am. Piu: I'm not going anywhere /near/- Umboz: The Pales seem to think you are. Let's go discuss it with them...

Wednesday , April 12 , 2006
[[Inside Piu's Hometree.]] Piu: Wait. Wait. The Pales /invited/ us to come to their hive? Umboz: Yes. [[Outline of the Pale hive/Fort]] Piu: They've /never/ done that, not even when we were allies in the War! Umboz: That has been the case, yes.. Umboz: But it seems that Vezza and Nitfol and I are now exceptions to the rule. Umboz: And it also seems they have no objection to you coming along as well. [[Outline of Nitfol.]] Piu: But this is just.. Wait.. Nitfol?! Umboz: Yup.

Thursday , April 13 , 2006
[[Inside Piu's Hometree.]] Piu: What does Nitfol have to do with all of this? Umboz: The Pales saved his life. Or something. He's waiting with them and Vezza. Piu: Nitfol barely comes into the village anymore. Even Koyeeb wouldn't bother- Umboz: No, It was a Spyder. And he said a shark brought down his tree. Piu: A shark? The only kind of shark that could destroy a hometree is- Umboz: Yes. Umboz: And there was that weird light.. Umboz: I need to get back to Vezza.

Friday, April 14, 2006
[[Inside Piu's Hometree.]] Piu: Umboz.. Piu: I'll go with you to the Pales, but we need to remember.. [[Outlines: a noble Pale and a skulking Nome.]] Piu: That while.. in their way they are honorable.. More than we Nomes by a long shot.. Umboz: I know, Piu. Umboz: They also don't hand out charity. The Nex wants something from us. But we have to drop out of sight for a while, and there's no better place to do it. Let's go.

Saturday , April 15 , 2006
[[Piu and Umboz leave her Hometree. Behind them on a dresser is a flytrap-type plant. A fly buzzes around.]] [[The Nomes walk out of the shot. The fly buzzes closer to the plant.]] [[There is a ((CHOMP))]] [[The fly has taken a bite out of the plant.]] Piu: "Weird light"? Umboz: The Pit's active again. Piu: Lovely. Umboz: Yup.

Sunday , April 16 , 2006
[[Inside Piu's hometree. A fly buzzes away from the plant it has just bitten.]] [[It flies over some more plants.]] [[It approaches Piu's workbench, on which sits a bowl which she had been stirring.]] [[The glop in the bowl reaches up and snags the fly.]] ((GLOMP))

Monday , April 17 , 2006
[[Inside Piu's hometree. On her workbench, some glop in a bowl has just grabbed a fly out of midair.]] [[The glop falls back into the bowl.]] ((SPLOOSH)) ((digest digest d-)) [[The fly bursts out the the glop.]] ((POOM!))

Tuesday , April 18 , 2006
[[Inside Piu's Hometree. On Piu's workbench, a fly has escaped from a bowl of glop. The glop reaches after it.]] [[The glop re-captures the fly.]] [[It has reached too far, and over-balanced the bowl, which falls to the ground.]] [[Outside the Tree, looking at one of the window-cracks. A Nome's gloved hand is holding onto the tree.]] [[Pulling back the POV reveals the Nome clinging to the side of the tree. Another Nome, Glorf, stands on the ground.]] {{The clinger is named Krebf, although this has never been mentioned in-comic.}} Krebf: Someone's in there. I hear noises. Glorf: Force the crack. Krebf: Glorf, you sure we should- Glorf: /Force the zarking crack./

Wednesday , April 19 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. Nitfol and young Vezza tne Nomes wait along with "Fetch" the Pale.]] [[Vezza turns to Nitfol.]] Vezza: Do you have any kids, Mr. Nitfol? Nitfol: No. [[She turns away for a moment. He watches her.]] [[She turns back again.]] Vezza: I like acorns! Nitfol: And I never will.

Thursday , April 20 , 2006
[[In the Nome village in the forest. A tree stands in front of a partially collapsed stone wall.]] [[A crack appears in the side of the tree.]] ((crack!)) [[It widens to a hole.]] ((WARP)) [[Umboz the Nome cautiously sticks his head out of the hole.]]

Friday , April 21 , 2006
[[Umboz and Piu are in the Nome village, going to meet Vezza and Nitfol.]] Umboz: It's really amazing, if you think about it.. Piu: hm? Umboz: Tree-warping. We actually live /inside trees!/ Create extra space out of nothing! And then even create exit cracks out of nearby trees! [[They walk in silence.]] Piu: After we get married, you're going to spend less time out alone in the woods. Umboz: Yeah. OK.

Saturday , April 22 , 2006
[[Nitfol and Vezza the Nomes are waiting for Umboz to return with Vezza. A Pale is on guard, armed with a fork-weapon.]] Vezza: My friend Nerza, she doesn't like acorns. Other than that, she's OK. Vezza: Her maw and paw are weird, though. Always act goofy when I go over to their tree. Vezza: Course, most 'dults are weird, They don't- Vezza: Hey! Here come Paw and Miss Piu! [[Nitfol glances at the fork-Pale.]] Nitfol: I suppose its a sign of something that I still like her better than I like you.

Sunday, April 23, 2006
[[A gathering in the forest: Nitfol, Vezza, Umboz and Piu the Nomes. Two Pales, Fetch and Stepit, stand guard on either side.]] Vezza, to Umboz: You're OK! Umboz: Pretty much. [[Just Vezza and Piu]] Vezza: Hi, Miss Piu. Piu: Hello, Vezza. Vezza: ..are you going to be my Ma now? Piu: No. Vezza: Huh? But Paw said- Piu: I'm going to marry your father, and "stepmother" isn't the same thing as.. "Ma". To start with, let's just work at staying friends.

Monday , April 24 , 2006
[[Vezza, Piu, Umboz and Nitfol are in the Nome Village in the forest. Vezza and Piu discuss their relationship.]] Vezza: Friends? Piu: I'd like to think that we're friends. [[Vezza considers.]] Vezza: Weell.. You're not as much fun as Nerza.. [[Umboz watches them talk.]] Vezza: But yeah, we're friends! Piu: All righty then. [[Nitfol steps in]] Nitfol: Ladies, even I grasp the importance of maintaining healthy personal relationships, but could we possibly squeeze that whole "flee for our lives" business back into today's schedule? Piu: Hello to you, too, Nitfol.

Tuesday , April 25 , 2006
[[In the Nomish Village in the Forest of E. Piu and Nitfol talk, as witnessed by Vezza.]] Piu: You're right Nitfol. We need to be off. But first.. [[Nitfol and Vezza watch as Piu rummages through her bag off-screen.]] [[Piu thrusts her hand into the panel, holding a soft cap with the puffy top.]] Piu: Put on a fratzing hat.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006
[[In the Nome village in the Forest of E. Nitfol hold a hat between thumb and forefinger]] Nitfol: This is the ugliest hat I've ever seen. Piu: Yes. My emergency hat. I had Yimfil make it that way, so my patients won't be tempted to steal it. [[Nitfol glares at the hat]] [[Nitfol is wearing the hat]] Umboz: Better suck it up and say it. Nitfol: Thank. you.

Thursday , April 27 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, in the Nomish village. Nitfol wears an ugly hat.]] Nitfol: All right. Fine. Can we go now? Nitfol: I've got questions to ask. [[The group sets out: "Stepit" the Pale, Umboz, Vezza, Piu, and Nitfol.]] Piu: Yes. I believe so. Nitfol: Huzzah. [[Bringing up the rear, Stepit hears or senses something.]] [[He looks back. Nothing.]] [[Grumbling to himself, he walks away.]] [[A pause.]] [[The Scalpsucker which Thrash hurled away comes falling out the sky and lands where Stepit had just been standing.]] Scalpsucker: rar

Friday , April 28 , 2006
[[Blackness.]] Snerk: huh? Shona: wha? [[They are both lying on the ground, which is paved with blocks of stone. A scrap of litter labelled FAZZ lies nearby.]] [[They both sit up. There is a stone wall behind them.]] Snerk: What just.. [[He turns and sees something.]] Snerk: ..happened? Shona: Walls, but I can see that sky-thing of yours. So we fell into a pit. Only.. [[Snerk continues to stare. Shona finally looks as well.]] Shona: That's odd. Do you feell.. Shona: ..something.. Shona: ... [[Pulling back to a wide view. They are inside an alley in a bustling Human city. Antenna sprout from the buildings. A flag sporting a crowned Y flies from a flagpole. People walk the sidewalks, cars drive by on the street. The Mansion looms in the background, and an airship can be seen in the sky. Signs include SHUB's PLACE OPEN 20 HOURS. WEEDING CAKES. BEMUSED INEPTITUDE.]]

Saturday , April 29 , 2006
[[In an alleyway in Eetown.]] Shona: What /are/ those things? Snerk: They're.. Nomes.. Snerk: or something like Nomes.. [[A Human walks by, carrying what appears to be a stereotypical round bomb with a fuse dangling from it. He is dressed in white and wearing sunglasses and a pointy hat.]] {{Homage to Mad Magazine's Spy Vs. Spy.}} Shona: Nomes aren't that tall! Snerk: These live out at the edge of the world. One of them ran the auction. Shona: WHAT? /You/ were at the- ((WHAM)) [[A youngish Human female has slammed through a door in the side of the alley. She has green hair. One of her sleeves is torn, and she is carrying a piece of paper. Her name will eventually be revealed to be Ilsa.]] [[She is standing before the Gnoll and Saur.]] Ilsa: /Grah!/ Outta my way, you phizzing vermin! Shona: /Vermin?/ ((BOOM)) [[The Woman of Mystery/The Scary Lady is standing in the now-shattered doorway. She is much younger than in her previous appearances.]]

Sunday, April 30, 2006
[[In an alleyway, in the Eetown of the past, Ilsa and a young Woman of Mystery confront each other, with time-travelling Shona the Gnoll and Snerk the Saur as witnesses. Someone has graffitied the phrase "Buzzers Rule" on the wall.]] Ilsa: You're too late to stop us, you phizette! The world'll soon learn the truth about your precious -Earl-! Surrounding himself with -orphans- won't help any- [[The WoM points at Ilsa]] WoM: That's enough, Ilsa. [[Ilsa has been hypnotized.]] WoM: You understand nothing about me. WoM: I care less than nothing about Philbert and his idiot of an heir. [[She looks down, noticing something..]] WoM: But you and Shub and the rest insist on causing -trouble-, and so we... must.. [[Shona and Snerk stare back at her in fear.]] [[They continue to stare at each other. There are two posters on the brick wall behind them. The fully-visible one advertises "Roshambo On Ice".]] WoM: You two don't -belong- here. Shona, forced-cheerfully: Well, we'll just be going then!

Monday , May 1 , 2006
[[An alleyway, in the Eetown of the past. A younger Woman of Mystery/Scary Lady confronts Shona and Snerk. Snerk is slowly inching away. A large Z can be seen superimposed over the whole scene.]] WoM: Leave? Don't be silly... WoM: Now that you are here.. [[She extends her hand, which glows with power.]] WoM: You simply /must/ stay. [[Snerk is hypnotized.]] Snerk: urk [[Shona stares, unaffected.]] Shona: Um.. Shona: Was.. something supposed to happen when you did that? [[The WoM grabs Shona by the neck.]] ((GLOMP)) Shona: eep! [[The WoM holds her up.]] WoM: /How?/ Shona: my head hurts.. [[Shona begins to fade away.]] [[Snerk is disappearing as well. The WoM summons more power.]] WoM: /Oh no you d- [[A large letter Z; Shona and Snerk's visit to the past is over.]]

Tuesday , May 2 , 2006
[[The younger Woman of Mystery/Scary Lady has returned to the present with Shona and the still-hypnotized Snerk. The WoM holds Shona by the neck. They stand in what was once Eetown, and is now the Forest of E. The Mansion can be seen in the background.]] Narration: PROZ... WoM: -on't.

Wednesday , May 3 , 2006
[[The Forest of E. The Young Woman of Mystery/Scary Lady holds Shona by the neck. Snerk emerges from his trance. In every panel, the word PROZ can be seen hovering behind the WoM's head]] WoM: It's gone.. Snerk: blink blink Shona: Put me down! [[The WoM tosses her away.]] ((FLING)) [[The WoM stares at her hands.]] ((CRASH)) Shona: Ow! Not like /that!/ WoM: /Everything/ is gone.

Thursday, May 4, 2006
[[Snerk and the Woman of Mystery are in the Forest of E. The word "PROZ" floats behind her head.]] Snerk: What was I just doing? WoM: Wait.. If /everything's/ gone.. [[She grabs onto her collar, as Snerk turns to look at her in puzzlement.]] ((GLOMP)) [[She recieves a powerful "electric" shock]] ((FRAZZ)) [[Snerk is fleeing; a blurred Shona is visible in the background.]] Snerk: Right. Right. Fleeing for my life.

Friday , May 5 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. All of Shona's dialogue is internal. The Woman of Mystery/Scary Lady is off-screen throughout.]] Shona: So.. we were here, then with those Nomes, then back here with Miss Scary in tow.. WoM: FRIZZLEGARB! Shona: This must be a twistpoint! Shona: I wonder if colliding with that forest idiot triggered it [[There is a bright flash off-screen as the WoM tries again to remove her collar. Shona squints and shields her eyes.]] Shona: That.. feeling in the air in the Nomeplace.. kinda like the River.. I'd like to smell it again.. Shona: Or taste, or whate- ((FRAZZ)) {{She was sensing Magic flowing around at full power.}} [[In the background, the blast of color/Fire/Magic from the Pit shoots unnoticed into the sky.]] WoM: !@$#@!! Shona: Strange that this little display isn't attracting more attention..

Saturday , May 6 , 2006
[[The Forest of E. The Mansion looms in the background. As Shona watches, the young Woman of Mystery storms off, trailing smoke and the word PROZ. All of Shona's dialogue is internal.]] Shona: She's leaving. Shona: Do I follow her, or go find Mr. Nevus? [[She thinks about this.]] [[She turns to go the other way.]] Shona: Why do I even ask myself stupid questions like that?

Sunday , May 7 , 2006
[[The Woman of Mystery/Scary Lady storms through the Forest of E. The word PROZ can be seen behind her head throughout.]] WoM: GRAAH! He's dead, the world's been burned down, and I'm still trapped! WoM: It's not /FAIR!/ Frowgler, from off-panel: Oh, quit your whinging, woman! [[He is sitting on his section of stone wall.]] Frowgler: If you'd just stop and /think/ for a second, you'll see that it's /more/ than fair.

Monday , May 8 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. The young Woman of Mystery/Scary Lady has met Frowgler. The world PROZ hovers behind her head.]] WoM: More than fair? What's /that/ supposed to mean? Frowgler: Well, to start with, you have been granted a rare gift: an unclouded glimpse of your future. [[Off-screen. Frowgler changes position.]] ((sproing sproing sproing)) WoM: "Glimpse?" Frowgler: You didn't think you'd be /staying/ here, did you? WoM: What? Frowgler: Only Willygigs can freely flit through time. [[They are now face-to-face.]] Frowgler: You'd be back home already, if special arrangements hadn't been made. WoM: Willygigs are real? Frowgler: You know, this whole process would flow much faster if you only asked /useful/ questions. WoM: . . . WoM: /What/ special arrangements? Frowgler: Good. Much better.

Tuesday , May 9 , 2006
[[The Forrest of E. Throughout, the word PROZ hovers behind the time-shifted Woman of Mystery.]] Frowgler: So. The flow of magic has stopped, but your collar still functions. What does that tell you? How does the collar work? WoM: He, Frederick, has never exactly given me a detailed explanation. WoM: But he tied it into the Mansion's main.. power... Frowgler: Yes. Frowgler: And you and that collar are practically fused together. Use that fact. Reach out. Turn a weakness into a strength. [[The WoM holds out her hand.]] [[A small glowing spiral appears above her palm.]] Frowgler: Tah da.

Tuesday , May 9 , 2006
[[The Forrest of E. Throughout, the word PROZ hovers behind the time-shifted Woman of Mystery.]] Frowgler: So. The flow of magic has stopped, but your collar still functions. What does that tell you? How does the collar work? WoM: He, Frederick, has never exactly given me a detailed explanation. WoM: But he tied it into the Mansion's main.. power... Frowgler: Yes. Frowgler: And you and that collar are practically fused together. Use that fact. Reach out. Turn a weakness into a strength. [[The WoM holds out her hand.]] [[A small glowing spiral appears above her palm.]] Frowgler: Tah da.

Wednesday , May 10 , 2006
[[The Forest of E. The young Woman of Mystery has summoned up a bit of power.]] WoM: This.. this is /nothing/! Frowgler: No. It's a fraction of your former power, which is 80 times better than nothing. [[An outline of the current WoM using some sort of card or token to get past a guardbot.]] Frowgler: You're going to have to learn subtlety, and patience and creativeness... [[An outline of the young WoM blasting a guardbot's head off.]] Frowgler: Instead of the.. as I understand it.. more direct methods you currently employ. [[An outline of a device hacked into a wall and attached to a flow of power. A hand, probably the WoM, reaches out to it.]] Frowgler: You're also going to need to patch some extra.. frills.. into the Mansion's powercore to have even this. WoM: What do you mean, frills- Frowgler: You'll figure it out. You've got the brains. Or access to them. Frowgler: But you've also only got three months, so I /wouldn't dawdle/.

Thursday , May 11 , 2006
[[The Forest of E. The word PROZ grows larger behind the Woman of Mystery/Scary Lady's head.]] WoM: What happens in three months? Frowgler: An event will occur that will come to be known as The Crash. [[An outline of the Wide World, as seen from orbit, with the Sun and Moon in the background. Blasts of power can be seen arcing across the World's surface.]] Frowgler: All across the Known World, the flow of magic will fail. Suddenly. Catastrophically. [[An outline depicting what Frowgler describes.]] Frowgler: Airships will fall from the sky. Frowgler: Churnboats will break apart and sink. [[Ditto]] Frowgler: Every active Tram in the country will fling itself to earth. [[The resulting rubble, with fire and skulls.]] Frowgler: Magical devices of every size and description will fail hideously. Frowgler: and hundreds of thousands of people will- WoM: Yes yes. I get the picture. Very tragic.

Friday , May 12 , 2006
[[The Forest of E. The word PROZ just peeks out from behind the Woman of Mystery's head.]] WoM: You aren't urging me to prevent this "Crash". Frowgler: You are welcome to try. [[Outline of leafless trees and a wrecked building.]] Frowgler: But fifty years on, we still don't have a clue what caused it, Frowgler: Whether it was a natural occurance or a deliberate act.. [[Outlines of members of all the species Frowgler lists. His dialogue box covers up the Sneech.]] Frowgler: Nomes, Motihauls, Ghasts, Pales, Ichyoids. Even the Sneeches... [[The examples are all caught in explosions, their eyes showing dismay.]] Frowgler: The Crash hurt all of them, and none of them can explain it.

Saturday , May 13 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E.]] Frowgler: But anyway. I'm telling you this because you can see what The Crash will do to Eetown. young Woman of Mystery: And..? [[An outline of Uncle Frederick, wearing a wizard hat, and his brother Quincy, staring at a shoe.]] {{Quincy eventually learned how to tie his shoes.}} Frowgler: ..And you need to make sure that Frederick and Quincy are NOT here. WoM: Frederick, yes, but his drooling idiot of a brother? No. He can die with the rest of them. [[An outline of an endless circle.]] Frowgler: No he can't. Frowgler: He is the Earl, and he will have descendants. Frowgler: And one of them.. along with Frederick.. will... /assure/ that I am here to have this little conversation. WoM: /WHAT?/ WoM: I not only have to save him, but make sure he /BREEDS?/ Frowgler: My sympathy is genuine and heartfelt.

Sunday , May 14 , 2006
[[The Forest of E. The young Woman of Mystery turns away from Frowgler.]] WoM: Pah! I begin to suspect this is all some sort of elaborate ruse! Frowgler: To deny that possibility would be foolish. [[An outline of a WoM rampaging with power.]] Frowgler: And even if I am not lying, it may be you can live however you want, and this future will be smoothly replaced. Instead Kaylu will conquer the world. Or you will conquer the world. Or, or, or.. [[An outline of the Wide World flipped to negative and cracking apart.]] Frowgler: But it is also possible that not doing what I tell you will cause time to unravel. Frowgler: Cause the world to /truly/ end. [[The WoM gets in his face.]] WoM: Maybe I would like that to happen. Maybe I would /enjoy it./ Frowgler: Maybe. But then Frederick would die. And that you would not enjoy.

Monday , May 15 , 2006
[[The Forest of E. The Woman of Mystery/Scary Lady has met Frowgler.]] WoM: Frederick! It's always about Frederick! Do you know what that Ghu-forsaken man /did/ to me? Frowgler: Is this question strictly rhetorical? WoM: ... Not entirely. Frowgler: Our time together is drawing to an end. To be brief.. [[An outline of a young Frederick and Amos Grubb fooling around with magic.]] Frowgler: As I understand it, he and his friends were young, and brilliant, and talented, and thought they could do anything. [[Frederick reacts in horror as his magical equipment shatters, and the WoM's hand reaches out of an explosion.]] Frowgler: And so, ignoring the advice of older and cooler heads, they conducted a dangerously complex experiment. And the result was.. you. Yes? WoM: Broadly speaking..yes.

Tuesday , May 16 , 2006
[[Frowgler and the Woman of Mystery/Scary Lady discuss her and Frederick's past. All of the following are outlines. Amos holds back the WoM as Frederick does something.]] Frowgler: The equipment was smashed. It would have taken months to make more, send you.. back. Frowgler: They didn't have months. [[An outline of the WoM's collar, which has circuitry-type lines in it.]] Frowgler: So Frederick poured everything he had into making that collar. [[Frederick kneels amidst magical equipment, staring at his hands.]] Frowgler: Literally everything. [[A very angry and collared WoM looms over him.]] Frowgler: And there you were. WoM: And there we were. [[Frederick, with the WoM in the middle-distance.]] WoM: And I hated him beyond words. Frowgler: But as time passed.. WoM: I still hated him. Part of me hates him to this day. [[The WoM has come up behind Frederick and placed he arm around him.]] Frowgler: But. He was still brilliant, and fairly noble, and.. WoM: And an excellent physical specimen. Frowgler: Um. Yes. Quite.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006
[[Frowgler and the young Woman of Mystery in the forest]] WoM: So anyway, I will take your warnings under consideration. Frowgler: Glad to hear it. But to further encourage your belief in my truthfulness.. WoM: Yes? Frowgler: One last bit of trivia for you. F: When I said that Quincy IS the earl, I meant it; upon returning home, you will learn Philbert has died. WoM: Really. Surely Shub and his little band of miscreants didn't- F: "Shub?" No. It was an accident. Or so my history says, at least. WoM: He was competing in one of his asinine races, wasn't he? Philbert I mean. F: Yes. The wreck was quite spectacular, evidently. WoM: Ah well. F: I'll give you a moment to process your grief.

Thursday , May 18 , 2006
[[The younger Woman of Mystery/Scary Lady is in the current Forest of E with Frowgler. As they talk, the word PROZ grows larger behind them.]] WoM: So we're done here? Frowgler: Yes. Any second now you'll be home. WoM: Fine. Frowgler: Good. [[They wait.]] [[The WoM eyes him.]] [[She turns to him as she begins to fade. PROZ now fills the background.]] WoM: /WHY/ are you dressed like a horned fr- Frowgler: Be seeing you. [[A giant OZ. The WoM has returned to her correct time.]]

Friday , May 19 , 2006
[[The young Woman of Mystery is back in her own time, on a street in Eetown, with various Humans walking past. Behind her is an Arcadian Fried Jibjib restaurant.]] {{Many of the people/signs are homages to the artists who contributed to the then-recent MoE 1000-strips celebration.}} WoM: -og. [[A car drives past on the street in the background.]] WoM, thinking: Bah. [[She holds up her hand, lets the magic flow from it.]] WoM: Three months. Fifty years. Newspaper-Seller, off screen: Extra! Extra! [[The WoM walks away.]] Newspaper-Seller: Lord Philbert in crash in Capital! [[The newspaper-seller, carrying papers, wearing a silly hat.]] WoM, thinking: All right, then. Newspaper-Seller: Rushed to hospital! Extra! Extra! Read all about it! [[In the alleyway behind Sheb's, Ilsa is still entranced.]] Narration: Meanwhile.. [[She snaps out of it.]] Ilsa, thinking: Huh? What? Where'd she go? [[She flees]] Ilsa, thinking: Who cares!

Saturday , May 20 , 2006
[[The pre-Crash Eetown of fifty years ago. Ilsa flees down the street, still carrying her piece of paper.]] [[The Woman of Mystery/Scary Lady walks up the street.]] [[They meet.]] Ilsa: GAH! ((SCREECH!)) [[The WoM walks past her.]] WoM: Oh, just get out of my way, you little twit. I don't have /time/ for you anymore. Ilsa: But.. [[The WoM's eyes, as she considers.]] [[She points a finger and re-entrances Ilsa.]] WoM: "But" indeed. WoM: On second thought.. [[She beckons with the finger.]] WoM: You may as well come along with me. Ilsa: yes, Mistress. [[They walk up the street.]] WoM: You've almost got a brain, and I'll need semi-skilled help.. Ilsa: yes, Mistress. [[The sign for the store behind them is now visible. BILLMON BOOKSELLERS 42 BLOTTS STREET. A stand can be vaguely seen through the glass]] WoM: And you would have been needing a new purpose in life anyway. Ilsa: i do not understand, Mistress. [[They both walk out of sight.]] WoM: Don't worry. I'll do the thinking for both of us. Ilsa: yes, Mistress. [[A clear view of the stand. On it is a book titled THE RETURN OF FROWGLER, with an author LINDERHOFF. Mounted on the wall above it is a siign, the visible part of which reads PRIL 23 13:00-17:00/ signing copies of/ he Return of Frowgler. Beside the stand is a plaque wihch is also half-visible, but reads OFFICIAL BOOKSELLER FOR THE FAMILY OF E.]]

Sunday , May 21 , 2006
[[Camora with Hax on her head, holding a sign which reads 1000! WOO HOO!]] {{Celebrating 1000 completed strips.}}

Monday , May 22 , 2006
[[Guest art by Roman Wunderlich of The B-Movie Comic. A shot of the Mansion amidst the Forest of E.]] [[Comshaw and Ig the Saur walk through woods.]] IgSaur: And what was he called, Comshaw? Comshaw: I don't know. What's in a name? [[Ig turns away and launches an attack.]] Ig: GROOAR! ((RIIIIP! TROMP TROMP TROMP)) [[He's back, bearing bloody remnants.]] Ig: Red, squishy stuff? Comshaw: (sigh) I said 'in a name' not 'in a Nome'. And it was a rhetorical question anyway.. {{These versions of Comshaw and Ig are a lot more buff than the "real" ones.}}

Tuesday, May 23, 2006
[[Some guest art by Kat Lowry, creator of the webcomic Distant Eras: A portrait of The Woman of Mystery, Rosemary, Sylvester, The Operator, A Gobule (probably Ningle, based on the tongue), A Nome, and Crazy Rhid.]]

Wednesday , May 24 , 2006
[[A guest comic by N.J. Huff and Orion Gates. The Mysterious Count-Down Device sits on its pedestal.]] Device: CLICK CLICK CLICK NEEEEEEE! [[The ground cracks]] Device: NEEEEE! ((RUMBLE)) [[A mass of fangs and tentacles emerges.]] Mass: GRAAARRRRR! [[A tentacle smacks the top of the Device.]] Device: NEEE- CLICK Device: CLICK CLICK CLICK Mass: MMMRRGH.. just five more.. zzzzzz

Thursday , May 25 , 2006
[[Guest art by D. M. Jeftinija of Legostar Galactica; a photographed depiction of Sylvester, Rosemary and Mortimer as real-life Lego minifigures.]]

Friday , May 26 , 2006
[[Guest art by Tom Truszkowski of Station V3. A Gnoll (let's call him Pizzle) shows a piece of paper to Ploot the Wyrm.]] Ploot: What's that? Pizzle: A picture I drew for Nitid. Pizzle: He's done 1000 painting for that story he's working on.. I thought I'd draw him a bit of "fan-art". [[Nitid the Helipath examines the drawing.]] Nitid: A Nome being chased by an angry mob... Very nice, but I don't think I can use this. Ploot: Whar are you drawing now? Pizzle: A Helipath being chased by an angry mob.

Saturday , May 27 , 2006
[[Guest art from G. L. Gillen of the webcomic Squid Ninja, depicting various Gnolls ( Camora, Sina, Shona, Niddle, Comshaw) climbing around a large stone "1,000"]]

Sunday , May 28 , 2006
[[On the Long Path]] Tartuf: EVIL ONE! Too long we have allowed your vile wickedness to run rampant! [[Rosemary, Sylvester and CamoraHax face some candle monks.]] Tartuf: But now, your hour of reckoning is finally at hand! Rosemary: Huh? Sylvester: What? Hax, silently: Who? Camora: groan..

Monday , May 29 , 2006
[[On the Long Path]] Rosemary: OK, I'm pretty sure I'm not the Evil One, and I'm *positive* it's not Sylvester, so that leave Camora here. Tartuf: You openly associate with her, you must thus be aware of her unrepentant vileness. Rosemary: Actually, we just met. So, out with it, Evil One, what *was* your crime? Tartuf: She extinguished the Eternal Flame. Rosemary, mock concerned: Oh, *dear!* Camora: *I KNOCKED OVER A ZARKING CANDLE!*

Tuesday , May 30 , 2006
[[On the Long Path]] Rosemary: So, you claim you didn't deliberately snuff out the Eternal Flame? Camora: I don't *claim* anything! [[Outline of Niddle backing into a large candelabrum, startling Camora, who is near a candle on a pedestal.]] Camora: We were visiting these idiots in the Hall of the Brush, and Niddle knocked over a whole *rack* of candles.. Tartuf: *The Vile One!* He too will inevitably face *justice*! Camora: *..and I had to dodge to avoid them.*

Wednesday , May 31 , 2006
[[On the Long Path.]] Camora: Look, Tartuf, I am.. I *was* sorry about your candle. I even stayed out of the Barter Hall and the Hall of the Brush (not that I wanted to visit them anyway..) Camora: ..But you had emergency back-ups, and it's been a zarking *fortnight*. You and the other Candle Monks need to *get over this!* Tartuf: NEVER! Camora: GRAH! Rosemary: (sigh) Looks like I'm gonna have to step in. Sylvester: Um..

Thursday , June 1 , 2006
[[On the Long Path]] Sylvester: Rosemary, there are an awful lot of those Candle Monks.. Rosemary: Well, you know me.. [[She ((grabs)) Camora.]] Camora: HEY! [[Rosemary hands Camora to Sylvester.]] Rosemary: Here. Hold this. Camora: *"This"?!* [[Facing Tartuf.]] Rosemary: Now then, Tartuf, was it? Tartuf: *Father* Tartuf. Rosemary: Right. Father. How progressive of you!

Friday, June 2, 2006
[[On the Long Path]] Father Tartuf: What do you want, Nome? Rosemary: I don't want anything from you. Tartuf: I do not understand. [[Rosemary leans in close.]] [[Close-up of her eyes.]] Rosemary: Go. Away. [[Tartuf and some of the other Monks (two Gnolls and a Jibjib)), staring.]] [[They go away, quickly.]]

Saturday , June 3 , 2006
[[On the Long Path. The Candle Mionks have just left. Sylvester is holding CamoraHax.]] Camora: That was.. impressive. Rosemary: Not really. They weren't interested in actually fighting. [[Sylvester puts Camora down.]] Camora: How could you tell? Rosemary: It's just something you learn to recognize after enough fights. Real fights. Even when it's an Ooze you're dealing with. Sylvester: And the fact that they were carrying /candles/ and not, oh, clubs or swords or something, was not at all a consideration. Rosemary: I'm sure I have no idea what you're babbling about.

Sunday , June 4 , 2006
[[On the Long Path in the Basement.]] Sylvester: Who were those guys? Rosemary: Judging from the robes, some sort of "monks". Camora: Yes. Candle Monks. [[An outline of a hand holding a candle.]] Camora: They have this whole thing about how "we're too dependant on the Tree" and we should "make our own light" Camora: And so.. even though they sell the best candles in the world, they're still idiots. Rosemary: /Really/. Sounds reasonable to me. Camora: Oh, /please/. You're a forest-dweller. You've got that big flaming sun-thing that lights everything up without /any/ work on your part. Camora: We have to breed and replace the GBOLs constantly. Camora: Switch over to candles? Think how much Dornbeast fat they'd have to render down in Bowel Hall just to light.. /this passage/!

Monday, June 5, 2006
[[On the Long Path]] Rosemary: So.. these Candle Monks handle all your religious duties down here? Camora: Gak! No, of course not! [[A memory-shot of the entrance to the Hall of the Brush]] Camora: There are different groups crammed into every corner and subshaft of the Hall of The Brush.. [[Two Trogs wear flowers on their heads, one yells at the other re: the number of petals.]] Rosemary: Like who? Camora: Oh, who can keep track? They're always shattering and reforming.. [[A gnoll "beebles", listened to by a Helipath with an ear-trumpet.]] Camora: But besides the Monks, some of the important ones are The Beeblers and those creepy Ears of the Brush.. [[A gnoll holds a sign saying in Manglish "WE ARE ALL GOING TO DYE". Another Gnoll yells at him.]] Camora: ..the Doomsayers and the Spelling Guild.. [[A Gnoll hand holds up a wrench with a symbol of the Brush etched on it.]] Camora: ...and of course the only sensible ones, us *Ludwugites.*

Tuesday , June 6 , 2006
[[On the Long Path.]] Camora: You're staring at me again. Sylvester: It's just.. Ludwig. We.. Nomes.. have heard stories about him. Sylvester: Out in the forest. [[Clochard eavesdrops from a dark tunnel.]] Camora: Well, of course you have. He was the greatest thinker and mechanic in history. Camora: He was smart and strong and patient and true. Camora: He rebuilt the world after The Earl tore it in two. Sylvester: Ah. OK. Sylvester: Right. That is exactly what happened. Rosemary: So before, when you said Ludwig was- Sylvester: I told you no lies. Sylvester: When he was a young.. fellow, Ludwig most definitely had to deal with The Earl..

Wednesday , June 7 , 2006
[[On the Long Path.]] Camora: Why'd you say it was progressive to call Tartuf "Father"? You have something against Oozes? Rosemary: Oh. Um. No. We Nomes just mostly have female Oracles. Not monks. Camora: Oh. Camora: heh. Camora: And Comshaw said you had a /priest/ or something. Rosemary: Well, he was wrong, wasn't he! Onward!

Thursday , June 8 , 2006
[[In the Basement.]] Rosemary: What's wrong now? Camora: sniff Camora: Nothing serious. I just smell blobwarts. Camora: Which is strange because they don't grow around here. [[Sylvester follows them out of panel.]] Camora: Eh. Not important. Clochard the Gnoll, thinking: To the contrary, Camora [[He is lurkingi in a darkened passageway.]] Clochard, thinking: Masking your scent is /very/ important if you want to be a successful lurker.]]

Friday , June 9 , 2006
[[Camora leads Rosemary and Sylvester away, as Clochard lurks in an alcove.]] Camora: The drophole is just around the corner here.. Clochard, thinking: So. The humans are back. Why couldn't they just have stayed away? [[Outline of an "evil" Sylvester]] Clochard: Pain and misery and suffering and death. [[Clochard walks away.]] Clochard, thinking: *And* I now have to spend the rest of my day tracking down Digger to give *him* the bad news.

Saturday , June 10 , 2006
[[Sylvester, Rosemary and CamoraHax have arrived outside the Basement version of a public toilet, called a drophole. The word "DROPHOLE" is painted in large letters on the wall, with arrows pointing into crack-like entrance. A male Gnoll carrying a weapon of some sort walks by.]] {{The Gnoll's name is Troat, although it has not yet been given in-comic. Despite the similarity in hairstyles, he is not Sprocket.}} Rosemary: Subtle. Camora: Too subtle. Some males still can't find it.

