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Monster Party Side Stories. 
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Evil Genius
Evil Genius

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:30 am
Posts: 637
Post Monster Party Side Stories.
Author's Note: Here is where I will be posting all the side stories that show off various aspects of the backstories of our protagonists, to start with a defining moment of the life of James "Firecat."

Monster Party Side Story: à mal rat, bon chat

Eleven year old James Patte came running when he heard the door to his home opening with his usual energy, not even the traditional gust of cold (at least as he thought of such things) Richemulotian winter deterred him.

What was unusual was who came through, it was not his mother or father, nor was it one of their neighbors, all of whose faces he was familiar with (granted James had never been the best at fixing face to name). Despite all of that, he had no trouble at all recognizing who had just entered his home...

There was nothing truly elaborate about the way she dressed, though her outfit seemed to be made of the finest material imaginable. The only concession to her wealth and power as other nations recognized such things was an emerald stone worn about her neck which wonderfully matched the color of her eyes.

James drank in the sight of this woman his jaw going slack as he realized that yes his eyes were not playing tricks on him, Jacqueline Renier, La Grande Dame herself was standing right in front of him.

He broke into the best bow he could, but his exuberance overwhelmed both his good sense and excellent sense of balance. Before he knew it, James had bowed so deeply that he fell face first to the floor.

The ruler of Richemulot laughed deeply but not cruelly at the youngster's misfortune.

“So this is the miniscule mouser I have traveled to see himself? It seems he has not grown into his paws quite yet.” Jacqueline inquired raising an eyebrow slightly.

Martha and Charles Patte followed their liege into the home and shut the door behind them.

“Yes, do forgive my son his follies, we had expected a summons from one of your messengers much like you gave me when I first arrived. None of us, least of all James, considered the possibility that you would come to us in person instead!” Martha explained clearly feeling only slight less surprised than her son was.

Jacqueline placed a reassuring hand on the copper haired woman's shoulder.

“Do not trouble yourself over much. It is important for me to remind myself that there is more to Richemulot than Pont-a-Museau every so often, and this matter gave me a perfect excuse for such a journey.” She offered comfortingly.

As James scrambled awkwardly to his feet Charles and Martha set about gathering chairs around the most respectable table in the home, James' father holding one out for Jacqueline and gently scooting it in once she graced it with her presence.

James prepared to slink from the room before he brought any further shame upon himself, his parents, and his family in general as was certain to happen if he remained for long in Jacqueline's presence.

La Grande Dame was having none of it though.

“Why so hasty to depart my miniscule mouser? Did you not hear your mother say that you alone are the reason for my arrival?” She coaxed.

James hesitantly took a chair of his own at the opposite side of the table from Jacqueline sinking into his seat as if he might yet find a way to vanish completely if only he wanted it ferociously enough.

He could not bear to think that he had done something which would force Jacqueline Renier herself to come all the way out to the small village of Bon Crêpe!

“Now then, as I am sure you all I know, under my rule I have striven to give carte blanche to all the people of the mists who wish to emigrate to Richemulot. Let elves feel free to revel in our forests, dwarfs toil beneath our surface, halflings seek hidey holes within our cities, one and all are welcome. Are we so gauche to believe that one intelligent being is superior to another simply because of the shape of its ears, thickness of its beard or its stature? Please!

This ruling applies not just to traditional forms of demi-humanity but also, some of the more, exotic flavors. Which brings us to the subject of you, and your mother... werecats.” She drew the word far longer than it needed to be and James felt a lump grow in his throat.

“An elf and a dwarf or halfling are easy enough to spot on sight. But lycanthropes are another matter entirely. Some might seek to hide their abilities or nature from those that surround them. You two wisely have not. After all, how can a ruler make just decisions if the truth his hidden from them?

My generosity is so great that it extends to you as well, however what you must understand my miniscule mouser is that if you repay my benevolence with treachery, you will reap the wrath of all of the entire Renier family and all of Richemulot.” She announced most decisively.

“I wouldn't dream of it!” James pipped up, now struggling to sit up as straight as he could eager to earn Jacqueline's approval.

“Ahh the utter untempered certainties of youth, he reminds my own Jacques.” She murmured her face softening for just a moment, before becoming stern if not certainly not hostile once again.

“Just as I expect the citizens of my realm of great material wealth to provide more in the way of taxes for good of the nation, I expect those with exception physical talents to contribute exceptionally to the good of Richemulot.

For a man of a strong back and sound tactical mind he will lead his fellow villagers in weapon drills, for one of mystical learning, they shall not simply pursue power for its own ends. Likewise, clerics and priests must be ready to heal the sick and not pester people overmuch lest they focus on the world to come to the exclusion of this one.

For your mother, I understand she has helped preserve much precious knowledge, and save the lives of many children by exterminating the rats that used to infest this village and its library in particular. In this way she has been the perfect example for all who might immigrant to Richemulot, she has worked tirelessly while not being so foolish as to think she could conceal her secrets from the Renier family.

In your case my miniscule mouser, do you know how you must repay Richemulot for kindness it has shown you?” She asked almost tenderly.

James had no idea what the answer was, but all the same he went so far as to actually stand on his seat to try and bring his eyes level with Jacqueline's.

“I don't know, but I'll do whatever I can! The folks of this village are so nice to us, they even cut a cat-flap in our door for me and mom to use!” He gushed.

Jacqueline chuckled once more, but as seemed her nature joy soon faded from her features.

“If you do not know your place, then as is my right I shall assign you one.

What I tell you now is for the ears of your three only, should I find that you have told a single soul, I will have you all banished, to Falkovnia.” She decreed.

The weight of that threat (if Vlad Drakov saw fit to make slaves of elves what would do to werecats did not bear thinking upon) hung heavy upon the room and was able to still even James' frequently flapping lips.

“Darkness and evil breads in the sewers of Pont-a-Museau. Wererats cavort in numbers that might make one wonder if they don't outnumber the true humans. I would welcome even such creatures, but they flout my rule at every turn, spreading filth, disease, and death throughout the city.

I can not abide my subjects suffering under their pestilent paws any more than under the Hawk's talons. Yet, even my hands are all but hopelessly tied, for how can you fight a foe who has the numbers of an army yet can hide as swiftly as a thief?

The Renier family has so far been spared the personal ravages of the beasts, but I doubt it is pure luck which has protected us. Rather the wererats are cunning enough to know that should strike even one of my distant cousins... I would have no choice but to strike back, even if all of Pont-a-Museau must be put to the torch to drive them from their hidden strongholds.

Such a conflict would be disastrous for Richemulot's occupants both wererat and otherwise, for I am certain in our weakened state the foe to the north would swoop down upon us once again. So be it, family is sacrosanct, there is nothing, NOTHING more important in this world than protecting one's family.” James found himself nodding along in silent agreement with Jacqueline's impassioned words.

