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The Rat King Archives
Ebreth Tor, yenta
Dangerous Liaisons, Part V
Ditty Bout Jack and Valende
of Post: Woo-hoo!
"They're playing some stupid game
together and they don't want to come down."
"Ahaha!" Ebreth gave Khyrisse
the high fives. Cori crossed her arms darkly. "Hey, maybe that'll improve
his mood. Was it just me or has he been kind of cranky this morning?"
"Uh," said Khyrisse, "mabye
of Post: A Long Distance Call
Tarrin sat cross-legged in the empty room,
deep in meditation. He had never tried this before, and wasn't quite sure what
he was doing. Still, he needed to do this. He needed to see his wife and
children. He needed to let them know he was okay.
Tarrin mentally chanted the mantra they
taught him at seminary.
-Ma ra vie. Ma rey vi,- he intoned over and
over again. -Ma ra vie. Ma rey vi.-
He felt his astral self slip from his
body, and the room rushed away from beneath him. The land flew past him at
speeds he had never experienced before. In half a second, he was flying over
Dalencia. A few seconds later, he was whisking over the Northlands and entered
Nylevia. A brief moment later, he passed the psi-checkpoint at the Diarian
border and flew into his native land. It wasn't long after that that he entered
his home outside the city of Irla.
He watched his wife cooking dinner for the
family. His children were playing in the courtyard outside of his house. It
wasn't until he saw them that he realized how much he missed them. The feeling
was unbearable. He had to talk to his wife at least. Focusing his will, Tarrin
"Coyri?" he said as he appeared.
Tarrin's wife jumped with a start. She
looked directly at Tarrin with shock.
"Tarrin? Tarrin! What the vizhey are
you doing? Where are you?"
"It is good to see you. This is
tiring. I can't keep this up long. I had to tell you that I am all right.
Something happened while I was in Irla. I can't explain it, but I am in the
Coyri made a sign to ward off evil.
"You are where?!?" she said, half
"It is okay. I am fine. I am caught
up in something big. Something I need to do. I will be home soon."
Coyri's eyes started to water. "I was
Tarrin smiled a sweet and loving smile.
"I will be home soon. I promise."
Tarrin's strength wavered, and he suddenly
found himself back in his body. The smell of the cooking meal back in Diaria
was still in his mind. All Tarrin could do was cry.
What The Rat Saw
of Post: The rat is amused
The rat watched the game play between Jack
and Val from the satchel. He was amused, and a bit confused. It was obvious to
the rat that the two of them wanted to "nest." The rat didn't
understand why Jack didn't bring her a nice piece of down or mark territory around
the room. Then again, there were many things about humans the rat didn't
understand, but it still amused him.
of Post: Meanwhile, someplace other than the orbit of Saturn...
"I really hate anti-matter,"
Warp sighed, as the armies of Nirian Voth streamed through the rift on Canopus
"I always told you there was worse
than us out here," Dominator said in reply.
"You were always one of the better
things about space battle, Dom," Warp grinned.
"How do you flirt and fight at the
same time, Earther?"
"Practice. I learned it from a
"HAIIIIII!" one of the
negabeasts screamed, leaping across the chasm at the two positive matter
Warp swung his shield around, feeling the
anti-matter crackle as it tried to reach through the energy field.
"Warp the damn thing away!"
"No dice. I'd have to put it
somewhere on it's side of the axis, and that'd be an invitation for more of
"Wuss," Dom sneered, and lanced
the thing on a nullblade.
"I try not to kill. It's a little
Earth tradition called 'good'."
"You're a lover, not a fighter?"
"So you've met Knighthawke?"
"No, but I've heard you blather it
The chasm widened and Warp could see the
form of Nirian, black and glowing, on the other side.
"They're getting ready to
channel," Warp said. "That's when we'll get a chance to disrupt the
"Blow 'em to hell, you mean."
"No," Warp insisted, his tone
serious. "We just shut them down. There's worse than Nirian Voth on the
other side. We have to maintain their balance of power."
"You talk like you've been
there," Dom said.