Saturday , June 10 , 2006
[[Sylvester, Rosemary and CamoraHax have arrived outside the Basement version of a public toilet, called a drophole. The word "DROPHOLE" is painted in large letters on the wall, with arrows pointing into crack-like entrance. A male Gnoll carrying a weapon of some sort walks by.]] {{The Gnoll's name is Troat, although it has not yet been given in-comic. Despite the similarity in hairstyles, he is not Sprocket.}} Rosemary: Subtle. Camora: Too subtle. Some males still can't find it.

Sunday , June 11 , 2006
[[Outside a drophole/toilet. Rosemary and CamoraHax go inside.]] Rosemary: Well, let's get this over with. You coming? Sylvester: No. I'm good. I'll wait here. Rosemary: Right. Stay out of trouble. Sylvester: Right. Sylvester, thinking: "Stay out of trouble." Hmph. It's not like I'm Mortimer, and you have to watch- [[An enormous flash of light.]] ((APPEAR!))

Monday , June 12 , 2006
[[Outside a drophole.]] Protus: Sylvester! Where are you? I *know* this is the proper location! Sylvester, from off-panel: Um? Mr.. Protus? Protus: Eh? [[Protus turns. He is looking at Sylvester's feet, upside down.]] Protus: You're not Sylvester! Sylvester: Um..

Tuesday , June 13 , 2006
[[Outside a drophole, Protus the Willygig has appeared upside-down before a waiting Sylvester.]] Protus: Oh. Oh! There you are, Sylvester. Sylvester: Um.. [[Protus rotates himself so he is rightside-up.]] Protus: I know, I know. I'm not supposed to see you. Sylvester: Um.. Protus: But there's been a terrible- Protus: . . . Sylvester: What? Protus: We need to be alone. Protus: We are /not/ alone. Sylvester, thinking: Oh, how I wish that was true.

Wednesday , June 14 , 2006
[[Protus the Willygig has appeared to Sylvester, and said they are not alone.]] Sylvester: Rosemary and Camora are right over there in the drophole... Protus: No no. Not them. I sense someone else.. Nasty and squished.. {{He is sensing Sqeeb the Wyrm, who is unconscious in Sylvester's pack.}} Sylvester: They'll be back any moment now.. Protus: Oh well. At least it's not that /pest/ Mr. Hand. [[Protus touches Sylvester's hand with one of his tentacle-things.]] Sylvester: Mr. Who? Protus: And fortunately,, we only /need/ a moment. Sylvester: HEY! Sylvester: What are you d- ((DISAPPEAR)) ((RPOZ)) {{The RPOZ is a scrambling of "PROZ" and/or "ZORP", which indicate time-travel.}}

Thursday , June 15 , 2006
[[Protus has taken Sylvester somewhere; the Human now floats in a blue void; Behind ribbons of color, rows of ones and zeros can be seen. Sylvster is semi-transparent, and his skeleton is visible. The viewer can also see Squeeb the Wyrm, lying unconscious in Sylvester's pack. Several of Protus's tentacles reach into the shot; he suddenly has more of them than before.]]

Friday, June 16, 2006
[[A wide expanse. Zeros and one march past, shades of blue twist here and there. Sylvester and Protus are tiny; in another corner is a cloud-like object with tendrils, in a third is a black rectangle.]] Protus: Hang on. Now comes what people tell me is "the bad part". Sylvester: !

Saturday , June 17 , 2006
[[Protus has taken Sylvester into a wide gravity-free expanse. Ribbons of blue partially conceal rows of ones and zeroes. A closeup of Sylvester's eyes.]] [[A black rectangle looms in the distance.]] [[It is much closer now.]] [[It fills Sylvester's view, as he raises his hands.]] Sylvester: !!! ((SPLAT)) [[Darkness, with a few stars.]] Sylvester: bY theBrush it's full Of starz!

Sunday , June 18 , 2006
[[Protus has taken Sylvester to some dark place. A last star slides away]] Protus: Stars? [[Darkness.]] Protus: No, there are no stars here. Protus: But.. um.. if you open your eyes, you can see for yourself.. Sylvester, woozy: eyes? Protus: They're those squishy globs on your head. At least I think. Sylvester: oh.. right.. [[Sylvester opens his eyes. His head is surrounded by blackness.]] ((poink))

Monday , June 19 , 2006
[[Protus has taken Sylvester to a dark place. Sylvester's speech bubbles are woozy throughout.]] Sylvester: I can't see anything. Sylvester: Am I blind? [[Sylvester's hand.]] Sylvester: Oh. Wait. Sylvester: I can see /myself./ Protus: Actually.. [[His hand becomes semi-transparent, allowing a glimpse of his bones.]] Protus: You can see /all/ of yourself. Sylvester: Huh? [[The flesh mostly fades away, leaving a clear view of the bones.]] Sylvester: Ew! Sylvester: I'm not doing /that/ anymore. Protus: That's what they all say!

Tuesday , June 20 , 2006
[[Sylvester has been taken into a featureless void by Protus the Willygig. Protus speaks to him from off-screen.]] Sylvester: I'm not thinking straight. Where are we? Protus: What scale do you mean? Sylvester: Um.. Protus: All of this.. is in between. Sylvester: Between what? Protus: By your standards? [[The void is a black rectangle, backed by blue zeros and ones.]] Protus: Everything. Pretty much. I think. And this /specific/ place.. even moreso..

Wednesday, June 21, 2006
[[Sylvester in blackness. Protus creates stylized images as he talks]] Sylvester: Mr. Protus, I don't understand what you're saying. Protus: Maybe these pictures will help. This is.. a gap within a gap. Protus: I tripped over it on my way from.. Protus: I forget now. Not important. Somewhen to somewhen. Protus: A mere curiousity Protus: Until I pried it open and made two discoveries.. Protus: Folks like you can exist here without going insane. Protus: And more importantly, in here, -they- can't see me.

Thursday , June 22 , 2006
[[Protus has taken Sylvester to a dark place. The former's tentacles create pictures.]] Sylvester: "They"? Your enemies are Ghasts? Protus: Enemies? Ghasts? [[Sylvester points, as Protus sketches (roughly) "three eyes = infinity".]] Sylvester: Your sketch-thingy there had three eyes. Protus: Oh. No. that was symbolic. I mean, They have countless eyes. Ways of seeing. [[A sketch of Protus being pushed by a force which also branches to point at a capital E.]] Protus: And They aren't my enemies. Literally. Protus: They are my.. I guess the only word you would understand is.. employers. [[A sketch of a series of arrows pointing in a branching line.]] Sylvester: /You/ work for someone? Protus: Everyone works for someone, Sylvester..

Friday , June 23 , 2006
[[Protus has taken Sylvester to a dark place. Only the former's tentacles are visible.]] Sylvester: Your employers are so awful you hide from them? Protus: Awful.. No. Well. Not like I think you mean.. [[Protus forms a sketch of himself with an arrow pointing at him, and a blocking line between the two.]] Protus: But before "today".. it was.. refreshing.. to sometimes not have Them staring at me.. Sylvester: What happened today? [[Protus lets the sketch fall apart.]] Protus: I've lost track of a hideously valuable item. Protus: I fear it's been /stolen/. Sylvester: I didn't do it! Protus: I imagine not. But very possibly /They/ did..

Saturday , June 24 , 2006
[[Protus has taken Sylvester to a dark place. A white scrap from one of Protus's "sketches" floats by Sylvester.]] Protus: But anyway. That's why you are here. Sylvester: huh? Protus: I need your help to find what was lost. [[Sylvester hooks the scrap with his finger. It enlarges and turns blue. A stylized version of Rosemary's helmet forms.]] Sylvester: Me? You should ask Rosemary. She finds stuff. Protus: Doesn't she though. [[Protus touches the scrap as well, turning it half white. An outline of Faddle the Gnoll appears. Sylvester's half has a question mark.]] Protus: But not well enough. Even Faddle can't help this time. Sylvester: But I.. [[Protus adds more tentacles. Arrows point at Sylvester.]] Protus: You have /special properties./ Sylvester: eep.

Sunday , June 25 , 2006
[[Inside Protus's hideaway]] Protus: SYLVESTER WINSTON HUMPHREY, YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WIDE WORLD WHO CAN FIND WHAT IS LOST. Sylvester: ok. [[Protus grabs a lever.]] Protus: I've smuggled in and set up the.. um.. "equipment"? Yes.. [[Protus pulls the lever.]] ((CLUNK)) Protus: All the *equipment* we need here. [[A very large and bright FOOM]] Sylvester: AEEEII!

Monday , June 26 , 2006
[[Inside Protus's extra-dimensional hideout. Sylvester stands in darkness. Around him is a ring of floating glowing spirals.]] Protus: Why did you scream? I just turned on the spintracerlights.. Sylvester: Yes, whatever was I was thinking...

Tuesday , June 27 , 2006
[[Inside Protus's extra-dimensional hideout. All that is visible is Sylvester, Protus's tentacle, and glowing spirals.]] Protus: What I need from you is actually quite simple.. Sylvester: Oh good. [[Protus points with a tentacle.]] Protus: Just look out /there/ and tell me what you see. Sylvester: um.. [[He gestures at one of the spirals.]] Sylvester: Didn't I say? All I can see is myself, your tentacles and now these things.. Protus: Oh. Hm. This could be a problem. Protus: If only you'd brought along a way of making your own light.. Sylvester, looking at his helmet lamp: um..

Wednesday , June 28 , 2006
[[Inside Protus's space, Sylvester indicates his helmet light. Protus speaks from off-stage]] Protus: That is a light? What powers it? Sylvester: A magical battery [[Sylvester clicks the light.]] ((CLICK)) Sylvester: Takes forever to recharge, and you can't use it outside the Mansion, but.. [[The light shines]] Sylvester: It still works [[He turns and is confronted by Protus's now very-large tentacles.]] Sylvester: Which is more than you can say.. for.. [[He looks up at Protus, who is looming overhead, still mostly off-stage.]] Protus: For what? . . . What?

Thursday, June 29, 2006
[[In Protus's private place. Sylvester stares up at a giant Protus.]] Sylvester: So.. This is your true form, then. Protus: I don't follow you. You've seen what I look like. Sylvester: You weren't that.. big.. before. Protus: "Big"? "Big"?! Protus: I vow.. Just when I think I've finally got you humans figured out.. [[A normal-sized Protus is behind Sylvester.]] Protus: You start acting all goofy again!

Friday , June 30 , 2006
[[In the mysterious place where Protus has taken Sylvester.]] Sylvester: Protus? But.. if you're down here, who.. WHAT is that up there? Protus: Up where. [[Wide view of Sylvester looking up into the darkness with his light. They are alone.]] Sylvester: OK. Fine. Sylvester: I'm going to just stop thinking about this stuff. Sylvester: What was it you wanted from me again? Protus: Um.. look around, and tell me what you see..

Saturday , July 1 , 2006
[[In the mysterious place where Protus has taken Sylvester.]] Sylvester: You want to know what I see now? Protus: Yes. Please. Sylvester: Fine. I see myself. Sylvester: I see you. You still don't look like you did before. [[Protus is sporting an extra frill on his head.]] [[A shot of the surrounding space.]] Sylvester: I see dim shapes all around. Arches and pillars. Or something.]] {{They are 1s and 0s.}} [[Inside one of the arches, a full-color picture of a smiling Mortimer, wearing a pointy wizard's hat.]] Sylvester: And I see.. Sylvester: Huh.

Sunday , July 2 , 2006
[[Inside Protus's hideaway, one of the large zeros that are scattered about. The hole in the zero is filled with an image of Mortimer and an unknown woman, floating or flying hand in hand. Mortimer has an umbrella and is wearing a pointed wizard's cap. The brown-haired woman is dressed in a blue quasi-uniform, which features the letter E on one breast.]] Protus: What do you see? Sylvester: My idiot brother. He's wearing a pointy hat, and.. Sylvester: Zark. He's found another strange woman to bring home. Sylvester: Oh. And they're flying.

Monday , July 3 , 2006
[[Inside Protus's hideout.]] Protus: When you say "idiiot brother", you mean Mortimer, correct? Sylvester: Oh. yes. Mortimer. Although.. Sylvester: In their own way, the other two are also- [[The surrounding zeros and ones, with nothing inside the zero.]] Sylvester: Hiuh. Now he's gone again. [[Inside another zero, a close-up of an angry-looking Rosemary.]] Sylvester: But over /there/..

Tuesday , July 4 , 2006
[[Inside Protus's secret place. A zero-hole displays a picture of Rosemary with the Can-Opener, in armor, facing a blonde helmeted woman who is carrying a large fork-like weapon.]] Sylvester: This time it's Rosemary.. you know Rosemary, right? Protus: Miss Ripley. Yes. Sylvester: She's fighting.. yet another woman I've never seen before. This is getting tiresome.

Wednesday , July 5 , 2006
[[Sylvester is describing what he sees in the zeros of Protus's hideaway.]] Sylvester: Moving on, we have in rapid succession, a Motihaul who wants to sell something..]] {{Izchak}} Sylvester: An unfortunate Gnoll whom, it appears, someone set on fire.. {{Crazy Rhid}} Sylvester: ..and.. of those mutant Troglodytes, like Rosemary killed at the elevator. {{Villipend.}} Protus: Mutant? Sylvester: They *look* like the Trogs they breed down in Wirtvale for leather, but they're mindless killers.

Thursday , July 6 , 2006
[[Sylvester looking inside the zeroes of Protus's hideaway. These show a woman in a robe, an older woman wearing a bandanna and an apron, and a quite elderly man wearing a boater.]] Sylvester: Over *there", I see people from the village.. Nothing more up close. Sylvester: Further out.. what..? Angus's stupid pot? And some shape.. is that the Mansion.. [[Ones and empty zeroes. There is also a pair of lights, resembling the headlights of a car.]] Sylvester: No. No. And now it's gone. Wait..

Friday , July 7 , 2006
[[Inside Protus's hideaway.]] Sylvester: This one's not like the others... It's all /vague/. Protus: Vague is good, actually. [[A pair of lights in the distance.]] Sylvester: I think it's.. an /auto/. Sylvester: You know, those things people drove before the Crash... Protus: Drove? A vehicle? Yes! That's /it!/ That's what we're looking for!

Saturday , July 8 , 2006
[[Inside Protus's extra-dimensional hideaway.]] Sylvester: Someone stole your /auto/? Protus: Essentially, yes. Where do you see it? [[Sylvester's hand points]] Sylvester: Over there, pretty much. Protus: Over /there/? Which way is it moving? [[The "auto" in question, a dark shape with two lights.]] Sylvester: It's /pointed/ towards us, but its driving backwards, or something. Protus: I see. [[Protus thinks.]] Sylvester: Does that mean your employers took it? Protus: No, it means they /didn't/. It means.. I'm going to have to think about this.

Sunday , July 9 , 2006
[[Inside Protus's hideaway. Sylvester waits while Protus thinks.]] Sylvester: Um.. Sylvester: If you're just going to be thinking.. Protus: Eh? Oh, right! We're done here. /Time/ to send you home!

Monday , July 10 , 2006
[[Inside Protus's hideaway]] Sylvester: Rosemary and I weren't "home". Could you maybe get her as well, and drop us someplace- Protus: No. Or rather I could, but you'd both just zorp or proz right back. You're anchored. On a more positive vector.. [[Protus pulls a lever.]] Protus: From this end, my equipment can send you straight back. You'll be there bef- ((OZPR)) [[Sylvester is back outside the drophole.]]

Tuesday , July 11 , 2006
[[Outside the drophole. Sylvester recovers from his visit to Protus.]] [[He looks up at his active helmet light.]] [[He reaches to turn it off.]] [[He hesitates.]] Sylvester, thinking: He's coming back. How can I /tell/ that he's- ((APPEAR))

Wednesday , July 12 , 2006
[[Outside a drophole in the Basement. Protus has reappeared before Sylvester.]] Protus: Sylvester. Hello. I recently realized.. I never said thank you for your help recovering the "auto". So. Thank you. Protus: Be seeing you! ((DISAPPEAR)) Sylvester: Right. No problem. [[He turns off his helmet light.]] ((click)) [[He stands and waits.]] [[Rosemary and CamoraHax come out of the drophole.]] Rosemary: So, what'd we miss?

Thursday , July 13 , 2006
[[In the Basement. Rosemary and Camora reunite with Sylvester.]] Sylvester: How was the drophole? Rosemary: Actually, it was the second-nicest one I've used in at least a y.. What's wrong? Camora: sniff Camora: Protus was here. Took you on one of his little trips, did he? Sylvester: How do you know that? Camora: He normally doesn't leave much of a scent, but when he grabs some- one, it's /all over/ the place. You can /still/ smell it in Time Hall from when he took Skibble.

Friday , July 14 , 2006
[[Outside a drophole in the Basement.]] Sylvester: Protus did say something about taking other people into.. that place.. Camora: A couple three times he's done it. Scary, but people usually learn interesting stuff. Camora: If /you/ saw anything useful, you'd better spill now. Rosemary: And why is that? Camora: Because he's already forgetting what happened. Everyone does. Sylvester: . . . Sylvester: She's right. It is starting to fade.

Saturday , July 15 , 2006
[[Outside a drophole in the Basement.]] Rosemary: What /did/ you see? Sylvester: There was an auto.. and pictures.. I saw a burnt Gnoll.. and Threnody.. Sylvester: And Rosemary! You were wearing different clothes, and fighting some.. She had on.. it looked like a kitchen glove, but it glowed. [[Rosemary thinks about this.]] Rosemary: So. These are visions of the future, are they? Camora; Sometimes. The future isn't here yet. What's an auto?

Sunday , July 16 , 2006
[[Outside a drophole in the Basement.]] Sylvester: Autos? They are.. um.. these wrecks you find out in the forest. From before the.. from olden times. CamoraHax: Oh. More Human phizz. Who or what is Threnody? Sylvester: She's that Oracle that Camora mentioned earlier. She- Rosemary: We hired you to guide us, not ask questions. Please take us to this Izchak person. Now. [[Camora is annoyed.]] Hax, mentally: Steady on. Camora, out loud: Right. This way.

Monday , July 17 , 2006
[[Sina holds up a cakeshroom which is marked "3! WOO HOO"]] {{Three years of the Mansion of E.}}

Tuesday , July 18 , 2006
[[Kronk the Troglodyte walks in a corridor.]] Narration: Near Crazy Rhid's, to varying degrees. Kronk, thinking: Gotta track down Rhid. [[Snerd the Gnoll walks in a corridor.]] Snerd, thinking: Gotta talk to the /Ghasts/. [[Hiblehoy the Motihaul looks down at Wrawa the Trog and Leny's dead body.]] Hiblehoy: Come on, Wrawa. You have to decide what we're going to do with Leny's body. Hiblehoy, thinking: I gotta be outta my mind.

Wednesday , July 19 , 2006
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's. Ploot and Voog the Wyrms are with Sina the Gnoll.]] Ploot: So.. what /are/ we doing? [[Sina points out the large stemmed pot which was previously spouting flame.]] Sina: Ripping that up. [[Ploot wraps his tail around the pot. Voog comes to join him]] Ploot: ... OK. Grab on, Voog.

Thursday , July 20 , 2006
[[In front of Crazy Rhid's. Ploot rips the large metal basin off its "stem" with his tail.]] ((RRIP)) [[Fire belches from the stump.]] ((FOOM)) [[He whacks the stump with his tail, pinching it shut.]] ((WHACK))

Friday , July 21 , 2006
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's, Ploot the Wyrm has ripped a large firebowl from its stem.]] Ploot: Now what? Sina: We toss it in there. [[Rhid's front door, with flames burning in more pots.]] Sina: Hard.

Saturday , July 22 , 2006
[[Ploot the Wyrm flings the large metal bowl (formerly attached to a stem and spewing fire) towards the front door of Crazy Rhid's place.]] ((fling)) [[The bowl goes sailing through the front door. Behind it is a smaller bowl still attached/spewing flames.]]

Sunday , July 23 , 2006
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's. A large bowl has just been thrown inside.]] Skuy the Gnoll: Sina? That Gobule told me to come up. What's hap- [[The front door is filled with an explosion.]] ((KAFOOM)) Skuy: -pening..

Monday , July 24 , 2006
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's place. A large bowl has been thrown inside]] Skuy the Gnoll: What was th- ((BOOM POW KABOOM)) Sina the Gnoll: Just doing a little housecleaning, Skuy. Skuy: But wh- ((FAZOOM BLORP fizzle))

Tuesday , July 25 , 2006
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's, Sina and Skuy wait, following a series of explosions.]] ((peep)) [[They wait some more.]] [[Sina goes forward.]] Sina: That appears to be it. Onto the next stage. Skuy, from near floor: who is that, and what did she do with Sina? Ploot the Wyrm: She's just been having a bad day.

Wednesday , July 26 , 2006
[[Ploot and Sina are outside the battered and blackened entrance to Crazy Rhid's place.]] Ploot: So what is the next phase? Sina: *Now* I would like you to stick your nose in the door, and see what you can see. Please. Ploot: OK then.

Thursday , July 27 , 2006
[[At the doorway of Crazy Rhid's. Ploot the Wyrm approaches. Behind him is a snuffed fire-pot]] [[He sticks his head inside.]] ((BAM)) [[He is blackened, but otherwise unharmed.]] Ploot: We still need to be careful. Sina: Thank you, Ploot.

Friday , July 28 , 2006
[[Ploot the Wyrm looks into Rhid's entryhall.]] [[The hall is empty, apart from explosion debris. GBOLs burn overhead. bulkheads slope in from the sides. Smoke wafts about.]] Ploot: That's odd...

Saturday , July 29 , 2006
[[Inside Rhid's entryhall.]] Sina: What's wrong, Ploot? Plooty: Before today... has anyone here ever been to see Rhid? [[The assembled bucketchain members stare at him in silence. They are Skuy the Gnoll, Fosic the Helipath, Spot the Gobule, Voog the Wyrm and Mowder the Troglodyte.]] Ploot: I'll take that as a "no". Ploot: The problem is, apart from the booby-traps by the door, there's nothing in there. It's a big empty room.

Sunday , July 30 , 2006
[[At Rhid's front door.]] Skuy: Rhid's room's empty? Isn't that a /good/ thing? For us? Ploot the Wyrm: In the short term, yes. Ploot: But even Rhid can't summon his wares out of thin air. He has to have a workshop /somewhere./ Sina: . . . Sina: /Fine./

Monday , July 31 , 2006
[[At Rhid's front door. Mowder the Trog and Skuy the Gnoll listen to Sina.]] Sina: We'll just have to hope that Kronk catches up with Rhid, before he can get to his workshop. Sina: Or maybe.. Ploot. You and.. Voog, was it? One of you, come with me, to check for more traps. The other, poke around. Maybe there's a side chamber. Ploot the Wyrm: Right. Sina: And if there isn't.. patrol. Keep an eye out, in case Rhid manages to double back. Ploot: You heard her. Voog the Wyrm: Remind me again why we /ever/ come up here.

Tuesday , August 1 , 2006
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's front door.]] Ploot the Wyrm: Voog, you know why we have to come up here. We need Telic. We need Hesper. We need all the Coldzoners. Voog the Wyrm: But Mother Byng says.. Ploot: /Byng/ is a senile gravel-dribbler. She should have abdicated months ago. Ploot: I almost hope that Rhid survives this day. Between those zarking Rocks, and what's happening down in the Burn Zone.. we might find ourselves wishing we could purchase his wares.

Wednesday , August 2 , 2006
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's front door. Voog and Ploot the Wyrms talk.]] Voog: If Rhid turns up, you want me to let him /go?/ Ploot: No. But give him every chance to surrender. Ploot: Not that I expect to see him again around here. Ploot: If he gets away from Kronk, someone will offer him sanctuary. Ploot: He's just so /useful/.

Thursday , August 3 , 2006
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's. Voog watches Ploot leave.]] Voog, thinking: Saying Mother Byng is senile. If Ploot's not careful, a Cousin will overhear him and.. .. report him to.. [[Voog realizes something.]] Voog, thinking: Getting away from Family. Now *that's* a reason to come up here.

Thursday , August 3 , 2006
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's. Voog watches Ploot leave.]] Voog, thinking: Saying Mother Byng is senile. If Ploot's not careful, a Cousin will overhear him and.. .. report him to.. [[Voog realizes something.]] Voog, thinking: Getting away from Family. Now *that's* a reason to come up here.

Friday , August 4 , 2006
[[Sina stands in the front door of Crazy Rhid's. Now-extinguished firepots stand on either side of her. Broken-off supports are all that are left of a variety of booby-traps. The walls and floor are blackened and marked. Behind Sina are Skuy, Voog the Wyrm and Fosic the Helipath.]]

Saturday , August 5 , 2006
[[Inside the entryway for Crazy Rhid's place. Sina has been temporarily blinded.]] Sina: So, Skuy. Is "big and empty" an accurate description? Skuy: Oh, yes. Skuy: I've never /seen/ a room this empty. [[An outline of several female Gnolls living in a row of interconnected ramshackle cubicles. The cubicles are filled with various personal projects, such as plant-growing. Skuy is there; her cubicle has round white objects hanging from the ceiling. She has taken/picked one of them and is examining it.]] Skuy: My home Warren in Helignoll Hall is maybe half this size, and we have twelve of us living there..

Sunday , August 6 , 2006
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's entryway. Sina has been temporarily blinded.]] Sina: So there's absolutely nothing in here? Can you see the exit at the other end? I feel a breeze passing through here. Skuy: No.. there are these wall-things sticking out, and I can't see around.. [[Skuy looks at her.]] Skuy: You.. are blind all of a sudden, right? This isn't some sort of test? Sina: Well, if it is, you passed.

Monday , August 7 , 2006
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's entryway.]] Sina, currently blind: So. About these "wall things"... Skuy: They form little alcoves. They're all empty. They'd make really good warr- Voog the Wyrm: No, look, there's something in that one! [[He has gone to check. There is an explosion.]] ((BAM)) [[Sina, Skuy and Fosic the Helipath all witness this.]] Voog: Never mind.

Tuesday , August 8 , 2006
[[Inside the entry hall of Crazy Rhid's former place. Zoog the Wyrm is smoking from a blast.]] Sina: You'd better check all the alcoves, Zoog. Zoog: Right. [[He moves off.]] ((BOOM)) ((POW)) ((BLOOP FRAZZ)) [[He is rather more blackened and smoking.]] Zoog: The other exit is in the last alcove on the left. Sina: Right. Zoog: And.. ouch. Sina: Right.

Wednesday , August 9 , 2006
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's entryhall. Voog the Wyrm has suffered through an explosion, and is blackened.]] Sina: Are you going to be able to carry on? Voog: Yes, I'll be alright. [[He falls over.]] Voog: ..after I just lie down here for a moment.

Thursday , August 10 , 2006
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's entryspace. Voog the Wyrm is lying on the ground.]] Sina: You're sure we don't need to find you a Healer? Voog: No, I'll be all right. (cough) In a little while. [[Sina stares ahead. Skuy watches her.]] [[Sina buries her face in her hands.]] Skuy: Sina? Voog: Um.. really. I'm feeling better already!

Friday , August 11 , 2006
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's entryway. Sina has her face in her hands.]] Skuy: Sina? What's wrong? [[Skuy glances behind her, where Spot the Gobule and Fosic the Helipath watch.]] Skuy: I mean.. apart from.. everything.. Sina: Why did I think I could do this?

Saturday , August 12 , 2006
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's entryway. Skuy listens as Sina talks.]] Sina: I organize /parties/. And now I'm trying to lead a.. an /assault/. [[Voog the Wyrm, blackend by an explosion, looks up from near the floor.]] Sina: And Leny's dead, everyone else is getting horribly injured.. Sina: I'm not doing this anymore.

Sunday , August 13 , 2006
[[Inside Rhid's entryway.]] Skuy: Sina.. Sina: No, Skuy. I've made up my mind, and nothing you can say will change it. Skuy: If you quit now, Comshaw would be really disappointed in you. [[Sina thinks about this.]] [[She glares in Skuy's direction.]] Sina: Zark you. Zark you straight to Fratz.

Monday , August 14 , 2006
[[Inside Rhid's entryway.]] Skuy: So you're not quitting? Sina: No. Voog: So what do we do now? Sina: Give me a second. Plans don't just grow in fungipits... [[She kicks against something with her foot.]] [[She is temporarily blind; she reaches down for the bit of rock which she kicked.]] ((grope)) Sina: Right. OK.

Tuesday , August 15 , 2006
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's former place. Sina the gnoll, currently blind, is holding a chunk of rock.]] Sina: I assume there's more rubble like this scattered around? [[Skuy the gnoll and Grik the Trog look around.]] Skuy: Um.. Yes. Sina: Good. Everybody gather it up. Time for you all to play Rocktoss.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's place. Skuy watches conversation.]] Sina: Just be sure not to- Voog: -Rocktossing!?- Don't we have enough problems without provoking rocks? Sina: What? Voog: Oh. Wait. Right. Forgot where I was again. Coldzone rocks don't- Voog: I'll just be over here. Sina, thinking: Note to self: never ever visit the Hot Zone.

Thursday , August 17 , 2006
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's entryway. Sina speaks to Skuy, Fosic the Helipath and Mowder the Troglodyte, among others.]] Sina: I assume that /everyone else/ knows about Rocktoss? Sina: Right. OK. [[As soon as Sina is out of earshot..]] Fosic: Actually, no. But she did not want to hear that answer. Mowder: We'll talk you through it, Fosic. You just- Spot the Gobule: Ahem. "We"? "We" did not win the Tosser Cup three times running. Stand aside.

Friday , August 18 , 2006
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's entryhall, discussing the disarming of Rhid's traps..]] Spot the Gobule: First off.. I suppose you're gonna say I need hands to toss stuff? Fosic the Helipath: Um.. no? Spot: Oh. Right. OK. {{Helipaths have no hands, only tentacles.}} Spot: What's the target? Sina: Anything in the last alcove on the left that looks like a GBOL containment sphere. Spot: Right. [[Spot's tongue reaches for a rock.]] Spot: BLAAA! [[It/he tosses the rock.]] ((toss)) [[It zooms directly towards a sphere held in a spider-like web.]] ((BLAT)) Fosic: Impressive, in a repellant sort of way.. Spot: Thanks!

Saturday , August 19 , 2006
[[Inisde Crazy Rhid's entryway.]] Sina: All right everyone. Grab your rocks. [[Skuy's hand reaching for a rock on the ground.]] Sina: ..or bits of metal bowl.. [[Fosic the Helipath's tentacles reaching for two rocks.]] Sina: But stay out of the alcoves, even the one with the way out, for now! [[Mowder the Troglodyte's hand hesitating as it reaches for a rock which is shaped like one of Rhid's bombs.]] Sina: And don't pick up any of Rhid's bombs! Mowder: Ah! Er.. Hm..

Sunday , August 20 , 2006
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's entryway. Skuy and Fosic the Helipath are holding rocks. Voog the Wyrm watches.]] Sina: First, everybody just toss a general volley into the target alcove. [[Said volley goes flying.]] ((thump CRACK BANG crunch POW)) [[From the targeted alcove..]] ((splut)) Fosic: That was encouragingly anticlimactic. Sina: Mm.

Monday , August 21 , 2006
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's]] Skuy: Do you want us to lob another volley? Sina: No. We can't drag this out, the smell of smoke is getting worse and worse. [[They go around the corner.]] Sina: We're going to take a careful look.. exam.. whatever, of the exit alcove. [[The exit alcove. A mounted bowl burns with purple flame. An open doorway has small spheres attached to it.]]

Tuesday , August 22 , 2006
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's entryway, Skuy looks in a targeted alcove for the blinded Sina. Voog the Wyrm looks as well.]] Sina: So, anything in there? Skuy: Not really.. [[A closeup of the exit door.]] Skuy: There are webs.. or something.. stretched over the exit.. Sina: I /smell/ something. [[A firepot with slightly purplish flame.]] Skuy: Yes, there's one firepot. It's filled with.. Skuy: Oh. Skuy: Oh dear.

Wednesday , August 23 , 2006
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's "entrance hall". Voog the Wyrm is present. Skuy turns sharply]] Sina the Gnoll: What? What is it? Skuy: Mowder! You need to get out of here! Rhid has a big pot of- Mowder, from off-screen: BLAAAARRRGGH! Spot the Gobule, from off-screen: Whoa! Nice distance! You could give Nash A run for the Hurler's Cup! Skuy: ..Trog repellent..

Thursday , August 24 , 2006
[[Inside Rhid's entryway.]] Skuy: Are you all right, Mowder? [[Mowder has just thrown up thanks to Trog repellant.]] Mowder: Oh, I'm just dandy. Sina: Good. Go back along the line, and keep any other Trogs out of here. Sina: Now, Skuy.. about these "webs" over the door..

Friday, August 25, 2006
[[Sina and Skuy in Rhid's place.]] Sina: Those "webs" completely cover the exit? Rhid couldn't get through without removing them? Skuy: I guess.. Sina: . . . Mowder! Wait a second [[Mowder, looking peeved.]] Mowder: What? Sina: If there are any other Ghasts on the line, send them forward. [[A closeup of one of Rhid's bombs attached to a "web" on the exit door.]] Mowder: Why? Sina: I need information on Dornbeasts.

Saturday , August 26 , 2006
[[Inside Rhid's entryway.]] Voog: Why do you want to know about Dornbeasts? Sina: Rhid. [[An outline of Rhid grinning evilly.]] Voog: Huh? Sina: I've talked to him now. He may be "crazy", but.. Sina: ..he has /reasons/ for doing things. Sina: ..and I've got a theory about the one he used when setting up all of this. Voog: Um. OK. But meanwhile the elevator fire is still burning.. Sina: I'm making sure we /reach/ the fire. Now hush.

Sunday , August 27 , 2006
[[A large group waiting inside Rhid's entryway: A Jibjib (Steenth), Maggle the Troglodyte, Spot the Gobule, Fosic the Helipath, and Sina and Skuy.]] Anonymous voice: this is crazy. Sina: I said /hush/.

Monday , August 28 , 2006
[[Mowder the Troglodyte walks back along the bucket-chain, looking at Sepferb the Ghast lying on the floor. Behind them are Krink the Gnoll, an unnamed Ooze, and a Motihaul Wearing A Hat.]] Mowder, thinking: I'd ask him about Dornbeasts, but I don't think he's in the mood to talk..

Tuesday , August 29 , 2006
[[In the Basement. In the foreground, Snerd the Gnoll walks silently along. In the background can be seen Rosemary, Sylvester and CamoraHax.]] Sylvester: So where does that drophole drain to? Camora: Down to Bowel Hall. That's where all waste goes. Mostly.

Wednesday , August 30 , 2006
[[In the Basement. As indicated by a large sign/spray of graffiti on the wall, it is near Bowel Hall. Hiblehoy the Motihaul is dragging Leny's body, accompanied by Wrawa, who is suffering from multiple Rhidbomb-blasts.]] Hiblehoy: Wrawa, are you /sure/ about this? Don't you want to take Leny to the Great Cha- Wrawa, very raggedly: He didn't WANT tor take the Plunge. Wanted to be USEFUL. Taking him to rendering.

Thursday , August 31 , 2006
[[Inside their nitch, Tuft and Dap have just witnessed a mangled and smoking Rhid stumble by. Dap is stacking the rocks which Leny piled on top of him.]] Tuft: Was that who I think it was? Dap: If you say you're still bored, I'll be forced to hit you with a rock. Just warning you.

Friday , September 1 , 2006
[[Outside Le Tree, Hopobefevfer the Ghast is holdiing Speck the Gobule as she questions her. Behind them, a dangerous-looking flame-device manned by a small Wyrm is being pushed into view.]] Hopo: You're sure the male Ghast at the elevator had a crescent and two circles in his LFT? {{LFT = Little Floaty Thing}} Speck: Um, Yeah. An I'm sure 'bout something else, too: I'm outta here..

Saturday , September 2 , 2006
[[Preznit the Council Charibeing sits in the Council chambers, besieged with information and advice.]] Eyebolt Voice: fights are breaking out near the Bart- Gnoll Voice: -haven't heard anything about the elevator- Helipath Voice: -And something has stirred up the Gobule- Motihaul Voice: Preznit we need to order a full mobilization. [[Faldstool the Eyebolt in Mr. Nevus's front office, talking on an aurilnode.]] Faldstool: You deployed the flamespewer!? /I did not authorize that! Bring it back at once!/ Voice: . . . Faldstool: NO! Voice: . . . Faldstool: Mr. Nevus is UNAVAILABLE!