Though the Patte family consisted of only himself and his parents while the Renier family tree was sprawled like the cities of Richemulot themselves, love for one's kin united peasant and noble alike.

“For the moment I have no choice but to bide my time, and await the day I fear will arrive all too soon when the wererats do not fear me any longer. If that day comes, I will expect you my miniscule mouser to be the first into the sewers of Pont-a-Museau.” Jacqueline announced.

“Me?” James gasped feeling himself threatened to be crushed under the weight La Grande Dame was placing on his shoulders.

He took a deep breath, curled his right hand into a fist and then with his left threw up a salute not even Vlad Drakov could have found fault with.

“If you wish it, I would journey there and plunge into the darkness this very day!” He promised Jacqueline.

Once more James' sheer exuberance seemed to bring the ruler of Richemulot a little respite from the dreadfully serious matters they were discussing.

“Too bold by half and half again! No single cat, even a single werecat has a chance to purging those sewers. All the same, there will be times when we have a chance to strike back against the beasts.

Boldness it seems is not limited to lycanthropes of the feline persuasion. Every so often there are stories of solitary werecreatures stalking the streets of the capital. Those singular wererats, above ground, without support of a full warren of comrades, they must be instructed on how unwise it is to earn the ire of Jacqueline Renier!” She did not go so far as to bang her hands on the table as more theatrical ruler might have, she did not need to.

“Such matters are to be attended to later though, a proper ruler must think in terms of decades and generations not months and years. Today, all I require from you is quite simple, because of your near unique nature, an oath of loyalty to some minor official is not enough.

Just like your mother before you, my miniscule mouser, you must avow your loyalty to me in person.” She informed him.

James' head swam, he sunk back into his seat for fear that he might tumble from it were he not careful. He was unsure what words she might want to hear from him, if the normal oath of loyalty alone would do or if she wanted something more personal. So he simply recalled his parents advice and when in doubt followed his heart.

“Let me journey to the other side of the Core or the islands beyond, let my shape be that of man or beast, my loyalty to you Jacqueline Renier shall not change. Let not rumor, secret, or scandal sway my soul. I shall hide no knowledge from you and offer you my utmost service for the glory of Richemulot!” James promised momentarily wondering how he had gotten through all that without half swallowing his tongue or blushing as red as his hair in the process.

“A queen could not have asked more from her most favored knight.” Jacqueline responded graciously and then snapped her fingers.

A courtier, attendant, or some other brand of servant entered into the Patte household a large well crafted bowl covered by a piece of cloth in his hands.

“Let me show you that the Renier family does not take such a solemnly sworn oath lightly with an offering of my own. I am given to understand from my past conversations with Martha, werecreatures find these winter months harsher than any human, for they can not simply store up grain or cooked meat in preparation for them.

With that in mind, allow me to lighten this particular burden somewhat...” As Jacqueline spoke the servant pulled off the cloth with an impeccable flourish.

Not that its contents came as much of a surprise of course, if the sounds alone hadn't already given it away then the smell would have.

It was filled to the brim with hissing squabbling rats whose tails had one and all been tied together into a great twisted knot causing each one's efforts to escape to undo the work of his fellows.

“Meat that could not possibly be any fresher. Eat heartily my miniscule mouser, for it is my wish that with passage of time you shall become a truly resplendent ratter.” La Grande Dame of Richemulot commanded.

James had no intention of disappointing her.

He reached into the bowl headless of the hissing snarling vermin, his left hand's fingernails transforming into sharp pointed claws with which to cut the tail from a rat's body allowing him to separate it from the others.

“Sic Semper Rattus!” He promised Jacqueline and then set about consuming the pest.


Jacqueline Renier closed the door to the Patte residence behind her, a look of immense satisfaction glinting in her eyes. Even if serendipity had started her down this path her brilliant planning had kept the course from wavering.

Martha Patte had wandered into her domain quite shortly after her grandfather's death (and her subsequent ascension to the head of the Renier family and rule of Richemulot) and originally Jacqueline had intended to invite her to Chateau Delanuit ostensibly for the reason of swearing fealty, then reveal herself as a wererat and rip Martha limb from limb with the aid of her family.

Once they'd been face to face however Jacqueline discovered that unlike the actual animals they changed into werehousecats did not seem to immediately realize that La Grande Dame was something to be feared and shied away from. If anything, her policy of carte blanche had left Martha feeling more indebted and loyal to her than most of Richemulot's fully human immigrants!

That, that had opened up some very interesting possibilities.

So rather than give the order to attack Jacqueline had done the opposite, making it it clear to all the wererats of Richemulot that the Patte woman and her family were going to be under her personal protection and not to be trifled with. She'd even gone so far as to insist that they leave this particular village alone, not that a small hamlet of only a hundred or was a promising hunting ground for wererats in the first place. The subsequent lack of rodent related activity had made the villagers feel indebted enough to Martha that they openly accepted her, just as their ruler had silently wanted them to.

Then, exactly as Jacqueline had hoped Martha had taken a virile enough local man for her mate and produced a kitten. Jacqueline would have preferred additional spares, but a girl couldn't quite have everything she wanted.

So now that young werecat was being raised with a head full of stories about the grandeur of Richemulot, the glory of the Renier family, and her own personal splendor in particular.

It was all leading up to the kitten's inevitable fate of providing Jacqueline with something every ruler regardless of gender desired, their own personal executioner.

Yes, Richemulot was a country run by wererats for wererats, and nothing (certainly not one foolish werecat) was going to change that. But, it was in the nature of wererats to be treacherous (she only needed to reflect upon how at first her family had been all smiles and congratulations when she'd disposed of her ill-tempered and ever disparaging grandfather Claude but then only too quickly they had begun trying to unseat her in turn) and if she wished to establish a true Renier dynasty with power passing from mother to son rather than just bouncing back and forth between whoever had just succeeded in the most recent round of backstabbery, steps would have to be taken.

Ironically while she ruled for her fellow wererats, the very humans whose children her kinfolk snatched from their cradles in the night offered her much more loyalty and respect than the rodent themed lycanthropes who her family had made Richemulot a paradise for. The wererats of Richemulot seemed (especially the other members of her own family) to give her her naught but grudging obedience and backbiting (or at least what they imagined to be backbiting, Jacqueline had more spies and counter spies employed in dealing with her own family than she had keeping an eye on Falkovnia).

Being Grand Dame of Richemulot meant Jacqueline faced a careful balancing act between keeping her wererat subjects fed, her human subjects happy, and everyone the right mix of too loyal or too frightened to think about planting a silver dagger in her back.

That was where the young James Patte came in, someone with physical prowess comparable to (perhaps even surpassing) a wererat, and yet gave her the same empty headed devotion as she got from most of her other human subjects. If she couldn’t find a way to make that combination work in her favor then she didn't deserve to rule Richemulot!

Given a few more years he should make a splendid instrument for reminding the rest of the Renier clan of why she was top rat.

