Chapter 20: In which Madog gets a dream partially fufilled.
Lofan and his party had stopped a bit before building 14. While Lofan had seemed to resign himself to the fact that sneaking isn’t an option when one of your party members is an explodahead, he didn’t want to bust in with no plan at all.
Hammer was of course a bit confused as to why they had stopped. Madog just took the chance to try begging for belly rubs.
“I don’t get it, weren’t we going to just break in, cause chaos and then grab the Kindling?”
Lofan bobbed. “yes but, we need tactics. we’ll take out any guards outside first, then we’ll bust through, hammer, I want you to go for where the kindling is. dookie, i want you to lay down a barrage on the crowds, don’t need to be particularly powerful you just need to get them riled up. once we have the kindling we run out using your bubble for protection dookie.”
“That doesn’t seem like uh… much of a plan” Dookie pointed out.
“no, it isn’t, i’m hoping we can just smash in, grab the kindling and smash out”
“I think it is a good plan” Hammer approved.
Lofan wasn’t happy at all (neither was Madog, but that was due to the lack of belly rubs) , but he hadn’t said something quite important. He hadn’t said what he was going to do. Lofan was planning on sneaking about and grabbing the Kindling while Hammer and Dookie stirred up trouble. He had not in fact completely given up on the stealth option.
He just wasn’t going to attempt it with using Hammer as anything other than a distraction.
“Oh, well, uh, if Hammer likes it, ah…. it must be good” Dookie joked.
“Of course, my sound judgement is second only to my exploding!” Hammer exclaimed.
“if we pull this off, this will be pretty much it, i know i hired you guys, but thanks for everything”
“H-hey, we don’t need to… um, say goodbye just yet. I-i mean we have to, uh, escort you to your… ah, village.” Dookie protested.
Lofan didn’t contradict her, but he knew that he could very easily be leaving without Hammer or Dookie. In fact it would be easier to escape from the auction on his own. Conepeople were often overlooked.
They rushed forward to take down the guards. That was the first indication that something was amiss. There was no guards, not a single denizen in front of the large stone doors to make sure people couldn’t just wander in or to repel intruders.
The second indication was the sounds of screaming and general chaos that were coming from behind the doors. The doors were slightly ajar so they took a peek through.
The auction could no longer be called an auction, it was a brawl.
People writhed back and forth along the benches and the ruins of the walls and ceiling. Rich folk who had no power of their own cowered behind or below their bodyguards. The bodies of the fallen and those pretending to be fallen were splayed out all around. It was complete bedlam, it was quite clear that some of the people fighting hadn’t a clue who they were attacking or why. There was just a massive chain of people defending themselves from attacks, then when they missed on their counterattack drawing in people they hadn’t been fighting.
There was three things that really stood out however. One was the giant killer sausages. These sausages were basically just a huge sausage with a fang filled mouth. They terrorized the other fighters and kept trying to attack the stage. A red shewpog with brown dreadlocks and a bacon patterned robe and hat sat on a large floating bap as if it was a chair. He was laughing uproariously.
“UhhuhHUHUHUHU! THE SAUSAGES WERE ONE HUNDRED PERCENT CURSED! GO MY UNFORNTUNATE TRANSFORMED PEONS! SECURE FOR ME THE ARTEFACT!”
The Kindling and the stage was being defended by one entity. It was Gildenstan Goldie himself, sitting in a treasure chest. Pouring out from the chest forming arms and legs was naturally enough treasure, coins, cups, cutlery, jewelry and generally all manner of loot. Clasped in one of the arms of this construct was a glimmering red barbed spear.
There was one last thing of note. There was one person who was not fighting, who was still sitting in her seat. She was what looked exactly like a two tailed red and white cat in a snazzy silver sequinned robe. On her head was a curious floppy brimmed pointy hat that seemed to flicker every now and then, curly red hair poked out from this. Her hat wasn’t the only thing flickering; as soon as anything came need to her, it flickered vanished and then appeared on the other side of her. She seemed quite depressed. She was muttering something about hating elcon, and about how she only wanted to pick up an artefact or two, something to make the trip have some actual worth.