Sunday, September 3, 2006
[[{{The first Subshaft 44f strip. The gnolls are named Cully, Chunner, and Crud in their next appearance.}} [[Two male gnolls, dimly lit and very dirty, are just standing there, facing the reader. There's no dialogue.]] [[The light level brightens enough so we can see the gnolls' facial features. Still no dialogue.]] [[A new younger gnoll joins them. He looks at them uncertainly while they glance at him.]] Middle gnoll: You must be the new guy. Right gnoll: Welcome to SubShaft 44f!

Monday , September 4 , 2006
[[In the Basement, Digger makes his way along a corridor.]] ((shuffle shuffle shuffle)) [[Deep in the Hot Zone, Fizmo the Nome, still wearing her protective suit, climbs Human-sized stairs.]] ((climb climb cllmb)) [[In the Forest of E, Piu, Vezza, Umboz and Nitfol the Nomes hike along, followed by one of their Pale escorts.]] ((hike hike hike)) Vezza: Are we there yet? Umboz: No.

Tuesday , September 5 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, Comshaw, Niddle and Ig the Saur stand on the hill which is called "The Pit".]] Niddle: What were we doing up here, again?

Wednesday , September 6 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, on top of "The Pit"]] Comshaw: Niddle! Niddle: Hi. Comshaw: You're all right? Niddle: . . . Niddle: This is one of those trick questions, isn't it? Comshaw: You're all right.

Thursday , September 7 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, on the hill called "The Pit".]] Comshaw: Why did the Pales take you? Niddle: I think they- Oh, hi, Ig. Ig the Saur: Uh.. hi. Niddle: What? [[An outline of the blast of Maigc/light shooting from the top of the Pit.]] Comshaw: How the Zark do you know his name? Niddle: Oh. That was the Fire. And I think that's why the Pales took me.

Friday, September 8, 2006
[[Niddle stands in shock. All of these are silhouettes with rainbow/"Fire" in the background.]] Comshaw: What do you mean, it was the Fire? Niddle: When it turned on.. I saw things. [[Comshaw and Ig]] Niddle: You and Ig, chasing after us. [[Mortimer]] Niddle: Mortimer, and the Nome v- Comshaw: *"Mortimer?!"*

Saturday , September 9 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, on the hill called "The Pit". Ig the Saur listens to the conversation.]] Comshaw: You /saw/ Mortimer? The demon who started the Nome War? Niddle: I thought the war started because we and the Nomes were all crowded together and fighting over limited resources. Comshaw: . . . Comshaw: OK. Fine. Comshaw: But it was one of the Nomes' mines blowing up that /triggered/ the war. Comshaw: It was a demon named Mortimer who caused /that/ to happen. [[An outline of Comshaw's grandfather Compline listening to a Nome who has been chained to the wall.]] IgSaur: The demon just handed out his name? The stories all say they never- Comshaw: According to the prisoner that Compline questioned, that was the name he used.

Sunday , September 10 , 2006
[[While in the Forest of E, Comshaw discusses the Nome War. An outline of Comshaw's grandfather Compline and his mate Caytid, being menaced by some tooth-like shapes.]] Comshaw: Compline planned to investigate the Nome's story after the war, but... Comshaw: ...then he and Caytid disappeared during the Sneech attack.. [[Two Gnolls arguing, while a third, armed with dagger, stands to one side looking disgusted.]] Comshaw: ...and his lieutenants fell to squabbling over the spoils of war.. Comshaw: ..and the demon and his name were mostly forgotten. Mostly..

Monday , September 11 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, on The Pit.]] Ig the Saur: How come you know so much about Compline? Comshaw: . . . Niddle: Compline was one of his grandfathers. [[An outline of Comfrey, balancing a glowgem and looking smug.]] IgSaur: So.. wait.. does that means that- Comshaw: Yes. Yes. Comfrey was my father. Comshaw: And yes, I know what he did up here, or tried to do. Me, my mother, Clerihew.. we've all spent our whole Zarking lives trying to live it down! Move onto to a new topic! Ig: Um.. OK... Who is Clerihew?

Tuesday , September 12 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, at "the Pit", Comshaw and Niddle talk to Ig the Saur.]] Comshaw: Sigh. Clerihew was my parent's Finagler. [[An outline of a young Comshaw (who has hair) with Clerihew.]] Comshaw: He was a good person. He's dead now, but he and my mother.. they helped me become the person /I/ am. Ig: Oh. Well. That's good. Comshaw: You don't know what a Finagler is, do you? Ig, cheerfuilly: Not a clue!

Wednesday , September 13 , 2006
[[Out in the Forest, at "the Pit"]] Niddle: Ig, a Finagler is like a Schemer. Sort of. Only.. well.. better. Comshaw: Huh? Ig: Oh. OK. Comshaw: The Gnolls out here still use *Schemers*? They really *are* a bunch of slackjawed cretins! Ig: Course, that doesn't really help cuz Splat won't ever tell me what Schemers *do.*

Thursday , September 14 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, on "The Pit". Ig the Saur listens to the conversation.]] Niddle: Comshaw, you shouldn't sneer. There are still people back home who use Schemers. Comshaw: What? No there aren't! Niddle: Yes. There are. I've talked to two of them. Schemers. Comshaw: What? You hardly ever leave our nest! When- Niddle: People come to me. I'm the best Finagler in the world. Comshaw: WHAT?

Friday , September 15 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, on the "the Pit"]] Comshaw: You let /strangers/ into our nest? Niddle: I talk to them through the door. I can smell and hear them and.. that's enough. Comshaw: When do you have /time/ to meet these.. /people/ alone? Niddle: You're out Poking. Camora is out shouting at people. I have all the time in the world. Comshaw: /Why are you causing me to yell at you for no good reason?!/ Niddle: I'm sorry. I can't promise it won't happen again.

Saturday , September 16 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, on "The Pit". Comshaw turns away in anger]] Ig the Saur: Um.. Niddle.. was it? Niddle: Yes, Ig? IgSaur: Why do you talk to Schemers if they're so bad? Niddle: Schemers aren't bad.Finaglers are just better. Niddle: And some year.. something will come along and replace us. Times change. The species progresses. Niddle: Sadly, people just can't aceept that, and spend their lives clinging to the inferior, as long as it is familiar.

Sunday, September 17, 2006
[[Meanwhile, in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: Um.. hello, sirs. My name is Cully. Chunner: Chunner. Crud: And I'm Crud! Cully: Crud? Not the Crud who grew that giant killer b- Chunner: sigh.. ((poing)) {{Crud's eyes pop open wide.}} [[Crud attacks Cully.]] Crud: RRRAARRRGGH! Cully: Eeeiie!! Chunner: The bean's kinda a touchy subject, kid. I've found it's best to not harp on it.

Monday , September 18 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, on "The Pit"]] Ig the Saur: Still.. why do you talk to Schemers? Niddle: Because being exposed to different viewpoints on the subject helps me be a better Finagler. Niddle: ..You know, if you could introduce me to a /forest/ Schemer, I would be grateful. IgSaur: Really? /How/ grateful? Niddle: Well, I- Comshaw: OK! Gonna have to step back in here!

Tuesday , September 19 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, on "The Pit"]] Niddle: Comshaw! Comshaw: Niddle. You're not.. feeling neglected, are you? By Camora and I? Niddle: Neglected? Of course not! You're the best mated couple in the world! If something ever happened to me, you'd have Finaglers lined up to take my place! Comshaw: Um.. why? Niddle: Because you're the best. [[Outlines of Sina and Sprocket, facing in opposite directions. Sprocket studies a small white object he is holding in a tool.]] Comshaw: No, I meant, why are we the- Niddle: The only ones who come close are Sina and Sprocket, and they haven't even set up their Nest yet.

Wednesday , September 20 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, on "The Pit"]] Ig the Saur: Sina and Sprocket are Gnolls? Comshaw: Yes. Sina's big problem is that she thinks she wants me. [[An outline of Sina looking on worshipfully as Comshaw strikes a heroic pose on a crag of rock, complete with flag attached to his poking stick.]] Comshaw: But she doesn't. She wants Comshaw the Heroic Poker. Comshaw: And that person doesn't exist.

Thursday , September 21 , 2006
[[An outline of Sprocket and Flange looking at the reader.]] Ig the Saur: And Sprocket? Comshaw: Along with his partner Flange the Helipath, he's the best Mechanic in the world. /His/ prob- IgSaur: Best what? [[Outlines of Comshaw being menaced by tentacles, and Sprocket being menaced by mechanical grippers.]] Comshaw: Mechanic. A lot like Pokers, really. Except instead of dealing with people.. they deal with machines. Ig: With what? Comshaw: sigh..

Friday , September 22 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, on "The Pit".]] Comshaw: Machines.. You forestfolk are lucky in a way. All the humans left up here were piles of rocks. [[Ig the Saur stares at him.]] Comshaw: What? [[One of the large white tusk-like object which stick out of the ground at The Pit.]] Comshaw: Oh. Right. The Pit. Comshaw: OK. The Pit is, I guess, a very big machine.

Saturday , September 23 , 2006
[[An outline of Sprocket the Gnoll walking past a trampled Skoil the Gnoll.]] Comshaw: But anyway.. /Sprocket's/ problem is that he spends all his time with machines, which don't think or feel.. [[A Helipath looking with bemusement at a loving Troglodyte couple.]] Comshaw: And Flange.. who is decent enough, but is also a Helipath, and thus when it comes to love and romance, is just about as bad as a machine... [[Sprocket and Sina yelling at each other. Sprocket throws away a wrench in frustration.]] Comshaw: And so while Sprocket's attracted to Sina, he doesn't know how to handle it, and they always end up /arguing/..

Sunday, September 24, 2006
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: I.. (cough) I won't mention the you-know-what again.. Chunner: Probably a wise policy. Cully: Um.. Mr. Chunner? Is there.. anything else Mr. Crud.. doesn't like to talk about? Chunner: Mugwumps. ((poing)) {{Chud's eyes pop open wide.}} [[Chud attacks Chunner.]] Cully: What's a mugwump? Chunner: Never.. able to.. find out..

Monday , September 25 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, on "The Pit"]] Ig the Saur: So what yer saying is, Sprocket and Sina are only /halfway/ down the trail to couplehood. Comshaw: hm? IgSaur: They haven't figgered out that after the fighting comes the /making up/. IgSaur: ..that reminds me, I need to go make up with Narda. Been about two days since she kicked me out of her nook, that's about right..

Tuesday , September 26 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, near "The Pit". Comshaw talks to Ig the Saur.]] Comshaw: You're right about arguments. They make up a big part of Camora and I's relationship.. Comshaw: heh. Comshaw: asked about Mimsy earlier. She and I never argued. Maybe that's why it didn't work out. Comshaw: Mimsy hardly talks, let alone argue. Strange girl. I wonder why I didn't see that at the time. Niddle: She dazzled you with her radient [sic] beauty. Comshaw: There was that, yes.

Wednesday , September 27 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, near "The Pit"]] Comshaw: Alright. As fascinating as all this is, we need to get back to important matters. Niddle. Why did the Pales take you? Niddle: They.. I don't think they knew. Someone just told them to do it. Comshaw: The Nex. Niddle: . . . Comshaw, you need to be careful around that Pale that was leading them. He's very dangerous. Comshaw: Yes yes. Thrash is big and bad. Thanks. Niddle: And angry. And scared.

Thursday , September 28 , 2006
[[Outlines of Nidlde being herded by Thrash and his helpers.]] Comshaw: Thrash was scared? Of what? Niddle: I don't know. It wasn't anything he *said*. [[Outlines of two Pales working together, communicating without talking.]] Niddle: wasn't a smell, either.. but it was all over him. Ig: That's why Pales don't talk. They don't need to.

Friday , September 29 , 2006
[[An outline of two Pales sending some sort of non-verbal signal between themselves. A Saur is able to half-overhear.]] Comshaw: What do you mean, Pales don't need to talk? Ig the Saur: Those points on their heads. They send out.. noises.. that only other Pales can hear. IgSaur: ..mostly. [[In the Forest of E, near "The Pit".]] Comshaw: You could have shared that little nugget of information /before/ I confronted them. Ig: Oh. Right. Guess I could have.

Saturday , September 30 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, at the base of "The Pit".]] Comshaw: So you're saying that other people can hear these "Pale sounds"? Ig the Saur: Yeah. And come to think it, some of 'em are Schemers.. Niddle: Hearing stuff other people don't is what Finaglers and Schemers /do./

Sunday, October 1, 2006
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: Mr. Chunner? If Mr. Crud is here because of the.. B-word.. why are you here? Chunner: I came for the beetles. [[Pause. No dialogue in panel two. Cully looks around.]] Cully: But.. sir? There aren't any- Cud (whispering): Scuttlebutt is, he was misinformed.

Monday , October 2 , 2006
[[Outline of two Pales with a non-verbal signal between them, broken with a question mark.]] Comshaw: So, how far apart does this no-talking thing of the Pales work? Ig the Saur: I dunno. IgSaur: Not from one end of the forest to the other. [[Outline of the Nex's arm pointing at a Pale with another signal/question mark between them.]] Comshaw: And the Nex! Can it.. no-talk.. /better/ than the other Pales? IgSaur: I dunno. Ig: Some of us think that extra thingy Slash has on his head has to do with the Nex... [[Outline of Ig watching questioningly as Splat the Gnoll falls out the sky and splats on the ground.]] Comshaw: And since when did you start hanging out with that idiot /Splat?/ IgSaur: I dunno. IgSaur: He just dropped by one day.

Tuesday , October 3 , 2006
[[An outline of a Nome and Mortimer turned into a Nome.]] Comshaw: Fine. Niddle. Niddle: Um.. Yes? Comshaw: This "Mortimer" person the Fire showed you, what did he look like? Niddle: ..Like a Nome.. [[An outline of a Nome and Mortimer as himself.]] Niddle: except.. Comshaw: yess? Niddle: He was taller. Tall as a Motihaul. And he wasn't wearing a hat. [[Outline of Comshaw meeting Rosemary and Sylvester, who are extra-scary.]] Comshaw: And let me guess. His ears and snout were all rounded off. Niddle: I.. yes. How did you know? Comshaw: It was two of his friends who ate that Dornbeast. Although they were wearing hats..

Wednesday , October 4 , 2006
[[The Forest of E.]] Ig the Saur: You talked to a pair of /demons/? And lived? Comshaw: I don't know. I think maybe they were Humans, not demons. I didn't linger. IgSaur: Humans, demons, what the difference? ... and Humans still /exist/? Comshaw: They live up in God's Cactus. Maybe it's just a matter of degree.. but they're not as bad as the Operator. Or even Chauncy and Edgar.

Thursday , October 5 , 2006
[[The Mansion of E, as seen from the Forest of E.]] Ig the Saur: God's what? Comshaw: Oh.. right. You all call it.. what did Boffin say.. the Piller, or something? IgSaur: Huh? Comshaw: The stone construct. Over that way. Tallest biggest thing in the entire world? Ig: Oh! /The Stump./ Right. Comshaw: Right.

Friday , October 6 , 2006
[[The Forest of E, on the "The Pit"]] Comshaw: A stump's what left after you 'chop' a tree, right? Ig the Saur: Or it falls down in a storm or something, yes. Comshaw: And that's what you call the biggest landmark in the world IgSaur: Yes? Comshaw: Not "the Big Stump" or "the Stone Stump" or, or.. "Mergatroid's Stump." Ig: ... who's Mergatroid? Comshaw: sigh. I wanna go home.

Saturday , October 7 , 2006
[[The Forest of E.]] Niddle: We're going home? Comshaw: No, Niddle. I just /want/ to go home. Niddle: Oh. [[Ig the Saur listens behind Comshaw.]] Comshaw: To be honest, I don't know /what/ to do now. I don't think "Buzz" was lying, and whatever he was talking about hasn't happened yet. Comshaw: We could still try and find out what that "auction" was all about, but Shona will have warned Nevus and the other two we're here by now.. Niddle: I know my suggestions are usually stupid.. but.. do you want to hear what else I saw in the Fire? Comshaw: There's a good idea. Glad I thought of it.

Sunday, October 8, 2006
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: Well.. anyway, Sirs. I'm here because... well, I-- Crud: We know. You got into all that trouble with Mr. Nevus. Chunner: And no one would hire you, and you needed a place to hide. Cully: Um. Yes. Right. Cully: I guess, pretty much everyone heard- Chunner: Kid, if we have heard about something, by /definition/ everyone's heard it. Crud: Heard about what?

Monday , October 9 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, Niddle is recounting his experience with the Magic-blast at "The Pit". There are Outlines of Frowgler and The Woman of Mystery, both with vague shapes around them.]] Niddle: I saw a lot of things I didn't understand.. Names, all mixed up.. [[An Outline of Mortimer meeting the Shopbot in the World O' Pots basement.]] Niddle: Mortimer, whatever he is.. was in a room with piles of.. stuff.. and he was talking to this.. other things. It looked sort of like a trundlebug, but it was huge.. it was a /metalmin/..

Tuesday , October 10 , 2006
[[Niddle recounting his experience inside the blast of Fire/Magic. An outline of Shona the Gnoll and Snerk the Saur. Shone looks nervoux, Snerk is running along, holding something concealed behind a question mark.]] Niddle: I saw Shona, and another Saur named Snerk. Snerk was scared, and he was carrying something, but.. I couldn't see.. Niddle: I could "smell" something, though, on both of them. Like Thrash.. Niddle: but not like him.. it was nice.. like their minds had been rolling in fresh sweetmoss.. {{They had been to the past, and been exposed to fully-flowing magic.}}

Wednesday , October 11 , 2006
[[Niddle describes what he saw when exposed to the Fire/magic of the Pit. Outlines of Agorn the Gnoll, Nevus riding on Mimsy, and Agita.]] Niddle: Mimsy and Nevus and Agita and Guttle and.. a bunch of other people from back home.. are all up here, but they are heading.. um.. back home.. [[An outline of Guttle alone.]] Niddle: But not together. Guttle is very angry about something. Niddle: But I guess that's always true..

Thursday , October 12 , 2006
[[Nidlde is describing what he saw when caught in the blast of Fire/magic at the Pit. An outline of the Nomish village in the forest, which is made up of "Hometrees". The blast is in the background.]] Niddle: I saw the Nome village! Did you know they live /inside/ trees? Comshaw: Yes, Niddle. Ig the Saur: I'd heard rumors!

Friday, October 13, 2006
[[outlines of Nomes, backed by Fire aka a rainbow]] Niddle: I saw a whole bunch of Nomes and can give you their names if you really want, but most of them weren't doing anything interesting.. [[Frotz shoots a glance.]] [[A male Nome speaks cheerfully.]] {{This is Blorb, who has not been named on-screen. He was at Umboz's framing.}} [[A Nome priest lights a candle.]] [[A Nome guard stands on duty.]] [[A female Nome speaks angrily, carrying a broom.]] ((This is Zifmia, who has been named, but not while her image is shown.}} [[A female Nome grins evilly, holding a smoking tube while next to a bowl filled with round objects.]] {{This is Tiza, an unmarried Nome whom Vezza described as "smelling funny".}}

Saturday , October 14 , 2006
[[Niddle describes what he saw when exposed to the Fire/magic of the Pit. Outlines of Vezza, Umboz and Nitfol.]] Niddle: The ones who are doing something interesting are named Vezza, Umboz and Nitfol.. [[Outline of two Pales.]] Niddle: ..along with two Pales, named.. um.. sort of.. "Fetch" and "Stepit". . [[Outline of part of the Pale's Camp.]] Niddle: They are going to the Camp. But.. I'm not sure why that is interesting.. Ig the Saur: Going to the /what/? Niddle: The Camp. You know. The Pale's [sic] home.

Sunday, October 15, 2006
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: So.. um.. anyway, Sirs... What do w- {{ >o< }} [[Cully turns to look at the wall.]] Cully: Are those stalagmites /painted/ on the wall? Chunner: You were expecting real stalagmites? Where do you think you are, SubShaft 23? Crud: You only wish that was paint!

Monday , October 16 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. Niddle the Gnoll is carrying a glowing gem.]] Ig the Saur: The Camp? That's what you Undergrounders call the Pales' Home? Comshaw the gnoll: No, most people don't even know or care about- Niddle: That's what the Pales call it. [[Ig and Comshaw stare at him.]] Niddle: Or at least that's what Fetch and Stepit call it. I think. Pales have very strange minds.

Tuesday , October 17 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. Near"The Pit."]] Ig the Saur: Why do the Pales call their home "The Camp?" Niddle: I dunno. [[Outline of a Pale with an arrow leading to a generic Nome with slots to fill and another arrow to the Camp.]] IgSaur: But you just said you can read their minds! Niddle: No.. I got a.. sniff.. of what they were thinking at the moment the Fire hit me. "Pick up Target Nome #4 and take them all back to the Camp." Niddle: Roughly.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006
[[In the forest of E]] Comshaw: You didn't know that the Pales call their home the Camp? Ig: No! Nobody did! People call it the nest, the hive, the Home.. Ig: Pales never *volunteer* information about *anything*. And if any non-Pale's ever been taken to the.. Camp, they've never come back to tell about it.

Thursday , October 19 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. Near the Pit.]] Comshaw: You want us to go rescue a bunch of Nomes? Ig the Saur: What? No! /Zark/, no! IgSaur: I mean.. [[Outline of Ig casually meeting Vezza and Umboz.]] Ig: Umboz and Vezza are OK, sorta. I see them around sometimes. He's one of those ""squidticklers"" or whatver, and she's his daughter. Ig: But go near /the Camp/? That's too much entertainment, even for me.. Niddle: They were going to the Camp willingly. Ig: OK, now I /know/ you're making things up. Ig: Umboz might be that dumb, but, while I wouldn't cross a clearing to help him, /Nitfol/ has some brains.

Friday , October 20 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, at the base of "The Pit"]] Niddle: Nitfol was repaying some debt, and also felt- Comshaw: I believe you, Niddle, but we're /not/ chasing after a bunch of Nomes, whether they went willingly or kicking and screaming. Comshaw: What else did you see? [[Outline of a female Saur eating something, a Tree Squid hanging upside down, and a Giant Spyder with numbers behind hir/it.]] Niddle: Oh. Um. I saw.. a bunch of.. um.. extra forest people.. but again, none of them were doing anything interesting.. [[Outline of Nellie Grubb, standing in the distance.]] Niddle: But there was one more.. waaay over there somewhere.. I think she's another like Mortimer.. but it's weird, she thinks of her name as broken into two pieces: Nellie. Grubb. Niddle: She was headed to some place called.. "The Village".. but I can't quite understand where that is..

Saturday , October 21 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, at the base of "The Pit".]] Comshaw: That's all you saw? Niddle: That's all I understood. Comshaw: OK. Ig. I've heard of Snerk, he's had dealings with us.. undergrounders. But what can you tell me about him? Ig the Saur: Poor Snerk. He tries way too hard, and needs to learn to relax. Comshaw: Great. But does he also work for that "Boss"? IgSaur: N- . . you know. . he /didn't/, but. . come to think of it, I haven't seen him around lately. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if that's where he's been . .

Sunday, October 22, 2006
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: Why did you.. smear.. stalagmites on the walls? Sirs? Chunner: Not us. Crud: It was Cunskite. The fellow you're replacing. [[Cully thinks about this. No dialogue in panel two.]] Cully: I don't want to know why he did that, or what happened to him, do I? Chunner: Couldn't say for sure, but no, kid, you /probably/ don't. Crud: Poor old Cunskite..

Monday , October 23 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, at the base of "The Pit".]] Comshaw: This Mortimer, he's close by, but underground? Niddle: Yes. Over that way. Comshaw: Is that possible? Ig the Saur: Sure. There are pits and holes and such everywhere. Some good stuff in them, sometimes. Comshaw: OK then. IgSaur: Of course, a lot of them are also crawling with Lurkers and Tunnel Rats..

Tuesday , October 24 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, on "The Pit". Ig the Saur listens to the conversation.]] Niddle: You've decided what we're going to do, haven't you? Comshaw: Yes. What I should have done this morning, instead of panicking and running off. What the /Council/ should have done weeks ago, instead of sending Dornbeasts to be killed. Comshaw: I'm going to find this Mortimer and /talk/ to him. We need to learn once and for all what these Humans are, and what they want. Comshaw: And since it's the same direction, who knows. Maybe we'll bump into one of our auction friends as well..

Wednesday , October 25 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E. At the base of "The Pit".]] Comshaw: Guess this is where we part ways, Ig. You've earned- Ig the Saur: No. I'll come along for now. Comshaw: But- IgSaur: I don't think you'll find this Mortimer, or if you do, that he's really Human. IgSaur: But whatever /does/ happen, it will be entertaining. Ig: Just.. if he /is/ Human, I'll desert you in a heartbeat. Comshaw: So. One of us maintains a modicum of sanity. Comshaw: Let's be off.

Thursday , October 26 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, Comshaw and Niddle the Gnolls depart the "Pit" with Ig the Saur.]] Ig: ... What's a metalmin? Comshaw: Something to discuss while we walk..

Friday , October 27 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E, on the side of "The Pit". Comshaw's voice fades as he, Niddle and Ig the Saur walk away.]] [[Silence.]] [[From behind the hill..]] ((BUZZ whirr CLICK)) [[A robot's head peaks into view from behind the hill.]] ((peek))

Saturday , October 28 , 2006
Narration: At various places around the Forest [[Glorf the Nome stands inside Piu the Nome's abandoned Hometree. Behind him, a bowl of glop crawls away.]] [[Shona reports her recent meeting with Frowgler to Nevus, who is riding on Mimsy the Gnoll's head. No audible dialogue.]] [[Snerk the Saur has arrived at the clearing where Mortimer and Nitfol were attacked by a Spyder. The Spyder hangs dead in the remains of its web.]]

Sunday, October 29, 2006
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: So.. um. When he sent me down here, Mr. Coprolite wasn't very.. Was he assigning people when you were sent down here, Sirs? Chunner: We know him, kid. Crud: Coprolite's been here longer than anyone! Cully: That would explain all those lichens growing on him... Crud: Oh no! They are why /he/ was sent down here! Chunner: And there was that regrettable incident with the blobwarts. Crud: Oh yes, but he's /much/ better now!

Monday , October 30 , 2006
Narration: A short diversion.. [[In the Mansion. The Woman of Mystery walks along, trailed by her "pet" balloon. In the back ground is a green statue of a one-eyed Gobule-like critter with the label ZNUTAR on its base]] {{This is an Awful Green Thing from the board game of the same name.}} [[More walking. It grows darker.]] [[Darker still. The WoM pauses.]] WoM: eh? [[A bright yellow light appears ahead of her; the source is off-panel.]] WoM, thinking: /aah/.. Time for /that/ again already, is it?

Tuesday , October 31 , 2006
[[The words HAPPY HALLOWEEN float overhead, in large glowing orange letters. The Woman of Mystery stands underneath, making a "claw" with one hand. Her pet balloon also floats nearby, having changed to a jack-o-lantern motif.]] WoM: Boo.

Wednesday , November 1 , 2006
[[In the Basement of the former Eetown World O' Pots. Rufus rises from the floor as Mortimer watches. Behind them sits the Shopbot.]] Narration: Meanwhile, in a basement under the forest.. Mortimer: Are you all right, Rufus? Rufus: From the looks of things, I'm the one who should be asking that. Been having another of your Special Days, have you? Mortimer: ... I still know where my Fleeb Sack is. I guess that's something..

Thursday , November 2 , 2006
[[In what was once the basement of the Eetown World O' Pots.]] Mortimer: When I asked if you were all right, it wasn't just about me scaring you... Mortimer:'ve been gone so long. Everyone was starting to worry about you. Rufus: "Everyone?" I seriously doubt that. [[Mortimer offers his hand to Rufus.]] Mortimer: Well.. Sylvester and I were. Rufus: OK, that I can believe. And it /is/ good to see you. [[Outline showing a postcard featuring a parrot and labelled GREETINGS FROM OONGAWA]] Rufus: ... Have you heard from Mom and Lil more recently than me? Mortimer: We got a postcard from Oongawa a couple of weeks ago. Wherever that is..

Friday , November 3 , 2006
[[In what used to be the basement of the Eetown World O' Pots.]] Rufus: Oongawa. Capital city of Kuzco, one of the last organized nation-states you can visit before entering the Deep Jungles. Rufus: Known for its Goof Parrots, and pre-Crash, its high quality coffee beans. Linus collected specimens there during his Expedition to the Jungles. [[An outline of a young Rufus listening to a formal lecture, as a young Mortimer doesn't listen.]] Mortimer: How do you know all of that? Rufus: It's a lifetime failing of mine. I pay attention to people. Even old Oswald, giving us one of his geography lectures. [[Young Lenore and Sylvester, also listening to the lecture.]] Mortimer: Sylvester and Lenore paid attention to Mr. Pavinpan, too. Rufus: Yes. They did. But only because Sylvester didn't want to look like a total idiot when he went away to the University, and Lenore because she wanted to be smarter than Sylvester.

Saturday , November 4 , 2006
[[In the former Basement of the Eetown World O' Pots.]] Rufus: Speaking of Lenore.. she still in the Capital, I assume? Mortimer: You saw the last letter she sent. The one where she said all that about- Rufus: Right. Such language. Rufus: And Ace? Still Out West somewhere? Mortimer: Yes. He was working for Grandpa Mundivagant for a while. But now.. those stories in the Times about Out West.. I suppose he's the one we should really be worrying about. Rufus: Naah. Ace'll live to be 100, kill the bad guy, get the girl, have lots of kids and die peacefully in his bed. Rufus: It's the rest of us who need to worry. Which is what we really need to talk about..

Sunday, November 5, 2006
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: So... Sirs.. Mr. Coprolite is being punished as well? Chunner: And his supervisor. Draffsack. Crud: And /his/ supervisor. Egrote! Cully: Where does it end? Chunner: Agita. Guttle. Zanoola. Cully: Um.. Who's Zanoola? Chunner: Nevus's mate. Crud: Rhid told me once that even the /Sneeches/ are being punished..

Monday , November 6 , 2006
[[In the basement of the former Eetown World O' Pots.]] Mortimer: What do you mean, we need to talk? Rufus: Mortimer, don't you wonder /why/ I'm down in this Brush-forsaken hole with only an idiot robot for company? Mortimer: Well, yeah, but, if I asked.. [[An Outline of Mortimer about to fall in a hole while chasing a flutterby with a net.]] Mortimer: ..I was afraid you'd want to know what /I/ was doing down here. Rufus: (sigh) You chased a flutterby or something into the forest, tripped over your shoelaces and fell into a hole. Mortimer: HEY! Even I heard what happened to Quincy! I learned to tie my shoelaces!

Tuesday , November 7 , 2006
[[In the basement of the former Eetown World o' Pots.]] Mortimer: I was chased by a shark. And then that Spyder tried to eat me. And- Rufus: But you /did/ finally fall into a hole. [[Rufus turns to go, beckoning with his finger.]] Mortimer: Well, yeah. Rufus: All is right with the world then. Rufus: Come with me.

Wednesday , November 8 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O' Pots.]] Mortimer: Where are.. we going? Rufus: Someplace better for talking. [[The shopbot sits and does nothing.]] Mortimer: What about your robot? Rufus: I can state with painful authority that "my" robot has absolutely nothing useful to contribute to any conversation.

Thursday , November 9 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the World O' Pots, Rufus and Mortimer approach a short section of corridor which is red with glowing symbols, wrapped around the floor and walls. Mortimer carries his sack of fleebs.]] Mortimer: Um.. maybe I'm the last person who has any right to gripe about charging into danger, but.. Rufus: Trust me. I know what I'm doing.

Friday , November 10 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O' Pots, Mortimer and his brother Rufus stand before a thick red line drawn up the walls of the corridor, inside of which are rune-like shapes which glow.]] Mortimer: What is that thing? Rufus: It's a cloakring. Or rather a section of one. Surrounds a large chunk of the basement, and blocks magical snooping. [[An crude unlabeled map of the basement, showing the cloakring in red.]] Mortimer: Did.. Uncle Fred teach you how to make it? Rufus: Mortimer, I love Uncle Fred but he couldn't build one of these if his life depended on it. Pre-Crash, every World O' Pots of any size had one installed.

Saturday , November 11 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O' Pots, near a cloakring.]] Mortimer: Why did World O' Pots shield their basements? Rufus: Because the Pales didn't want their competitors over at SchlockMart snooping. [[Outline: a map of the "Mansionland" province of Shibolith.]] {{That is the correct spelling in this case, not Shibboleth.}} Mortimer: Pales? What do they have to do with anything? Rufus: sigh. In which Province did WoP get its start? Mortimer: Um.. Shibolith? [[An outline of a stretch of Shibolithian desert, with a Human fort in the distance.]] Rufus: Yes. And what do you find a lot of in Shibolith? Mortimer: . . . Sand? Cacti? Army bases? [[An outline of a stretch of Shibolithian desert, with a Pale Fort in the distance Rufus: Yes, yes, and yes. But I was thinking of Pale Forts.

Sunday, November 12, 2006
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: Mr Crud? You've talked to Crazy Rhid? Crud: Oh, yes! His insights were most helpful when I was growing my bean! ((poing)) {{Crud's eyes pop open wide.}} [[Crud attacks himself.]] Cully: Mr. Chunner? Do I ask too many questions? Chunner: What do you think Kid? Crud: RRRAARRRGGH! Crud: Eeeiie!!

Monday , November 13 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O' Pots.]] Mortimer: The Pales /own/ World O' Pots? Rufus: At any one time, various Forts from Shibolith indirectly control about 60% of the company's stock. {{"Shibolith" is the intended spelling.}} [[An outline of Sylvester, possibly, getting information from a shadowy individual.]] Mortimer: And people... human people.. know this? Rufus: It's not announced on the front page of the Times, but /informed/ people, yes. [[An outline of two Pale Forts battling each other.]] Mortimer: But why don't they-\ Rufus: Because, as Oswald told us, Pale Forts all /despise/ each other, and viciously compete in any available arena.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006
[[Rufus is lecturing to Mortimer. A postcard reading "Greetings from Agraba"]] Rufus: The aggression between Pales appears to be.. built in. All along the edge of the Great Dry, there are whole Pale empires, stetching hundreds of kilometers. Mortimer: Yes. I saw Mom and Lil's postcards from Agraba. [[Pales fighting in the desert.]] Rufus: Right. And they war against each other constantly, riding to vast and bloody battle on the back of Titanbugs. [[Pales fighting in an office.]] Rufus: The Pales in Shibolith are much less numerous. They can't afford such extravagances. And so they moved their fights to new battlefields...

Wednesday , November 15 , 2006
[[An outline of the ruins of a large Schlockmart, alongside a smaller but still operating World O' Pots.]] Mortimer: So.. the Pales who own WoP stock spend all their time fighting with each other? Rufus: Yes. Some cynical souls say that's why the company does so well. Schlockmart was wiped out in the Crash, and here's WoP, reduced, yes, but still chugging along. [[Outline of a collection of Pale weapons.]] Rufus: Even so, the Bureaucracy still might have stepped in and Done Something... Rufus: ..if it wasn't for the weapon situation...

Thursday , November 16 , 2006
[[Outline of the young E-siblings climbing on a battletank. Nearby is a mounted Dornbeast skeleton.]] Mortimer: Weapons? Rufus: C'mon, Mortimer. We used to play on Griff's battle-engine in the Hall of Achievement. [[Outline of a Human soldier carrying a large backpack-based energy weapon.]] Rufus: By the time of the Crash, a husky soldier could just about carry the same firepower on his back! [[Outline of the pack blowing up.]] Rufus: But, like just about everything, Zappacks were powered.. Mortimer: By Magic? Rufus: Yes.