"I've been everywhere."
One of the negabeasts had gotten a toehold
on the plane of matter. The reactive wave began. Warp could feel the sheer
presence of Nirian Voth, Lord of Antithesis, manifesting in the energy of the
"Now it's my show," Warp said,
bringing the hilt of his sword down on the base of Dominator's skull. The Orion
Assault Force member fell to the ground. A pulse grenade dropped from her hand.
"I knew I preferred my methods,"
Warp said, sending Dominator and her bomb across space to the waiting Fleet
Nirian Voth was already drawing upon the
antimass of his vanguard to form a presence in the positive matter universe.
Still, there was enough time to try the plan Triad had designed back in Warp's
old Enigma days. He leapt into the flux-form of Voth.
Warp was gone.
Nirian Voth blinked with surprise. Such a sacrifice
would only hasten the reactive wave. The matter beings were a lot stupider this
time, he thought. Then he realized that there was no reaction from the
interface. In fact, the power that had been building within his form was
dwindling! A blue glow flickered inside Voth, and began to expand. As it did,
Voth felt his connection to the positive world fade. Somehow, the creature was
reversing the flow of the reactive wave. He was drawing on negative energy,
like from home. Warp huddled inside his spacial bubble and continued to replace
the universe with its negative doppelganger. Within moments, he had filled the
chasm with a spacial connection to the anti-matter universe. The reactive wave
"Fuck," Nirian Voth said, as the
pull of home became overpowering. Then he blinked out.
From an eponymous blue warp, the newest
member of Orion's Elite Guard stepped out.
"I better get a raise for that one," he sighed.
Meanwhile, Orion consulted with the
Center. "He's a maverick,"
the Conqueror said. "He's successful, but he doesn't follow commands, he
antagonizes the other Guard, and he's just generally..."
"Good?" the being known only as
the Center said. "He is a hero, you know."
"I will make him mine," Orion
"You must, if you wish to survive
that which is to come. He must act without compassion, without the slightest
feeling, if we are to survive."
"By the time I'm done with him, he'll
sell his own mother for my glory."
"Hey!" Jack cried. "Hey
you! Over here!"
The spaceship cruised on past to the
largest moon orbiting the planet.
"Physics are a bitch," Jack
Skitch, Khyrisse, Ebreth Tor
of Post: Zen and the Art of Rat Following
"This is BOOOOOOO-ring,"
complained Skitch, beating his heels on the chair legs. "When are we going
to go do something?"
"The rat's the one with the
plan," said Ebreth. "And Jack's our rat interpreter, so that means we
just have to wait for him." This was a great religion, actually. Ebreth
wondered if Khyrisse was neglecting to change out of her chemise on purpose.
"No," said Skitch. "This
sucks. Give her a backrub or something so our enemies'll come and we can kill
them." Khyrisse grabbed him by the scruff of his neck. "Hey!"
"When you get a little older,
kid," Ebreth said quietly, "you'll appreciate the value of a quiet
moment or two."
Rats from R.U.M.I.
of Post: Pieret Makes A Pass
Pieret looked over his coffee cup at the
room. Ebreth and Khyrisse were chattering away, clearly in a universe of their
own at the moment. Cori sat at the other table, glowering and prodding her
breakfast in a hostile fashion. Pieret
finished his coffee and got up. Squaring his shoulders, he walked over to her
and bowed deeply. "Honored lady, I was wondering if perhaps you would find
a walk in the morning air to your liking," he said in Shikinti, once he
had her attention. "You might even, if you would grant such an honor to an
unworthy one like myself, spar with me. I have not used the weapons-styles I
learned in your country in many years, and I would correct such a lapse as soon
You owe me one, Jack Paris, he thought,
not without a certain amusement at his own expense. Unless I am much mistaken,
I am going to suffer countless bruises in your girlfriend's place this morning.
Skitch, Tarrin, and Khyrisse (wearing BREECHES and a chemise, thank you!)
Kristin L.K. Andersen
Rats From R.U.M.I.
of Post: Skitch Sings to the Nice Diari
There was a rap on Tarrin's door, and
Skitch, clearly bored senseless, stuck his head in.