Lofan, Dookie, Madog and even Hammer backed away.
“ok change of plans, kinda. hammer, you try and take down that shewpog in the chest, dookie, you cover him, I’ll sneak up to the Kindling steal it and run out, then trap the whole mess in a bubble.”
“Wait!” Hammer objected “Doesn’t this mean I’ll probably get trapped in the bubble with the brawl?”
Lofan and Dookie stared at him perplexed at this objection.
“W-well, you are a, eh… explodahead” Dookie pointed out.
“Oh yeah.” Hammer said sombrely. “Guess I can really cut loose!”
Hammer began trying to coax a pill or two from Madog. She was however being a bit uncooperative, she was still displeased that she had not received belly rubs when she presented for them. Her resolve soon broke down however.
Lofan hopped down from Dookie.
“i’ll go in first, then you guys follow a while after”
With that, Lofan went in. he darted about fallen denizens, rubble, stony cubes, giant sausage remains and the general detritus of the brawl. He was being careful, making sure to cling to cover, hoping he would not be spotted, though with Dookie and Hammer’s entrance that’d be less of a danger.
Lofan was hiding in a helmet, about ten benches from the stage when Hammer and Dookie burst in, quite dramatically. In fact they had decided to blow the doors inward. The doors flew towards the stage, mowing down several denizens too slow and/or unobservant to dodge them. The doors actually made it all the way to Gildenstan, but he knocked the doors out of the way, thus causing said doors to take down a few more people. One flickered past the cat witch.
Lofan had begun running to the pedestal on the stage as soon as the doors had blown inwards.
Hammer and Dookie quickly followed the path opened by the doors. The path however quite quickly closed. Hammer bashed his way through, head glowing brown, laughter echoing out.
Dookie was laughing as well, belting out “OH-HOHOHOHO”s as she bounced and blasted attackers away.
Then six of the giant killer sausages came before them. Hammer and Dookie paused, the foes they had beaten down were just dazed denizens, but these sausages were ready for a battle. The sausages menaced, fangs clashing. Hammer and Dookie prepared for a difficult fight.
There was a happy yap. Madog drooled at the sight of the sausages, it was like a dream come true.
Madog looked at Hammer, as if asking if this was all real. The sausages shifted nervously.
“Go get ’em dudette”
The sausage squad slithered off, morale completely broken as Madog bounded happily after them.
Dookie and Hammer were then facing down Gildenstan goldie, who was still fending off all comers to the stage. Though it seemed that some of the denizens were more concerned with grabbing treasure from his construct than actually getting past.
Hammer flung his head at him, shouting as he did so.
“Dookie! Super explode me!”
Dookie was confused as to what Hammer meant.
Gildenstan shielded himself with treasure and lashed out with his red spear.
Dookie figured out what Hammer meant and enclosed his head in a bubble just as it exploded, then she contracted the bubble.
The red spear hit it and there was then an… odd reaction. For a moment, the spear just hung there, pierced into the bubble. The bubble did not pop. Then there was a crackle of crimson and an extremely bright explosion took place, in the shape of Hammer’s head no less.
When everyone could see again, there was no trace of Gildenstan or his construct. Dookie was inside a new bubble but she had also made use of the blokkit’s natural ability: turning into a stony cube. Hammer had been flung against the remains of one of the walls.
Before either of them could recover the shewpog mage of sausages swept in on his bap and flung the cloth off of the pedestal. A groan escaped his lips, as it did from many of the denizens in the sorry ruins of building 14.
“It’s gone!” The shewpog wailed.
Indeed the box that the Kindling had been in was completely empty. Either Lofan had succeeded or some other party had stolen the Kindling. Either way, Dookie waited a bit trapped everyone in a huge bubble and returned to stony form as so as she’d not know if anyone had a needle or needle like object.
She hoped Lofan was successful.