Friday , November 17 , 2006
[[An outline of a Human soldier accidentally shooting off a crossbow bolt, to the anger of one of his fellows.]] Rufus: Anyhoo. After the Crash, our national army suddenly found itself back using spears and crossbows. [[Outline of a Pale's hand offering a spear, while a Human hand offers a bag of money.]] Rufus: And the Pales make really good.. sharp stabby nonmagical weapons. And they were quite willing to sell them, at reasonable prices. [[Stylized outline of "Mansionland", with monster-infested mountains on one side, and a mass of spears on the other.]] Rufus: Half of the army uses Pale weapons now. It's the best equipped on the entire continent. With the Theklans to the south, and Brush-knows-what lurking under the Barrier Peaks to the north, the Pales racked up a lot of good will.

Saturday , November 18 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O' Pots.]] Rufus: What's the matter? Am I overloading you with information? Mortimer: Well.. a little.. but that's not.. Mortimer: I mean.. is this what you wanted to talk about? Mortimer: Do you think the Pales sold the army weapons that'll break, or something, leaving us defenseless so they can attack? Did the Pales /cause/ the Crash? Mortimer: I'll go tell Sylvester about all of this, but I don't see what even he can... Mortimer: You're staring at me. I'm being stupid, aren't I? Rufus: No. Just the opposite. You raise.. um.. surprisingly valid questions. But none of this is what I wanted to.. Rufus: Sylvester knows all of this already. He's the one who told me about it.

Sunday, November 19, 2006
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] [[Panel one has no dialogue.]] [[Cully looks around.]] ((rrrrrrrumm)) Cully: If I don't keep asking questions, nothing's going to happen, is it? Chunner: Impatience. Raw flaming arrogence. /Youth./ Crud: Good news, everyone! It's /chute/ time! ((RRRRUMMMMBBBLLL))

Monday , November 20 , 2006
[[An outline of Sylvester at the University, writing at a desk by candlelight.]] Mortimer: When did Sylvester tell you all of this? Rufus: Various times. He wrote me from the University. You /saw/ the long letters I got from him. [[Outline of Rufus back home at the Mansion, reading the/a letter.]] Mortimer: Why didn't he tell me? Rufus: You didn't care! None of you did, except Lenore, and even before she went off to Rowen, they already weren't speaking to each other anymore!

Tuesday , November 21 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O' Pots.]] Mortimer: But if Sylvester already knows everything, why do you want to talk to /me/? Rufus: I'm sorry? Mortimer: Well.. I figure the only reason you wanted to talk to me was so that I can pass stuff along to Sylvester. Rufus: Wow. Rufus: Two flawless logical leaps in one day. I'm genuinely impressed.

Wednesday , November 22 , 2006
[[Outlines. Two Human military officers, male and female, argue with each other. The female holds a Pale weapon.]] Sylvester: Anyway. To answer your questions.. Yes. There were /bitter/ disputes in the upper levels of the army about whether or not to use Pale weapons... [[Outline. A goggled and masked soldier uses a flamethrower.]] Sylvester: In the end, there was a compromise. Many of the troops use Pale stabbers.. While down in Wirtwam, they've got all those new "Sci" companies working twenty hours a day on non-Magic /Human/ weapons.

Thursday, November 23, 2006
[[{{Happy Thanksgiving, 2006}} [[A nervous Niddle, holding a drumstick of some variety, is eyed by an angry Jibjib.]]

Friday , November 24 , 2006
[[In the basement of the former Eetown World O' Pots, Rufus give a lecture to Mortimer. An outline of a Pale fort in a desert somewhere.]] Rufus: As for the Pales causing the Crash.. Rufus: It's certainly possible, we still know almost nothing about that horrible day.. [[The same fort on the day of the Crash, being wracked with explosions.]] Rufus: But the Forts all used magic. Just... not for making weapons. Mortimer: You mean like the Isdanlians and their using sails instead of churnboats. Rufus: Yes. Exactly. And the Pales got bit just as hard as folks in Isdanlia, or the Capital, or Audravania. [[An outline of a former churnboat, now equipped with sails, traveling on the sea.]] Rufus: And, by the way, thanks to the Isdanlians being around to teach everyone else in the country how to use sails, we also currently have one of the best navies in the entire Known World. Rufus: Before things started going to pieces Out West.. I guess people were accusing /us/ of causing the Crash...

Saturday , November 25 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O'Pots.]] Rufus: As for why I want to talk to you.. [[Stylized outline of Sylvester in the Mansion, reading a newspaper.]] Rufus: Sylvester is very bright, and, for a man who hides in a crumbling pile of stone out at the ass-end of nowhere, is surprisingly well-informed. Rufus: But he doesn't know /everything./ [[Rufus walks past the cloakring.]] Mortimer: And you do? Rufus: I only wish. I just know some things he doesn't. But I'm not discussing it until we're /inside/ the cloakring.

Sunday, November 26, 2006
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: Um.. "chute time"? ((RRRUMMMMBBBLLL)) [[The bottom of the chute appears, pointing directly at Cully.]] ((SHUNK)) Cully: Oh, this can't be good. Chute: ((FLIP)) {{the end flips open}} Crud: Now, you're not going to get anywhere with that kind of attitude! Chunner: Yeah, Kid. just because it's been unspeakably awful the last 523 times..

Monday , November 27 , 2006
[[In what used to be the basement of the Eetown World O' Pots. Rufus has led Mortimer to a band of glowing red symbols which ring the corridor. Mortimer studies them.]] [[Rufus turns back.]] Rufus: What's wrong? Mortimer, pointing: I don't like this thing. I don't like it at all.

Tuesday , November 28 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O' Pots.]] Rufus: What do you mean, you don't like the cloakring? Mortimer: I dunno. I just don't. And why are you worried about magic snooping anyway? Magic doesn't work anymore. [[The Woman of Mystery and the Operator zapping a bit of magic at each other. She looks angry or suspicious, he grins.]] Rufus: Yes it does, Mortimer. Rufus: While the 'Nodes all blew up in the Crash, and the Leylines are all "dead", there are still trickles coming up. The Mansion still operates. Robots still work. And ..people.. with enough skill are still magicians.

Wednesday , November 29 , 2006
[[An outline of the Woman of Mystery's hand hovering over her "scrystone."]] Mortimer: You think you're being watched by The Operator, or.. Rufus: Our beloved great-aunt? She does possess a functioning scrystone, so it's certainly /possible/... Rufus: ..but no, they are not the ones I'm worried about. [[An outline of Rufus having tea with the WoM.]] Mortimer: You've gone snooping in her /things/? Rufus: /You're/ the expert lockpick, Mortimer. I've just /talked/ to her. It can be nerve-wracking, but when she's in the mood, she's as good an infosource as Sylvester. Rufus: Zark. What am I saying? She's even /better/.

Thursday , November 30 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O' Pots. At the cloakring.]] Mortimer: But then who /do/ you think is watching y- Rufus, walkng away: Not until we're well inside the 'ring. [[Mortimer stares after him.]] [[The cloakring.]] [[Mortimer sticks his hand into its field of influence.]] [[He waves his hand.]] [[He's crossed over the perimeter and is inside, carrying his sack of fleebs.]] Mortimer, thinking: still don't like it.

Friday , December 1 , 2006
[[In the basement of the former Eetown World O' Pots.]] Rufus: Anyway. If you're wondering why I'm wearing these gloves.. Mortimer: Well, actually, I- [[Rufus looks down a corridor crowded with a variety of objects. Among them, two large candle-shape tapers, connected at the tip. A spool of wire or cable. A cabinet labelled CALIGARI 2000. A box labelled JONES/LURY Co. Dehydrated Tribbles 50 gross. A larger box whose label is mostly obscured: TANGERINE TREES MARMALADE. An object resembling a Gelatinous Cube from Dungeons and Dragons. In the distance is something resembling an oversized snowglobe.]] Rufus: Before the Crash, the WoP people took that slogan of theirs, "Everything you need", /very/ seriously. Rufus: Don't touch /anything/.

Saturday , December 2 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O' Pots.]] Mortimer: I learned my lesson about touching; I had to crawl through that stupid storeroom to get in here. Rufus: Really. [[A collection of fist-sized globes sitting on a nearby box.]] Rufus: Wow! Look, Mortimer! Highly collectable Zoinkglobes! [[Mortimer looks where Rufus is pointing.]] Mortimer: Just cuz you and Sylvester are smarter than me doesn't mean I'm a /total/ idiot. Rufus: I'm actually beginning to think you may be right.

Sunday , December 3 , 2006
[[A depiction of the daguerreotype which Rosemary carries with her: a picture taken at her second birthday has her being held by her Aunt Eva. Rosemary has her foot in her mouth. Eva poses with a pitchfork in her other hand. They both wear party hats. In the background is a fence and an apple tree.]] {{A tribute to the real-life passing of the woman who was the inspiration for Aunt Eva's name.}}

Monday , December 4 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O' Pots. Mortimer and Rufus walk along a corridor lined with various strange objects: a multiarmed machine, a box that radiates blackness, labelled UMBRAHOUSE BRAND/ ONE (1) BOX OF BLACKNESS/ GRUETOWN WIRTVALE YL, and last a large arch with a downward-pointing "antenna" which creates a gap in the comic, revealing the blue which normally frames each panel. The arch is labelled C&A GAPOMATIC]] ((The last is a reference to the webcomic Casey and Andy.}} Rufus: Before the Crash, many of these items were loaded on airships and shot across the ocean to the colonies on the Far Eastern Shore. Rufus: Why they needed them over there, I can't begin to say. Rufus: Mind the gap.

Tuesday , December 5 , 2006
[[In the basement of the former Eetown World O' Pots. Mortimer and Rufus are walking along a corridor. Lined up against the wall are various items. One is a large complicated-looking machine, labeled HULADYNE which has a squash-like "puddling" clamped into it.]] Mortimer: Why is that Wubblepudding there? Rufus: I'll tell you later. {{A reference to the film Buckaroo Banzai}}

Wednesday , December 6 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World o' Pots, Mortimer and Rufus walk past a large pile of emergency rations, packaged by the "Eternia" company. The flavors include soylent gray, cram, waybread, fliuff, doombee, leftovers. mustgoes, dinojibjib, sasquatch, gargleblaster, lima beans, victory fluff, and choc. frog. The lima bean package has been ripped open.]] Mortimer: Ooh! I know, no touching, but still, /lima beans!/ Rufus: You can't touch them because they're /mine./ {{"Doombees" were at the time a running gag on the Comic Genesis user-forums.}}

Thursday , December 7 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O' Pots. Mortimer and Rufus walk past a large crate which leaks ominous fumes and is labelled "1001 really bad ideas".]] Mortimer: Don't most folks already have a lifetime supply of those? Rufus: Well, come December, Sylvester will be looking for a Brushtival gift for Lenore..

Friday, December 8, 2006
[[In the basement of the destroyed World O' Pots]] Rufus: Now -this- I can explain, because I had Shopbot install it here by my door. Just in case. [[A large shot of a set "demon trap", which strongly resembles a large glass wine bottle.]] Rufus, from off-panel: It's a MerrinCorp "Imp-Class" Demontrap. State of the art, the day the Crash hit. Rufus: The Operator could eat it for lunch, probably literally, but for more.. minor.. nuisances, it works a treat. Rufus: Or at least, all the old accounts say.

Friday, December 8, 2006
[[In the basement of the destroyed World O' Pots]] Rufus: Now -this- I can explain, because I had Shopbot install it here by my door. Just in case. [[A large shot of a set "demon trap", which strongly resembles a large glass wine bottle.]] Rufus, from off-panel: It's a MerrinCorp "Imp-Class" Demontrap. State of the art, the day the Crash hit. Rufus: The Operator could eat it for lunch, probably literally, but for more.. minor.. nuisances, it works a treat. Rufus: Or at least, all the old accounts say.

Saturday , December 9 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O' Pots.]] Rufus: What's wrong now? Mortimer: Well.. to start with, how does that thing fit in here? It's too tall! [[A close-up of the "cork" on the Demon Trap.]] Rufus: Oh, yes. I had to install a ceiling extender. Mortimer: Ceiling.. OK, Rufus, now I /know/ you're making fun of me. [[An outline of an empty Human hand, extended.]] Rufus: No. Really! The Hammerspace people made them. Mortimer: Who? Rufus: The Hammerspace Company. Down in Wirtwam. You know.. [[The hand is now holding a hammer.]] Rufus: They made those magic "Poke-Kits". Gave travellers extra-dimensional storage space. Rufus: Wish I could have found one of those down here..

Sunday, December 10, 2006
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: Something's coming. ((tink)) ((tink)) {{from the chute}} [[Something small falls out of the chute and bonks Cully's snout.]] ((tink)) ((bonk)) Cully: um.. ow, but still, Sirs, that wasn't really so- Chunner: One Snoutbonker. One crescent Snoutbonker. Crud: Oh dear.

Monday , December 11 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O' Pots.]] Mortimer: Oh, right! Poke-kits! Frowgler gave one to Roshambo once, to transport the Eye of Argon through the Yellow Fingers! Rufus: Who to what where? [[An outline of the in-universe comic-strip character Roshambo the Warrior Beetle, posing heroically on a cliff with a shield and a glowing sword. Mortimer: Roshambo the Warrior Beetle! The greatest comic strip ever! ... You know. In the Times. Rufus: Oh. Right. {{Yellow Fingers is a reference to an old-timey joke about an advertising slogan, from back in the days when people owned phone books. Get off my lawn.}} [[An outline of the 'fictional' version of Frowgler the Horned Frog, wearing a stereotypical wizard hat.]] Mortimer: Roshambo battles the evil Arax's army of Troopers, while Frowgler's a magic demon-frog. Even though he has his own mysterious agenda, he helps- Rufus: Thank you, Mortimer. I now know everything about Roshambo that I will ever need.

Tuesday , December 12 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O' Pots.]] Rufus: Anyway. You said "to start with". What else is wrong? Mortimer: OK. That "demon-trap" is the silliest thing I've ever seen! And.. And this is /me/ saying that! [[Close-up of the glowing bait in the demon-trap.]] Rufus: Yes. Well. It was just a sidenote, but I read about this in Lobcock's book. Mortimer: Book? Rufus: 'The Thricklefork Demon Massacre.' Maybe not as well known as Roshambo, but it sold quite a few copies in its day. [[Outline of a wizard displaying a drawing of a demon-trap prototype.]] Rufus: When the MerrinCorp wizards designed the thing, they somehow determined that the most effective shape was a bulb with a tapered stem. [[Outline of a marketing-type displaying a drawing a wine bottle.]] Rufus: And.. the trap fills with a fluid rather like Brushwine when it is sprung.. Rufus: ..and the company marketing department inevitably got involved..

Wednesday , December 13 , 2006
[[In the former basemet of the Eetown World O' Pots.]] Mortimer: All right. Maybe the trap works, despite how it looks. But... Rufus: Yes? Mortimer: You really think this... person watching you is some *other* demon? Not the Operator.. Rufus: That's the problem. I just don't know. [[Rufus touches the trap's fluid-tank.]] Rufus: And I also don't know this thing will work. It started right up when I turned it on, but it's been rotting down in this wretched place for *fifty years*. But as I said.. just in case. I'm *trying* to be prepared for anything. Rufus: Any other questions? Mortimer: . . . Where's Thricklefork? Rufus: Florin Province. The demons were summoned by an idiot at the Royal Academy of Magic.

Thursday , December 14 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O' Pots. Mortimer and Rufus stand before a closed door which has the word SUPERVISOR above it. To one side is a demon-trap. To the other, a large device sporting a mechanical fist at the end of a long lever. It is labelled BIGBY 423-A. Wires run from this into a lock-panel beside the door.]] {{Bigby is a reference to hand-themed magic spells used in Dungeons & Dragons.}} Rufus: So. Here we are. Home not-so-sweet home. Mortimer: um.. Rufus: Don't worry. That works fine, /and/ I only turn it on when I go to sleep.

Friday , December 15 , 2006
[[In the former basement of the Eetown World O' Pots, at the front door to Rufus's quarters.]] Mortimer, pointing: Um.. Rufus, I may not know about demontraps, but I do know those Bigby /fist/-traps, and- Rufus, walking out of sight: No, really, it's fine. Mortimer: It's /not!/ The ones in the Mansion all have those faulty hair-triggers, and they always- ((snap WHAM)) [[Mortimer drops his sack of fleebs.]] Rufus: I'm all right. I'm /all right/. Mortimer: Oh, good.

Saturday , December 16 , 2006
[[The front door to Rufus's hideout, seen from inside. Rufus and Mortimer are on the other side, and their voices can be heard. An egg-like object sits on stand. A sketch of a robot can just be seen tacked to the wall.]] Rufus: Give me a hand here, would you... Mortimer: Um.. OK.. Mortimer, probably: Oof. Rufus: OK, right.. Mortimer, probably: Urg, Rufus: There. I think- ((SPROINNG WHAM)) [[In the corner of the panel, a gloved hand can be seen rising in surprise. The egg falls off the stand. The lock-pad beside the door pops out of place.]] Rufus: Ah. OK. We're all right! We can work this out! Mortimer: Oh, good.

Sunday , December 17 , 2006
[[The door of Rufus's hideout, as seen from inside.]] Rufus, beyond door: OK, fine. /Enough/ of this. (( THUMP BANG BEEP)) [[The door slides open. Rufus is standing, Mortimer peering around the edge.]] ((SHUNK)) [[A view of the rest of the room. A table with some lit candles and the remians of a meal, a cot, a cabinet and a filecabinet, various "BULKCO" boxes and bits of paper scattered around. More paper is tacked to the walls.]] Mortimer: We're going to be attacked now or something, aren't we? Rufus: Of course not, Mortimer. See? There's no one here but us.

Monday , December 18 , 2006
[[Inside Rufus's hideout.]] Rufus: Before we start, there's a water closet over there, if you want to use it. Mortimer: Water.. Do you mean a bathroom? [[An open door, leading into darkness. A Human hand is just visible inside, but neither of them notice it.]] [[The hand is gone. A flutterby flies out of the door.]] Rufus: No. No, it's definitely a water /closet/.

Tuesday , December 19 , 2006
[[Inside Rufus's hideout.]] Mortimer: I don't need a bathroom, Rufus. Please just give me the message for Sylvester. Rufus: There's a shower. Of sorts. Uses rainwater. [[Pinned to the wall behind Rufus is a sketch of Hector the robot's head.]] Mortimer: A shower? Rufus: Mortimer, you smell like.. what /is/ that you smell like? Mortimer: Oh, let's see. Spyderwebs. Pitdirt. Sphagnum dust. Fifty-year-old Sploo. And.. Mortimer: No, wait. I was going to say yummysticks, but looks like the Sploo has eaten them. [[Rufus facepalms.]] Rufus: Sphagnum dust?! Oh, Mortimer..

Wednesday , December 20 , 2006
[[Inside Rufus's quarters in the basement of the former World O Pots.]] Rufus: You're right. Let's get on with this. ..As I said before, unlike some people, I pay attention. Mortimer: Huh? [[An outline of a hooded figure pushing a wheeled cart under a starry sky; sitting on the cart are two boxes labeled MOE WINE and LUGNUTS.]] Rufus: /And so./ in the last year or so, I noticed strange covert comings and goings from the Mansion. Deliveries arriving in the dead of night. Things being /carted away/ in the dead of night.

Thursday , December 21 , 2006
[[An outline of a stylized Basement, with various species represented: Helipath, Gnoll, Motihaul, Ghast.]] Mortimer: You think someone in the /basement/ is- Rufus: No, Mortimer. The basement is cut off from all this. Rufus: In fact, it's noticible [sic] how completely cut off it is.. [[Outline of the Humans who live in the Mansion.]] Mortimer: But then- Rufus: And no, it's not Uncle Frederick, or either of the Grubbs, or Schmedley, or Arthur- [[Outline of the Weirdo peering at the stylized Basement of above.]] Mortimer: "Arthur?" Rufus: The Weirdo. That's his real name. It is true he's been snooping around a lot. Rufus: ..I wish I could trust him enough to compare notes with him..

Friday , December 22 , 2006
[[Rufus's quarters in the former World O' Pots basement.]] Rufus: So. After many months of snooping, this is what I have learned, and what you need to tell Sylvester: living somewhere high up in the Mansion, *not* the Basement, is a man named "Mr. Hand." [[Behind Rufus, Eunice stealthily emerges from the water closet, holding a glowing object in her hand.]] Mortimer: "Hand"? But tha- Rufus: But indeed. I say "man", *but*.. I don't know what he is. Human. Demon. Something else entirely.

Saturday , December 23 , 2006
[[Inside Rufus's hideout.]] Mortimer: What does "Mr. Hand" look like, that you can't tell if he's human? Rufus: I haven't actually seen him. Yet. [[Outline of Rufus leaning out of a hatch, examining clothes piled in a bin.]] Mortimer: But then how- Rufus: I've managed to hear his voice. See some of the clothes he wears. He's.. humanish. [[Outline of the Operator being sealed in the Elevator by a hand extending into the frame.]] Rufus: On the other hand, the evidence also strongly suggests he was the wizard who sealed the Operator inside the Elevator. Mortimer: But that was.. 70 years ago! And the stories say that wizard was /old./ [[A closeup of the sketch of Hector the robot which is tacked to the wall.]] Rufus: Closer to 80 years. So yeah. Rufus: And he's got a functioning robot. A genuine Ettin-built bipedal robot, not a Factor E-knockoff Shopbot or Guardinator. Rufus: It (him?) I've actually seen.

Sunday , December 24 , 2006
[[Inside Rufus's hideout.]] Mortimer: But what is Mr. Hand /doing?/ Rufus: I th- Eunice: All right. That's enough. [[Mortimer gets blasted with electricity from off panel.]] ((FA-ZZZAP!)) [[He falls to the floor.]] Eunice: Now then, Rufus. [[She walks into view.]] Rufus: /EUNICE!?/ Eunice: Last time I checked, yes. Let's move along, shall we?

Monday , December 25 , 2006
[[Secret Santa art from Andrey Pissantchev of the web-comic Annihilicious, depicting a very dedicated Santa climbing down a chimney inside the Mansion.]]

Tuesday , December 26 , 2006
[[Inside Rufus's hideout.]] Eunice: His hearing all that was counterproductive. Rufus: /You killed my brother!/ Eunice: He'll be fine in a couple of hours. [[Mortimer lying on the ground.]] Eunice: . . . Eunice: ...apart from a headache. And still being Mortimer. Rufus: All these years. You've been working for him all along. Eunice: Who? Mr. Hand? I know it's hard, Rufus, you being a man, /and/ a member of your particular family.. Eunice: ..but try not to be too stupid. Eunice: I work for someone /far/ more important. Just like the Stouts, and Threnody, and everybody else down in the village. Eunice: /Just like you./

Wednesday , December 27 , 2006
[[Inside Rufus's hideout.]] Rufus: I don't work for anyone. And Mr. Hand is- Eunice: /Forget Hand!/ He is a senile old fool, and his day is nearly done. Rufus: Get out. Eunice: I want nothing more than to get out of this putrid hole. But you /are/ coming with me. Rufus: /Get out./ Eunice: Because our.. /boss/ is waiting. And he has what you most crave. Rufus: . . . which is? Eunice: Answers. Eunice: Answers about Mr. Hand, if you absolutely insist. Answers about nearly everything. Eunice: We'll haul Mortimer as far as the surface. But then.. Rufus of E, It's time to go meet God.

Thursday , December 28 , 2006
Narration: Meanwhile, not terribly far away.. [[The Forest of E. Snerk the Saur looks at a dead giant Spyder hanging in the remains of its own web. He (Snerk) is carrying the Zorper/HJ42.]] [[Snerk ((sniffs)) at the Spyder's leg.]] [[He ((licks)) it.]] [[He realizes something.]] ((CHOMP RRRRIPPP)) [[He has taken off a piece of the leg, and it eating it.]] Snerk, thinking: Mmmm. Nice and bristly. ((chew chew ch-)) [[Noises from off-panel.]] ((thump bang CRUNCH))

Friday , December 29 , 2006
[[In the Forest of E.]] Snerk: Boss? ...Is that you? ((SPROING)) [[Frowgler drops into view.]] ((WHUMP)) Frowgler: Yes, Snerk. It's me. Snerk: Uh.. I know you don't like nosy questions, but... Frowgler: Yes? Snerk: ..are you OK? Frowgler: I've had better days, but I'll live. Frowgler: Did you win.. the item? Snerk: Yeah. It went just like we.. you.. hoped. Frowgler: Good. Right. A nice change of pace.

Saturday , December 30 , 2006
[[The Forest of E. In the background is the rusted remnants of an automobile.]] Snerk: Boss.. there was one thing that went wrong.. sorta. Frowgler: Of course. Snerk: After I left the auction, some wormmuncher bint ran into me. Frowgler: And? Snerk: And the zorper turned on, and.. Frowgler: Yes? Snerk: It's all hazy.. Afterwards, someone was /there./ Frowgler: Ah. A tall female Nome-type, with dark hair? Rather grumpy? Snerk: You really do know everything, Frowgler: As I was just saying to someone or other, only in matters of trivia. But still. Don't worry about the zorper turning on, or that "Nome". Frowgler: In the end, it might even prove to have been useful.

Sunday , December 31 , 2006
[[The Forest of E.]] Frowgler: Anyway. You have the zorper. Snerk: Yeah, Boss. Frowgler: Just put it down here. [[Snerk offers a collection of whiite lines with a fuzzy black spot at tjhe center.]] Snerk: And here's your humbug. . picket. . thingee. There're two and a- three fleebs left inside. Frowgler: Hammerspace poke kit. Good. Snerk: Whadda we do now? Frowgler: /You/ go lay low at headquarters for a couple days. Agita and the others will be looking for you, I imagine. Frowgler: As for me.. You're better off not knowing. Frowgler: Goodbye, Snerk.

Monday , January 1 , 2007
[[A portrait of Mortimer, Rosemary and Sylvester by JessicaRaven of the webcomic Triquetra Cats, done in a more Anime-esque style. Part of a 2006 Secret-Santa art swap. ]]

Tuesday , January 2 , 2007
[[In the Forest of E.]] Snerk: "Goodbye"? Boss? You sure that y- Frowgler: No, I'm not sure, Snerk. Frowgler: No one can say what the future will bring. But tell Lumpy and Buzz and the others I hope to be back at headquarters tomorrow. Frowgler: Now get going. Snerk: OK, Boss. [[Snerk leaves]] Frowgler: Goodbye, Snerk.

Wednesday , January 3 , 2007
[[The Forest of E. Frowgler confronts the HJ42/Zorper.]] Frowgler: So. As my insipid fictional namesake is overly fond of saying.. We meet again. Frowgler: The trouble you and your glowing friend have put me through. The sacrifices I've had to make. All for /you/. Frowgler: But of course you don't understand a word I'm saying, do you? [[Frowgler's hand sprouts claws and a runed "button" in the palm.]] ((snik snik snik bloop)) Frowgler: I can only hope that at some level you understand /this./

Thursday , January 4 , 2007
[[In the Forest of E. A closeup of the HJ42/Zorper sitting on a slab of rock, radiating power.]] [[Frowgler's flipper slams down on the Zorper, creating a purple glow.]] ((WHAM))

Friday , January 5 , 2007
[[Snerk the Saur hurries through the Forest of E, surrounded by trees and the remains of stone walls.]] [[A massive light flashes behind him, like that of an atomic blast.]] ((OZPR)) [[He turns to look as the light fades away and bits of rubble fall around him.]] Snerk: ...boss?

Saturday , January 6 , 2007
Narration: Back underground.. [[Bung the Gobule squats in his usual place. The sounds of fighting are in the distance.]] ((boom)) [[Clochard the Gnoll appears.]] Bung: Clochard. Clochard: I formally request a favor, you fossilized knob of excrescence. /Where's Digger?/ Bung: He's in the council's new tunnel to the forest, headed this way at his usual blistering pace. He was hired by some mysterious personage to dig a Killer Tree. Bung: And if /I/ call someone Mysterious, you'd better zarking well sit up and- [[Clochard leaves.]] Clochard: You know where to find me when you want that favor.

Sunday, January 7, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Chunner: They always send down a token, telling us what's coming. Crud: Howlers, Wifts, Wobblers, Drips.. Snoutbonkers. Chunner: Snoutbonkers are bad. Crescent snountbonkers are really bad. Crud: Only way it could be worse is if they also sent an inverted snoutbonker! [[Something small and dark falls out of the chute and bounces off Cully's snout.]] ((knob)) Chunner: sssigh. Crud: Oh dear...

Monday , January 8 , 2007
[[In the Basement of E. Rosemary, Sylvester and CamoraHax walk past a fight scene.]] Narration: In two separate locations ((Hit em NOW! ARRGH! BOOM crunch splatter)) Rosemary: How much further to this Izchak? Camora: Sidestep Hall's not far ahead. [[In another corridor, Findfor the Gnoll and Batter the Gobule watch Hopobefever the Ghast angrily depart ]] ((NO! It's gonna blow! WOOM)) Findfor: "Go after her"? I wouldn't go after her if it was Nevus himself ordering it! {{Findfor is pronounced with 'Fin' like the fish-part, not 'find' as in locate.}}

Tuesday , January 9 , 2007
[[Rosemary, Sylvester and CamoraHax walk a corridor, with fighting noises nearby. Sylvester indicates a sign on the wall.]] Sylvester: Um.. Camora? What is the "Council", exactly? It wasn't around before.. Camora: Where to begin.. ((CLANG THUD GORCH)) [[A closer look at the sign. It reads DO NOT PAINT THIS WALL/ BY ORDER OF THE COUNCIL. Someone has graffitied over it ZARK OFF N DIE.]] Camora: Ever since the War, and the Sneetches throwing their big wobbler... Camora: ...this side of the Chasm has always been divvied up by one bunch of powerplayers or other.. [[Outline of Nevus, Agita and Guttle, with Nevus being given glowing prominence.]] Camora: Right now, it's a three-way split. Nevus, Agita and Guttle; you've heard of them, of course. Sylvester: Well.. Nevus.. [[Outline of a female and male Ghast guarding an entrance.]] Camora: But whoever the bosses have been, there has always been something.. outside.. it all: the Ghasts and their breeding pools...

Wednesday , January 10 , 2007
[[CamoraHax, Sylvester and Rosemary walk along. Various fighting noises can be heard in the background.]] Camora: How much do you foresttypes know about Ghasts? Sylvester, exchanging glance with Rosemary: Probably not as much as we should. [[Outline of a Ghast who has been pincushioned with arrows without noticeable effect, and is holding a worried-looking Troglodyte archer by the neck.]] Camora: Right. So. Individual Ghasts are really tough.. [[Outline of a Gobule watching happily as newly-born Gobules run off in various directions.]] Camora: But unlike us Gnolls or you Nomes or anyone really, they can't just squat in any old corner and pop out their whelps.. Sylvester: Um.. you literally squ- Camora: No, of course not! Except for Gobules. [[An outline of a Ghast breeding pool.]] Camora: The wall-lickers /need/ their breeding pools. No more pools means no more Ghasts.

Thursday , January 11 , 2007
[[In the Basement.]] Sylvester: What does all of this have to do with the Council? Camora: I'm /getting/ to that. Camora: Because they're so vulnerable, Ghasts have this whole idiotic thing about "unifying and pacifying the world." [[Outline of a female Ghast and a female Troglodyte eye each other. The Trog is carrying a bomb of some sort.]] Camora: But they're at least smart enough to know that the rest of us aren't going to let them take over... Camora: ..or do something even worse.. [[Outline of the Council chambers, standing unoccupied.]] Camora: So they created the "Interspecies Coordinating Council".

Friday , January 12 , 2007
[[Outline/map of section of the Basement.]] Camora: The Ghasts carved the Councilspace out of a chunk of their territory... [[Outlines and name of Council members: Aprat the Helipath, Wunk the Gnoll, Doyen the Troglodyte, and Gavzada the Motihaul.]] Camora: ..and rounded up some idiots to "represent" their species as Council members. Camora: You know, they actually wanted /Comshaw/ to be the Gnollish representative? But I put a stop to /that./ [[Outline of Council Chairbeing Preznit]] Camora: They also needed a "chairbeing", so they propped up that.. archidiot.. Preznit.

Saturday , January 13 , 2007
[[Rosemary, Sylvester and CamoraHax walk in the Basement. Fighting noises can be heard in the background.]] Rosemary: And what exactly did this "Preznit" person do to elevate his idiot status? Camora: Grump. [[Outline of Preznit in hood and robe.]] Camora: He fakes that voice, and wears that hood and the gloves.. [[Outline of Preznit naked.]] Camora: But he's an Eyebolt. Everyone /knows/ he's an Eyebolt. Everyone has /always/ known he's an Eybolt.

Sunday, January 14, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: So, it's raw sewage, isn't it? Chute: ((BLOOP)) [[A bright green liquid begins to flow out of the chute.]] ((glub)) ((glub)) ((glub)) Crud: You only /wish/ it was raw sewage.

Monday , January 15 , 2007
[[In the Basement. Graffiti reads FNORD WUZ HERE]] Rosemary: So anyway. The Ghasts form the Council, and it starts putting up signs. Camora: And making up rules everyone ignores, Camora: and organizing snooper squads. I gather you've met Hopobefever's. Sylvester: Um. Yes. What about the bottle of penalty wine? [[Camora glowers. A Human stencil on the wall reads ERIS LIVES. ROBERT ANTON WILSON DOES NOT.]] Camora: OK. Fine. They /did/ finally deal with Chauncy and Edgar. [[Rosemary and Sylvester exchange a glance.]] Sylvester: Right. Chauncy and Edgar.

Tuesday , January 16 , 2007
[[Hopobefevfer has arrived at the doorway off the Long Path which leads to Crazy Rhid's. Off to one side, a weight labelled 12 TONZ is being hoisted up on a rope.]] Helipath voice: Pull! Pull! Pull! [[A closeup of Hopobefevfer's angry blackened face.]]

Wednesday, January 17, 2007
[[{{The Gnoll was unnamed when the strip was published, but later revealed to be Niff.}} [[An angry, literally smoking, Hopobefever stalks along. There is a pipe mounted on the wall. Human stencils read DO NOT SEVER PIPE. DO NOT BLOCK SIGNS.]] [[She comes to where Niff is standing.]] Niff: Um, hi. If you're here for the bucketchain, we're w- [[She stalks on past. Another stencil reads DO NOT REPEAT YOURSELF]] Niff: --- Niff: OK then!

Thursday , January 18 , 2007
[[At "Well #3", which is the start of the bucket chain attempting to reach the Elevator. Present are Grik and Grak the Troglodytes, Folla the Gnoll, Kulma the Motihaul, and the unnamed Ichyoid who serves as the well's guard. Hopobefevfer stalks past them all.]] {{The Ichyoid is known to Basement folks as "Big Talker", but this fact has yet to come up in-comic.}}

Friday , January 19 , 2007
[[At Well #3 in the Basement. The Ichyoid well-guard is present.]] Kulma the Motihaul: Was that Hopobefever who just went past? Niff the Gnoll: I dunno. Some fem-Ghast. She seemed really angry. Kulma: Oh dear. Guard: [DISASTER] [[He leaves.]] Kulma: I suppose that goes without saying. Guard: [FLEE] {{The guard's nickname is Big Talker, because he is big and he occasionally talks.}}

Saturday , January 20 , 2007
[[On the Elevator-fire bucket-chain. Mowder the Troglodyte listens to a Ghast whose unmentioned name is Sopovefe]] Sopovefe: For the last time, I don't care what this 'Sina' person wants! I'm not going up there! [[Hopobefever stalks past.]] Sopovefe: I'll do a bucket, but I'm not going near some huge fire, especially one th- [[With a backwards glare, Mowder leaves, following Hopobefever.]] Sopovefe: For the record, going anywhere near an angry burnt Hpbfvr is an even less promising survival strategy! {{Name here really should be Hobfvfr.}}

Sunday, January 21, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] [[A bright green liquid is flowing out of the chute.]] ((glub)) Cully: Waaait a second... ((glub)) [[Cully examines some of the liquid on his finger.]] Cully: But this is.. This isn't /possible/! ((glub)) Crud: You only /wish/ it wasn'- Chunner: Crud, give it a rest.