"Hey, you Diarian Doofus, breakfast is way ove--
uh-oh." Tarrin sat up, wiping
tears away and trying to hide that he was doing so. "Oh geez. Oh shit.
Um." Skitch edged into the room and closed the door behind him.
The next thing Tarrin heard was a badly
pronounced (but at least without an Elven accent) apology in High Diari. He
looked up, very surprised. Skitch flushed, looking very uncomfortable.
"Did I say it wrong? That's supposed to
be 'I'm sorry for disturbing you'. Um,
look, Mo-- um, Khyrisse is going to have my hide for this, but she's been
planning to talk to you. Things have been kind of busy, though, and I guess she
hasn't had time. But she wanted to explain about freaking out when you met
her." He sat on the bed next to
Tarrin, bouncing experimentally a few times on the mattress.
"Anyway, I'd better tell you. She's
really sorry. She flipped out because she was the goddess of Trade and then the
Madness happened and now she's mortal again-- but she's got all these memories
still. Her people's memories, you know? Lots of other people's lives and
emotions and stuff. And now most of them are dead, and she can't ask them if
she's allowed to share their memories; and some of them might still be alive,
and that'd be even worse." Skitch
looked up at Tarrin hopefully. He liked the doofus. He wasn't snotty like some
of the Diari were. He hoped Tarrin would understand, and it would make him feel
better. "She's sort of like a temple guardian, and you walked in her
temple without asking. But you didn't know, so she's sorry. She's got a wicked
temper anyway. She goes ballistic at everything. She wouldn't let you ride in
her coach if she didn't like you, really."
A wicked grin appeared on his face. "Maybe you could teach
her how to pronounce Diari properly."
"I can't wait until he gets
older," Khyrisse murmured to Ebreth as Skitch disappeared up the stairs
again. "I'm going to have such fun with his first girlfriend."
Tarrin and Skitch
of Post: But it isn't X-mas yet
Tarrin smiled at the boy. "I
understand," he said in Dalen.
Skitch stood there, looking like he didn't
know what to do. Tarrin reached into his robes and pulled out a small
"I have a gift for you," Tarrin
Skitch's eyes brightened as Tarrin placed
the crystal in Skitch's hand.
"Ummm, thanks," he said,
trying to sound nonchalant.
"Take very good care of that, Skitch.
It is very special. How much do you know of Diari customs?"
"Just what Khyri has told me.
Personally, I think she fakes a lot of it."
Tarrin smiled. "Well, there is a
custom we Diari have. The giving of a dhraz drantri is more than just the
stone. There is a responsibility that goes along with it. In giving you that
stone, I am trusting you with more than its safe keeping. I am trusting you to
carry out the covenant that goes along with it."
"Ummm, sure," Skitch said,
uncertain. "This is not where you command me to destroy some evil guy and
free the people, is it?"
Tarrin laughed. "No. Nothing so
Skitch looked kind of disappointed.
"The crystal is keyed to certain
events. If they come to pass, the crystal will request a simple task of you.
Nothing dangerous. You will just need to deliver it someplace. I am sure your
mistress will help you."
Skitch looked at the crystal, and then at
Tarrin. "Sounds kind of dull."
"It is a great responsibility. I am
granting you a great honor."
Skitch looked even more uncertain.
-Please,- Tarrin said, directly into
Skitch's mind. -Please do this for me. It is important.-
Skitch was struck with the force and
sincerity of Tarrin's telepathic contact. "I'll do it," Skitch said.
A look of relief flowed over Tarrin's
face. "Thank you," he said.
With that, the crystal flowed like liquid
into Skitch's hand. "What!" Skitch said in surprise.
"You are now the crystal's guardian,
Skitch. Do not worry. It will not harm nor hinder you at all. It will only
reappear if it is needed."
Skitch looked at his empty hand in
disbelief. "You Diari are so
"Mabye, child. Now, how about I teach
you how to correctly pronounce High Diari, so you don't sound like a
The Collector, the King of Kings, Ebreth Tor
of Post: Beliath's Terrible, Awful, Rotten, No-Good Day
"What is it now, Laran?"
