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The Rat King Archives
Like A Bat Out Of Hell, Part II
Rat Kings: Rift
of Post: What Just Happened?
Jack felt nauseated. The release of planar
energy was wreaking havoc with his environmental constants. Still, there didn't
seem to be any sense of dissolution... more a sense of... Weird. Jack couldn't
Finally the nausea stopped.
"What just happened?" Jack asked
"Tarrin closed the rift. I think he
made some sort of psionic power feedback or something. What am I telling you
this for, you're the mathematician."
"I know bugger-all about
psionics," Jack confessed. "I'm one big psionic null zone. Didn't
Flicker say something about it blowing a hole in Hell?"
"Why?" Val asked.
"Because we've still got to get Cori
"Oh," Val said.
of Post: All About Hell
Flicker expelled air. "No, it's
okay," he said. "What were you guys doing? Do you realize you just
came within a few minutes of destroying Hell and at least one plane of the
"Who cares about stupid old
Hell!" cried Skitch.
"Then there isn't a hole?" said
Flicker touched his temples. "Please
tell me you weren't trying to blow up Hell."
"No!" said Jack. "I have a
"Then next time," he said,
"use plane shift if you want to get to Hell."
"Or you can kill lots of
people," offered Ebreth.
The Evil Diari Asteroid; a surprise guest
Dead Diarians From Outer Space: They Want Our Women!
of Post: Poetic Justice
Only two of the ancient Diari starships
were still functional. As the asteroid passed around the gas giant with all the
other debris they rocketed out on a trajectory towards Ataniel, the dead Diari
hands steering them inexorably towards their goal. They would reach Ataniel within
the week. They would set beacons on the rift in the Doomlands, and the asteroid
would move again.
Or would have.
Halfway between Jupiter and Saturn, a
spacecraft resembling a giant anime kitty cat pulled about. "Evil
Diarians!" cried a female voice over the com systems. The starship whose
visuals were still working showed a staticky image of a beautiful schoolgirl
with strangely swinging hair. "In the name of the moon, fighting for truth
and beauty, I will--punish you!"
Skeins of Fate
of Post: Prophecies
Norna strode up behind Flicker. "What
did you do?" she demanded.
"Why is everything always my fault,
"He told Tarrin to stop!" yelled
Skitch. "I heard him! And when he stopped the rift blew up! You did him
just like Pieret did Cori! I hate you!"
Flicker looked at him. "Skitch,"
he said. "Skitch, he would have been killed if he hadn't stopped--"
"The Diari is irrelevant,"
interrupted Norna. "Have you preserved the root or not, Ragnarokkr?"
"What?" said Flicker, confused.
"Niflheim!" shouted the
"Oh," said Flicker. "Oh.
Y-es. Yes, I--suppose I have."
"Good. We go to Riklandir next."
"I hope things are a little
slower-paced there," muttered Luthien.
"Noooooooooooo," whinnied Fred.
"We must defeat the King of Kiiiiiiiiings."
"That is not my problem,
Kalxanti," said Norna. "My minions and I must seek out and destroy
"Destroy?" said Flicker.
"I am not. Your. Minion," said
Luthien, through his teeth.
Kristin L.K. Andersen
The Rats of R.U.M.I.
of Post: T Minus Five Seconds and Counting
Khyrisse stared blank-faced at Norn for a
moment. "The Diari is
A tingle rushed through her veins, and her
She gently pushed Skitch towards Ebreth.
"Look after Skitch for a moment, Ebreth, would you please?" she said,
very quietly. "Flicker, do you
need her alive?" Khyrisse asked in Elven, in a voice trembling with rage.
The long, thin muscles in her forearms were twitching with the need to lock her
hands around Norna's throat.
Rat Kings: What Now?
of Post: Jack Tries To Go To Hell
"Do you know plane shift?" Jack
"Duh. First level, math-boy."