Monday , January 22 , 2007
[[The corridor leading the Crazy Rhid's place. Hopobefever the Ghast stalks along, trailed by Mowder the Trog. Behind them is a Helipath with a basket strapped to his side. Inside the basket is a young Eyebolt.]] Hopobefever: You have something to say to me.. Mowder, isn't it? Mowder: Not as long as you keep moving towards Sina. [[Further up the corridor. Behind them now are three Gnolls carrying buckets, Satyrsong, Delfa, and Wittol.]] Hobobefever: Sina. The Gnoll who stages those fungus-devouring rituals? What's she got to do with this? Mowder: "Birthday parties." And she's branched out into bucket-chain management. Hobobefever: I /see/.

Tuesday , January 23 , 2007
[[Walking up the bucket chain toward the Elevator.]] Hopobefevfer: Were you there when the Elevator exploded? Mowder the Troglodyte: Nah. Grik and Grak told me. Wouldn't have believed anything those two snotsnouts said, if I hadn't seen how toasted they were. Hopobefevfer: So you didn't see a badly-burnt male Ghast? Mowder: Oh, /that's/ why you're here. He's lying outside Rhid's place. Didn't really look bur- Hopobefevfer: WHAT!?

Wednesday , January 24 , 2007
[[An outline of Mowder the Troglodyte looking down at Hepthbav the Ghast lying on the ground.]] Hopobefevfer: You /moved/ Hpthbvtw from the Elevator? Mowder: The Ghast was where he is when I got there. [[Behind them are Catmorlo the Gnoll and Asota the Motihual.]] Hopobefever: So Sina wants my help caring for him. Mowder: No, she's got some question about Dornbeasts.. Hopobefever: DORNBEASTS? Mowder: Hey, I'm just working here. Take it up with Sina. Hopobefever: What an excellent idea.

Thursday , January 25 , 2007
[[CamoraHax leads Rosemary and Sylvester. In the background, a nameless Gobule runs past with a morsel in his mouth. There is smoke, and booming sounds coming from somewhere, due to fighting.]] Camora: To get to Sidestep, or anywhere, really, we have to cut through Time Hall. Rosemary, to Sylvester: Time Hall? Something else that is new? Sylvester: No. Gotta be the Fountain and the EttinClock. Brace yourself.

Friday , January 26 , 2007
[[CamoraHax, Rosemary and Sylvester approach an archway. On the viewer's side, the archway is labelled LONG PATH in Manglish.]] [[Seen from above, they pass through the arch.]] [[Rosemary looks up at something.]] Rosemary: You could have warned me to brace myself. Sylvester: Sorry.

Saturday , January 27 , 2007
[[Sylvester, Rosemary and CamoraHax have arrived at Time Hall. At the center of this space is a tall structure; the lower part is a fountain, spewing purple-colored fluid from various nozzles. Floating above this is a block which sprouts various appendages which in turn project/create a clock made of glowing light. A branch of the Tree grows in the background. An Ooze is by the fountain, while a Jibjib flies by overhead. Standing on platform against the far wall is a hooded and robed figure.]] Rosemary: How.. why.. did the "Humans" build that? Sylvester: The.. story.. I heard said they didn't b- Camora: The same reason they built /everything/ they did; they were insane weirdos.

Sunday, January 28, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] [[A bright green liquid is flowing copiously from the chute.]] Cully: This.. this is Sneech squeezings! chute: ((glub)) Chunner: That's right, kid. Cully: But.. it's banned! After the War.. after the /Breech/! chute: ((glub)) Chunner: The /Council/ banned it. Chunner: But did you really think the movers and shakers up in Crescent Hall.. chute: ((glub)) Chunner: ..kept the Last Bridge open just so they could trade with Pales? Crud: Give /what/ a rest?

Monday , January 29 , 2007
[[In Time Hall, at the base of the Fountain-Clock.]] Rosemary: So.. that fluid the fountain is spewing is poisonious? [sic] Camora: It changes every hour. That right now.. it actually makes a good nestcleaner, if you use it properly. [[A closer view of one of the Fountain's many nozzles.]] Camora: But the stuff that comes at night.. Camora: Crazy Rhid mixes it into some of his little.. toys. Sylvester, probably: Crazy Rhid. Right.

Tuesday , January 30 , 2007
[[Inside Time Hall. Camora has Hax on her head. Rosemary and Sylvester listen.]] Camora: But anyway. This is Time Hall. [[A Basement-dweller's map of Time Hall]] Camora: The center of the world. From here you can get anywhere you want. [[The front entrance to Sidestep Hall. Large bones are mounted, one on either side, topped with depictions of male and female Motihaul "hair". A Trog, carrying a spear, hurries past.]] Camora: What /we/ want is right up there.

Wednesday , January 31 , 2007
[[At the entrance to Sidestep Hall. A large bone has been mounted to either side, topped with a representation of male and female Motihual head-structure.]] Rosemary: Camora, are you and I going to have.. problems going into the male half of the Hall? Camora: No, it pains me to say it's our fellow females who get all stroppy about- wait a minute.. Sylvester: uh oh...

Thursday , February 1 , 2007
[[At the entrance to Sidestep Hall.]] Camora: How do you know about Motihauls splitting themselves up? They almost never go above. Rosemary: um.. Sylvester: I /have/ been down here before. But also, not all Motihauls live underground. Camora: What? Sylvester: sigh.. as I was just.. /reminding/ Rosemary in Le Tree.. [[Outline of Sylvester, loaded down with baggage and wearing a University hat, looking down at a Motihaul carrying some fish-like critters on a long pole.]] Sylvester: I once visited a place where.. wisegnomes gather to share their knowledge. There are Motihauls living in the swamps along the route.

Friday , February 2 , 2007
[[At the entrance to Sidestep Hall.]] Camora: What's a swamp? Sylvester: There used to be one down here.. sort of.. near the, uh, "Chamber of Extreme Aridity".. wet... muddy.. lots of plants? [[A crocogater lurks in water and plants; above a flat stretch marked with low pillars.]] Camora: Oh. Nubby's Crocogator Pit. Sylvester: Um, yeah. I guess. Rosemary: "Nubby" likes crocogators, does he? Camora: Oh yes. In the end, he really got into his work.

Saturday , February 3 , 2007
[[Outline of a male Motihaul suffering under the sun.]] Camora: Motihauls can't go up to the surface; that sun-thing damages their pelts. [[Another male Motihaul, wearing a hat, carrying a stick, not suffering from sun.]] Sylvester: ..the ones down here maybe. But that's because they've adapted to life underground. [[A lumpy/furry Gnoll looks down a shaft leading underground.]] Camora: /Adapted?/ Sylvester: Yes, just like you Gnolls. Life didn't /start/ here; your ancestors came down Brush-knows how long ago, and- Camora: That's just crazy talk! Sylvester: No, compare Saurs and Troglodytes! They are... Sylvester: . . . Sylvester: oh, never mind. Where's this Izchak person?

Sunday, February 4, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: So.. some Crescent nob sneaks across the bridge.. chute: ((glub)) Cully: collects squeezings from the Sneeches, Cully: And smuggles it all the way across the world to the SubShafts to- to- chute: ((glub)) Chunner: Use in a bunch of sleazy and dangerous fleeb-making schemes? Yes. Cully: But.. but.. chute: ((glub)) Chunner: Welcome to the real world, kid. Crud: The schemes are smelly, too!

Monday , February 5 , 2007
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's place. Sepferb the Ghast lies on the ground.]] [[Hopobefevfer appears, kneeling to study him.]] Hopo: . . . Hopo: Oh. [[She rises and goes on.]] Hop: It's just Sepfrbfrx. Mowder the Trog: What a shame.

Tuesday , February 6 , 2007
[[Approaching Crazy Rhid's.]] Mowder the Troglodyte: You aren't going to help your friend? Hopobefevfer: Sepfrbfrx is not my friend. And even if he was.. Hopo: ..unless I knew what Rhid did to him, anything I could try just make things worse. For both of us. Hopo: The Mediks need to bring over one of the portapools. Hopo: ..if any are still available after everything else that's happened today..

Wednesday , February 7 , 2007
[[Just outside Crazy Rhid's. An Ooze and a female Motihaul wearing a hat watch Hopobefevfer and Mowder the Troglodyte.]] Mowder: How come you're so /sure/ Rhid did that to whatisface back there? Hopo: I thought you Trogs had "snouts" that sort of worked. [[Mowder sniffs.]] Mowder: I smell all sorts of phizz. floating around in here. Earlier, it was some zarking Trog repellent. [[Behind Hopo float the scents of all of Rhid's bombs: Cacophony/BOOM/POOM/POW/GLORCH/ZUM.]] Hopo: Yes. Rhid detonated what must have been his entire arsenal in this hall. The only question is, did he do it /voluntarily./

Wednesday , February 7 , 2007
[[Just outside Crazy Rhid's. An Ooze and a female Motihaul wearing a hat watch Hopobefevfer and Mowder the Troglodyte.]] Mowder: How come you're so /sure/ Rhid did that to whatisface back there? Hopo: I thought you Trogs had "snouts" that sort of worked. [[Mowder sniffs.]] Mowder: I smell all sorts of phizz. floating around in here. Earlier, it was some zarking Trog repellent. [[Behind Hopo float the scents of all of Rhid's bombs: Cacophony/BOOM/POOM/POW/GLORCH/ZUM.]] Hopo: Yes. Rhid detonated what must have been his entire arsenal in this hall. The only question is, did he do it /voluntarily./

Thursday, February 8, 2007
[[Outside Crazy Rhid's. Hopobefever and Mowder speak. Also in the shot are Ploot the Wyrm, and a Gnoll holding a bucket who will later be IDed as Timf.]] Hop: So Rhid is dead? Mowder: He's gone, one way or another. She's waiting for you in his place. {{"She" refers to Sina the Gnoll.}} Mowder: I'll just wait here, because he left behind- [[Hopobefever goes inside.]] H: I heard you. Trog repellent. And I suspect, Dornbeast bulbs.

Friday , February 9 , 2007
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's entryway. Sina and Skuy stand and wait.]] [[Sina (currently blinded) sniffs the air as Hopobefevfer appears.]] [[Skuy turns to stare at Hopo.]] Sina: Finally. A Ghast. smell terrible. Hopo: You have looked better yourself, Sina.

Saturday , February 10 , 2007
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's entryway. Smoke floats in the background.]] Sina: Hopebefever, isn't it? Hopo: Close enough. Skuy, to Hopo: What /happened/ to you? Hopo: Sina, your little friend doesn't appear to have anything productive to contribute to this situation. Sina: You heard her, Skuy. Wait over there with the others. [[Over with the others.]] Spot the Gobule: You just gonna let them talk to you like that? Skuy: Oh my, yes.

Sunday, February 11, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Chunner: So, kid. Any more questions? Cully: No. No more questions. Chunner: OK then. chute: ((glub)) [[The shaft is rapidly filling with green liquid.]] chute: ((glub)) [[The liquid rises to the gnolls' mouths.]] Cully: No. Wait. I wana know h- Cully: blub blub blub chute: ((glub))

Monday , February 12 , 2007
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's entryway. Smoke floats in the background.]] Sina: You saw Sepferb. I sent Snerk to Amorph Hall to get help for him. Hopobefevfer: Yes. Fine. Is there /another/ Ghast, at the Elevator? Sina: How could any of us know that? We're still trying to get there. Hopo: That Gobule, Speck, claimed she was there, and that she saw Hpthbvtw. That's the only reason I'm here. Sina: No, you're here because you Ghasts know all about Dornbeasts. [[Skuy, Spot the Gobule and Voog the Wyrm watch this conversation.]] Hopo: ... /Fine/ Sina: /Good./ Spot: I could tell her that Speck was right, but fer some reason I don't feel like it.

Tuesday , February 13 , 2007
[[Inisde Crazy Rhid's place. Smoke floats in the background.]] Sina: So. Anyway. Rhid's back door. It leads to the Elevator and then the Fringes. A place infested with adult Trogs and Dornbeasts. [[A view of the back door.]] Sina: For whatever reason, he wanted access. So, instead of sealing it, he put in a pot of Trog repellent, and...? Hopobefevfer: ..a Dornbeast net. Yes.

Wednesday , February 14 , 2007
[[Sina and Hiopobefevfer stand before Rhid's back door, which is covered in a net studded with his bulb-bombs.]] Sina: I've never understood exactly how these nets work. Hopo: Simple enough. [[An outline of a two Ghast hands stretching a bowstring.]] Hopo: They're made out of bowstrings. Scalpsucker tendons. Hopo: Considering their width, very difficult to break. [[A Dornbeast slavers inside a similar net/fence.]] Hopo: They are stretched tight and the bulbs are loosely attached. [[A glass bulb falling to earth.]] Hopo: A Dornbeast pushs [sic] against the net, and knocks a bulb or two loose. Hopo: And pow.

Thursday , February 15 , 2007
[[A Dornbeast reacting unhappily to the contents of a shattered bulb.]] Sina: what's in these "Dornbeast bulbs"? Hopobefevfer: Sphagnum Grit. It badly irritates the 'beasts' eyes and nostrils. [[A Dornbeast claw slashing through a net.]] Sina: OK.. But still.. couldn't a /determined/ Dornbeast- Hopo: Yes, of course. For we Ghasts, a net is merely a temporary method of penning the creatures.

Friday , February 16 , 2007
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's entryway, near the back door.]] Sina: So Dornbeasts are especially vulnerable to Sphagnum grit. Hopobefevfer: Yes. Although for the record, the 'beast pack which guards our Pools has been specially conditioned to resist it. Sina: Fascinating. Moving on... [[A closeup of one of the bombs which Rhid attached to the frame of the exit door. Smoke swirls inside. The viewer can see Hopo's advanced senses analyzing it. The phrase "GHASTVISION(tm)" is in the corner.]] Sina: Are those really Sphagnum bulbs, or has Rhid done something special? And can you remove them? Hopo: They appear to be standard. And yes. Stand back.

Saturday , February 17 , 2007
[[One of the bomb-bulbs attached to the net stretched across Rhid's backdoor.]] [[Hopobefevfer's hand reaches into view.]] [[She ((GLOMPs)) the bulb.]] [[She ((rrips)) it free.]]

Sunday, February 18, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] [[The green liquid has filled the shaft up to the bottoms of everyone's eyeballs.]] chute: ((glub)) [[The flow of liquid from the chute tapers off.]] chute: ((trickle)) [[The last drops fall.]] Cully: blub? chute: ((plib)) Chunner: blub. Crud: blub!

Monday , February 19 , 2007
[[For real-life President's Day, a portrait of Yorik I, the Human who unified "Mansioonland." He is a tall, broad-shouldered man with black hair. He carries a two-ended spear-like object in one hand, and has a shield on his other arm, marked with a stylized Y. In a holster he carries a pronged magical weapon of some sort.]]

Tuesday , February 20 , 2007
[[Hopobefevfer holds the Rhid-bomb she has ripped free from the back-door net.]] Hopo: Yes. As suspected, it's Sph- [[The bomb begins to hisss and emit a white mist.]] [[She tosses the bomb away, its flight dispersing the Trog-repellent floating in the air.]] Hopo: All right. ((KABLAM)) Hopo: /Mostly/ Sphagnum grit..

Wednesday , February 21 , 2007
[[Sina the Gnoll is inside Crazy Rhid's place, watching Hopobefever the Ghast tear through a net.]] ((rrio fling KABLAM rrio fling KABLAM)) Sina, thinking: So. Which is more dangerous? Let Hopobefever rip those things off like that.. ((rrio fl-)) Sina, thinking: Or interrupt an angry and impatient Ghast, and try to point out that Rhid might have mixed in a bulb that /looks/ like the others, but is actual- ((KABLAMM!!)) Sina: thinking: Annd.. I'm still not sure this wasn't the safer option..

Thursday , February 22 , 2007
[[Hopobefever rises from the floor, looking very singed.]] Sina: Are you all right? Hopo: Oh, yes. [[She holds up her hand.]] [[A nail-like object pops from the tip of her finger.]] ((blorp)) Hopo: I'm just fine.

Friday , February 23 , 2007
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's entryhall. Hopobefevfer has a "slicer" embedded in her finger, and faces a net of strings blocking a doorway. There is smoke. She is darkened and smoking as well.]] ((SLASH)) [[Sina witnesses this, although temporarily blind.]] ((T-WANnGGG!)) Hopobefevfer: There. Now you can run your zorping bucket chain.

Saturday , February 24 , 2007
[[At Rhid's now-cleared back door. Sina has been temporarily blinded.]] Sina: Did you just.. cut through the net? What did you use? Hopobefevfer: A slicer. A /netslicer/, actually. [[An outline showing the slicer in her hand.]] Hopo: It was imbedded in one of my fingers when I was a Ghastling. [[An outline of a Ghast painfully yanking arrows from his body.]] Sina: But.. I thought you Ghasts aren't like Oozes. That it hurts you to conceal things inside your body. Hopo: We aren't. It does. [[The back of Hopo's head as she walks down the waiting corridor towards the Elevator.]] Sina: But then why did you- Hopo: It wasn't my idea. Go collect your buckets, Sina.

Sunday, February 25, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] [[The green liquid has filled the shaft up to the gnolls' eyeballs. Cully's eyeballs are wide. One last drop drips from the chute. No dialog.]] [[The chute begins to close. The liquid glows brighter, and is no longer opaque. The gnolls' bodies can be seen in silhoutte.]] Cully: ? [[The chute closes with a clik. The liquid, even brighter, now reveals everyone's skeletons, as if they were being x-rayed.]] Cully: !!? {{Author's Note: Yes, I know that Gnoll's arms are too skinny to have bones in them. Shut up. }}

Monday , February 26 , 2007
[[Sylvester, Rosemary and CamoraHax are at the entrance to Sidestep Hall. Written on the wall in Manglish, large and fairly fancy, is WELCOME TO SIDESTEP DEALS GALORE]] Rosemary: You're /sure/ we can get into see Izchak? Camora: I /said/ we could, didn't I? [[Rosemary points, and Camora suddenly finds a spear point at her, or more accurately at Hax.]] Spear-wielder: /Hold it!/ Rosemary: It's just that the guys with the spears seem awfully /twitchy./

Tuesday , February 27 , 2007
[[At the entrance to the Male half of Sidestep Hall. Rosemary and Sylvester listen to the conversation. Giunsel the Motihaul is also present.]] Camora: Oh, it's you, Smatchet. What are you doing? Smatchet the Motihaul: My job, Camora. Guarding the Hall. Camora: Since when did you have a job? Smatchet: Since /always/. [[There are off-panel noises.]] ((BOOM ARRGH)) Smatchet: Before today, no one cared if I showed up for it.

Wednesday , February 28 , 2007
[[Outside Sidestep Hall]] Camora: So you're not letting us in. Smatchet: That depends. You here on *business*... or are you just giving a tour to a couple of.. Smatchet: Nomes? Sylvester: Yes. We're Nomes. From the forest. Smatchet: ..forest Nomes. Camora: We.. They.. want to see Izchak. Gunsel: So. Our resident celebrity's fame has spread even to the forest.

Thursday , March 1 , 2007
[[At the entrance to Sidestep Hall. Smatchet and Gunsel have spears.]] Sylvester: We'd never heard of Izchak before Camora mentioned him. What makes him a celebrity? Camora: His selling of quality items at fair prices. Camora: Isn't that right, Smatchet? Gunsel? [[The two Motihauls exchange a glance.]] Smatchet: Right. Gunsel: Sure. Why not. [[Rosemary's hand is reaching for Gunsel's spear.]]

Friday , March 2 , 2007
[[At the entrance to Sidestep Hall. There is vague writing on the walls.]] Smatchet: I dunno.. business is business, but letting strange Nomes run around in here.. Sylvester: Look, we have Fleebs burning holes in our pockets, and we don't want trouble, *but*... [[Gunsel realizes that his spear is gone.]] Sylvester: If you don't let us past, my associate there will take away your *other* spear. [[Smatchet and Gunsel turn to see Rosemary with Gunsel's spear.]] Sylvester: And make you eat them. Or something. As always, I leave the exact details up to her.

Saturday , March 3 , 2007
[[Rosemary has Gunsel's spear, and is being threatening with it.]] Rosemary: So, guys, whatsit gonna be? A nice afternoon snack of spears, or we get to see Izchak? [[She jabs playfully with the spear as Gunsel and Smatchet consider this.]] Smatchet: Uhh.. he's the fourth door on the left. Rosemary: Ooh! *Good* choice! [[She gives Gunsel back his spear.]]

Sunday, March 4, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] [[The liquid, filling half the shaft, is revealing the gnolls' skeletons.]] Cully: ! [[The chute retracts.]] Cully: CRUDBEAN! AND MUGWUMPS! chute: ((sssllliidddde)) Crud's eyes (popping wide open): ((poing)) {{The word SNEECH can be seen overlaid in large gothic letters in the liquid.}} [[The liquid violently churns, splashing everywhere.]] Crud: RRRRRAAA AAAAGGGGGG GHHHHHH!!!!

Monday , March 5 , 2007
[[At the entrance to Sidestep Hall.]] Smatchet: You.. gave his spear back. Rosemary: Yes. And I'm giving both of you a piece of advice as well. Rosemary: Either find yourself new jobs *now*, or get some training. Maybe Snoot will be willing to give you some pointers. If you're still here, see on our way out. [[Rosemary, Sylvester and CamoraHax enter the Hall.]] Smatchet: Snoot? Sylvester: Snoot. If nothing else, he's gonna need help cleaning up Le Tree.

Tuesday , March 6 , 2007
[[At the entrance to Sidestep Hall, Smatchet and Gunsel watch Sylvester, Rosemary and CamoraHax leave.]] Smatchet: ..I know this is Camora we're talking about.. Smatchet: ..but do you think they *made* her wear that hat? Gunsel: Funny. I was just thinking.. remember old Mumchance, when we were kids? Used to wear a hat just like that..

Wednesday , March 7 , 2007
[[Heading towards Izchak's inside Sidestep Hall]] Sylvester: You know, you could have just kept the spear and saved us this whole detour. Rosemary: Even if that piece of phizz hadn't been a perfect match for the doof carrying it.. I've done enough stealing lately. Rosemary: But *someone* down here makes good weapons. That spikeclub that Gnoll with the helmet was carrying was new, and well-made. Hax, subvocally: Yes, who is *really* the fellow to see about such things these days? Camora, ditto: Hesper. His name is Hesper. {{Hesper has not yet appeared on-screen.}}

Thursday , March 8 , 2007
[[Entering the shops of Sidestep Hall]] Sylvester: Something else is wrong, isn't it. Rosemary: I've spent time around merchants. Too much time. Sylvester: And? [[The POV begins to pan upward.]] Rosemary: They *really* don't like giving away their stock for free. And look at this place. No doors, and two part-time guards who.. Sylvester: Barely know which end of a spear is the dangerous one? [[High above them, at least three arrows are pointed at them through slits in the wall.]] Rosemary: Actually, Sylvester, either end of a spear can be dangerous, but, broadly, yes. Where's the *security?*

Friday , March 9 , 2007
[[Rosemary's head as she walks down a corridor inside Sidestep Hall. A doorway in the wall is labelled YAD. Behind and high above her, arrows are pointed at her through slits in the wall.]] [[The other end of one of the arrows; a Motihaul sitting behind a mounted complex-looking bow. He wears leather armor and has metal helmet.]] {{His name is Kipawa, although at the time this transcription was created, it has not been stated in-comic.}} Kipawa: Do we fire? Upernavik: ... Upernavik: No. Stand down. [[Upernavik the Motihaul, sitting in his command chair. Various spying a communication devices hang from the ceiling. A fleeb stands on a pile of writing slabs behind him.]] Upernavik: For now, we wait and see what our new "Nome" friends do. Upernavik: I suppose it's too much too hope they kill Izchak.

Saturday , March 10 , 2007
[[Inside Sidestep Hall, CamoraHax, Sylvester and Rosemary approach the door of Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy. A dark-pelted Troglodyte walks in the other direction, evidently having just patronized the shop. The next shop over is KILTAMOG's ROUNDS]] Narration: Meanwhile [[Hopobefevfer arrives at the Elevator, and witnesses the flames billowing from it.]] Narration: Meanwhile [[A corridor in the Mansion. Bills are posted, partially covering a sign which says POST NO BILLS.]] [[Someone is humming a song.]] [[It is the Woman of Mystery/Scary Lady, trailed by her "pet" balloon.]]

Sunday, March 11, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] [[The shaft walls and the gnolls themselves are all green-tinted. They are no longer submerged in the green liquid.]] Chunner: Huh. Chunner: Not bad, Kid. Guess we can let you stick around for a while. Cully: Thank you, sir. Chunner: You too, Crud. Crud (small voice): i think i strained something.

Monday , March 12 , 2007
[[At the Elevator. A closeup of Hopobefevfer's face.]] [[A view of the Elevator. The Operator appears to have turned to flame, which billows out of the Elevator door. His tail, looking the same as always, pokes into view from near the floor.]]

Tuesday , March 13 , 2007
[[In Crazy Rhid's]] Narration: Meanwhile.. Sina: Skuy! Get over here! [[She waits.]] [[She waits some more.]] [[Skuy finally inches into view.]] Sina: Hopobefever cleared the path. We're going in. Skuy: oh, good.

Wednesday , March 14 , 2007
[[The Operator, flaming inside the Elevator. He is either asleep or keeping his eyes clamped shut.]] [[Hopobefevfer looks at him, perhaps nervously.]] [[She turns abruptly.]] Hopo: Hpthbvtw? {{This is the name of the Ghast lying dead on the floor nearby.}} [[The Operator again. No change.]] [[His eyes pop open.]] ((ping)) Operator: !? [[He turns to look at a vision which forms in his flames: The Woman of Mystery.]] Operator: !!

Thursday , March 15 , 2007
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's former place, Sina has been temporarily blinded.]] Sina: Skuy, what's wrong now? Skuy: . . . [[Near a large floor-mounted bowl which was spewing Trog repellent, an explosion has blasted open a hidden door, which now stands ajar. A room with a GBOL lighting it can be seen beyond.]] {{This is Rhid's workshop}} Skuy: Nothing, Sina. It's nothing. I'll get the others.

Friday , March 16 , 2007
[[The Woman of Mystery is magically unlocking the Mansion's basement door. Her "pet" balloon is following her.]] [[In the Elevator, amidst his flames, the Operator looks at a vision of her opening the door.]] Operator: . . . [[He gets a wonderful, terrible, idea..]] Operator: !! [[Outside the Elevator, Hopobefevfer's unwilling attention is attracted.]] Hopo: Hpthbvtw! Where are... you...

Saturday , March 17 , 2007
[[The Woman of Mystery/Scary Lady approaches the open archway which leads to the Mansion's resident Sneeh den. She is followed by her "pet" balloon.]] [[Passing in front of the archway, she comes to a ((screeching stop!))]] [[She turns and stares into the archway.]] [[She displays a possibly-surprised expression.]] [[She goes on, heading towards the Elevator.]] Balloon: ? WoM: Things that should be screeching have fallen silent. After we finish with /him/.. we must investigate..

Sunday, March 18, 2007
[[A Holiday in SubShaft 44f...]] Chunner: Brace yourself, kid. The Sneech squeezings are likely to still produce some.. side effects. Cully: Side effects? What k- ((ZAP, in a Celtic-type font)) [[The gnolls are now green, with red hair. and are wearing leprechaun hats. Large shamrocks decorate the walls. Chunner is smoking a pipe. A pot of gold is behind Crud. Their voice balloon font is now in another Celtic style.]] Cully: Faith and Begorrah! Chunner: Aye, lad, but it'll be moving on soon enough. Crud: Passing strange. Old Patik, he used to wear a hat like this. Only twas black. {{The hats do look like Hax except for their color, and lack of a pupil in their buckle-"eye".}}

Monday , March 19 , 2007
[[At the elevator. A close-up of the Operator's face, as he stares out hypnotically.]] [[Hopobefever the Ghast is being hypnotized.]] [[As are the rest of the bucketchain, except for Sina, who has been temporarily blinded.]] Sina: What's Hopobefever doing? Skuy: Um..

Tuesday , March 20 , 2007
[[At the Elevator. The Operator's fire-hand reaches out for an entranced Hopobefever.]] ((FOOM)) [[Hobobefever is engulfed in flame, but not burning.]] [[Everyone watching, except the blinded Sina, is staring with spinning eyes.]] Sina: /What was that?/ Skuy, what's happening? ((FOOM))

Wednesday , March 21 , 2007
[[The Operator's fire/enchantment has reached out to engulf Skuy and Spot the Gobule. Sina, unaffected due to being temporarily blind, stands to one side.]] Sina: what? ((FOOM)) [[The enchantment reaches further back along the would-be bucket chain: Maggle the Trog and an unnamed male Jibjib.]] ((FOOM)) [[And now Ploot the Wyrm, a female Motihaul Wearing A Hat, and an Ooze, who trails off a purple streak in addtion to the pinkish tinge from Hopobefevfer.]]

Thursday , March 22 , 2007
Narration: Above.. [[The Woman of Mystery as she approaches the "Mansion-level" Elevator entrance.]] [[The waiting elevator doors.]] Narration: Below.. [[The Operator's fire/enchantment continues to jump back along the bucket-chain. A female Motihaul {{named Asota}}.]] [[A male Ghast. {{Sopovefe}}]] [[Niff the Gnoll.]] [[Another female Motihaul {{Kulma}} who is turned, and has her finger raised to point.]] [[The enchantment reaches out from there..]]

Friday , March 23 , 2007
[[The archway leading from the Long Path toward Well #3 and the Elevator. The Operator's enchantment-arm comes snaking out of the arch.]] [[Rubrak the Helipath and Snipe the Jibjib observe the "12 TONZ" weight they have, for whatever reason, hoisted into position at the end of a rope.]] Rubrak: OK. It appears the new rope you acquired will hold. Well done, Snipe. Snipe: Thanks, Boss! Now do w- [[The enchantment hits them.]] Rubrak: IP! Snipe: AWK! [[The spell gathers around the hooked tool that Rubrak was holding.]]

Saturday , March 24 , 2007
[[The Woman of Mystery's head, as she stands outside the Mansion-level Elevator entrance.]] [[The Elevator's buttons.]] [[The WoM's hand reaching out.]] [[A closeup of the Operator's straining face.]] [[A pointed tool zooms magically through the air.]] [[A "tool's-eye-view" of the bottle of Penalty Wine.]] [[Zooming closer to the bottle.]] [[Right up against the label.]] [[The words on the label DO NOT OPEN.]] [[The WoM's finger has reached the buttons.]] [[The tip of the tool touches against the label, knocking away a bit of something.]] ((tink)) [[One of the buttons is illuminated.]] ((PING))

Sunday, March 25, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] ((UNZAP)) [[The shaft and the gnolls are no longer in St. Patrick's Day drag (except that Crud still has his hat), but there's still Sneech squeezings splattered everywhere.]] Cully: What was that? Crud: Someplace else. Rhid said that Sneeches have so many eyes, they see beyond the end of the World. And if we get coated in their squeezings, it sort of rubs off... Cully: How come Rhid knows so much about Sneeches? Chunner: I'm a mite curious about that myself. Crud: Hey! I have a hat! I'm going to name him Shamus!

Monday , March 26 , 2007
[[The "Rhid-level" opening of the Elevator. The Operator, still mostly flame, has Hopobefevfer in his clutches. An enchantment trails back from her toward the off-screen bucket chain.]] [[The elevator doors slam shut. The Operator and Hopo are gone.]] ((WHAM))

Tuesday , March 27 , 2007
Narration: At the start. [[Sina is backed up against the wall, staring. Skuy blinks away the Operator's spell. Spot the Gobule's legs can be seen pointing roof-ward.]] [[Skuy seems back to normal. Behind her, Spot and Voog the Wyrm still looked stunned.]] Skuy: Sina! How'd you do it? The fire's out! Everyone's safe! Narration: At the end. [[Rubrak's tool hang in the air, having chipped the side of the Penalty Wine bottle.]] ((fzzt)) [[The tool falls.]] ((CLANG)) [[Nothing happens.]] [[From the side of the bottle comes a ((plip))]]

Wednesday , March 28 , 2007
[[At the "Rhid-level" elevator entrance.]] Sina: ..The fire's out? Everyone's safe? You're sure? Skuy: Well.. yes. Sina: Oh, good. Sina: I'm going home now. [[The bottle of Council Penalty Wine.]] [[Inside the bottle, Edgar and Chauncy the demons float.]] [[Edgar hears something.]] ((plip))

Thursday , March 29 , 2007
Narration: Beside Well #3.. Folla: Niff? What just happened? Niff: Something bad just came through. [[The other bucket-chain members are all lying on the ground.]] Niff: ..but it's gone now, I think. Folla: So what's *wrong* with everybody? Niff: I dunno, Folla. I'm suddenly worried there may be something wrong with *us*. Trog: oog Narration: Inside the Penalty Wine. Edgar: Chauncy? Can you spare a moment? Chauncy: Certainly, Edgar. Edgar: You never did develop the ability to hear hear, did you? Chauncy: And you can't gurn or grok. We've had this discussion before, Edgar. Edgar: Yes. It's just, I'm *hearing* something over there. On your side. Chauncy: Very well. [[Chauncy's tail produces an energy beam or something, which touches the tiny hole in the bottle.]] Chauncy: I will just take a grok and.. hmm.

Friday , March 30 , 2007
[[At Well #3.]] Folla the Gnoll: Something's wrong with you and me? Niff the Gnoll: Yes, I mean, no, not just us. Look up there! [[Wittol the Gnoll eyes a Helipath lying on the floor behind him.]] Niff: That crumb Wittol is still on his feet, and what's the only thing the three of /us/ have in common? [[Inside the bottle of Penalty Wine.]] Edgar: Is something amiss, Chauncy? Chauncy: No, Edgar. Not 'amiss' per se. There appears to be a hole. Edgar: A hole? That's never happened before! May I examine it more closely? Chauncy: We've discussed this as well, Edgar. You stay on your side of the bottle, I stay on my side, and there won't be any more.. Chauncy: ...trouble.

Saturday , March 31 , 2007
[[At the "Rhid-level" Elevator doors.]] Skuy: Go home? Sina: Skuy, coming anywhere near this place was a horrible mistake. Sina: Something terrible was happening, much worse than a fire, and then it stopped for /no reason/. We /all/ need to leave before it starts up again. /Now./ [[Inside the Penalty Wine bottle.]] Edgar: You are of course under no formal obligation to do so, Chauncy.. Edgar: ..but it would be decent of you to /describe/ the hole. ((poke)) Edgar: Would you say it was.. of /useable/ calibre [sic]? Chauncy: I am embarked even now, Edgar, on a study of that very question. ((prod krak))

Sunday, April 1, 2007
[[A certain day in SubShaft 44f...]] Chunner: Crud, answer the zarking question. Why does Rhid- Crud: Shamus and I could tell you, but then we'd have to kill you! Chunner: What? ((ZAP)) [[The scene is now bizarrely multicolored; a vaguely threatening shape looms in the background. Cully is now bright green with a red nose, purple hair and wearing a beanie. Chunner is now blue and wearing a red bowtie and a dangling eyeball glasses. Crud is now red with cyan hair and a jester's hat.]] Crud: APRIL FOOLS! Cully: Golly Willikers, It's happening again! Chunner: So I see, kiddo.

Monday , April 2 , 2007
[[Near the "Rhid-level" Elevator doors.]] Sina: Is everyone else all right? Are they behaving normally? Skuy: Um.. Gobule voice: Hey! Lookit how far in here I can cram my tongue! Helipath voice: Oh, I /say/.. Skuy: I'm.. not sure.. [[Inside the Penalty Wine bottle.]] Edgar: 'Krak'? That, if you'll forgive my use of the word, /sounded/ rather promising. Chauncy: Indeed, Edgar. But I suspect I must proceed with a certain deliberation. If not.. ((poke unkrak)) Chauncy: Ah. hmm.

Tuesday , April 3 , 2007
[[At Well #3]] Niff the Gnoll: Kulma? Are you.. what's wrong? Kulma the Motihaul, looking dazed: My arm.. it was meters and meters long. I touched a Jibjib.. [[Folla the Gnoll looks nervously at Frik or Frak the Troglodyte behind her.]] Niff: I better.. I better go see what happened out there. Frik/Frak: hee hee hee Folla: Wait for me.. [[Inside the bottle of Penalty Wine.]] Edgar: So the hole is unusable? If you cannot make it so, I doubt that I would be able... Chauncy: There is an alternate method. I hesitate in deploying it, for it does indeed require your assistence [sic], and you may find it.. disturbing.