Yes, it wouldn't be enough for her just to kill the ones who angered her anymore, no they'd have to be made examples of, their death's excruciating in the extreme!

First she would see to it that they were cut off from their fellow wererats, or even any normal rats among whom they might try to hide camouflage themselves and escape. It would not need to be for long, only half an hour at most.

Yes, how sweet it would be to know that they would be given a taste of her truest terror, before any of them were allowed to perish they must know just how horrific a fate it was to be alone!

Then, then let the dreadful mewing of the werecat fill their ears, and their minds be gripped by the terrible knowledge that a hunter had come forth who could match them shape for shape. Let her vengeance come with jaws that bite and claws that catch!

Let the fool Drakov keep his bizarre fetish for pointy sticks, death by cat, now there was a form of execution that would make even her unruly relatives sit up and take notice!

Jacqueline began to ascend up the stairs that had already been laid out for her by another servant and entered into her private carriage.

The door was closed behind her, leaving her in necessary but hated solitude.

Much as it pained her, it simply wouldn't have done to brought any of her family with her on the trip. It would have tipped her hand, (though she suspected her twin Louise doubtlessly had already realized by now why Jacqueline cared so much about a single family of werecats, still it would not do to openly confirm such theories so blatantly) and neither could she sit up front with her human carriage driver. Le Grande Dame always had to maintain a certain air of majesty about herself after all, and her current driver while competent had done nothing so exemplary as to earn the honor of her company.

She had managed to make the entire journey here alone and yet not let it unnerve her to the point that it affected her performance before the Patte family, now she would just have to withstand the trip back as best she could.

At least she had the knowledge of her success to grant her some comfort.

“Sic Semper Fidus Rattus!” She declared proudly.

The statement brought her such wicked glee that for a little while she did not terribly mind the lack of company.

Last edited by jamesfirecat on Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:58 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:05 pm
Evil Genius
Evil Genius

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:30 am
Posts: 637
Post Re: Monster Party Side Stories.
FN: I'm proud to say this story was the first to make use of my new proof reader so hopefully it'll be even better quality than what came before!

Monster Party Side Story: My heart's crippled by the vein that I keep on closing. You cut me open and I... keep bleeding, keep keep bleeding love!

Mirri rolled into the town in the late afternoon with two things on her mind, feeding, and chaos.

Like many other predators, dusk was her favorite time of day to hunt. In her case, it combined two attractive features, it was still too bright out for anyone to have the started worrying about vampires, but at the same time it was already just a little dark and only going to get darker, which meant if things went wrong time would be on her side.

All that meant that feeding should be easy once she had found a good target, and when and wherever she fed chaos would follow.

One of her favorite strategies was to take a quick little nibble on the neck of some unimportant homemaker while her husband was out working.

Sometimes the husband was so foolish he actually mistook fang marks for more conventional "love bites" and would storm out in a rage to accuse some longtime rival of doing the deed. Even if they did realize what they were looking for, they'd never accuse a beautiful woman who was content to walk around in the sunlight.

Who knows, if she stuck around long enough she could keep right on feeding from different women until they started burning some local recluse at the stake thinking he was the vampire! That was one of the main reasons she liked to feed on women more than men, because it inevitably lead to people looking for a male vampire. Humans were just so set in their ways; it was almost too easy sometime!

Speaking of too easy, as Mirri crossed into the town, her nostrils flared with sudden excitement. She'd only just set foot in the place and already she was picking up the scent of someone who was bleeding.

Either this was her lucky day or somehow some enterprising vampire hunter managed to get here before her and set up a trap. That should have been the next best thing to impossible though, how could they have predicted where she was going when a lot of the time she barely knew herself?

Best not to over think things, she just headed in the direction she smelled fresh blood from. All the while, she coordinated her two main hunting senses, scent to bring her closer to the target and hearing to make sure whatever her target wasn't surrounded by vampire hunters lying in wait.

Things kept going her way however, she could smell blood and only hear one heartbeat. Once she got close enough to get eyes on target, she began to lick her lips in anticipation. There was one guy all on his own who was sitting around in the shade of a tree with its back to a building playing a harmonica, who also had blood dripping from his neck.

Mirri couldn't help but blink a few times in surprise, unlife was never ever supposed to be this good to someone as bad as her. There was no way that she was just going to walk blindly right into this one.

She circled around, went up the side of a building, and swiftly turned into a bat. There were still no nearby human heartbeats except for that of this one lone bleeding man. She flapped down to the tree he was sitting under, returned to human shape, and then gazed down at him.

Now that she was looking him over carefully she saw that her target was not even really a man, not much more than a boy in truth. If this was some kind of trap then it would have to have been set up by someone with a serious hate for vampires to use someone so young as bait.

Maybe somehow she'd drawn the attention of the infamous Rudolph Von Richten himself? Well that was an honor she could do without, but best to get this little bizarre farce over with. She shifted her weight and dangled upside down from the tree branch like an actual bat.

"You know, that wound on your neck might get infected if you don't do something about it." Mirri pointed out.

The youth looked up at her and then suddenly shook her head.

"You've got the wrong hair color." He answered without a moment of hesitation.

"What?" Mirri spat back.

The only thing that she hated more than someone trying to kill her was someone not taking her seriously.

"What, you only like blonds?" She demanded in irritation.

"Redheads." The young man insisted, but then he patted a section of the dirt as if inviting her to take a seat.

"You may not know it yet, but this town is being plagued by a vampire that can walk around in the daylight. The only thing anyone knows about her for sure is that she has red hair." He explained.

Mirri sniffed in revulsion, it looked like she might have to give this place a pass when it came to sticking around for a couple of days. Two vampires that walked around the daylight was one too many especially two female vampires.

On the other fang, just because she'd probably be putting this place to her back soon didn't mean that she was going to turn down a free meal.

"So you decided that your plan for how to hunt this vampire down was to sit some place by yourself, after taking the time to open a wound in your own neck. Do you hunt werewolves by going swimming in spices, beating yourself about to the head to make sure you're nice and tender, and then hamstringing your legs for good measure?" She suggested wryly.

The bleeding youth proved immune to her sarcasm however.

"Hunger makes monsters of more men than malice." He spoke those pretty words with belief that was half endearing half disgusting.

"That doesn't mean there aren't ones driven by malice." Mirri dropped down and began to look deeply into his eyes.

Let’s see how readily he was going to spout off empty platitudes after she'd finished giving him a nice hefty dose of her charm gaze...

Before she could really get started though he twisted his head to the side refusing to meet her eyes.

"Look if you want to feed, that's fine... but I want to talk okay, and my name is James." He introduced himself.

Mirri blinked several times, not really making heads or tails of this. She shrugged it off though, the world took all kinds, and she'd heard the sort of sounds some people made when she fed, maybe James had some sort of death wish (or undeath wish as the case may be), his heart was certainty beating fast enough to suggest that he was feeling quite turned on.