Val stepped in front of Khyrisse. "I
think it would be best if you left on your errand now, Valkyrie." She said
it without malice or challenge. "I understand that you have an important
task, and little time." Norna opened her mouth to say something biting,
and found that she agreed with everything Valende had said. "Right,"
Norn glared. "Mageson, get the horses."
Val watched as Norna turned her back and
Khyrisse was counting silently to herself.
"Five... breathe... six...breathe..."
"WHAT?" Khyrisse demanded,
"Sorry, Jack. I hate that
"I was just wondering if you knew
"I don't even want to know why you're
asking that question."
Ariath wandered over to where Ebreth and
Vas were watching Fred from a distance.
"The King of Kings must diiiiiiiiiiiiiiie!" the horse repeated
for the umpteen-thousandth time.
"Um, guys?" Ariath asked.
"Do we even know who this King of Kings is?"
Ebreth and Vas blinked in unison.
"Do we even know what we're trying to
do? I mean, we solved Tarrin's rift problem. Wasn't that what we came here to
do?" Ebreth and Vas both looked over at Khyrisse.
"Men," Ariath sighed.
"You're my last hope. Tell me you
know some way to travel to Hell."
The Rat shook his head back and forth.
"Yeah," sighed Jack.
"Figured it was a long shot."
Skeins Of Fate/Rat Kings
of Post: More Unwanted Romantic Advice
"Flicker, do you need her
"Khyrisse, please. Try to ignore her.
I have to put up with her all day."
Val stepped in and did something
diplomatic. Flicker exhaled. He'd really been expecting a fight. Norna stomped
off after Luthien, and Ebreth Tor released Skitch, who, since Norna wasn't
available, socked Flicker. Flicker accepted the punch. "I'm really
sorry," he said.
Ebreth put his hand gently on the nape of
Khyrisse's neck. "Khyrisse," he said. "Maybe he fell into Hell
or something. Maybe we can rescue him when we rescue Cori." She nodded
gratefully, and touched his hand. Flicker frowned. "Khyrisse," said
Flicker, in Elvish, "you aren't involved with Tor, are you?"
"Look," she said, "I know
nobody likes this, okay? But--"
"I like it," protested Vas, in
"He's a dangerous man,
"You're the one who brought him into
the party, Flicker!"
"I said we should save him from the
mob; I didn't say you should--"
"He's not evil," put in Val.
"I checked his alignment yesterday."
"Look, you don't--you don't let
Ariath ply you with liquor, right? Why would you let Ebreth
Vas started laughing.
Khyrisse flushed. "Who slept with
"Alain MacLir," he said,
"and it got him killed. Khyrisse--"
"Please speak slowly," said
Skitch, with a bad accent.
Flicker looked around at all of them and
switched to Impish. "Just be careful," he said, hoping his strong demonic
accent wasn't too hard for her to parse. "He has been an excellent liar in
the past, and you--you know the type."
Khyrisse did, and she didn't need to be
reminded of it, especially in Impish. "I'm a big girl now," she said,
in Dalen. "And I can take care of myself."
"Why was Kardia Blackfeather
traveling with you, anyway?" said Flicker.
Flicker's facial expressions were so
subtle that Khyrisse couldn't tell if he was changing the subject or not.
"Because I'm stupid," she sighed.
"I told you that guy was a
jerk," said Ariath, innocently.
"Messala," shouted Norna.
"I'm going to count to ten, and you'd better be here!"
Flicker rolled his eyes in an especially
Threnodyesque manner. "Here I come, Norn." He looked back at
Khyrisse. "Call us if you need anything," he said, and left.
of Post: Warp Starts To Wonder
"Look, I want to talk to Paris, and I
want to talk to him now," Warp demanded. "Or you're going to be dealing
with one pissed Enigman."
Sharpedge looked from the monitor to his
master. Orion was frowning. "He wants to speak to the hostage, sir."