Wednesday , April 4 , 2007
[[Near the bottle of Penalty Wine.]] Folla the Gnoll: Well.. it's smoky. Niff the Gnoll: Yes. [[Inside the bottle with Chauncy and Edgar the demons.]] Edgar: Chauncy, "disturbing" covers a rather wide range. Could you perhaps be a bit more specific? Chauncy: . . . Chauncy: Not as bad as the "Burning Eye", or The "Caged King". About on the level of.. what label was it you applied to her? The Lady? Edgar: As bad as the Scary Lady? Oh dear..

Thursday , April 5 , 2007
[[Inside the bottle of Penalty Wine.]] Edgar: /sSigh/. Very well. Do what you must. [[Chauncy ((ZAPs)) in Edgar's direction with his forked tail.]] Chauncy: Thank you. Edgar: /YIPE!/ [[At the archway leading from the Long Path towards Well #3. Rubrak the Helipath and Snipe the Jibjib lay on the floor near where Niff and Folla the Gnolls are standing.]] Folla: Um.. there's something weird going on down by the bottle..

Friday , April 6 , 2007
[[Near the "Rhid-level" elevator doors.]] Sina: We have to get everyone out of- Voog? Is that you? Are you all right? Voog: Ooh.. I feel like a Boulder slid over my head, but I guess so. {{Boulders with a capital B are large Talking Rocks in the Hot Zone.}} [[Sina, currently blind, turns towards the Elevator.]] Sina: OK. You need to- wait. Hopobefever? Are you there? Your scent is all over everything... Skuy and Voog: She's gone. Voog: I don't know why I said that. Skuy: I felt her go. She was.. yanked away. And no I can't explain what I mean by that!

Saturday , April 7 , 2007
[[Near the "Rhid-level" Elevator doors. Sina rounds on Skuy and Voog.]] Sina: /Enough!!// Sina: Get everyone up! Get everyone out of here! Sina: Now! Before any more bad things happen! [[The exterior of the Penalty Wine bottle. Bits of power flicker from it. Chauncy is doing something with Edgar inside the bottle.]] Edgar: !? Edgar: !!! [[One of Edgar's horns comes smashing through the side of the bottle, spewing wine a bits of glass.]] ((KRAK))

Sunday, April 8, 2007
[[A certain day in SubShaft 44f...]] ((ZAP)) [[Now the scene is in Easter drag. All the gnolls are now purple with bunny ears. The background is decorated with flowers and a large basket of Easter eggs. Cully is holding a blue egg decorated with a capital E.]] Crud: hippity hop hippity hop! Chunner: ENOUGH!! [[The gnolls are immediately back to normal, although Cully is still holding his egg. The shaft walls are back to their green splattered state.]] Crud: Aww.. Farewell, Shamus! I'll never forget you!

Monday , April 9 , 2007
[[Chauncy has used Edgar's horn to punch a hole in the side of the giant wine bottle holding them captive. The "wine" inside is spewing out.]] Edgar: Oh, well done, Chauncy! Chauncy: Your assistence was invaluable, Edgar. Edgar: Tish, But, following on along that general line.. Chauncy: Yes, Edgar? [[The horn is pulled back inside. The wine flows faster.]] ((POK)) Edgar: If you have no further use for that, I am rather attached to it. Chauncy: Oh, of course. Here you are. Edgar: Aah. Much better. And now? Chauncy: Nearly there, Edgar. Nearly there.

Tuesday , April 10 , 2007
[[Niff the Gnoll watches as fluid gushes from the hole punched in the side of the Penalty Wine bottle. The bottle's label is covered in cracks.]] Niff, thinking: run [[The label explodes off the bottle in pieces.]] ((FOOMP)) Niff, thinking: Run! [[Cracks cover the surface of the bottle. Niff runs.]] ((KRAK)) Niff: /RUN!!/

Wednesday, April 11, 2007
[[The bottle of penalty wine cracks completely.]] ((KRAK)) [[Niff and Folla see bits of glass fly past them.]] [[Bung reacts.]] [[The Woman of Mystery reacts.]] [[The Operator smiles.]]

Thursday , April 12 , 2007
[[The bottle of penalty wine has exploded completely, leaving Chauncy and Edgar floating free.]] Edgar: Ah. Chauncy: "Ah" indeed, Edgar. Chauncy: But moving on to more important matters... [[Niff and Folla the Gnolls look on in horror.]] Chauncy: I suggest we now pick up where we left off.

Friday , April 13 , 2007
[[Floating over the broken remains of the Penalty Wine bottle.]] Edgar: Actually, Chauncy.. that touches on something I feel I need to discuss with you.. Chauncy: Yes, Edgar? [[Niff and Folla the Gnolls watch this conversation.]] Edgar: Now that we have regained complete mobility of movement, it occurs to me that we no longer.. automatically.. have to work.. together. Constantly, As it were. [[Chauncy eyes Edgar.]] [[Niff and Folla flee.]] Chauncy: Come /along/, Edgar. Edgar: ssigh.. very well, Chauncy..

Saturday , April 14 , 2007
[[Rubrak the Helipath is lying on the flloor, recovering from being hit with the Operator's magic.]] Rubrak: ? bzt ?? Rubrak: fgt.. ? [[Chauncy floats into view. Edgar's feet go by above.]] Rubrak: !!! [[Edgar floats up to where the 12 TONZ weight is hanging.]] Rubrak: AARRGggguggggghfg.. [[Edgar ((SLASHes)) through the rope holding the weight.]]

Sunday, April 15, 2007
[[A sad day in SubShaft 44f...]] [[Things are back to relatively normal. Cully is still holding his Easter egg.]] [[Crud bends down out of sight.]] [[Crud is upright again, a cat's cradle made of string stretched between his hands.]] Chunner: Bokonon's old string. Wondered what happened to that. Crud: See the cat? See the cradle? {{Kurt Vonnegut 1922-2007. So it goes.}}

Monday , April 16 , 2007
[[Edgar looks at the 12 TONZ weight as it falls.]] Edgar: . . . . ((SLASH)) ((SLICE)) ((SLASH)) [[A chunk of the weight goes flying over the heads of Niff and Folla the Gnolls as they flee the scene.]]

Tuesday , April 17 , 2007
[[Edgar unenthusiastically floats towards the floor as pieces of weight crash down off-panel.]] ((CRASH BOOM THUD WHAM)) Rubrak the Helipath: ip- sl- op- [[Edgar grabs Snipe the Jibjib by the neck.]] ((GLOMP)) [[Edgar holds up his free claw in a slashing position.]] Rubrak: gak ep [scribble] SPLUT [[Edgar drops his arm.]] Edgar: ssssSigh..

Wednesday , April 18 , 2007
[[In the Basement, on the Long Path, Edgar the demon is unenthusiastically holding Snipe the Jibjib by the neck.]] Chauncy: Edgar. Edgar: Yes, Chauncy? [[Chauncy has killed Rubrak the Helipath.]] Chauncy: You are no longer displaying the proper levels of enthusiasm. [[Edgar flings Snipe away.]] Snipe: AWK! Edgar: No. No, I suppose that I am not. ((CRASH)) Edgar: I fear that our confinement here has.. contaminated me. It has forced upon me time to.. think.

Thursday , April 19 , 2007
[[In the Basement, the demons Chauncy and Edgar converse over the Helipath they have just killed.]] Chauncy: You've been.. thinking. Edgar: As have you! [[Stylized Outline of the two of them emerging from their old home into the Basement.]] Edgar: We've been thinking since those holes opened up and deposited us here! We've even taken names for ourselves! [[A depiction of Edgar's previous home, with a chain of folks eating and being eaten.]] Edgar: Names! I cannot speak for you of course, but on my Level back.. "home", having to dedicate mental resources to remembering a name would be an instantly lethal impediment!

Friday , April 20 , 2007
[[Outline depicting a chain of predators in Chauncy's place of origin.]] Chauncy: I believe, Edgar, that my Level of 'home' was a bit more sophisticated and sedate than yours, but.. I accept your essential point regarding names. Continue. Edgar: Thank you, Chauncy. [[Outline of Edgar ripping through things in the Basement.]] Edgar: We arrived here, changed, in this place of.. paper and shadows.. [[Outline of Edgar being intimidated by the Scary Lady.]] Edgar: With, of course, the occasional exception.. [[Outline of Edgar reaching for a Troglodyte.]] Edgar: And we.. as you said.. picked up right where we left off. Edgar: And for a long while.. that was fine..

Saturday , April 21 , 2007
[[On the Long Path.]] Chauncy: Before you were content. Now.. Edgar, pointing: Now.. I look at that Jibjib creature, and I realize something. [[Snipe the Jibjib lying stunned on the ground.]] Edgar: If I disassemble it, it will be like all the others. It will stop moving and go cold. If I try to eat the pieces, they will turn to dust in my mouth. Edgar: They are all the same. Chauncy, there is no starving /point/. [[Chauncy looks at him.]] [[Chauncy lowers his eyes.]] [[An outline of the Woman of Mystery, the Operator, and a very mysterious Rosemary.]] Chauncy: Not /all/. Edgar. Are you suggesting we attempt to disassemble the Lady? Or the /King?/ Plunge into the Eye? Edgar: It may come to that. But first.. we've both been forgetting.. apart from our regaining a modicum of our freedom, this day has brought one /other/ new development..

Monday , April 23 , 2007
[[On the Long Path.]] Chauncy: New development..? Ah. Rosemary Ripley. Edgar: When she passed by, did she gurn as.. thickly.. as the Lady or the King? Chauncy: The bottle prevented a truly detailed analysis, but.. no. She did not. She seemed as thin as all the others. But.. a different /flavor/ of thinness, something I'd never gurned before.. Chauncy: Perhaps if you disassemble her, we will discover something new.. Edgar: My thoughts were running along very similar lines. Edgar: You can, I assume, offer a rough estimate of her current location? Chauncy: Of course. She is just over there. Shall we, Edgar? Edgar: Yes, Chauncy, we shall. [[They have gone.]] [[Snipe the Jibjib pokes his head into view from the floor.]] Snipe, thinking: That.. that was Chauncy and Edgar!!!

Tuesday , April 24 , 2007
[[In the Basement of the Mansion, in Bung the Gobule's home.]] Bung: Spuza! Snurt! [[The two named individuals are female and male Jibjib Burds. They poke their heads into view from above.]] Snurt: Yeah, Boss? Bung: Code C. Get going. [[The Jibjibs stare in horror.]] Snurt: Code C!? Bung: I said /move/. [[They move.]] Bung, thinking: Not that it'll do any good, if no one has another of those zarking bottles stashed away..

Wednesday , April 25 , 2007
[[Seen from behind, Sina looks at the "Rhid-level" Elevator doors.]] Skuy: Sina? [[Skuy looks at her.]] Skuy: Are you all right? [[Side view of Sina.]] Sina: Yes, Skuy. Sina: I'm fine.

Thursday , April 26 , 2007
[[At the "Rhid-level" elevator doors.]] Skuy: We got everyone up and out. Sina: Good. Let's follow their example. [[Sina looks behind her as she walks away.]] [[Close up of the floor-indicator above the elevator.]] [[Sina walks away.]] Sina: I'm sorry, Hopobefever. Sina: Goodbye.

Friday , April 27 , 2007
[[The "Rhid-level" Elevator doors, standing closed and silent.]] [[The dead bodies of Hepthbav the Ghast and Chuw the Gobule.]] [[The "cold-forged" iron frying pan which Sylvester discarded.]] [[The severed head of the Troglodyte whom Rosemary killed. Two Smyts stand nearby, one orangish, one purplish.]] [[The Smyts stare some more.]] [[They are suddenly each holding a knife and fork.]] Orange: Shall we? Purple: Yes. Purple: Yes we shall.

Saturday , April 28 , 2007
Narration: In Crazy Rhid's place.. Sina: Are you all right now, Spot? Spot the Gobule: I guess I'm gonna live, Boss. [[Maggle the Trog comes into view as Spot leaves.]] Sina: Good. Please go down the line and tell everyone the fire's out, and they should go home. Or at least away. Spot: Best plan I heard all day. Sina: Now then.. Maggie, is it? Maggle: Maggle. Sina: Maggle. Didn't Mowder warn you about the Trog repellent in here? Maggle: I'm a darkpelter. [[Sina is temporarily blinded.]] Sina:I'll have to take your word for that at the moment. How is it relevent [sic]? Maggle: Repellent doesn't affect us as much. Telic claims to know why, but I think he just likes using big words.

Sunday, April 29, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Crud: You'd best destroy that. Very quickly. Thing-in-the-Egg: kill you crush you [[Cully eats the egg, thing and all.]] Thing-in-the-Egg: BREAK YOUR BO- Cully: ((SCARF)) Crud: Eww. You could have just dropped it and stepped on it. Cully: ((gulp))

Monday , April 30 , 2007
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's entryway.]] Sina: All right. Fine. Maggle. Please gather up any unclaimed buckets and take them back to Tunktal. Maggle the Trog: Ew. {{Tunktal is a bucketmaker.}} Sina: Yes, I know, but it's not like you have to talk to the drooler. Just shove them into his place and leave. Maggle: OK, OK. [[Skuy comes into view, looking nervous. A Human stencil on the wall reads NO MORE TINY BUBBLES.]] {{Don Ho RIP}} Sina: You're about to tell me something that will make me wish I was going with her. Skuy: When Hopobefever.. um.. disposed of those bombs, she blew open the hidden door to Rhid's workshop. I think. Sina: Sure enough..

Tuesday , May 1 , 2007
[[Inside Crazy Rhid's entryway. Ploot approaches Sina and Skuy.]] Sina: Ploot? Is that you? Ploot: Yes. Voog was just telling me. The fire's out? Sina: Yes, but Skuy's just dropped a new problem in our lap. Are you still willing to help? Ploot: If I can. Voog is probably going to take off, though. Sina: What we all should have done in the first place. But now it's too late. Let's get this over with.

Wednesday , May 2 , 2007
[[The secret door to Rhid's workshop, which has been blown open a crack. The view from inside. Various objects attached to rods or mounted on a table poke into the shot.]] [[Ploot the Wyrm peeks through the hole smashed in the corner of the door. The rodded objects all start making ominous noises.]] ((buzzz whirrr click))

Thursday , May 3 , 2007
[[At the previously-secret entrance to Rhid's workship.]] Sina: Do you see anything? Ploot: Oh, yes. [[Ploot's POV. There are various tables covered with chemistry gear: pipes and beakers and so forth. A possibly-carnivorous plant grows on a shelf. The top of a birdcage is just visible. A stuffed crocogator hangs from the ceiling. A ladder leads up out of sight. An inscription on the side of one of the tables reads FRIMMIN AT THE JIMJAM FRIPPIN IN THE KROTZ.]] Ploot: /Wonderful/ things.

Friday, May 4, 2007
[[Skuy, Sina and Ploot are outside what might be Rhid's workshop.]] Sina: So it is Rhid's workshop. Ploot: It's /a/ workshop. However, in my considered opinion- ((twang)) [[An arrow tipped with one of Rhid's bombs shoots over their heads.]] ((offpanel: BAM)) [[Skuy huddles near the floor.]] Ploot: -going in would be an extremely bad idea. Sina: Duly noted.

Saturday, May 5, 2007
[[Skuy, Sina, and Ploot are outside Rhid's workshop. Skuy remains near the floor.]] Sina: I wasn't planning on going in there. Or destroying it. The Council or someone.. Ploot: Might find a use for it. Yes. Sina: I.. and Skuy.. are going to go to the Council. Tell them. Maybe they'll send.. someone. Ploot: And you want me to stay here and guard it. Keep Rhid out, if he shows up. Sina: Don't let anyone in. If you're willing. Ploot: Sure. Sina: Thank you, Ploot. Don't go near the Elevator. Ploot: I never get to have any fun.

Sunday, May 6, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Chunner: I suppose that thing's going to take him over from within now? Crud: Oh, no. For anyone else, a squeezings 'egg' is bad news, but he's a Gnoll. Chunner: What? That makes him less likely to be controlled, or something? I've always wondered why- Crud: No, no. After Gobules, we have the second most efficient stomachs in the world. There will be one side-effect, though.. Cully's stomach: ((digest digest digest)) Cully: HIC! HIC! HIC! HIC! HIC! Chunner: You're sure he isn't going to turn blood-eyed and start spewing tentacles? It would be a lot less annoying. Crud: Blood.. that reminds me! If you see any eggs, they're caused by Sneech squeezings! Step on them or, if you don't mind hiccups, eat them!

Monday , May 7 , 2007
[[Outside Rhid's workshop. As Sina speaks to Ploot, Voog comes up behind them.]] Sina: I'll try and find someone to stay here with you, Ploot, but- Voog: I felt guilty, and came back. [[Sina leaves.]] Ploot: Your efficiency is almost frightening. Sina: Maybe not a testimonial I can use for my party-organizing, but thank you all the same. Sina: C'mon Skuy. Skuy, from the floor: OK...

Tuesday , May 8 , 2007
[[[Voog and Ploot the Wyrms are guarding the entrance to Rhid's workshop.]] Voog: What are we doing? Ploot: Keeping Rhid out of his workshop here. Voog: Oh. . . . Ploot: I suppose you want to talk about Mother Byng. Voog: No, I don't Ploot. Cuz.. even if you're right, she ain't going anywhere anytime soon. And if you keep /talking/, you'll be be tossed in the Squirmpit. [[Ploot says nothing.]] Ploot: Change is coming Voog. I can feel it oozing out of the Tunnel walls, taste it when I go crystal-grazing. Maybe it won't roll over Byng. Or maybe it will.

Wednesday , May 9 , 2007
[[Outside Rhid's workshop.]] Voog: I do have a question. Ploot: Yes, Voog? Voog: Why was that Gnoll.. Skuy.. crawling around on the floor? Ploot: She suffers from an exploding arrow allergy. [[Voog thinks about this.]] Voog: Just when I think I've got Gnolls figured out, there's some new /twist/. Ploot: Indeed.

Thursday , May 10 , 2007
[[Inside the "entryhall" of Crazy Rhid's place. Smoke wafts in the background.]] Skuy: Sina? Are we really getting out here? Sina: Yes, assuming /you/ don't find anymore hidden doors. [[A small whale and a pot of flowers appear in midair.]] ((POOF)) {{For the one or two people who don't know, a reference to Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy}} [[They both smash to earth.]] ((CRUNCH SPLAT)) [[The two Gnolls go on.]] Sina: And barring appearences [sic] of any more of Rhid's "twistpoint visions".

Friday , May 11 , 2007
[[Leaving Crazy Rhid's.]] Skuy: Rhid can control twistpoints? Sina: What? Oh, no. At least, I don't think so. [[An outline of Dead Cat from the webcomic Misadventures of Okk.]] Sina: He just told me about those sort of things appearing. He said they were harmless. Sina: And yes. He could have been lying. [[An outline of Rhid.]] Sina: But.. I don't think Rhid.. wastes time.. telling lies. He's dangerous.. because of the /truth/ he knows.. Skuy: I don't understand. Sina: I'd wish I had had a chance to talk to him when I didn't have to worry about being blown up.

Saturday , May 12 , 2007
[[Leaving Crazy Rhid's]] Sina: And yes, I know what you're going to say. It sounds like I'm /defending/ Rhid. Skuy: . . . [[Outline of Rhid hitting Leny in the face with one of his bombs.]] Sina: I'm not. He killed Leny. He probably could have warned us about the Operator, instead of just... He said it himself, he's a terrible person. Sina: (Again, no lies.) Sina: But I now see that a person can both be great and terrible... I wonder how many people Comshaw has killed..

Sunday, May 13, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: Hic! Hic! Hic! Hic! Cully: Hic! Hic! Hic! Hic! Cully: Hic! Hic! Hic! Hic! Chunner: I don't suppose, in any of your long conversations with Rhid, he mentioned any hiccup cures? Crud: Nnno, but my mother taught me one. Why do you ask?

Monday , May 14 , 2007
[[Skuy and Sina exit out the battered and blackened doorway of Crazy Rhid's place.]] [[They walk down the hallway beyond.]] Skuy: Comshaw killed those Raver Trogs, and if you count the Crudbean as a per- Sina: Yes, thank you, Skuy.

Tuesday , May 15 , 2007
[[In the hallway leading from Crazy Rhid's.]] Sina: Is everyone really gone? Skuy: Yes. Except that poor Ghast on the floor. I think he's still alive, but.. [[Sepferb's hand, poking up from where he is laying on floor.]] Sina: sigh. Yes. There's nothing we can do for Sepferb... or.. no. We're going to the Council anyway. At least we can make sure Snerd went to the Ghasts.. Skuy: Oh. Wait. There is someone else there.. Gnollish voice: /There/ you are, Sina.

Wednesday , May 16 , 2007
[[Sina and Skuy have met a female Gnoll outside Crazy Rhid's. Smoke floats in the background.]] Sina: Ah. It's you. Wait right there.. [[She walks back the way she came.]] Sina: ..I have something for you. [[She returns bearing the cakeshroom on the tray.]] Sina: Happy birthday, Catmorlo. Catmorlo the Gnoll: Yes. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the /lovely/ party. Nosh the Gobule: So, we eatin' that cakeshroom, or what?

Thursday , May 17 , 2007
[[Nosh the Gobule hurries away from Crazy Rhid's place.]] [[Catmorlo the Gnoll leaves as well, at a slower pace, chewing some cakeshroom, and carrying more in her bucket.]] [[Sina and Skuy the Gnolls leave, also eating cakeshroom. Sina throws away her cakeshroom tray.]] Sina, thinking: sigh. back to just about where I started. if I hadn't done anything.. kept my big snout shut.. Wrawa and the others.. they'd still be safely standing here arguing.

Friday , May 18 , 2007
[[Leaving Crazy Rhid's. Smoke is floating in the background.]] Skuy: I've never had real cakeshroom before.. Sina: Not bad, huh? Skuy: It's very nice. Skuy: . . . Skuy: Why do they call it that? Sina: That's a good question, and nobody seems to know. Sina: Maybe I'll ask Rhid, the next time we meet. Skuy: . . . Skuy: Why did you hit that Gobule with your cakeshroom tray? Sina: Every good party needs entertainment as well as food.

Saturday , May 19 , 2007
[[Leaving Crazy Rhid's, heading towards Well #3.]] Skuy: So what's it going to be like inside the Council chamber? Sina: Skuy, how could I possibly know that? Skuy: Well.. I thought maybe you'd organized Wunk or Doyen's birthday party.. Sina: I'm just the best partyplanner, not the most popular or the /fanciest/. Today, I doubt we'll get much past the front door. ((BLAM)) Sina: ..assuming we get that far..

Sunday, May 20, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] [[Cully is still hiccupping. However, now he has something egg-shaped and purple on his head and a string tied around his snout, the end of which is held by Chunner. There are flutterbys flying around. And Crud is holding a twisted yellow tube or hose thing with a purple sphere poking from the end.]] Cully: hic hic hic Chunner: /This/ is a hiccup cure? Your Mother taught you everything that you know, didn't she? Crud: Actually, to be honest, Mother learned it from old Loomboggle. Pull! Chunner: /Fine../ ((YANK!)) ((SPLOOG!)) ((NARF)) ((RONKRONK)) ((hic!)) [[The purple thing on Cully's head seems to have exploded. The string, no longer tied to Cully's snout, simply dangles from Chunner's hand. The tube-thing has deflated, while the purple sphere has turned into a flower, which is floating away.]] Cully: Wow. Chunner: I don't believe this. Crud: Yes. Loomboggle was a bit eccentric at times, but she was a genius.

Monday , May 21 , 2007
[[Between Crazy Rhid's and Well #3]] Sina: Asota? Is that you? What's going on? Asota the Motihaul: They say Nevus and the Council are fighting. But that's not the worst! The bottle's shattered! Asota: Chauncy and Edgar are /free!/ Sina: . . . Sina: oh..kay.. Sina: time for a new plan..

Tuesday , May 22 , 2007
[[Seen from behind, the Woman of Mystery stands before the Elevator. The balloon she picked up floats nearby.]] [[A closeup of her face.]] [[A closeup of the Elevator's level-indicator, which points at the second level from the left. Below is an inscription reading "another fine product of CHARON COLDFORGED ELEVATOR COMPANY Candentown, Florin, YL]] ((PING))

Wednesday , May 23 , 2007
[[The doors to the Elevator open, revealing a grinning Operator.]] Operator: /GOING D-/ Operator: . . . [[He drops the act.]] Operator: Oh. Operator: It's you. The Woman of Mystery: You've been having fun. Operator: Yes, indeed. If I had known what would happen.. [[The Operator's horns have grown shorter.]] Operator: I would have let myself be knocked unconscious and bitten /years/ ago.

Thursday , May 24 , 2007
[[Sideview at the Elevator door. There is a blue strip between the Elevator and the outside.]] The Operator: But enough about me. What brings you to my humble abode? I suppose you want to know about the Sneeches? The Woman of Mystery: . . . WoM: No... No. I'm afraid it's still about you. I'm afraid you were having too *much* fun, and I was contractually obligated to intervene. [[The Operator's appearance begins to shift, becoming more Human.]] Operator: Of *course* you were. WoM: I should have been here much sooner, but I kept running into the most *fascinating* diversions.

Friday , May 25 , 2007
[[At the "Mansion-level" Elevator doors.]] The Operator: Distractions? Surely you don't think that /I-/ The Woman of Mystery: No, it wasn't you. Maybe it was nobody but random fluxuations of fate. But it seemed.. [[Sh turns to go.]] WoM: No matter. WoM: Either way, I must be going. I am horribly behind schedule. WoM: ta ta. Operator: You are not the only one who is contractually obligated, you know... [[The Operator looks almost Human now, sprouting a beard.]] Operator: I must point out that.. All you have to do is stop interfering. Let me have my fun. In exchange, you could have anything you want. Almost literally. WoM: I said Ta ta.

Saturday , May 26 , 2007
[[The Woman of Mystery walks away from the Elevator.]] The Operator: With you of course, it would be Frederick. Operator: You've done wonders with what you've had to work with.. Operator: Keeping him alive all these decades... [[Outline of Frederick posing with his axe.]] Operator: But how much is left? [[The WoM has paused.]] Operator: And how big a toll has it all taken on /you?/

Sunday, May 27, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: Where did you get all of that stuff? Chunner: You'd be amazed what ends up down here.. [[Three round things fall into their midst, one of which is purple with green fronds and BONKs Cully on the head. A grey something with three black stars falls near Chunner. Crud catches the third object: a purple fruit.]] ((BONK)) [[Crud is eating the fruit.]] Cully (from the floor): And Bokonon? I suppose he was here before Cunskite? Chunner: No, Kid. /I/ replaced Bokonon. Crud: He was a strange fellow. Just left one day. Said he had to go climb to the top of the world and thumb his snout at God..

Monday , May 28 , 2007
[[At the Elevator. The Operator is looking Human and royal. Myrrh has her back to him.]] Operator: I could fix it, you know. Make it so both you and Frederick have your.. full facilities. [[Outline of Frederick performing magic.]] Operator: Frederick could be a magician again. He'd have to stay near the Mansion, or another Tricklepoint, until.. unless.. the laylines start flowing again. [[Outline of Myrrh wrecking havoc beyond a Panegate.]] Operator: Or you could /both/ enter a Panegate. Permanently this time. Become Ghu himself, in a world where the magic still flows, flows 80 times stronger.. (What do those poor Shades call you? The Destroyer?) [[Back at the Elevator. Myrrh grits her teeth.]] Operator: But no.. you don't want that. It was Frederick-the-Magician who brought you here, then died. You never knew him. You never fell in love with /him/.

Tuesday , May 29 , 2007
[[At the "Mansion-level" Elevator doors. The Operator looks Human, and wears the uniform possibly of a king.]] Operator: So what do you say, my child? You just stop interfering,, and once I get out of here, I help you and Frederick.. [[The Woman of Mystery looks unhappy.]] Operator: No more straggling decline. No more nurse-maiding Frederick's idiot relatives. Youth and strength and brilliance. Forever. [[The WoM's hand at her side.]] [[She clenches it, and a bit of magic glows there.]] [[She faces the Operator again.]] WoM: You have nothing to offer me. You have nothing I want.

Wednesday , May 30 , 2007
[[At the Elevator. The Operator looks far more Human than usual.]] Woman of Mystery: People are born. People /die./ Operator: Ah,. I /do/ have something you want. A set of functioning ears! [[An outline of the Woman of Mystery onboard a sailing ship, wearing a hat. The background colors indicate this is the day of the Crash.]] WoM: The magic goes away. WoM: The magic comes back. Operator: We can only hope. [[An outline of a speaker talking to a multitude from a balcony. There are large guns mounted above the balcony.]] WoM: One day you're on the balcony, being cheered by the multitudes.. Operator: I always /did/ cut a rather dashing figure up there. WoM: ..the next you're locked in a box at the ragged end of reality. [[A small stylized outline of the Operator in the Elevator, in the Mansion.]] Operator: Indeed. [[The WoM turns to go.]] WoM: /Nothing/ lasts forever. Operator: Yes. Including boxes.

Thursday , May 31 , 2007
[[The Woman of Mystery leaves the Elevator, as the Operator watches. He appears as a Human king.]] Operator: So.. has our /joyous/ time together drawn to a close? [[She walks away, does not answer.]] Operator: Ah well. remember, my door is always open. [[She is out of sight.]] WoM: Go jump in a Grue-pit. Operator: Au revoir. {{Author's note: To avoid giving out any false clues.. the Operator is not literally speaking French here. What you are seeing is a translation into English from the Mansionverse language the characters are actually speaking. And.. in the case of the phrase he used in that language, the best translation into modern English, the phrase that closest catches his exact meaning and intent, happens to be not "Goodbye" or even "See you later" but the stolen-from-the-French "Au Revior." Just in case you were curious.}}

Friday , June 1 , 2007
[[The Human-looking Operator stands in the Elevator as the doors close. All dialogue is nonverbal.]] Operator: Distractions and diversions... [[Doors close more.]] Operator: I clearly missed something important while I was otherwise occupied.. hat poor girl was being downright /reckless/.. [[Only a crack left.]] Operator: And not due to dispair [sic].. she's hopeful. Operator: After all these years.. [[The doors close.]] Operator: /Terribly/ hopeful. Operator: Let's find out why..

Saturday , June 2 , 2007
[[The Human-appearing Operator stands on the square which is the floor of the Elevator, his arms raised. The walls surround him. The Elevator sign is behind his head, the fine print unreadable.]] [[He pushes outward. The scene turns to full color. The floor remains the same shape, but the walls flatten out into a single sheet, behind him. The sign now reads OOF.]] [[Pulliing further back. The square-pattern on the wall flexes and bulges in random places. The sign now reads HOME SWEET HOME.]]

Sunday, June 3, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: But why did Bokonon- Chunner: No, kid, it's my turn. Crud, /how come Crazy Rhid knows so much about Sneeches?/ Crud: Oh. Well. I gather that he goes and talks to them. Chunner: Talks. To Sneeches. Crud: Yes. He said that in the end, they're people like anyone else. Of course, it is true that Rhid might not be the best judge of such things.. Chunner: Speaking along those lines, maybe he was just lying to you.. Crud: Oh no. Rhid doesn't tell lies. Except when he pretends to be so crazy that he's forgotten what you asked. At least.. I think he was pretending that..

Monday , June 4 , 2007
[[llInside the Elevator. The Operator looks almost Human. The wall bends and flexes. The sign reads DO NOT TOUCH THE TIME PYLON.]] Operator, thinking: Ah yes. Just.. [[There is a colored beam, slicing by an angle. The Operator reaches for it.]] Operator, thinking: And no sign of our friendly neighborhood Willygig. [[He grabs the beam.]] ((GLOMP)) [[He is blasted with power. The sign reads YOU WERE WARNED.]]

Tuesday , June 5 , 2007
[[A closeup of the Operator's face, as he grips one of Protus's "Time Pylons", and is blasted with its power. He thinks.]] Operator: Back.. through her.. diversions.. [[Even closer in, in the pupil of his eye. A balloon is made to resemble a jack o lantern.]] Operator: Bah. [[The blast of magic/light/color which came from the Pit in the Forest of E.]] Operator: No.. [[Nellie Grubb, depicted in shades of purple.]] Operator: /No./ [[Zay of the webcomic Sandwich World, depicted similarly.]] Operator: ... No.. Operator: Only one more.. this must be.. wait.. down there? But that's- [[The "Forbidden" symbol, an open circle with a slash across it, behind the words UNVERIFIED ACCESS ENGAGING COUNTER MEASURES.]] Operator: oh buggering v-

Wednesday , June 6 , 2007
[[The floor of the Elevator floats in front of a vast section of bulging and warping "wall". A beam of power comes down a system of branching lines, and reaches where the Operator is gripping on. He is blasted by it. The elevator sign reads YIPE.]]

Thursday , June 7 , 2007
[[The Operator, appearing almost human, stands in the square which is the floor of the Elevator. Around him the walls waver and flux. The Elevator sign reads Is There a Healer in the House? The Operator's hand is blackened.]] The Operator, thinking: I don't believe this. [[An outline of a question mark surrounded/partially obscured by a collection of slashing lines.]] Operator: That soppy little twit witnessed whatever-it-is that Protus has hidden in the very middle of all his Pylons. {{He refers to the Woman of Mystery.}} Operator: And I'd wager eighty Quatloos that she doesn't even know it.. [[The sign reads RSVP.]] Operator: We're going to have to get her back here for another talk. As soon as possible.

Friday , June 8 , 2007
[[Inside the Elevator. The Human-looking Operator holds up his hand, and shapes appear either floating there or on the sign behind him him: Rosemary's helmet, and Chauncy and Edgar's "ears".]] Operator: And, even more importantly, if Miss Ripley confirms my faith in her and passes the little test I've sent her way, we'll need to get her back over here as well... Assuming of course.. [[Hopobefever the Ghast is wrapped up in the Operator's tail. He looks like a devil again. The sign lists its warnings.]] Operator: ...You have completed your.. basic training and are ready for your first mission? Hopobefever: . . . Operator: Answer the Question, my dear. Hopobefever: What.. are you.. doing.. sir.. I.. can't... [[The tail slithers around her head. Her eyes go red and yellow.]] Operator: /Answer the Question./ Hopobefever: AHH! sir no sir this ghastunit is only 57 percent converted sir Operator: 57.. such resistance. Ah, Hpobfvfr.. You are so very close to being what I need.. [[A tiny sliver of the wall.]] Operator: But you're not there. So let's proceed. Hopobefever: aah!

Saturday , June 9 , 2007
[[The Woman of Mystery stands in front of the open archway which leads toward the Basement's Sneech den. Her "pet" balloon floats nearby.]] [[She looks towards the floor.]] [[She extends her hand, and the Sneech-stick which Sylvester discarded magically rises up into view.]] [[She now holds the stick.]] WoM, thinking: ""I suppose you want to know about the Sneeches."

Sunday, June 10, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: So.. is Crazy Rhid in on the whole Sneech-squeezings thing? Crud: I'm sorry? Cully: What you and Mr. Chunner said before. Cully: About the Crescent Hall nobs getting Sneech-squeezings and dumping them down here in the SubShafts. Is that when Rhid talked to the Sneeches? Crud: Oh. Well. I suppose it's /possible/. He does use squeezings in his wares, sometimes... Chunner: Assuming Crud's right about this, You may be onto something there, kid. The phizzer's /very/ careful to make himself useful to VIPs; that's how he's lasted so long. Crud: ..but I doubt it. He didn't want anyone to know he'd been over there. He made me promise not to tell anyone when he gave me the squeezings I used in my bean.

Monday , June 11 , 2007
Narration: In various places.. [[No dialogue given in any of the following. Near Crazy Rhid's, Skuy talks to Ploot and Voog.]] [[A Gnoll and a Troglodyte's fight is interrupted by the arrival of Chauncy the demon. A rock bounces off Chauncy's head without effect.]] [[Snerd the Gnoll talks to a Ghast who eyes him from behind a barricade and a large spear.]] [[Clochard the Gnoll watches a Kronk the Trog goes past, following the scent trail of Crazy Rhid.]] [[A group returns from the forest: Nevus riding on Mimsy's head, Agita, Shona and a blindfolded Trog.]] [[In the forest, Comshaw, Niddle and Ig the Saur walk past the remains of a human wall.]]