Wait... his heart...?

Mirri drew away from him for a moment, because he'd been the only one around and her own heart was still she'd assumed his heart was just beating a little bit faster than normal. Now that she actually bothered to focus her attention on it and start counting...

Kali's Kneecaps, his heart had to be going something like twice as fast as a normal person's! How could he be sitting here and smiling at her? With a heartbeat like that he should look like he was about to fall over dead!

She reached out a finger and pressed it against his neck. He didn't draw away from the coldness of her palm, and she confirmed by touch as well that his heart was beating at a greater speed than that of any other human she had ever heard before.

"Why is your heart going so fast...?" She demanded, unwilling to go anywhere near James' blood till she had some idea what was going on with his body.

She'd heard stories that nasty things happened to vampires who drank the blood of those who had consumed holy water recently. She had no idea how long "holy water" could remain truly "holy" within someone's body and at what point it turned into decidedly unhallowed urine.

Not only that, but she doubted holy water could make someone's heart beat the way James' did.

"Isn't it natural for a young man's heart to beat faster when he sees a pretty lady...?" James answered with a playful grin.

"Funny, like a house of mirrors." Mirri growled, he'd sounded genuine about the entire calling her 'pretty' thing but she hadn't died yesterday.

James removed his hat, and Mirri gazed in surprise as he revealed a pair of furry red feline ears hidden underneath it.

Well, this was a turn of events even she hadn't planned for. Ears like a cat were easy enough to hide, but heart, now that was a lot trickier, at least from a vampire like her.

"So why does a monster like you care if the people of this small town are being menaced by a vampire? You couldn't be trying to eliminate the competition; there isn't much overlap between our respective hunting grounds. We want blood, you want meat, or is it milk in your case?" Mirri teased.

James just shrugged.

"Nope, you got it right the first time. That said, I'm hunting down this red headed day walking vampire because it’s the right thing to do." He declared proudly.

Mirri promptly threw her head back and laughed.

"The right thing? What sort of pathetic excuse for a werebeasty are you? Get in touch with your inner animal. Meow at the moon, let your fur grow out some, raise some havoc!" Mirri demanded, feeling genuinely affronted that James could be such a softy.

"I am in touch with my animal nature, thank you very much." James promised her, his voice suddenly growing much colder.

First the gaze thing and now this, he picked strange matters over which to stand up for himself...

"I'm a werehousecat, that means I hunt rats. All kinds of rats. This red haired vampire... she doesn't drink people's blood, she kills them." James snarled.

"If you think that I've never killed people before..." Mirri left the statement hanging, but James did not rise to it.

"If bare my neck to you, are you going to drink from anyone else in this village?" He asked his eyes almost seeming... sad.

That wasn't right. He should sound indignant and suspicious like he figured that Mirri would go back on her word the first chance she got. Instead, James sounded like he was genuinely expected Mirri to live up to it and would be disappointed if she didn't.

"Fine I promise..." Mirri muttered after a moment's hesitation.

It hardly mattered either way, if she felt like breaking her word she could always blame it on the red headed vampire that was already plaguing the town. Not only that, but Kali was after all a goddess of trickery, it wasn't like she would look down on Mirri for going against her word should the desire arise.

"There, I gave you my word like a good little girl. Now that we've handled all the appetizing little details of the matter, how about we move onto the main course?" She suggested.

To his credit James didn't need to be told twice. He turned around and gave her a clear view of his neck which still had a small gash in it from which blood flowed.

Mirri leaned in and began to lap it up eagerly.

Then James began to laugh, no he began to out and out giggle.

There were sounds that Mirri was used to her prey making while she fed from them, moans of suppressed passion now bubbling to the surface, screams of pain, animalistic grunts were all commonplace, but giggles were not on the list of acceptable utterances.

Angrily she pulled away, her features creased by a deep frown.

"Well, now you know why I prefer my prey to be hypnotized ahead of time. If you still insist on 'talking' I would appreciate you showing some restraint. Also, keep in mind I won't be doing any of it myself since my mother raised me not to speak with my mouth full, " Mirri demanded.

At least to his minimal credit James seemed somewhat abashed.

"Sorry, it's just that your tongue was cold... it tickled." He admitted.

Mirri sighed and decided that she'd forgo using her tongue for a while. Instead, she just leaned right in and got to work with her fangs in order to try and open the wound a bit more.

She started to feed, and to her surprise James' body began to writhe. He wasn't pulling away from her or trying to escape he was actually.... pushing himself closer to her.

That was new, Mirri was used to feeding from victims who were either fast asleep or charmed by her gaze into a bovine passivity.

James was neither, in addition to the sweet taste of his blood, the werecat pressed his body tightly against her own, as if he was trying desperately to bring some warmth back to her corpse cold body. That was stupid, warm skin much like conscience and a heartbeat were things that Mirri had said goodbye to forever long ago.

James had to know that, and yet he was still trying, even Mirri couldn't help but find his pathetic devotion... adorable?

Was that why he had asked her not to charm him? Because he wanted to show her... what? That it didn't matter that she was drinking his blood; he was still trying to make it a more pleasurable experience for her...?

Mirri wrapped her arms around him and embraced him tightly as she continued to sup from his neck. When she finally concluded drinking as much blood as she could stand she pulled away from him slowly.

"By the way, my name is Mirri." She finally admitted, realizing only after the fact that she'd started drinking his blood before telling James what her name was.

That wasn't very... 'nice' of her. With those thoughts on her mind, she took a moment to lick a few final drops of the warm fluid from her lips.

"Thanks for letting me know, so do I taste good, Mirri?" James asked.

To Mirri's surprise while the feeding had put a certain flush back in her own cheeks, James wasn't showing the normal pallid skin she would have expected from one of her victims.

"You tasted fine I suppose..." Mirri answered, being purposely aloof in regards to how much she'd enjoyed drinking from him.

"So same time tomorrow?" James offered.

"What?" Mirri blinked a few times, unsure of what to make of his suggestion.

"If you plan to stay in town for a while... you should probably keep drinking from me rather than someone who isn't as hale and hearty as I am. If you want, you could feed from the front of my neck next time..." James suggested.

Mirri was so struck by the nature of his offer that it took her a few moments to realize all the implications of it.

"The front?" She repeated, wondering if he was simply trying to be helpful, or if he was fully aware of the implications of his words.

"I thought it might be less obvious to anyone looking at me that I'd been drained by a vampire recently without needing to wear really high collar shirts. Granted, if we're worried about the wounds showing I suppose you could just drink from my femoral artery..." He offered without a hint of shame.

"What cheek!" Mirri slapped James, but not hard (granted a 'hard' slap from Mirri had been known kill people), though he still wouldn't forget it any time soon.