Orion turned to Dominator. "Have we
found him?" he demanded.
"No, Orion. I've been scanning
telepathically for days, but I'm not picking anything up."
"I told you that you would need my
services for this, alien," a raspy voice from beneath a dark cloak who had
just stepped off the turbolift said.
"Doctor Lovecraft, I presume?"
Orion asked. "I trust your summons was... not unpleasant."
"Not at all," the bent figure
giggled. "I hope you don't mind that the guardsmen you sent won't be...
"I sent them because they were
"I've reviewed the file you
sent," Lovecraft rasped. "It is not a being of magick that you are
"But the scans showed--"
Dominator interrupted. Lovecraft's gaze silenced her.
"It is not a being of magick, but it
is magickally animated," Lovecraft continued. From beneath his cloak he
pulled an antediluvian tome with a stylized L in a skull. Lovecraft referred to
it as he spoke. "What you have
found, according to the Fourth Necrology, is something briefly referred to as
the 'Paris Equation'."
"I care little for your arcane
beliefs, Lovecraft," Orion growled. "Can you find this Paris
"Certainly, Orion. And what might you
have to offer in return?"
"You can have Dominator."
"What?" Dominator demanded.
"Hmm... a psychic... yes, and a
pretty one at that..."
"This is against our pact,
Orion!" Dominator shouted. "My service is almost over!"
"Then I lose very little," Orion
said. "She's yours, Lovecraft."
"Like hell I--"
Lovecraft had pulled from his cloak a
small mayonnaise jar that he opened. Green smoke rose from it and surrounded
Dominator's head. There was a hissing sound as dark and arcane marks were
seared on her face. When the smoke subsided and returned to the jar, Dominator
gazed forward vacantly.
"Pleasure doing business with you,
alien," Doctor Lovecraft cackled. He pulled a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk out
of his cloak and tossed it on the floor in front of Orion. "Sorry, but I
haven't upgraded yet." With that,
he turned and strode back into the turbolift. Dominator followed lifelessly.
"Get that into the computer,"
Orion ordered Sharpedge. "We find Paris tonight."
"Hey!" Warp yelled from the
screen. "I know you're still there! Don't think that by ignoring me I'm
going to go away! Hello? Hello? Jeez, at least put some hold music on or
Khyrisse and the Rat Pack
Kristin L.K. Andersen
Even the Rat Thinks Norna's a Bitch
of Post: Shelving the Rant for Later (With Difficulty)
Khyrisse spun around and started back for
her abused Carriage, seething. The Rat leapt for the safety of Jack's shoulder,
instead. "What is wrong with him?" she demanded of no one. "Why
is he following that bitch?!"
"Probably because she can break him
in half," Ebreth said, looking at the departing figures of Norna and
Flicker. "In the same circumstances, what would you do?"
Khyrisse didn't even slow down. "Spit
in her face and die free."
Skitch ran to catch up and shoved his hand
into hers with a fierce gesture.
"I'm with you!" He paused, as Khyrisse adjusted her pace for
his legs. "Khyri, Tarrin isn't..."
Khyrisse was quiet for a moment, and her
pace slowed drastically. "I don't know, Skitch. I think he might be. If he
isn't, we'll rescue him, I promise." She glanced back over her shoulder
and stopped, seeing that they'd outdistanced everyone. She squeezed Skitch's
hand gently and got herself under control while Skitch faced away from the Rat
Pack and scrubbed at his eyes.
"Okay. All right. I'm sorry for
flipping out," she said, once everyone had caught up. "But there are
a couple things that need taking care of before we go anywhere. We've lost four
members of the group now, and I'm not having it happen again," she said
firmly. " Jack, I think you need to talk to the Rat and ask him what he
thinks we should do next. Fred, do you want to tell us who the King of Kings
is, and why we need to kill him? I don't think we ever got to that part.
Those'll do for starters."
Jack and the Rat (why does that sound like a seventies sitcom?)