"One of Beliath'ssssss men hasss
tried to kill the marked onessssss."
"What!" shouted the King of
Kings, standing. "He didn't succeed?..."
"No," said the Collector.
"Tor ssssstopped him."
"Well, good for him." The King
of Kings turned his back on his undead minion. "Perhaps it is time for me
to have another little chat with Beliath."
"I'm sure you will," said
Ebreth, grinning. He hesitated and put his hand on Khyrisse's, very dark
against her pale skin. "Thank you for last night."
"Thank me? You're the one who warned
"I meant," he said, softly,
"thank you for trusting me."
"Well," murmured Khyrisse.
"I--never was very good at taking advice."
Ebreth leaned across and kissed her. That
was exactly when Jack Paris walked into the room, followed by Valende.
King of Kings, Beliath
Rat Kings and Dead Villains
of Post: Shakedown
"Beliath!" the King of Kings
yelled into the air. "I call you to the prepared place. I summon thee.
Without so much as a flash of smoke or
light, Beliath appeared in the center of a magical circle a few feet ahead of
the King of Kings.
"What do you want? I am very
The King of Kings waved his hand, and Beliath
collapsed to the floor in pain.
"That was a reminder of your place.
You are here because it has come to my attention that you are interfering in my
"What are you talking about?"
Beliath asked, between waves of pain.
"One of your creatures tried to
destroy those which I have worked to hard to collect. You will not
At each emphasis, the King of Kings sent
another jolt of pain through the head of the Dead College.
"Next time, I will not be so
understanding. You will leave all those in the company of the mathematician
alone. Do you understand?"
Beliath nodded, with a look that usually
meant someone was going to die very soon.
"Good. You may go."
As suddenly as he appeared, Beliath was
dispelled. The King of Kings turned to the Collector.
"Of course he will not heed my
warning. I think it is time a new dean was appointed to the Dead College."
The Collector grinned and threw his hands
up in the air and clapped them together. As he brought them apart a red sigil
appeared in the air.
Since Beliath went on his errand,
Greymalkin had been very busy running the Dead College. He was just going over
the list of new enrollment when a warmth came over his back. Greymalkin went
white. An intricate sigil on his back glowed deep blue for a moment and then
shifted to red.
"I understand," he said in a
dream-like voice to no one in particular.
The glowing sigil disappeared, and
Greymalkin stood up. He had a lot to do before Beliath returned.
Kalxanti, the Sigil
Rat Kings, etc
of Post: Hunter and Hunted
Kalxanti wished to be done with this
business as soon as possible. It was only by the rules, that he accepted the
King of King's charge. As soon as this was done, he would have done with that
wizard forever and ever. Even with the Demontide, it shouldn't be that hard to
track down a piece of rogue magic floating free and destroy it.
The sigil floated with a purpose. It could
feel the ripples of dark magic flowing across Sturtevant. The sigil rode those
waves and tides with no difficulty. It could feel its quarry, and it knew its
quarry could feel it.
Kalxanti sniffed the air through his snot
filled, pig like nose. The rogue magic was close. Somewhere near that farmhouse
up ahead. Maybe, if he was lucky, the farmer had a young son or daughter. He
loved the taste of a child's terror as he robbed them of their innocence, ate
their flesh and drank their souls. However, such pleasures would have to wait;
his quarry was very close.
The sigil drifted through the roof of the
barn. A horse whinnied with fear as the rogue magic entered. Here it could lay
Kalxanti entered the barn. The horse was
screaming. Kalxanti snapped its neck with a thought. It wasn't a child, but it
The demon sniffed the air once more. He
was very close.
The sigil descended like lightning upon
the demon. The demon screeched as the magic bored into its flesh. Kalxanti
tried to invoke his power to relieve himself of the mark, but it was too
strong. Still, he knew the rules. He had to destroy the sigil; and he could
only think of one way. With a pause, the barn exploded.
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