"What kind of a lady do you think I am?" Mirri insisted, every inch the affronted noblewoman and he a gentleman caller as if the pair of them were aristocrats at some fancy ball instead of the monsters they truly were.


So Mirri decided to stick around town for a little while longer. After all, it wasn't like she'd ever gotten her meals quite this easy before, and in truth James did taste better than anyone else she could recall drinking from recently.

Being a lady of some breeding of course Mirri waited until their third meeting before he drank blood
from the front of his throat. Doing that from someone who was aware of it was a new and exciting experience, not that Mirri was willing to tell James of course.

None the less she decided that it couldn't hurt to wait around in town. It was enough to drive Mirri up a wall and make her so confused that she was willing to remain in one stupid town for far longer than she ever expected, for far longer than she could recall staying in one place since she'd been alive.

She kept reasonably close tabs on James, because she could... even when she wasn't meeting with him to drink his blood. After all, it was not as if she had much else to do around town, no need to concoct elaborate schemes about how to get her daily blood supply.

She wasn't sure if he knew she was there or not, Mirri was quite adept at stalking prey after all, but they said werebeasts had keener senses than normal humans. He obviously would not be able to hear her heart beat the same way that she could fill his ears with the rapid "parum-pum-pum" of James Firecat's heart though.

So she waited and watched James as he got involved with a red haired woman.

Mirri was certain that this was the woman James thought was the vampire, even though he hadn't told her as such. James had been very careful to avoid talking about his "work" to her, possibly out of concern for the fact that she might tell the redheaded vampire what she knew out of some sort of professional curtsey.

He was worried over nothing of course, Mirri like most vampires, who saw humans as walking talking blood filled bottles, also tended to see her fellow vampires as walking talking corpses who were all determined to drink from HER blood bottles, and what gave them the right to do that?

As she watched (Mirri had decided to take on the form of a cloud of white mist, this late at night she'd be virtually invisible and the redhead wouldn't notice any "living' bodies hat lacked a heartbeat) she discovered that James' suspect had a heartbeat also.

Granted the confusion she felt over that was second to her general sense of indignation. Mirri was quite frankly a touch upset at the fact that James had decided to take this crimson haired strumpet back to what she rightly considered to be their (make that HER) special spot.

Okay, yes it was the perfect place for something to go down in the town with no one paying attention. James was doubtlessly trying to get a rise out of the female vampire, so Mirri would just have to float around waiting until things got resolved one way or another.

How were they going to get resolved though?

What if that redhead wanted the same sort of deal with James that Mirri already had? He somehow managed to get along just fine with her feeding from him, but would even his seemingly endless supply of energy be able to sustain two vampires? Mirri hopped that ruby haired harlot was much less reasonable about such matters than she was; it would serve her right after all!

What right did she have to get something as glorious as Mirri's sloppy seconds?

After managing to work herself up into a fine fury, Mirri finally returned her attention to the situation going on below her. The redheaded b***h was holding James in her arms now.

Well two of her arms... all of a sudden she was growing a lot more of them.

/Vampires... vampires don't do that..\ Mirri reflected, unable to come to any other conclusion as the redhead began to sprout six additional limbs.

They didn't look like arms, they didn't even look like legs either, instead they were huge chitinous appendages. Her entire body was crackling and transforming, as it began to practically explode outward.

She became a gigantic blood red spider with a black hourglass mark on its abdomen, sort of like a black widow in reverse. A black widow in reverse, except instead of being miniscule it was large enough to have been able to squish a man underneath one of its huge hairy legs.

"Spi... spi.. spi..." James fidgeted about trying in vain to break free from the creature's grip until it leaned forward and jabbed its fangs into his chest.

Mirri wasn't going to take any more of this s***! She reformed herself from being an inoffensive cloud of smoke into a very corporeal and very offended vampire. She dropped out of the sky, turning the momentum of the fall to her advantage as she slammed into the back of the bloated she spider.

"LET HIM GO!" She demanded before delivering a sledgehammer like punch into one of the monster's eight eyes.

The ocular organ practically exploded beneath her fists leaving it covered with all sorts of horrible stuff that would best go uncontemplated.

More important than the physical damage done was the spiritual, she could already feel the thing's life-force being leached out of its body and into her.

"That's why you have a heart beat... you're still alive! Well let’s see if we can't fix that..." Mirri ruminated with a wicked smile.

The beast let loose with a growl and withdrew its legs from the vice like grip they had seized around James.

She then jerked her body back and forth and tossed Mirri off. The thing moved with shocking speed and before Mirri could recover from her tumble it jammed its pincers into her stomach.

A moment later Mirri sat up and grabbed hold of the fangs which had the audacity to pierce her skin.

"Here's the thing Charlotte, I'm sure you have some really nasty venom in these suckers, but I'm already dead. So since they aren't going to help you right now, mind if I borrow them?" As Mirri spoke she tightened her grip on the pincers, and proceeded to yank them right out of the creature's maw taking still more of its life-force with her.

She rolled away and the monster began to scream and beat its legs against the ground. All of a sudden from seemingly countless hidden tunnels beneath them, a veritable torrent of spiders started to crawl out of them, clearly intent on supporting their larger mistress.

"Oh no, spiders!" Mirri screeched in a faux girlish voice.

"Do you know what eats spiders you oversized fly chaser? Bats." Mirri snapped her fingers theatrically and sure enough in the time it took all of the spiders to emerge a colony of bats under Mirri's control arrived.

A number of normal sized spiders that had been heading for James' slack body suddenly found themselves getting snatched up by Mirri's mammalian backup. They were quickly starting to send the tiny arachnid army into a rout while Mirri rushed forward to attack the creature again.

She began to rub a bare hand on the underside of the monster's bloody jaw.

"Let me make this perfectly clear, HE, IS, MINE!!" Then she drained the last of the beast's life-force right out of its skin.

It promptly collapsed under the weight of its own body.

"Any questions?" She addressed the arachnid's corpse.

Predictably her question was answered by naught but silence.

"Didn't think so." She then took the time to stomp the creature's eyes into bloody puddles, and its entire body into mush just to be on the safe side to make sure it didn't reanimate in a few days’ time.

That task done she turned her attention back to James. He'd gotten bitten by the huge spider just like her, but he was probably suffering a hell of a lot more from its poison.

"Hey, are you okay?" She asked as he laid on the ground his fingers twitching ominously.

"Spi... spi.. spi..." He repeated the same word over and over again. Were they even words, or was he just suffering some sort of spasm?

"Spider...." Finally he managed to force the full word out and Mirri nodded slowly.

"That's right it was a spider. I made it a very dead spider. Now, are, you, okay?" She demanded once again.

With almost insulting quickness James regained his feet and began to brush himself off.

"Aside from needing to patch some new holes in my outfit, I think I'm fine. But um, thanks for dealing with that thing. I mean, I could have maybe fought it off but..." He rambled.