Tuesday , June 12 , 2007
[[In the Forest of E. Comshaw, Niddle and Ig the Saur proceed along. Niddle carries the Hitchhiking Gem]] Ig: So these metalmin get up and walk around? Comshaw: No, Ig, they're just hunks of metal. Niddle: That's not true. Comshaw: Niddle, I /explained/ this to you before. Niddle: Yes, Comshaw, you did, and I told you, I saw an active one when the Fire hit me. . . . And when I was with Thrash and the ot- [[There is an enormous flash of light ahead of them.]] ((OZPR))

Wednesday , June 13 , 2007
[[In the Forest of E, Ig the Saur, Comshaw and Niddle silently watch as an explosion sends debris flying from behind a row of trees in the distance.]]

Thursday , June 14 , 2007
[[In the forest of E. A skull sits on a stone block behind the speakers.]] Comshaw: OK.. it's not just a different sound. This is fundimentally different. Ig the Saur: What? Comshaw: I realize now.. Before.. That was just a light show, like the Caverns of Serene Shimmering. This- [[An enormous boulder falls out of the sky, smashing the skull and the block under it.]] ((CRUNCH)) Comshaw: a great deal more vigorous. Ig: "Serene Shimmering"? Comshaw: It's not so bad, compared to the Fluffy Foo-Foo Cave.

Friday , June 15 , 2007
[[In the Forest of E, following an explosion in the distance.]] Ig the Saur: Shouldn't we get out of range of falling stuff? Comshaw: A little late for that. [[A small bit of debris falls from the sky and ((BONKs)) Comshaw on the nose.]] Comshaw: And the worst seems to be over. IgSaur: snif? Comshaw: Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to keep Niddle from wandering off. Again.

Saturday , June 16 , 2007
[[In the Forest of E. The Hitchhiking Gem which Niddle is carrying is shooting bits of magic.]] Comshaw: Niddle, where are you going? Niddle: Don't you want to go check out that explosion? Comshaw: Check out..! Niddle, whatever caused that blast is /gone/. All we'd find is a zarking hole in the ground! Niddle: But we need to... Niddle: . . . Comshaw: To what? I'm genuinely curious what you think we should do. Niddle: We need to- Ig the Saur, running past: /RUN!/

Sunday, June 17, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Crud: Of course, Father Groat always th... Is something the matter? Chunner: You said the B-word and you didn't have one of your little moments. Crud: B-word? Oh! /Bean/. Crud: ... You're right! Bean bean bean. Maybe /that/ was what I strained when I- Cully: What about 'Mugwump'? [[Crud attacks Cully.]] Crud: RRRRRAAARRGGHHH! Chunner: Pity. I was hoping he'd finally be able to tell us what the zarking things are.

Monday , June 18 , 2007
[[In the Forest of E. As Comshaw and Niddle stand, Ig the Saur flees.]] Niddle: What's that /smell?/ [[Comshaw pushes at Niddle.]] Comshaw: Niddle, run! Niddle: Why? Comshaw: As soon as I find out, you'll be the first to know! Move!

Tuesday , June 19 , 2007
[[A scene in the Forest of E. Comshaw can just be seen fleeing off-panel.]] [[A large flutterby comes zooming into view from the opposite direction.]] [[It flies on. Three more come into view.]] Off-panel voice: GROWF!!

Wednesday , June 20 , 2007
[[The Forest of E. Ig the Saur looks up at the pile of grassy stones which make up a section of Human-city rubble; small trees also sprout from the pile. Carved on one of the stones is the phrase OZZY MANN DIAS]] IgSaur, thinking: Yeah, this'll do. [[Ig starts to climb.]] Ig: oof urg ((scrabble scrabble)) [[He looks back as Niddle comes into view below.]] Off-panel voice: GROWF!! Ig, thinking: ...I hope.

Thursday , June 21 , 2007
[[In the Forest of E, Comshaw and Niddle the Gnolls and Ig the Saur are being potentially menaced by a Skunk Shark. Ig is standing on top of a pile of rocks, only his legs are visible.]] Ig: You need to climb up here! Ig: . . . You Gnolls /can/ cli- [[Comshaw and Niddle are up there with him. A flutterby flies into view.]] Ig: -mb? Comshaw: Maybe not as well as an Ooze or a Ghast, but we get by. I /assume/ whatever is coming can't?

Friday , June 22 , 2007
[[On an old Human structure in the Forest of E.]] Ig the Saur: What's coming is one of the skunk sharks. Comshaw: Skunk. OK. That's not as bad as a.. beaver shark, right? [[Niddle is looking at the structure's central pillar.]] IgSaur: Oh yeah. If it was a /beaver/ shark, we'd be in real trouble.. Ig: ..but we /should/ be all right up here.. Comshaw: And if we aren't...? Ig: Jump off, and run. Fast.

Saturday , June 23 , 2007
[[In the Forest of E, on the crumbled remains of the Ozzy Mann Dias.]] Comshaw: I'm detecting a note of uncertainty. Ig the Saur: All a beaver shark does is chase. Once it.. picks some poor drooler.. it'll chew down a Gnomish /hometree/ to get him. IgSaur: But the skunk sharks.. IgSaur: If one catches you out in the open, it'll chomp you. If you're not on its.. level. It's like you stop being there. [[Ig points]] Comshaw: Most of the time? Ig: Yeah. So. If we /are/ here... run that way. There's a higher pile to climb.

Sunday, June 24, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] {{Cully needs this entire strip to recover from his latest beating.}} Chunner: So anyway, Crud. /Why/ did you create that zarking bean? Crud: Oh. Well. My sires managed one of old Cartul's fungi farms. I grew up seeing how much trouble it is to keep one going... Crud: So I set out to create a tasty and nutritious plant that could feed /itself/ on scraps and waste. Save all that work. But.. it went badly. Or maybe too well. Chunner: You used Sneech squeezings! What did you /think/ was going to happen? Crud: I never intended to use it in the final.. Results were demanded. Mistakes were made.

Monday , June 25 , 2007
[[In the Forest of E, on the Ozzy Mann Dias, which is a pile of blocks topped with a central pillar sprouting points. A hole in the side reveals a broken-off pipe. Flutterbys flit around.]] Comshaw: Speaking of piles.. What is this thing we're standing on? Ig the Saur: I dunno. Some old human phizz. Niddle:'s a fountain.

Tuesday , June 26 , 2007
[[On the Ozzy Mann Dias in the Forest of E.]] Comshaw: A fountain? Niddle, what- Ig the Saur: There's the shark. [[A white-striped fin goes by below their feet.]] IgSaur: . . . Good. Looks like it's going to just graze for a while.. [[Comshaw waves away the smell.]] Comshaw: Phew. Peppy. Why do you call it a "skunk" shark? Ig: I dunno.

Wednesday , June 27 , 2007
[[On a defunct Human fountain in the Forest of E.]] Comshaw: So how long.. wait, "graze"? That means, "nibble on plants", right? Ig the Saur: Pretty much. [[The skunk shark goes by below them.]] Comshaw: If it eats /plants/, why are we up here? IgSaur: Skunk sharks eat a whole.. /plethora/.. of phizz. Even more than us Saurs. Shark: GROWF!! [[Ig points.]] Comshaw: You say that like it's a good thing. Ig: Mostly, it is You've never been up north? In the deep forest? Comshaw: ..No. /Boffin/ never went there, much less me. Ig: It's deep because the /growfers/ don't go there, either.

Thursday , June 28 , 2007
[[Ig the Saur is lecturing to Comshaw about life in the Forest of E. All the following are Outlines. An Ooze wearing a hat carefully tends to some underground growth.]] Comshaw: I'm not following you here. Ig: Boffin told me one, you have to /work/ to grow plants underground? [[A Nome smoking a pipe and studying a tall leafy plant.]] Comshaw: Camora is the one to ask about running a fungi farm, but.. Very broadly speaking.. apart from Treefruit.. yes. Ig: Up here, green phizz grows all on its own. [[A Skunk Shark chews on vegetation, as a flutterby flies overhead.]] Ig: OK, the Gnolls and the Nomes clean up near their burrows and hometrees and such. But mostly the growfer wander around all the time, cropping the grass, chewing down the smaller saplings. [[A mass of spiky bushes and trees, with a Giant Spyder sitting in a web.]] Ig: Up north, they don't..

Friday , June 29 , 2007
[[An outline of Ig the Saur looking at a tangled mass of grass, brambles, trees and Spyder webs.]] IgSaur: I've only been to the edge of the Deep, but it's bad. Grass up over your head, bramblevines, Spyders everwhere, those- Comshaw: I get the idea. Turning back to the "growfers"... Comshaw: Do they not go up north because it's bad, or is it bad because they don't go up nortth [sic]? Ig: Uuh.. I dunno. They go around in a big sorta circle all the time Here. Comshaw: "Here" being...? [[Outline of a crude map of the forest, with a very large star in the middle, with two !!s for emphasis. Counterclockwise around the edges, along with trees, are the Spike, a frog, a Nome head, a treesquid, the Mansion, a Spyder and the Pit. The bottom edge of the panel is ragged, showing the surrounding blue frame.]] Ig: ... /here/. South of the Deep. Ig: East of the Ravine Ig: West of the Stump. Ig: North of the Edge. Ig: The /important/ stuff. Comshaw: Right.

Saturday , June 30 , 2007
[[On the Ozzy Mann Dias, in the Forest of E. Niddle is present.]] Comshaw: So the shark will go away? Ig the Saur: Yeah, eventually. Skunk Shark: GROWF! Comshaw: When? Five hours? Three days? Early autumn? IgSaur: Five what? Comshaw: Hour. There are twenty of them.. Comshaw: You /can/ count, right? Ig, cheerfully: Yes! All the way to /forty two/!

Sunday, July 1, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: 'Results were demanded?' Who- ((WHEEEEEEEE)) Chunner: Hold that thought, Kid. Crud: Oh, dear. [[Everyone ducks as something arrowhead-shaped flies into view from the side.]] ((WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE)) Chunner: And /stay down/. [[A big red, white, and blue explosion spells out HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY]] Cully: eep Crud:'s a little early.. Chunner: No, Crud, really?

Monday , July 2 , 2007
[[Outline of Poyndext the Eyebolt displaying an infinity symbol to Comshaw.]] Ig the Saur: How high can /you/ count? Comshaw: Poyndext the Eyebolt told me once there is no highest number. [[Outline of a female and male Eyebolt arguing, with numbers and mathematical symbols floating around them.]] Comshaw: Which might be true. Eyebolts do sit up all night arguing about this sort of thing. Comshaw: But personally, the highest I go is one million. And since you're going to ask.. [[Outline of a procession of leaves being added.]] Comshaw: Take all the.. oh.. leaves in the world, and count them. That'll get you close enough to a million for our purposes. Ig the Saur: . . . oh.

Tuesday , July 3 , 2007
[[On the Ozzy Mann Dias, in the Forest of E.]] Niddle: Actually, Comshaw. if the trees around here display a typical leaf-load and dispersal pattern, saying that there are a million leaves in the world would be a wild underestimate. Niddle: Particularly if you count all those tiny needle-growths as leaves, and not just.. [[He sees Comshaw's expression.]] Niddle: What? Comshaw: /Now/ you decide to take an interest in the conversation. Ig the Saur: Why would anyone want to count all the leaves in the world?

Wednesday , July 4 , 2007
[[An outline of the clock which Comshaw mentions below.]] Comshaw: /Enough about leaves!/ Ig. An hour is an arbitrary division of time. We got the idea off the Clock in the Time Hall. Ig the Saur: Clock? Comshaw: For the moment, just accept [sic] that it's another old human machine. [[An outline of the sun crossing the sky above the forest, with its passage measured.]] Comshaw: The idea is that you take the stretch of time from sunrise to sunset, and divide it into ten equal parts. [[An outline of the moon making the same trip.]] Comshaw: And then you do the same with sunset to sunrise, for a total of twenty hours in a day.

Thursday , July 5 , 2007
[[In the Forest of E, on an old Human fountain.]] Comshaw: You seem confused. Ig the Saur: No, I understand. We break the day into "morning' and "evening'. It's the same idea. . . IgSaur: right? [[An outline of the sun either rising or setting over the Forest.]] Comshaw: Essentially, yes, although we use those words as well. Ig: What I was wondering was.. do these hours get shorter in the winter? Cuz the sun doesn't always.. [[Outline of the sun higher in the sky.]] Comshaw: No, you're right. I should have said /roughly/ sunrise to sunset. [[Outline of a branch of the Tree.]] Comshaw: And we down underground know about sunrise and sunset (and summer and winter, for that matter) because of the Tree.

Friday , July 6 , 2007
[[Outline of the sun shining down on the Mansion and one of the accompanying branches of the Tree.]] Comshaw: The Tree, our Tree, has branches everywhere Some of the biggest poke up above the surface around.. "The Stump", and they react to the light of the sun.. Comshaw: ...or lack thereof. [[Underground, various folks go about their business, as a GBOL shines overhead.]] Comshaw: Our GBOLs.. which are sort of.. a whole bunch of tiny little suns, at least in terms of light.. are are all tied into the Tree.. [[Nighttime. The GBOL is dimmer. Only loitering Gnoll remains.]] Comshaw: And when the sun goes down, the GBOLs dim considerably. Right now it is spring, but we have long winter nights, just like you. Ig the Saur: What? It snows down there? Niddle: It whats down there? Comshaw: Like what falls from the ceiling in Vinemass Pit, NIddle, only it's very cold. Comshaw: And OK, Ig, not /exactly/ like you..

Saturday , July 7 , 2007
[[On the Ozzy Mann Dias, in the Forest of E.]] Ig the Saur: OK.. I guess I understand, but why /two/ sets of ten hours? That would be hard to keep track of.. Comshaw: sigh.. it's ten because on the Clock there are ten marks for the moving pointers to point at. [[Outline of various time-keeping devices: water dripping into a marked flask, a marked candle burns, an hourglass.]] Comshaw: As for keeping track of time away from the Clock, people have come up with some ideas over the years... Comshaw: ..but honestly, none of them work all that well. [[An outline of an evil demonic Mortimer holding a bit of time in his claws.]] Comshaw: Something else to ask this Mortimer, if we ever meet him. Why ten hours on the Clock instead of some sensible number like eight. Comshaw: And if we're really lucky, maybe how to make more Clocks..

Sunday, July 8, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: Was.. was that more Sneech squeezings? Chunner: Eh? Oh. No. The zarking machine over in SubShaft 44h spits out those things on a /semi/-regular schedule. Crud: It was a couple of days early. I'm glad our machine is more reliable. Chunner: Reliable. He says that like it's a good thing. Chunner (yelling): THANKS FOR THE WARNING, OVER THERE! Off-panel voice (yelling): ANY TIME! Cully: ..are all the SubShafts occupied? Chunner: Pretty much. Be grateful you're not down in 45f. Voice from below (small): you have no idea how grateful you should be..

Monday , July 9 , 2007
[[On the Ozzy Mann Dias, in the Forest of E.]] Comshaw: But anyway. /Getting back to the point/. Ig. How long til the shark leaves? Ig the Saur: . . . IgSaur: We should wait for an /hour/. Maybe two, if we want to be safe. Comshaw: Fine. We wait two hours. Comshaw: Or as close as we can judge. Comshaw: C'mere, Niddle. Niddle: My leaf calculations could have been wrong!

Tuesday , July 10 , 2007
[[On the Ozzy Mann Dias, in the Forest of E. Comshaw undoes the straps on Niddle's backpack.]] Comshaw: Oh, relax, Niddle Comshaw: more than one sense. [[The fin of the Skunk Shark below.]] Comshaw: If the shark does come up here, leave the pack behind and run. Shark: GROWF!! [[Comshaw puts the pack down on a stone ledge.]] Comshaw: Because whatever happens, we are not going to Louch's. We are /not/ spending the night above ground. [[Closeup of the bugs crawling around near the pack.]] Comshaw: ..but we /can/ at least break out the beetle box, and have a.. snack..

Wednesday , July 11 , 2007
[[On the Ozzy Mann Dias, in the Forest of E.]] Comshaw: Ig. Are there lots of beetles up here? Ig the Saur: Huh? Oh sure. All sorts. Trundlebugs, too. [[Closeup of the bug Comshaw is holding between his fingers.]] Comshaw: And are they eatable? IgSaur: Mostly. That you've got there is a mound-beetle. It's fine. Ig: But you Gnolls like worms better, right? I'll grub some up for you! Comshaw: No thanks. Ig: Suit yourself. All the more for me! Comshaw, thinking: We are /definitely/ not staying up here.

Thursday , July 12 , 2007
[[In the Forest of E, on the old Human fountain.]] Comshaw: Now then.. Niddle.. Niddle: Yes? [[They look up at the fountain's central column.]] Comshaw: You say this used to be a fountain? What did it spew? Niddle: I don't know. It's been broken for too long. [[Comshaw wedges his poking stick into the fountain.]] Comshaw: So it's safe? [[He unfurls the blanket Niddle has been carrying.]] Niddle: Well, yes. Except for that shark. And whatever caused the explosion. And Thrash might still be- [[Comshaw has strung up the blanket as shade, and seated Niddle under it.]] Comshaw: *Fine*. Stay there and get some rest.

Friday , July 13 , 2007
[[In the Forest of E. On an old Human fountain. Niddle sits under some shade arranged by a blanket and Comshaw's poking stick.]] Niddle: Sit here? But the sun really isn't bothering me. Comshaw: Humor me. [[Comshaw looks up at the fountain's central pillar.]] Niddle: Where are you going? Skunk shark: GROWF! [[The top of the fountain. A flutterby flies past.]] Niddle: Comshaw? [[Comshaw climbs into view.]] Comshaw: oof. Up.

Saturday , July 14 , 2007
[[In the forest of E. Comshaw looks in one direction.]] [[The tip of the Spike is visible in the distance.]] [[He looks the other way.]] [[The Mansion can be seen.]] Comshaw, thinking: so. [[He is standing on the very top of the Ozzy Mann Dias. Niddle sits in the shade of a blanket. Ig the Saur grubs for worms.]] Comshaw, thinking: where do we go from here?

Sunday, July 15, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: We.. have a machine in.. our subshaft? Chunner: Of course we do, kid. What did you think that chute was attached to? Cully: Well, I.. does it also spit out exploding.. things? Chunner: Only on certain special occasions. Crud: Mostly, it produces various spherical objects. And Sploo. Cully: What's Spl- ((SPLUT)) [[A purple sploo cake with four lit candles and a 4 on it falls onto and covers Cully's head.]] Crud: Ew. Spewberry flavored /again/. {{The Mansion of E's fourth birthday}}

Monday , July 16 , 2007
[[Inside Sidestep Hall, the doorway to Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy store. A couple of sample spears are in a tall container]] [[Camora/Hax, Sylvester and Rosemary walk into view.]] [[Rosemary examines one of the spears.]] Camora: Here we are. Izchak's- Sylvester: Sharp N' Pointy. Yes, we can read. Let's just do this.

Tuesday , July 17 , 2007
[[Inside his weapons shop in Sidestep Hall, Izchak the Motihaul stands behind a counter and examines a glowgem. Another gem sits on the counter, along with a fleeb and a pudding-growth. Various boxes hold sticks. A Human stencil on the wall reads KNOBKERRIES. Another on the counter is ARROWHEAD PROJECT.]] [[Camora comes into view.]] Izchak: Ah. Camora. With an interesting new hat! Camora: Izchak. [[A glaring Rosemary and a nervous Sylvester appear as well.]] Izchak: /And/ some interesting new friends! Camora: They are forest Nomes. We need something sharp and pointy. Izchak: /Really./

Wednesday , July 18 , 2007
[[Sidestep Hall. Inside Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy.]] Izchak: So, are you looking for a new pointy stick for Comshaw? I have a fine selection- Camora: No. Izchak: Something for yourself then! [[He picks up a twig from a nearby container.]] Izchak: I have these new jabbing "twigs" imported at great expense from the forest! Light,-weight easily concealable,, go right into an eyesocket-- Camora: Let me rephrase my intial [sic] statement. [[Camora points at Rosemary.]] Camora: /She/ needs something sharp and pointy. Izchak: Ah. A challenge!

Thursday , July 19 , 2007
[[Rosemary and Sylvester have been broiught to Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy.]] Izchak: So you're a forest Nome, Miss..? Rosemary: Rosemary. [[Shot of Izchak]] Izachak: Well, Rosemary, I guess those sunrays at least make you Nomes grow. [[Shot of an unimpressed Rosemary.]] Izchak: But I hear that /metal/ is scarce in the forest. [[Izchak gestures towards a rack of weapons.]] Izchak: perhaps you would be interested in a traditional Nome-pick? Rosemary: We're not planning on doing any mining. [[An outline of a Nome and a Gnoll battling during, presumably, the Nome War. The Nome is wielding a pick.]] Izchak: Mining? Ah. Yes. I suppose your ancestors /did/ use them for mining, too!

Friday , July 20 , 2007
[[Sidestep Hall. Inside Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy weapon-shop.]] Rosemary: Actually, what I was looking for was something in the way of a sword. Izchak: /Of course!/ I have the very finest selection! Right this way! [[Sylvester comes up behind them.]] Sylvester: Um.. Rosemary? Rosemary: Yes, Sylvester? Sylvester: I would consider it a personal favor if you could refrain from punching him in the face. Rosemary: Oh, all right. But you owe me.

Saturday , July 21 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy weapon shop. Rosemary unenthusiastically eyes the sword Izchak the Motihaul is showing her.]] Izchak: Obviously you're a Nome who knows her swords! [[Rosemary sees something off-panel which catches her interest.]] Izchak: This is an excellent piece, used by Othar himself in his explorations of the Fringes! [[Rosemary walks off.]] Izchak: ..until of course that unfortunate buisness [sic] with the Dorn.. beasts.. Rosemary, off-panel: What's /this?/ Izchak: . . .

Sunday, July 22, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] [[Cully's head is still covered with the Sploo cake. The four candles are hissing.]] candles: ((ssss)) ((ssss)) ((ssss)) Cully: mp? [[The cake explodes. The sploo goes everywhere.]] ((SPEW)) [[The walls, Chunner, and Crud are now coated in purple sploo, although parts of the wall are still green with dried Sneech squeezings.]] Cully: I don't wanna know what sploo is anymore. Chunner: Personally, I have long cherished my ignorence [sic] on the subject. Crud: Why do you suppose they call them spewberries?

Monday , July 23 , 2007
[[In Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy. Rosemary, seen from behind, silently looks at the as-yet unnamed Can-Opener leaning in a corner of the shop. Also visible are bits of rubble and the corner of a filing cabinet.]]

Tuesday , July 24 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy weapon shop. Izchak the Motihaul comes up behind Rosemary.]] Izchak: Ah yes. [[A closeup of the cutting blade of the Can Opener.]] Izchak: That item. Rosemary: What is it? [[Sylvester listens.]] Izchak: With utmost regret, it is not for sale. Camora: WHAT?

Wednesday , July 25 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak the Motihaul's "Sharp N' Pointy" weapon-shop. Sylvester silently listens to this conversation.]] Camora: "Not for sale"? You'd sell your /hide/ if someone offered you enough fleebs! Camora: Oh, wait. I get it. Camora: You claim it's not for sale, and we have to "beg" you to part with it! Camora: Well, it's not going to- Izchak: It is not for sale, /Camora/, because it is sealed inside one of those Human airboxs. [[Rosemary is enthusiastically holding the Can Opener.]] Izchak: No one, including myself, is able to even touch it. Rosemary: What is this thing /made/ of?

Thursday , July 26 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak's shop, Rosemary has picked up the Can-Opener.]] Rosemary: OK, I *definitely* noticed it looks sorta like a Pale weapon, but only sorta, so I was.. wondering.. [[Sees Izchak's expression.]] What? [[The spot where the Can-Opener was]] Izchak: How did you get the box open? Rosemary: What box? Izchak: I even paid Sprocket and Flange to look at.. beat on.. the zarking thing! Rosemary: Who? Izchak: And then *you* just- [[Edgar arrives, off-panel.]] ((SLICE))

Friday , July 27 , 2007
[[Chauncy and Edgar the demons have arrived at Izchak's weapon-shop, Edgar slashing his way right in through the stone wall.]] Edgar: Rosemary Ripley. You were right, Chauncy. She does smell different, but she's not like the Scary Lady *at all*... [[Inset reaction shots from everyone else: CamoraHax and Izchak who are terrified, and Sylvester, bemused, and Rosemary, angry.]]

Saturday , July 28 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy weapon-shop, Chauncy and Edgar the demons have appeared.]] Rosemary: So. You must be Chauncy and.. what was it Camora said? Sylvester: Edgar. Rosemary: Edgar. Right. [[Edgar turns to Chauncy.]] Edgar: Now that you can gurn her clearly, can you determine how she is different? Chauncy: The walls in her head have only traces of extra paint on them. The other one, even though he is the same species, is thickly encrusted. Edgar: . . . What does that mean? Chauncy: I do not know. Edgar: If only Scratch would resume tapping the Lines, and detail his encounter with her! Sylvester: I shouldn't complain, but this is just rude. Rosemary: A sadly common trait. Sylvester: In your professional opinion, did we meet "Scratch" earlier today? Rosemary: ... ... No. We did not.

Sunday, July 29, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] Cully: What else does "our" machine do? Crud: It turns off the lights! All you do is clap! Chunner: Crud! NO! Crud: ((CLAP!)) ((click)) [[Total pitch darkness. Only the gnolls' eyes are visible.]] Cully: It doesn't turn the lights back on, does it? Chunner: No. No it does /not/.

Monday , July 30 , 2007
[[Chauncy and Edgar the demons have confronted Rosemary and Sylvester inside Izchak's weapon shop.]] Chauncy: So we proceed with a modified version of our original plan. Edgar: I concur. [[Edgar turns to Rosemary and Sylvester, as the former pushes the latter to the ground.]] Edgar: We disassemble /both/ of them, and see what differences we can find. Sylvester: oof! [[Edgar attacks]] ((SLIC- CLANG)) [[The Can-Opener has stopped his claws.]]

Tuesday , July 31 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak the Motihaul's weapon shop. Edgar looks at his claws.]] Edgar: That never happened before! Rosemary, off-panel: No, I don't suppose it has. ((WHAM)) [[Edgar is gone, leaving Chauncy floating alone.]] ((CRASH)) [[Rosemary is holding the Can Opener, the club-end of which is quivering. Sylvester looks at her from the floor.]] Rosemary: And that, I further suspect, is your whole Zarking... /starving/.. problem.

Wednesday , August 1 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak the Motihual's weapon-shop. Edgar the demon has been smashed into on the shop's stone walls, destroying various items in the process.]] Edgar: That was painful! Rosemary: Yes. I imagine it was. [[Edgar has floated back to face her and the Can Opener again.]] Rosemary: And you know what, Edgar? Rosemary: All those people you and Chauncy "disassembled"? ((WHAM)) Rosemary: (And you killed a whole zarking /bunch/ of folks, didn't you, before the Council somehow got you into that bottle?) [[Edgar goes flying, witnessed by Chauncy.]] Rosemary: This is how it /felt/ to them. ((CRASH)) Rosemary: Only /worse/.

Thursday , August 2 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak the Motihaul's weapon-shop. Edgar is lying upside-down, smashed through some shelving into a wall.]] Edgar: But none of this- Rosemary: real? Is that what you were going to say? [[Rosemary approaches, wielding the Can Opener. Behind her, a male Motihaul peers through the hole Edgar's previous impact made in the wall.]] Rosemary: No, Edgar. We're not as.. durable.. as you.. Rosemary: But this is not a dream or a toy or a joke. Rosemary: This is /real/ Rosemary: And like "Scratch" before you.. ((WHAM CRASH)) Rosemary: ..unless and until the magic comes back so someone can send you home, you're going to have to suck it up, and /learn to live with it./

Friday , August 3 , 2007
[[In Izchak's "Sharp N' Pointy" weapon-shop. Rosemary, with the Can Opener, approaches Edgar who is smashed into one of the walls.]] Rosemary: And now we- Edgar: Rosemary Ripley? Rosemary: Yes, Edgar? Edgar: Will you please stop striking me with that object? [[Rosemary taps him on the head with the Can Opener.]] Rosemary: Sure. Rosemary: All you had to do was /ask/.

Saturday , August 4 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak's "Sharp N' Pointy" weapon-shop. Edgar the demon floats up out of the crater in the wall he had been smashed into. He is facing Rosemary, who is armed with the Can Opener.]] Rosemary: Now, Edgar. Is there anything /else/ you'd like to ask me? [[Edgar stares at her.]] [[He shoots a glance from the corner of his eye.]] [[Chauny looks back.]] [[Sylvester watches as well.]] Edgar: ..What did you do to Scratch? Rosemary: Very good question!

Sunday, August 5, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] {{Completely black panels. Only the eyeballs are visible.}} Cully: So what *does* turn the lights b- Crud: They mostly come out in the dark. Mostly. [[No dialogue in panel two.]] Cully: I suspect any elaboration on that statement would only upset me. How do we get the lights back on? Chunner: There's hope for you yet, kid. Crud: Only until They come..

Monday , August 6 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak's weapon-shop.]] Rosemary: So. "Scratch". I can't be sure we are talking about the same individual, as the one I met.. I never heard his name. Edgar: Oh. Yes. Edgar: We others call him that. He did not take a name when he arrived here. Rosemary: I see. I met "mine" in.. far to the west of.. this room. Edgar: West? Rosemary: In that direction. I think. Where the sun goes down. [[Outline of the sun setting.]] Edgar: The Sun remains at a fairly constant distance from- Rosemary: (sigh) Where the sun disappears from view when night begins. Edgar: Oh. Yes. Yes, if you move in that direction, you will come nearer to the place where you met Scratch.

Tuesday , August 7 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak's weapon-shop.]] Rosemary: Anyway. [[An outline of Rosemary covertly checking out Scratch the Demon.]] Rosemary: What I did to Scratch, Edgar, is what I just did to you. Edgar: I do not understand. Rosemary: I got him to pay attention to me. [[She taps Edgar on the head with the Can-Opener.]] Rosemary: 'Course, I didn't have this thing... [[Outline of a battered Rosemary looking down at Scratch's hand which is poking from a pile of rubble.]] Rosemary: I had to work a little harder at it.

Wednesday , August 8 , 2007
[[Outline of Rosemary talking to Scratch the demon.]] Rosemary: After I got Scratch's attention, we talked. I said the same things that I just said to you. Rosemary: I suggested to him what I now suggest to you. [[Outline of Scratch walking away, with a large star and moon in the sky.]] Rosemary: Go away. Find a new place where no one knows you. Learn to.. interact. Learn to live. Rosemary: He agreed to try it. He left, and I never saw him again. Rosemary: I guess he stopped talking to you as well. [[They are inside Izchak's weapon shop. Edgar stares at her.]] Rosemary: So how about it? Edgar: Rosemary Ripley, we would have left long ago. But we can not pass through the Barrier.

Thursday , August 9 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy weapon shop.]] Rosemary: Barrier? What barrier? [[Behind Edgar is an Outline of the general Mansion area.]] Edgar: The one which surrounds.. this place. Edgar: All of this place. The tunnels, the open growths, the Burning Eye... Rosemary: I have no idea what you're talking about. Sylvester: Rosemary.. Rosemary: Sylvester! Rosemary: Please tell me you know what he's talking about! Sylvester: No.. I'm afraid I don't. But I do have a suggestion. Or at least a possibility..

Friday , August 10 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy weapon shop. Rosemary ((BONKs)) Edgar on the head with the Can Opener.]] Rosemary: Edgar, this is Sylvester. Listen to him. Sylvester: Um. Thank you, Rosemary. Sylvester: Edgar. You mentioned "the scary lady". Is she.. about my height? Has long white hair? Wears a sort of collar on her neck? [[Edgar stares.]] Sylvester: . . . Sylvester: Sharp cheekbones? Sharp /fingers?/ Edgar: Fingers! Yes, she possesses fingers! And teeth! Rosemary: This is why I didn't try to describe Scratch.

Saturday , August 11 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy.]] Sylvester: OK. I can't /prove/ that th- Edgar: snif Sylvester: What are you doing? Edgar: You /are/ acquainted with the Scary Lady! [[An interpretation of what Edgar is currently seeing. Everything except Chauncy, floating nearby, is in pale shades of yellow. Overlying Sylvester is a sketch of the Scary Lady/Woman of Mystery: her eyes, teeth, and fingers. Extra bits sprout from Chauncy as well: longer appendages, and wings.]] Edgar: Her smell is ground deeply into you. You.. you have spent extended periods in her close vicinity! Sylvester: Yes, Edgar. [[Outline of a nonplussed WoM holding a baby Sylvester.]] Sylvester: Since the day I was born. Sylvester: Which is probably fortunate for /everyone/ in this room.

Sunday, August 12, 2007
[[Sundays in SubShaft 44f...]] {{The panels are completely black except for the gnolls' eyeballs.}} Chunner: The first thing we have to do is.. you see that little light blinking way up there? Cully: Yes... Chunner: Here's a rock. We need to try and hit the light. Cully: Um.. OK.. ((FLING)) ((BONK)) ((TOSS)) ((crash)) Chunner: Zark it, we both missed. Find another and try again! ((CRUNCH)) Crud: Here They come..

Monday , August 13 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak's weapon shop. Sylvester tallks to Edgar the demon.]] Sylvester: In all those years I have known the Scary Lady, I have learned two important things about her. [[Outline of the WoM issuing an order to a young Sylvester.]] Sylvester: First of all, yes, you are quite right, she is the scariest lady I have ever met.. [[Outline of the WoM handing a glowing square to Sylvester the University student.]] Sylvester: Second, if (a very big if) she's in the mood to help a person, /she almost always can./

Tuesday , August 14 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak's shop. Chauncey observes.]] Edgar: You want us to go to the Scary Lady? Sylvester: Yes. She must know about this "Barrier", and how to get through it. /Ask/ her, very /politely/, if she will help you. Tell her that Sylvester would deeply appreciate it if she did. Edgar: But she made it very clear we were never to go Up There under any circumstances! Chauncey: She is not Up There at the moment. She is travelling (sic) towards Here. Edgar: She is? Chauncey: Yes. And since this Sylvester-Ladything offers us a connection, we will go and.. ask.. her. But first, there is something I must do...

Wednesday , August 15 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy weapon shop. Chauncy floats along.]] Edgar: I do not understand. [[Chauncy floats past him.]] Edgar: What do you.. need.. [Chauncy approaches Rosemary, who holds the Can Opener ready.]]

Thursday , August 16 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy.]] Rosemary: Yes, Chauncy? Chauncy: Rosemary Ripley. Strike me with that object. Rosemary: . . . Rosemary: What? Edgar: He requests that you strike him with your.. striker. [[Rosemary hits Chauncy on the head with the Can Opener. He looks slightly dazed. The Opener has glowing crack-like marks.]] ((WHAM)) [[Rosemary stands stunned, the Opener quivering in her hands. Chauncy is back to normal.]] Chauncy: Hm. Chauncy: Yes, that was unpleasant. Chauncy: I must mull the implications of this. Rosemary: urk.

Friday , August 17 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy. Chauncy floats away.]] Chauncy: Let us proceed, Edgar. The Scary Lady is in this direction. [[Edgar lingers, looking at Rosemary.]] Edgar: . . . Edgar: Thank you, Rosemary Ripley. Edgar: I will talk to the others. Chauncy: Edgar! [[Edgar floats away as Rosemary and Sylvester watch.]] Edgar: Yes, yes. I am coming.

Saturday , August 18 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy.]] Sylvester: Are you all right? Rosemary: Apart from my pride. And almost snapping both my wrists, yes. Rosemary: I'd /heard/ that demons like Chauncy are stronger than Edgar-types, but I n- ((SLICE)) [[Rubble falls from the ceiling where Chauncy and Edgar are departing.]] Sylvester: I suppose we /could/ maybe.. push this cabinet over there, climb up and.. follow them.. ((Crash THUD)) [[They both stare upward.]] ((FOOM)) Rosemary: I vote we stick with the original plan. Sylvester: Oh, thank goodness.