Rat Kings: What Next?
of Post: Of Rats And Men
Jack shrugged. "The Rat and I already
talked about this. Whatever direction that he got indicating that we needed to
go to Rimbor City is still unfulfilled. I was thinking about this the other
day... I'm wondering if Tarrin's quest wasn't some sort of detour, or delaying
tactic... I mean, we never did accomplish anything on Rimbor. Except for
hooking up with Cori, I guess, but she's, uh, in Hell right now."
"Maybe with Tarrin!" Skitch
"I'd like to hear ideas that don't
include going to Hell," Khyrisse sighed.
"Well, I think we missed something in
Rimbor," Jack offered.
"So this was a big detour that only
cost us four people?" Ariath asked. "I'd
hate to see what actually progressing on our mission--whatever it is--would do
"Wiiiiiiilbur, tell them we have to
kill the King of Kiiiiiiiiiings, Wiiiiiiilbur."
"I heard Fred, Skitch," Khyrisse
said, creasing her brows.
"Look, I just signed up on this to
get some experience under my belt," Ariath said. Vas blushed. "I go
where Khyrisse wants."
"Hell or Rimbor," Jack said.
"Those, uh, seem like the most likely to me."
He paused. "But that's, uh, just
The rat rubbed his paws together and
"I think he seconds that," Jack
offered, trying to put the responsibility on the party leader.
"I do not want to go to Hell,"
Ariath said. "I vote either we hit Rimbor again or else we adventure
someplace nice like Tobrinel. I hear there are still vampires there."
Val shot Vas a worried look.
"Not Tobrinel," Vas finally
Khyrisse looked to Ebreth, who had said
nothing so far.
of Post: What A Choice
"Rimbor City is better than Hell,"
"But let's get a better hotel this
time," said Skitch, wiping his nose.
"The King of Kings--"
"WE KNOW!" shouted Ebreth.
The horse paused. "You don't want to
know about the King of Kiiiiiiiings?"
"Oh," said Ebreth, "were
you going to say something useful? I'm sorry."
"The King of Kings has a
plaaaaaaaaan. We broke the chaiiiiiiiin. Now his rift can't come from outer
spaaaaaaaace. But we still have to kiiiiiiiiiilll him before he can get his
Ebreth looked at the horse and looked at
the carriage. "Fred is not going to fit in the carriage."
"I haaaaaaaaaate being a
Lilith and Geryon; Ebreth Tor
Counting The Missing
of Post: Luckily, We Have A Mathematician
Geryon tossed the dossier at Lilith.
"We lost five souls through that portal."
Lilith narrowed her eyes. "So that
puts us out seventeen."
"Sixteen," corrected Geryon.
"We got Mr. Blackfeather back."
"Oh, yes," said Lilith.
"Sixteen then." She paused. "They'll be back," she said.
"People don't leave Hell. They will die again. And when they do." She
stood up. "I will make an example of them that will strike terror into the
other damned souls for generations to come."
Ebreth counted on his fingers.
"Jack?" He said. "Cori, Pieret, and Tarrin. Isn't that
Rat Kings: What Next?
of Post: Jack Passes the Buck
"We've lost four members of the group
now, and I'm not having it happen again," Jack said in Khyrisse's voice.
"Oh, don't do that!" Khyrisse
said. "It gives me the wig."
"I was, uh, just repeating what she
said," Jack blushed.
"Look," Ariath demanded.
"Who is this King of Kings anyway? And why do we want to kill him? I mean,
if I listened to every horse who told me to kill someone, it'd be a
Everyone looked strangely at Ariath.
"Fine. I'll leave the jokes to
"She does have a point, actually,"
"Do you think he means those sigils
the Collector put on you all?" Jack asked.
The horse nodded solemnly.
"Well, that sounds like he's
relevant," Val said. "Can someone polymorph him into something
that'll fit in the carriage?"
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