Mirri looked him over, not sure if she should be glad that he was okay, or angry for making her worry about him. Hell, where did a walking blood bottle like him get off causing a vampire like her, any sort of emotion at all?

"Wait, you're okay? If you're okay what were you doing laying on your back the entire fight?" Mirri asked, quite vexed by this turn of events.

James shuddered slightly and looked down at his midsection and his wound. Sure enough, his werecreature bonafides were being confirmed by the speed with which his flesh was mending.

"Well umm you see Mirri... Ever since I was young, I've had had this thing and so... well... um... I'm really afraid of spiders. So when that thing turned itself into a huge spider... I sort of freaked out..." James admitted.

Mirri looked at him and just sort of stood there for a few moments.

"So it wasn't the terrible poison that was coursing through your veins paralyzing your body and bringing you to death's doorstep, it was just the fact that you couldn't handle the sight of such a big spider." She concluded..

"It also didn't help when it summoned up a whole bunch of little spiders for whatever that is worth." James clarified.

Mirri hung her head in irritation, unable to believe it.

"You're gonna have to be a lot more impressive when it comes to monster hunting if you ever expect me to drink from your femoral artery." Mirri informed him.

James batted his eye a couple of times at Mirri as if he was still half paralyzed with fear. "Are you serious?" James insisted.

"Like I said, what kind of vampire do you think I am?" Mirri insisted considerably upset with what he was insinuating.

"Well apparently you're the kind of vampire who wants to hang around with me even though that other 'vampire' is out of the picture now." James pointed out.

Mirri paused for a moment, as she finally realized the full weight of her own words.

She'd meant it mostly as a joke, but did she really plan on sticking around with this stupid furry purry werecat? She put a hand to her mouth, as she felt her fangs growing just a little bit longer as she contemplated the idea.

"Well, maybe for a little bit longer. Just till it gets boring." Mirri promised him, and promised herself.

That was all this was, a way to make her life a bit easier for a couple of months. That was a miniscule time frame for a human being let alone a vampire. What harm could there be in keeping this kitten around till she grew tired of him?

Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:46 pm
Evil Genius
Evil Genius

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:30 am
Posts: 637
Post Re: Monster Party Side Stories.
Monster Party Side Stories: I'm howling at the moon and sleeping in the middle of a summer afternoon.

Florence Bastien awoke to the gentle singing of birds. Such sounds were nature's way of letting her know that all was right with the world... or at least her tiny little corner of it.

She was a guardian of nature who knowingly maintained a most unnatural arrangement within her small glen. Still, no force in the world, not even Gaia herself could convince Florence to willing allow those she she was protecting to be harmed.

The sun shined down on her, and she spread her arms wide to better accept its light and warmth. She was so wonderfully fortunate to be able to draw so much strength from that light. It sustained her and her magic, between it, and water of the small bubbling brook within her glen she needed to kill neither animal or plant to sustain her life.

Today, today would be a good day, she was sure of it.

She gently picked up her staff, it had once been a rotten and broken tree limb which had naturally come loose with age. Strengthened by her magic however it was once more firm and strong, the last tool she would have desired, but a tool she always kept near just in case.

The harmony of her glen was suddenly shattered a piercing howl.

Florence's blue eyes went wide with shock, this was not the first wolf howl she'd heard, but it was the strangest. Such was the genius of the four legged predators that they could convey all manner of information simply through the timber of their voices, or minute aspects of the howl.

There was no hidden knowledge, no carefully modulated control behind this howl, it conveyed only one message; pain.

It was filled to the brim with pain, never had she heard a being in so much pain able to voice its suffering so loudly!

Florence quickly set off in the direction of the howl, for she was always lavish with her gifts of healing and sustenance; hunter and hunted, animal and demi-human, all were equally welcome to share in the bounty of her glen.

She was not sure if it was deliberate intention or blind luck that had caused this suffering beast to travel to her, nor did she care. All Florence Bastien lived for was to create a small corner of the world that she could call her own and see to it that those who lived there did so without suffering.

There was another howl even louder than the first, then the wolf burst into view.

“Sweet Gaia...” Florence gasped in shock.

The creature might have been wolf like, but it was clearly not a wolf. It was too large, its fur a strange glistening silver color, and its back paws.... It had the front paws of a proper wolf, but its rear end was misshapen its legs ended in manner suggesting that they belonged to something bipedal.

The creature looked at her with eyes that suggested it had little to no idea what it was actually doing anymore, only that it wanted to spread its suffering.

“If I'm going to heal you'll I'll need you to be still.” Florence insisted and then let loose with a magical spell.

Countless vines and blades of grass grew and twisted at her command, striving to entangle the wolf beast from several different angles at once making it incapable of harming anyone.

The creature responded with a simple shake of its silver fur, and promptly burst free from her magical restraints as easily as if they'd been made of dry parchment. It began to advance on her with an awkward but determined gait.

Florence gazed deeply into the beast's eyes, she'd never seen her magic fail like that before. There were those that were fast or strong enough to escape it, but this thing... it was like her restraints hadn't even been there at all!

Florence Bastien was a dryad, but she was much a creature of grass as one of tress. Grass sways in a windstorm that will topple the stoutest tree.

She tossed aside her staff and held her hands out openly in surrender.

“I will make a very poor meal for you and I only wish to aid you.” She promised showing the thing that she was now completely at its mercy.

Some tiny spark of understand must have fired with the beast's mind for it stopped advancing upon her.

Instead it lowered its face toward the ground and began to bat at it with its paws awkwardly. It produced an awful wailing sound that was somewhere between a wolf's howl and a human scream.

“EEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYEEEEEEE!” Was the best Florence could do to decipher it.

After working at the strange activity for several dozen seconds it gave up and gazed out at Florence once again.

It was only then that she did not simply see, but understood.

There were countless small claw marks around the creature's right eye as if it had tried to pry or gouge it out with paws that were horrifically unsuited to the task. Its left eye had significantly fewer marks (probably the result of overzealous mistakes) and... and it looked human.

It was green instead of golden amber, and it didn't seem to glimmer the way the other one did when light fell upon it..

Then the beast began to whimpered pathetically thrashing around on the ground as it once again tried with renewed determination to mutilate itself. Florence took a few steps back, she had no desire to come near it while it was in such a frenzy.

“You need to calm down... you need to be still...” Florence gently told the monster, not trying to use any sort of magic beyond the simple soothing tones of her voice.

“Whatever you are.... I can help you... if you can just give me a chance. What, what do you really want?” She said in a voice so soft it was practically a whisper.

Either by chance or because of its undoubtedly excellent hearing the beast slowly stopped rolling wildly about on the ground. It gazed up at Florence, tears streaming from its mismatched eyes.

“You don't like your right eye.... correct?” She asked tenderly.

The beast's heads bobbed up and down repeatedly in an enthusiastic nod.

“Why?” She inquired, hoping that the question wouldn't send the creature into another bout of mindless rage.