Sunday, August 19, 2007
[[Sundays In SubShaft 44f]] {{The first two panels are completely black except for the gnolls' eyeballs.}} ((TOSS)) ((FLING)) ((CLANG)) ((beep)) Chunner: Yes! Got it! Crud: They're h- ((SHUNK)) Crud: !!! ((yoink!)) {{Crud is pulled away}} ((FOOM)) [[A fork-shaped object is lighting the shaft. Crud is missing.]]

Monday , August 20 , 2007
[[Inside Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy.]] Sylvester: So. We should be going. Rosemary: Yes, that would probably be best. Except.. [[Izchak stares up at them from near the floor.]] Rosemary: We need our guide.. and.. oh! Izchak! There you are! [[She indicates the Can Opener. CamoraHax comes into view as well.]] Rosemary: I'll take it! No need to wrap it up, I'll probably use it again on the way home. [[Rosemary hands Izchak a fleeb, which he shakily accepts.]] Rosemary: Here's a fleeb. Izchak, weakly: thank you please come again

Tuesday , August 21 , 2007
[[CamoraHax, Rosemary and Sylvester leave Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy.]] Rosemary: Well, it's obvious what our next step is! Sylvester: Yes, we need to discuss- [Rosemary points at the Can Opener.]] Rosemary: Coming up with a really kick-ass /name/ for this thing! Sylvester: . . . Sylvester: Of course.

Wednesday , August 22 , 2007
[[Leaving Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy.]] Rosemary: So, what'll it be? Moonblade? Clue- by-Four? Or maybe.. Sylvester: "The Can-Opener." Rosemary: . . . Rosemary: I hate you. Sylvester: Then my work here is done.

Thursday , August 23 , 2007
[[Rosemary and Sylvester depart from Izchak's "Sharp N' Pointy" weapons shop. Rosemary now has the Can-Opener weapon.]] Rosemary: You don't like the Can Opener. Sylvester: I am grateful you had it. We would be lying in pieces on the floor right now if you hadn't. Rosemary: Yes. But...? Sylvester: But. Remember how you said it's /convenient/ that the Tree supplies everything it does? Rosemary: Yes..? Sylvester: It was also real /convenient/ that the one weapon you needed was waiting here for us. Practically on display on a silver platter.

Friday , August 24 , 2007
[[Leaving Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy weapon-shop.]] Rosemary: Sylvester, this is totally ridiculous! An hour ago, we didn't know we were going to be here! How could anyone- Sylvester: I hope I am being loony and paranoid. Maybe someone arranged this with Izchak in that hour. Or like you said Camora.. [[Outline of Izchak eying the Can Opener, which shoots bits of possibly-magic.]] Camora: Me? What did /I/ say? Sylvester: That he was lying about the airbox. Just saying it to make a sale. But the Can-Opener is such a good weapon, why bother? Camora: ...maybe it's cursed, and he was desperate to unload it. Sylvester: That's actually a /less/ worrying scenerio. [sic]

Saturday , August 25 , 2007
[[Outside Izchak's Sharp N' Pointy. The sounds of fighting can be heard in the background.]] Rosemary: You want to go back and question Izchak? Right now? Sylvester: Zark, no! I want to get out of here. Maybe someday we can.. come back. When things are... calmer. [[An outline of a hand pushing against an airbox on a pedestal. Inside the airbox is an ominous-looking horned object with three "eyes".]] Rosemary: Oh, good.... what was that about an airbox? Sylvester: Ah yes. You were busy salivating. Izchak claimed the Can Opener was inside one. It's possible he was telling the truth. Sylvester: The Ettins built things to last, so even after the Crash there are still a few of them around..

Sunday, August 26, 2007
[[Sundays In SubShaft 44f]] Cully: I thought you said we couldn't turn the lights back on. Chunner: That's not a light, Kid. Get more rocks! [[Chunner ducks out of panel. No dialogue in panel two.]] [[Chunner is back with two rocks.]] Cully: It.. looks like a light. Chunner: It puts out light, but that is not its primary function. And it only stays on a /very short time/.

Monday , August 27 , 2007
[[Leaving Sidestep Hall.]] Camora: Et-tins? /Humans/ made all that crazy old stuff! Sylvester: Right. Humans. I misspoke. Rosemary: Whoever made them, what is an airbox? [[An airbox sits unaffected after being hit with an enormous hammer. The hammer is cracked and shattered. Inside the airbox is an ominous horned three-eyed object.]] Sylvester: I personally learned about them from those wisenomes I once visited. They are invisible boxes. Made of.. Well. there are all sorts of theories. Sylvester: Really air, made solid. Raw magic. Whatever it is, it's as rugged as.. Chauncy.

Tuesday , August 28 , 2007
[[An outline of Sprocket and Flange poking cautiously at an airbox, inside of which is the Can Opener.]] Rosemary: I just picked up the Can Opener! There was no box! Sylvester: Uh huh. They are tough, as Izchak and his presumed-experts discovered.. Camora: Sprocket and Flange. They /enjoy/ poking around inside human phizz. [[A hand flicks a small triangular object at an airbox holding an ominous horned three-eyed object. The triangle bounces off, but the airbox begins to click open.]] Sylvester: ..but there is always a way to open any given airbox. Sylvester: ..the problem is finding it.

Tuesday , August 28 , 2007
[[An outline of Sprocket and Flange poking cautiously at an airbox, inside of which is the Can Opener.]] Rosemary: I just picked up the Can Opener! There was no box! Sylvester: Uh huh. They are tough, as Izchak and his presumed-experts discovered.. Camora: Sprocket and Flange. They /enjoy/ poking around inside human phizz. [[A hand flicks a small triangular object at an airbox holding an ominous horned three-eyed object. The triangle bounces off, but the airbox begins to click open.]] Sylvester: ..but there is always a way to open any given airbox. Sylvester: ..the problem is finding it.

Wednesday , August 29 , 2007
[[Rosemary. Sylvester and CamoraHax are walking away from Izchak's weapon shop, discussing "airboxes." The panel is an outline of a Ghast's hand opening an airbox in which is a fugehorn.]] Rosemary: Every airbox opens in a different way? Sylvester: There are categories. The most common, you firmly press at a certain spot on their surface. [[An outline of a statuette of an Ichyoid-like creature, sealed in an airbox. It is sitting in a tub into which water, or some liquid, is being poured. Another device bombards the box with rays.]] Sylvester: Others only open when exposed to certain esotaric [sic] stimuli.. [[The airbox holding an ominous-looking object has been opened. The object is blasting the surrounding space with lightning, including the person who opened the box.]] Sylvester: But once opened, they all collapse down to a single rectangular panel, usually the "floor"...

Thursday , August 30 , 2007
[[Leaving Sidestep Hall.]] Rosemary: So.. if there was one of these airboxs [sic], but it got opened before I picked the Can-Opener up.. Sylvester: Uh huh. You wouldn't have noticed it. And /anything/ could have opened it, a change in temperture, humidity, the right noise.. {{A eye-symbol on the wall behind them is from the Terry Prachett novel Thud, which was the major inspiration for the idea of airboxes.}} Camora: What's that horrible /smell/? Sylvester: sigh. Sylvester: But we could uselessly speculate about this for hours. Let's concentrate on getting out of h- Motihaul voice: /HALT!/

Friday , August 31 , 2007
[[Rosemary, Sylvester and CamoraHax face a squad of anti-demon fighters, headed by Matagam. There is also a boogieman with a large hammer.]] All: . . . Sylvester: Is there a problem? Matagam: I'm afraid so. Matagam: *Chauncy and Edgar* were reported heading in this direction. Have you seen them?

Saturday , September 1 , 2007
[[Attempting to leave Sidestep Hall.]] Sylvester: Um. Yes. Chauncy and Edgar. They... went into Izchak's. Matagam the Motihaul: Ah. Thank you. Matagam: ..and what /are/ you, exactly? Sylvester: We're Nomes. From the forest. Unless in the unlikely event you were speaking to Camora.... she's a Gnoll. Matagam: I see. Matagam: While Sidestep Hall both welcomes old friends and hopes to take its part in a new era of interaction and cooperation with visitors from above-ground.. it would be best if you left now. Sylvester: I see. Thank you.

Sunday, September 2, 2007
[[Sundays In SubShaft 44f]] Cully: So what is that thing's "primary function"? Chunner: It's a- [[The not-a-light zaps both of them dramatically, so much so that both gnolls look like skeletons.]] ((ZAP)) Cully (from below panel): oh. Chunner (from below panel): actually, no. it's never done that before..

Monday , September 3 , 2007
[[The Sidestep Hall anti-demon squad passes Rosemary, Sylvester and CamoraHax.]] Matagam, off-panel: Move out! Camora: They're going to die. Sylvester: Not neccessarily. [sic] First, they have to /catch/ Chauncy and Edgar. Sylvester: And if they do.. all their weapons are made of cold-forged iron. Camora: /WHAT?/ Rosemary: He's right. If the Boogieman gets in the first swing with that hammer, he could certainly lay out Edgar, and probably Chauncy as well..

Tuesday , September 4 , 2007
[[In the Basement of E, leaving Sidestep Hall.]] Camora: So that's what I was smelling, CF Iron? I should have known that twisted phizzer Upernavik would have some stashed away. Sylvester: Upernavik? He the one leading that squad? [[An outline of Upernavik sitting in his command chair, drinking some steaming beverage.]] Camora: Huh? Oh. No. That was whatisface. Matagam. Camora: Upernavik's his boss. He's the 'Head of Security" or whatever stupid thing it is, for the male half of Sidestep Hall. Sylvester: And how exactly did he earn that adjective "twisted"? Camora: He keeps cold-forged iron around! And he squats all the time in that idiotic hideyhole of his, acting like he knows all the secrets in the world...

Wednesday , September 5 , 2007
[[Leaving Sidestep Hall.]] Camora: I will admit that Upernavik's got a good scam going. Even halfway-sensible people like Skibble claim that the old freak is /important/, as important as Nevus or Agita! Sylvester: He presents evidence of being able to display fore [[In his command center, Upernavik the Motihaul writes notes on a pad as he listens to their conversation through a speaking horn.]] Sylvester: sight, which is more than a lot of people ever manage. Sylvester: ...If they /do/ catch those two, I hope that extends to having another bottle stashed away. All you can do to a demon with cold-forged iron is knock him out.

Thursday , September 6 , 2007
[[Inside the male Sidestep Hall command center, Upernavik is listening in on Sylvester's conversation.]] Sylvester: But anyway. There's the exit. We're outta here. Knumdrot, off-panel: Um.. sir? Upernavik: Yes, Knumdrot? [[Knumdrot mans his communication station, with various speaking horns and levers.]] Knumdrot: Whisp is in position. Do I signal her to follow them? Upernavik: Oh yes. As long as is feasible. If she loses them or is spotted, tell her to disengage and go to ground. Knumdrot: Not report back? Upernavik: If safe, and she is near an aurilnode...

Friday , September 7 , 2007
[[Inside the male half of the Sidestep Hall high command.]] ((clackity clack clack clackity clack)) Knumdrot: Sir? You.. usually prefer to get important reports in person. Upernavik: Sadly unavoidable. For my next order is: once all non-residents have been removed, engage Hallwide Lockdown. Knumdrot: Sir? ((clack clackity clackity clack cla-)) Upernavik: Close the gates, Knumdrot. All of them. Knumdrot: /Sir!/ Upernavik: I suppose you're going to say the Sellers will howl? The Sellers' spokesmotihal just had his shop ripped apart by two demons and a.. giant killer Nome. ((clack clackity clack clack clackity CLUNK)) Knumdrot: A valid point, Sir. Nevertheless. I must for the moment refuse your order to close the gates. Knumdrot: ..And Sir, you know the.. it is my firm belief that you know the reason has nothing to do with the Sellers. Knumdrot: Message dispatched to Whisp, Sir.

Saturday , September 8 , 2007
[[Inside the Male half of Sidestep Hall's high command. Knumdrot mans his communications array.]] Upernavik, off-panel: Knumdrot. Knumdrot: Yes, sir? Upernavik: If I were to ask you why you are refusing my direct order... [[Upernavik comes up behind him.]] would to start waving the unBrushed /Contract/ in my face again, wouldn't you? Knumdrot, holding up roll: Sir. I have always considered that to be one of the primary duties of my post. I can unfurl my personal copy, if you require me to literally do it. Sir.

Sunday, September 9, 2007
Narration: Sundays In SubShaft 44f Chunner (peeking up from below panel): OK. fine. we get up, we throw the rocks. [[The not-a-light zaps both gnolls again. The gnolls are still on the ground, but what little of them that can be seen peeking up from the panel border appears skeletal.]] ((ZZAP)) [[Smoke tendrils waft up from below panel.]] Chunner (below panel, small voice): or not.

Monday , September 10 , 2007
[[Inside the male half of the Sidestep Hall high command.]] Knumdrot: The Contract is very explicit, Sir. Full Hall Lockdown cannot be initiated without "express consent" from both yourself and Miss Angmagslika. Upernavik: . . . Upernavik: You of course realize that this requires I go /talk/ to her. In person. Knumdrot: That is partly why the provision is included in the Contract, Sir. If you desire to engage in extreme action, you must prove an equally extreme commitment.

Tuesday , September 11 , 2007
[[Inside the male half of Sidestep Hall's high command.]] Upernavik: Very well. I will be.. in confrence [sic] with Angmagslika. Knumdrot: Very good, Sir. Upernavik: I shan't forget your part in this state of affairs, Knumdrot. Knumdrot: Wouldn't have it any other way, Sir. Upernavik: Send word to Matagam. If the demons have indeed left the Hall, do not pursue. Secure any exit hole or holes. Await further orders. Knumdrot: Yes, Sir. Upernavik: ...And I am likely to be compelled to consume some of Angmagslika's tea, so.. Knumdrot: I shall have Patjitan on standby with the stomach pump, Sir.

Wednesday , September 12 , 2007
[[In the male half of the Sidestep Hall high command.]] Upernavik: One more thing... Knumdrot: Yes, Sir? Upernavik: And note that I am /not/ stalling. Knumdrot: Of course not, Sir. [[A hand thrusts into the shot, holding a rectangle sheet covered with text.]] Upernavik: I want y- Owner of hand: Sir! Urgent Missive from Miss Angmagslika! [[Upernavik reads.]] Upernavik: . . . Knumdrot: Sir? Upernavik: "'What the Fratzing Zark is the matter with you? Engage Lockdown immediately, you senile old fool!"' Knumdrot: You were waiting for that Missive. Sir. Engaging full Hall Lockdown.

Thursday , September 13 , 2007
[[Inside the Sidestep Hall high command, Knumdrott the Motihaul reaches for a gong-striker.]] [[A collection of flared tubes.]] ((BONG)) [[The tubes travel down, spread out in various directions.]] ((BONG)) [[One goes down further, splits in two. In an alcove, a Smyt can be seen carrying a stick.]] ((BONG)) [[the tube-branch continues down. A trundlebug looks at either PacMan or a fortune cookie.]] [[The tube opens out into a cave. Nosterplib the Motihaul is dozing in a chair, with a collection of small black and white stones carefully balanced on his knee.]] ((BONG))\ Nosterplib: zzz

Friday , September 14 , 2007
[[Somewhere in the depths of Sidestep Hall, Notserplib and Nagoldet the Motihuals doze, the former in a chair, the latter on a flattopped stone block. Hackit the Tunnelrat sleeps on Nagoldet's chest.]] Announcement horn: BONG BONG BONG Announcement horn: honk [[The two Motihauls instantly jerk awake. Hackit continues to sleep.]]

Saturday , September 15 , 2007
[[In the depths of Sidestep Hall. Notserplib the Motihaul approaches his workmate Nagoldet, who lies on a block of stone.]] Nagoldet: Notserplib! That was a /honk!/ Notserplib: Yes. Nagoldet: But that means.. Notserplib: They're closing /all/ the gates. Not just ours. Notserplib: Get up. Nagoldet: I can't! Notserplib: Nagoldet, you knew what this lousy job entailed when you took it. Get up. Nagoldet: It's not that! [[Hackit the Tunnelrat is lying on Nagoldet's chest.]] Notserplib: What then? Nagoldet: Hackit is still asleep! Notserplib: ... Notserplib: I'll get the gloves. Hackit: grrr..

Sunday , September 16 , 2007
Narration: Sundays in SubShaft 44f [[Cully and Chunner are lying on the ground. The "zapping fork" sticks down from above.]] Chunner: OK. fine. We throw the rocks from here. Cully: At what? Chunner: That swirly knob up on the Machine. Cully: Under the spiralled nodule? Chunner: Yes, just left of the spinning bump. [[They throw rocks, both of which get blasted to rubble by the fork.]] ((toss fling ZAP)) Chunner: or not.

Monday , September 17 , 2007
[[Deep under Sidestep Hall, Notserplib the Motihaul reaches for a pair of heavy gloves lying on a shelf. Other objects on the shelves include a unicorn-head bust, a small dragon model sitting on what may be bars of soap, some towels, and a series of small glass orbs, filled with varying liquids.]] [[Now wearing the gloves, he reaches for Hackit the Tunnelrat, who is lying on Nagoldet the Motihaul's chest.]] [[Hackit is ((GLOMPed)), and his eyes ((POING)) open.]] [[Hackit has turned into a ball of rage. Notserplib holds him away from his body.]] Nagoldet: I sometimes wonder if this is really so much better than having slimegrubs chew on us while we sleep. Notserplib: Just get the zarking box.

Tuesday , September 18 , 2007
[[In the depths of Sidestep Hall. Nagoldet the Motihaul hold a box on the side of which is painted a crescent moon and some stars. Notserplib the Motihaul. wearing heavy gloves, is holding the raging Tunnel Rat Hackit.]] Nagoldet: I also wonder what the symbols on the box mean. I mean... [[Hackit is stuffed into the box.]] Nagoldet: ..they must mean something, cuz even though they are on the outside, the zarking box won't work without them. Notserplib: You know what I wonder, Nagoldet..? [[Hackit's ZZZs come from inside the box. The two Motihaul's clothes come flying into view.]] Notserplib: ..I wonder why you can't remember what happens to folks who go around wondering all the time. Oh, wait! I know! Let's ask that Gnoll friend of yours, Cuddy! /He/ might be able to tell us!

Wednesday , September 19 , 2007
[[Deep in Sidestep Hall. Nagoldet and Notserplib the Motihuals have stripped off most of their clothes.]] Nagoldet: Cully. My friend's name is Cully. And I hope I'll see him again some day. [[They come to the edge of a vertical shaft which is filled with water. A set of steps has been cut in the side of the shaft.]] Nagoldet: Up here. Not down in the subShafts. Notserplib: Yeah, I figured. Open 'em up.

Thursday , September 20 , 2007
[[Deep under Sidestep Hall, Nagoldet and Nosterplib the Motihauls have stripped down to trunks, and are huffing.]] ((huff huff huff)) [[Gills open in the sides of their chests.]] ((foomp foomp)) [[They dive into the waiting shaft/pool. Written on the wall in Manglish is "CLOSER #3", with an arrow pointing into the pool.]] ((SPLOOSH))

Friday , September 21 , 2007
[[Deep under Sidestep Hall, Nagoldet and Nosterplib the Motihuals swim down a water-filled shaft, using gills to breath. A snail-like skimgibber works its way up the wall, cleaning as it goes.]] Nosterplib: Breathin'? Nagoldet: Yup. You? Nosterplib: Yup. [[They emerge into a wider space, at the bottom of which is a large spoked wheel mounted parallel to the floor, ready to be pushed. A small branch of the tree grows to one side.]] Nosterplib: Do it.

Saturday , September 22 , 2007
[[Deep under Root Hall, at the bottom of a water-filled shaft, Nosterplib and Nagoldet the Motihauls prepare to push at a spoked wheel.]] Nosterplib: 3 2 1 [[Beneath them, out of the water, the wheel is hooked to an axle which uses a gear to connect to one pointed horizontally.]] Nosterplib: push [[A long run of vertical axle bisects the rest of this montage.]] [[Another gear-corner..]] [[Horizontal axle..]] [[Horizontal axle..]] [[At the front gates of the Hall, Ishkibble, Smatchet and Gunsel all witness the result. Ishkibble looks peeved and sickly, and is carrying a bottle of medicine.]] ((CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK)) Ishnkibble: They're closing the gates. Of course. The perfect ending to a perfect day. Smatchet: Shut yer gob, Ishkibble, They could and should've done it an hour ago, and you'd be spending the night out with those Nomes.

Sunday , September 23 , 2007
Narration: Sundays in SubShaft 44f [[Cully and Chunner lie on the floor. The zapping fork sticks into view from above.]] Cully: Did you see, Sir? My rock almost made it. Maybe if we throw more.. I'll throw two at the knob, and you throw two at the.. zapper...? Chunner: Worth a try, kid. [[They fling four rocks. Three of them get blasted.]] ((toss hurl fling launch ZAP)) [[The fork ((fizzzes)) out.]] ((CLANG BEEP)) Cully: I hit it! Cully: Now what? Chunner: Now comes the hard part.

Monday , September 24 , 2007
[[Looking at the front gate of Sidestep Hall. A heavy door begins to slide shut from above.]] ((CLUNK)) [[Pulling further back. The door closes more.]] ((CLUNK)) [[Back some more. The door is nearly closed. Sylvester is watching this happen over his shoulder. A Troglodyte stands iin the distance and watches as well.]] ((CLUNK)) [[Sylvester, Rosemary and CamoraHax cross Time Hall.]] Sylvester: I hope we aren't going to need any more pointy things today.. Rosemary: Ah, you never forget your first kicked-out gate-slam. ((CA-LUNK))

Tuesday , September 25 , 2007
[[Crossing Time Hall.]] Rosemary: So.. Sylvester: Yes? Rosemary: "The scariest lady you've ever met"? Hax, subvocally: Brilliant plan, going to Izchak. She's /much/ less dangerous now. Camora, subvocally: Everyone with sense knows that he sells worthless phizz. Someone /planted/ that thing there, and if I ever learn it was /you/.. [[An outline depicting Sylvester's ranking of Scary Women: The Woman of Mystery, Rosemary, Professor Thunstone, and an unnamed woman.]] {{The fourth woman is Sylvester's mother's older sister Agatha.}} Sylvester: ..Oh, hey! Rosemary! You pushed Professor Thunstone out of the #2 slot three minutes after I first met you! Rosemary: You're just saying that to make me feel better. Sylvester: No, really! But..

Wednesday , September 26 , 2007
[[Crossing Time Hall.]] Rosemary: But? Sylvester: Even if you slowly chop me apart with the Can Opener, you'll always be #2 on the Scary List. Rosemary: Because? [[An outline of the Woman of Mystery being extra-specially scary to a young Sylvester.]] Sylvester: You weren't around when I was a child, standing five meters tall and breathing fire from your nostrils. Rosemary: Well, I'll just have to get Protus to help me go back and rectify that oversight. Sylvester: If anyone ever manages that, it'll be you..

Thursday , September 27 , 2007
[[Leaving Time Hall.]] Rosemary: Sylvester.. the Scary Lady? She i- Sylvester: Just a second. Sylvester: Camora! Where exactly are we going? Camora and Hax: [Arguing subvocally] [[They walk through an open archway. Above them, a Gnoll and a Troglodyte have a dramatic confrontation, while a Jibjib flees arrows and thrown rocks.]] Sylvester: Camora! Camora: What? Oh. The Riddle Grotto. Now that you've got your pointy thing, that is what you said you wanted, isn't it? Sylvester: Right.

Friday , September 28 , 2007
[[Walking a Basement corridor.]] Sylvester: Sorry. What was it you wanted to ask? Rosemary: The Scary Lady.. she's not your mother, is she? Because you said she wasn't- Sylvester: What? Oh. No. No no. She's.. Sylvester: . . . Sylvester: Not biologically. But, you know, she was always there. And Mom and Dad.. weren't. Sylvester: Just like now. [[They walk out of sight.]] [[Whisp the Troglodyte comes into view.]]

Saturday , September 29 , 2007
[[An outline of Sylvester and Mortimer as children, eating at a long table with their sisters Lilith and Lenore also present.]] Rosemary: So your parents were.. neglectful? Sylvester: Depends on your definition of that word, I suppose. Sylvester: They loved us. We had clothes on our back and food in our stomachs. [[An outline of Sylvester's father, or at least his legs sticking in the air, and his mother looking skyward.]] Rosemary: But they /did/ raise you right above a monster-infested basement. Sylvester: Yes. As you inferred earlier today, in terms of being a twit, Dad picked up where I leave off. Sylvester: And Mom.. Mom's always been a traveller. Even when she's staying at home.

Sunday , September 30 , 2007
Narration: Sundays in SubShaft 44f [[The zapping fork is turning off, and the Shaft is going dark. Cully and Chunner are lying on the floor.]] Fork: sss [[One last flicker of light.] Fork: ss [[Darkness.]] Cully: sigh Cully: "The hard part"? Chunner: Waiting here in the dark.

Monday , October 1 , 2007
[[Outline of a young, scraggly-looking, Rosemary eating dinner with her Aunt Eva.]] Sylvester: So how about you, Rosemary? Rosemary: Huh? Oh. I had food in my stomach and clothes.. well, when I wanted to, I had clothes on my back.. [[Outline of an older Rosemary and Eva messing around with locks.]] Rosemary: And yes, like the Scary Lady, Aunt Eva was always there. I think maybe sometimes to her own surprise..

Tuesday , October 2 , 2007
[[In the Basement. An outline of a young Rosemary wielding a toy sword and "confronting" Zeke, who attempts to "pacify" her.]] Rosemary: And of course, on those rare occasions when Aunt Eva wasn't around, there was still Zeke.. Sylvester: "Zake"? Rosemary: He was her bodyguard, before she retired... [[The wall behind them has Manglish names and directional arrows painted on it. GIBBER. SKIBBLE. RIDDLE GROTTO. TURN BACK NOW.]] Sylvester: Bodyguard? What- Rosemary: And when she came home to the island, he came w- Camora: /Quiet!/ Camora: We're about to go past the Gibber!

Wednesday , October 3 , 2007
[[A corridor in the Basement.]] Rosemary: The Gibber? Sylvester: New one on me. Camora: There. [[Anathama the Gnoll stands to one side of a crudely-bricked-over entrance in the wall. One small square hole remains in the middle of the patch. The word GIBBER is written in Manglish above.]] Sylvester, probably: . . . Sylvester, probably: You're the guide, but she doesn't look so horrific. Camora: Not /her/. Behind the wall.

Thursday , October 4 , 2007
[[An outline/map depicting a cross-section of a portion of the Basement.]] Sylvester: And behind the wall is..? Camora: It was originally just an addition to Helignoll Hall. Helinew, I guess they called it. Sylvester: Helignoll? Camora: Gnolls and Helipaths live there mostly. /I/ live there, for now. [[A Gnoll being overwhelmed by the Gibber in mid beetle-snack.]] Camora: Helinew was more of the same, until the day that phizzer Altholen opened the Breach. Camora: And then Helinew was gone, and the Gibber had taken its place.

Friday , October 5 , 2007
[[Near the Gibber.]] Sylvester: What's this Breach you keep talking about? Camora: grump. Altholen grew up hearing all those stupid old Finagler-stories about Magic.. [[Outlines of Kaytid the Gnoll and Othar the Motihaul.]] Camora: How "everyone could do it", not just one-offs like... Caytid and.. and Othar. If /those/ stories are true.. [[Outline of Altholen the Gnoll leading a procession down towards the River of Fire; box fizzing ominously are being carried.]] Camora: So he, Altholen, /infected/ his gang of fellow loonies. and they got some Sneech squeezings, and they went down to the River of Fire to "bring back-" Camora: /do/ know about the River, right? Sylvester: Yes, that at least was down here when I last visited.

Saturday , October 6 , 2007
[[Near The Gibber.]] Sylvester: Wait.. by Sneech 'squeezings', I assume you mean.. material.. stolen out of a Sneech's den? Not literally- Camora: All I know is it's phizz that comes from the zarking Sneeches. [[Outline of Altholen the Gnoll setting up his equipment at the River of Fire.]] Sylvester: But.. OK, that 'phizz' can be really bad news, but just dumping some in the River shouldn't have caused trouble all the way up here! Camora: They didn't just dump it. The /Great Chasm/ is where you dump things. Sylvester: But this Altholen would have had to know exactly how.. Sylvester: This is the most worrying thing I've heard all day. Camora: Ya think? It caused the Gibber! Opened all those new twistpoints! Killed all those Ecadems! It my sires hadn't been there- Anathama the Gnoll, off-panel: HA!

Sunday , October 7 , 2007
Narration: Sundays In SubShaft 44f [[The Shaft has gone completely dark. Cully and Chunner's voices come from the floor.]] Cully:So.. sir, what did hitting that knob do, actually? Chunner: Well, kid, it makes an alarm sound over in SubShaft 42c. ((UN-SHUNK)) Chunner: And then they, hopefully, throw a rock at a certain lump on their machine, which turns the lights back on here. Cully: "Hopefully"? Chunner: Yes. Assuming anyone's still there, of course. Cully: . . . Cully: I... I'm starting to hate this place. Chunner: Took you long enough, kid.

Monday , October 8 , 2007
[[Near the Gibber.]] Camora: You have a contribution, Anathama? Anathama: "Your sires". Yes, Poor old Twitchel ment well, as finaglers usually do.. Anathama: But Buccula and Choller? All they "contributed" to sealing the Breach was finally getting out of the way and letting Yurd and the rest of.. them.. do what needed to be done! Anathama:And then they had the gall to claim credit.. Anathama: for.. [[She looks up at Sylvester.]] Sylvester: um.. Hello.

Tuesday , October 9 , 2007
[[Near the Gibber.]] Sylvester: So. Anathema, was it? I'm Sylvester, and that's Rosemary. We're forest Nomes. Sylvester: Camora here, whom you appear to have already met, was kind enough to agree to be our guide while we visit the bas.. you all. Anathama: Yes. [[An outline of a young Anathama witnessing an "evil" Sylvester and the Woman of Mystery departing the Basement, blasting people with magic as they go.]] {{This is a rather subjective version of events.}} Anathama; ..Of course you are.

Wednesday , October 10 , 2007
[[Near the Gibber.]] Sylvester: So.. anyway. Can you two at least agree on /when/ exactly this Breach happened? Camora: It was seven years ago. Anathama: Almost exactly. [[Outline of Sylvester at his desk, watching in surprise as bits of fruit explode off the local branch of the Tree.]] Sylvester: /Seven?/ But you made it sound like.. Sylvester: Wait.. Sylvester: Oh. So /that's/ what that was..

Thursday , October 11 , 2007
[[In the Basement, outside the Gibber's home. The graffiti on the wall is a list of local attractions, with pointing arrows. Sylvester listens to all this without contributing.]] Camora: What did the Breach do up- Rosemary: As fascinating as this is.. you /did/ just tell us to be quiet, Camora. Why? Anathama the Gnoll: Again, HA! [[Camora listens angrily.]] Anathama: If she was passing by the Gibber on her own, that might work, but with the two of /you?/ Not a chance! Rosemary: And why is that? The Gibber, from off-screen: Because you're all shiny and /new./

Friday , October 12 , 2007
[[The Gibber's voice speaks from the hole in the patched-up wall.]] Gibber: Come closer... [[Rosemary and Sylvester watch nervously.]] Gibber: No no no. Gibber: Closer.. [[The Gibber is a collection of sketchy faces floating in the darkness of the hole.]] Gibber: That's better.. Gibber: Our eyes are not what they once were..

Saturday , October 13 , 2007
[[At the hole through which the Gibber speaks to passersby.]] Rosemary: You know, I've just about had my fill of talking to demons. Gibber: We are not demons. No no no. Gibber: Demons come from far far away. [[Outline of Edgar.]] [[Outline of the Operator.]] [[Basement map, with the Gibber spreading across Helinew Hall.]] Gibber: We are the Gibber. We have always been right here.

Sunday , October 14 , 2007
Narration: A Milestone in SubsShaft 44f. [[The shaft is black.]] ((whirr CLICK whirr CLICK)) [[The shaft is illuminated by a pair of antler-like devices which have dropped and shoot magic/electricity between their inward-turned points. Cully and Chunner peer up from below.]] ((bzzap)) [[The prongs form in midair the glowing words 1500 WOOHOO.]] Cully: "Woo hoo"? Chunner: It's light, and it's not zapping us with massive jolts of electricty, [sic] so yeah, kid. Woo hoo.

Monday, October 15, 2007
[[Sylvester and Rosemary look at the Gibber.]] Sylvester: "The Gibber" is just a name. If you are not a demon, then what are you? The Gibber: We are unique. We are contained. We are many. We are true-tellers. [[The Gibber speaks from its hole in the wall.]] Sylvester: .. none of which, respectfully, is really an answer to my question. The Gibber: We do not know. We did not exist, and then in blinks of an eye we did. And that is the truth. Yes yes yes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Rosemary: That's all you do? Tell the truth? The Gibber: Yes yes yes. Rosemary: Why is that so awful? The Gibber: Lies sooth. The truth can cut even more sharply than your Can Opener. Anathema: Indeed. You should have seen Camora here when they told her she was going to mate with Comshaw. Camora: Shut - up. Anathema: Such caterwaulling!

Wednesday , October 17 , 2007
[[Rosemary, Sylvester and CamoraHax are talking to "the Gibber" through a hole in the wall. Anathama the Gnoll is contributing to the conversation as well.]] Anathama: Of course, I wasn't thrilled either. Comshaw should have mated with my grandwhelp. Camora: But he didn't. And now your precious grandwhelp spends her days lugging around Nevus's /plate./ Anathama: Yes. Yes she does. Sylvester: Um. As fascinating as this is, can we please maybe stick to the subject at hand? Gibber: Yes yes yes please. Gibber: We have our truth to dispense Gibber: To /Rosemary/ and /Sylvester./

Thursday , October 18 , 2007
[[Looking into the Gibber's hole.]] Rosemary, probably: If your knowing our names is supposed to impress us.. The Gibber: We do not impress intentionally. The Gibber: We do not threaten or warn or advise. We tell the truth. [[Outline of Sylvester standing in front of the Mansion, holding a small E flag.]] The Gibber: But we have always known your name, Sylvester Winston Humphrey... and Eman? Maybe. Some things are truth and not truth.. The Gibber: Because you have always been here. [[Sylvester listening to this.]] [[Rosemary listening to this.]] [[Rosemary holding something and looking surprised. Mortimer glances back at her. He has been eating something on a stick. There are trees behind them.]] The Gibber: Rosemary Imogene Ripley. The Gibber: We did not know your name until suddenly you were here. The Gibber: Arriving like us in an instant. Not from far far but away nonetheless. Oh yes yes yes.

Friday , October 19 , 2007
[[Sylvester at the Gibber's hole.]] Sylvester: Fine. You know things. [[The Gibber looks out.]] Sylvester: Tell us your truth and we'll be on our zarking way. The Gibber: Yes. The Gibber: Yes. The Gibber: Yes. [[Rosemary listens.]] The Gibber: Rosemary Ripley The Gibber: What you stole is even more dangerous and precious than you know. The Gibber: In the end, you will fly away and live forever, and you will leave the world shattered in your wake. [[Sylvester listens.]] The Gibber: Sylvester of E. The Gibber: You will return to where you started, and you will become what you hate. The Gibber: And in doing so, you will /restore/ the world to what it was. The Gibber: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Saturday , October 20 , 2007
[[Anathama, Rosemary and Sylvester outside the Gibber.]] Sylvester: So. That it? We done here? [[The Gibber's viewing-hole is dark and silent.]] [[Sylvester turns to go. Camora follows him.]] Sylvester: Fine. Anathema, it's been real. Anathama: Indeed. Sylvester: Rosemary, Camora, we're leaving. Rosemary: We are? Camora: Hooray.

Sunday , October 21 , 2007
[[A version of Rosemary's confrontation with Edgar, as drawn by ComicGenesis cartoonist Jim North. Chauncy watches with interest, while Sylvester glares up from the floor., where Rosemary pushed him.]] Narration: The Mansion of E Narration: Rosemary vs. Edgar.