Her hopes were dashed however as the creature promptly fell to the ground yet again. This time however it wasn't trying to dig out its eye, it wasn't trying to do anything at all as far as she could tell. It just rolled about wildly upon the ground, and as it did so its body emitted a series of horrifying sounds.

Bones jerked and realigned themselves wildly as its lower legs began to grow harrier transforming into proper lupine legs, but at the same time its upper body began more human.

Now from the waist up the creature had the body of a man with mismatched eyes and matted silver hair.

“I want my body back....” He gasped out pleadingly.

Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:00 pm
Evil Genius
Evil Genius

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:30 am
Posts: 637
Post Re: Monster Party Side Stories.
Monster Party Side Story/Prologue: Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you, who do you think you are? Ha ha ha bless your soul... You really think you're in control?

It was hard for the man to think clearly. He had no idea who he was or where he was, or even what exactly was wrong with him.

All he could be sure of was that, surely there must be something wrong with his mind at the moment, mustn't there?

It felt like... it felt like there was someone else inside his head!

Words were constantly being shouted and images inserted making hard for him to get his own thoughts in order. He could feel an intense pain in the base of his neck, he tried to raise a hand to the wound but discovered that both of his arms were bound by chains.

"Ah you are avake zis is good!" Announced a clipped voice.

In fact the voice was so "clipped" that it only bothered to pronounce half of the letter "w" rather than the whole thing.

"What is going on?" The man whimpered, just as it was hard to think clearly, it was hard to see much of anything.

Most of what he saw was just the inside of a white mask and only managed to glimpse the world through two small holes for his eyes, leaving his peripheral vision was several hampered.

"Ve are about to enter into ze next phase of your treatment 3d." The voice replied at once.

A dirty blond haired man dressed in a brown cloak wearing a pair of studious spectacles walked in front of "3d", and two ice cold blue eyes gazed down at him.

"That's not my name! My name is..." The man bound to the chair began but was promptly cut off.

"You remember your name? Previously it had always eluded you! Still, I'm afraid zat ve can not make exceptions to ze rules! Being named rather zen numbered is a privilege you have not yet earned." The blue eyed man insisted.

"Being named is a privilege?" 3d repeated, having trouble grasping the concept for some reason, yet it sounded strangely familiar.

"If you have forgotten my own, it is Doctor Wright. So how are ve feeling today 3d?" Doctor Wright inquired politely.

The man bound to the chair shifted his gaze about slowly he was dressed in an incredibly drab gray robe.

"My clothes... what happened to my clothes?" He grumbled angrily.

"I am afraid zat if other patients see people moving about vithout ze same garb zat zey must wear zemselves, zey vould see zem as outsiders. At ze very least zey would be frightened. For some of ze more volatile patients zis fear could translate into an outbreak of physical violence. Zus, ze masks and robes are worn to protect both our patients and visitors.

As for myself, in order for me to be able to treat patients effectively, zey must see me as an authority figure. By making it clear zat I am not constrained be ze same rules zat zey must adhere to, I display my so called superiority to zem. Only vith such a relationship in place can zey accept treatment and begin ze long road to recovery.

You must understand 3d, you vere presenting a most horrific malady of ze mind vhen I first arrived." Doctor Wright rattled off the words in a dry manner suggesting he had said them a great many times times before.

"Insane? I'm not insane..." 3d insisted even as he tried to piece his shattered mind back together.


It was like stumbling through a dark night only to be near blinded by a brilliant light.

That thought blazed through 3d's mind with a certainty that was unlike anything else he could imagine.

"What... what sort of insanity?" 3d eventually pleaded.

"Vell I am afraid zat ze stress of managing zis asylum got ze better of you. It caused ze onset of vhat I believe vas otherwise a dormant hereditary condition. A most horrific disease known as porphyria." Doctor Wright confided calmly.

"The asylum? That's right, this is my asylum! What do you think you're doing to me you bastard?!" 3d roared in anger.

"Be still." Doctor Wright commanded in a tone neither angry or frightened, simply stern.


3d stopped trying to break his chains... chains that seemed strangely thick even for being used to bind a lunatic.

"Why... why are you doing this? I'm not insane!" He exclaimed in a voice that was somewhere between petulant anger and genuine confusion.

"Porphyria is a most horrific disease, vith most unpleasant symptoms. I am afraid 3d zat ze way zat sunlight aggravated your condition, combined with ze need to ingest blood as part of the treatment lead you to eventually be stricken vith ze delusion zat you vere a vampire! A vampire running an insane asylum! Vhat an absurd notion no?" Doctor Wright chuckled.

A vampire?

More of 3d's memories seemed to come into focus as he thought about that word. He could see the backs of countless necks flashing through his mind, he could see the liquid flowing from open wounds... but it wasn't red, weren't vampires supposed to drink blood, wasn't blood supposed to be red? Before he could go much further though Doctor Wright interrupted his train of thought.

"As ze illness took you, your orderlies vere kind enough to call me to treat you and take over running ze asylum. Now zen, are you afraid of garlic?" The blue eyed man explained.

"Not in the least, love the stuff." 3d answered at once.

"See? Real vampires hate garlic, not just ze spice but because zey can not stand to eat actual food of any kind. You are not a vampire. Say it with me please 3d, 'I am not a vampire...'" Doctor Wright instructed.


"I am not a vampire." 3d mumbled.

"You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane." Doctor Wright confided to him.

"I am not a vampire!" 3d repeated with more conviction.

"Much better. Now, as you can see, it is just about dawn. Zrough use of complicated mixture of magic and a few tinctures I created ve have managed to drive the illness from your body.

I am afraid zat ze damage it has done to your mind vas a bit more extreme. Today as I said, ve vill be taking an important step toward helping you recover. Since you are finally physically vell again, ve are going to expose you to actual sunlight for ze first time in far too long." Doctor Wright informed him.

That explained why 3d seemed to be strapped down to a mostly comfortable (BUT VERY STRONG) chair out in the middle of a courtyard.

"The sun? I'm not afraid of the sun!" 3d insisted.

"Zat is also very promising. Fear of sunlight is a common symptom among zose who believe themselves to be vampires. Much like an attraction to startled women in nightdresses or desire to sleep in a coffin." Doctor Wright reflected.

"My coffin? My coffin!" 3d thundered feeling that he was on the edge of thinking about something very important but his mind was suddenly bombarded with countless images of a life that he'd never lived, a life that he never could have lived unless for some reason he had a respectably sized pair of breasts under his robe.

"Be at peace 3d! Please do not provoke yourself into a relapse by letting your imagination run avay vith you." His doctor pleaded.


"Zis coffin you speak of, it is only an imaginary item, fabricated as part of your delusion of being a vampire. You must trust me 3d, ze have searched zis entire asylum room by room without finding a single trace of such a thing. It exists only in your mind." Doctor Wright insisted.

3d sat still for a moment and watched the rays of the rising sun slowly edge their way closer and closer.

They began to edge up his feet and they brought with them only a pleasant warmth.

"Zere see is zat so bad?" The doctor offered in a pleasant enough tone of voice.

3d was about to reply but it was at that point that it suddenly felt as if his own body was tearing itself apart and the only thing he could do was scream in pain as he began to evaporate.

"Orderly Catwarrior, the patient is refusing to submit to his treatment!" Doctor Wright called out.


A hazy mist that one might assume as having a vaguely human shape vanished through a small crack in one of the asylum's walls.

A moment later another a small cloud of white mist followed it through the exact same tiny opening.

Inside was a large ornate wooden coffin.

One cloud of mist poured into it, while the other one pooled outside it and took on the form of a woman.

Her hair was midnight black hair except for a streak of solid white running down the middle. Her eyes were ruby red and at the moment she was dressed in a simple white jacket and shirt with black pants, of the items in question cut along masculine lines while a white hat rested atop her head.

She lightly tapped the coffin with one of her white shoes and then nodded to herself when it didn't react in the slightest.

"You know... according Doctor Rudolph van Richten, a vampire's coffin is entirely psychosomatic in nature. We don't actually need them, we just feel most comfortable sleeping in them because the soil of our homeland provides us with a thin tie to our mortal lives." The woman muttered to herself as from the bag she produced a bottle larger than its container.

She bit down on the cork easily winning it free and then spat it out. She began to empty the content of the bottle atop the coffin.

"I'm not sure if I believe him or not, or maybe it just varies from vampire to vampire. I've slept in perfectly normal beds without a problem in the past, have you though? Maybe I'm special because I went from human to vampire with the celerity of blowing out a torch, none of this laying around dead for three days first stuff for me.

"More to the point, most vampires when severally injured or in some sort of mental distress naturally return to their coffins." As the woman spoke she produced another bottle and began to repeat the process.

"I mean... I like my coffin. I've got it made of Falkovnian trees so it's this wonderful black color with black leather and I have my family motto engraved on it in gold thread. It's traditional for vampires to have coffins, and it has to be a coffin though, we're better than the living, that's why you've never heard of a vampire with a cut rate casket have you?" She pointed out as she now began to produce several small sticks from the bag and laid them here and there around the coffin in a seemly random pattern.

"The thing that you need to remember about being a vampire though, is that whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger, eventually. So in the vein of your 'treatments' don't think of this arson, think of it as an interesting experiment on helping your mind break ties with unnecessary nicknacks." The woman advised as from the bag she now produced a bottle of some thick black substance.

She spread it across the coffin before retrieving a simple block of flint and steel knife from the bag.

"You see, you're never going to properly grow as a vampire until you can bring yourself to unlive without this thing." Were her final words before she struck one against the other.

Sparks flew and landed in the mix of oil and what had once been ordinary sacramental wine but had been distilled into something that was quite possibly extra holy but quite certainly extra flammable.

The coffin burned, and burned, and burned, until there was nothing left of it and its occupants but ash and their dirt it had originally contained.

"Oh dear, even if you do find a way to come back from that I'm afraid it's going to take an even greater trick to resurrect your coffin!" The woman reflected with mock sympathy.

Then she transformed back into mist and flowed out of the room.

On the other side of the gap that she'd filtered through she returned to human form and smiled at a tall silver haired man with a green left eye and an eyepatch slung over his right.

The man was dressed in a black outfit of a vaguely martial nature with a few silvery runes inscribed upon it.

"Well that was sorta fun. A girl doesn't get to drink the kin-nectar of a darklord every day after all. Still, it was almost too easy to make him believe that he was insane..." The woman pouted as if somehow the victory had left her unsatisfied.

"Smash a hole in the wall, we're stealing every ounce of his soil. After that, sweep all the ashes up into a bottle, which we'll then fill to the brim with holy water, put put a stopper in the bottle and then make sure to toss it into the ocean when we leave this island.

If he finds a way to come back from that, well good for him, but something tells me we'll well out of his domain first. Now get to work, I've got to go find the man we were brought here to rescue, hopefully he's still sane enough to recognize the pass phrase." The silver haired man commanded before he turned and walked away.

The black haired woman sighed and started to punch at the wall, her ordinary looking fists leaving noticeable dents in the brickwork with each blow.


"Metus has claimed Erasmus' body." The silver haired man said softly to a figure dressed in a simple gray robe, his face covered by a white mask which was devoid of features other than eye-holes, a parody of a smile, and the symbols '10a'.

The figure in the robe whimpered and babbled meaningless, mindless sounds that couldn't even be called words.

The silver haired man sighed and shook his head it seemed that this inmate wasn't the one he was looking for either.

"Another failure." He muttered to himself and turned to leave.

"BUT HIS SOUL HAS BEEN SET FREE!" The occupant (say better prisoner) of the asylum suddenly shouted at the top of his lungs.

The silver haired man spun on his heel his own face alight with a wide smile.

He swung the door to the cell open and his black gloved hands easily tore the white mask to shreds revealing the face of a haggard man with blond hair that had been streaked gray with age.

His blue eyes were wide and seemed to constantly shift back and forth in fear.

"Monsters... monsters everywhere. They're all... they're all against me... you're here, you're here to eat me..." The older man babbled.

The silver haired man slowly helped the other to his feet and lead him out of his cell.

"It is not insanity but wisdom to be able to look at a 'man' and see the 'monster' that dwells underneath. Still, you might be surprised at just how many of us actually approve of your work.

Come along please Doctor van Richten, you have some very rich friends in Mordent who are very interested in seeing you once more sound of mind and hale of health. You can trust me to get you back to them, or my name isn't Alexander Diamondclaw."

Sat May 23, 2015 11:28 am
Evil Genius
Evil Genius

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:30 am
Posts: 637
Post Re: Monster Party Side Stories.
Monster Party Novella 1: When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

Chapter One: Backward, forward, outward, inward.

Not again, not again. Not again... how could it be happening again?

The young girl huddled under the table, pulling her knees tight against her chin. How long could she stay here? How long could she keep herself from wanting to do what she always did in the dream? The warning was right before her eyes, clearly displayed on a plaque above the doorknob.

“One bad turn deserves another.” What it meant, what it would bring, how many times had she already experienced it?

She wasn't even sure anymore.

She simply sat beneath the table and cried.

“What am I going to do... how am I going to get out?” The girl sobbed to herself.

“Well there is a door right here, but there might be another one the way you came.” A voice called out to her.

It was a voice she almost recognized and for a moment her fear was replaced by curiosity.

“Why do you grin?” She called out, slowly crawling from beneath the table.

Perched on a gargoyle overhanging the small door frame was a most bizarre (for a given definition of “most”) creature.

It had a decidedly catlike muzzle and ears, but its front paws were polydactyl to the point that they almost resembled human hands while its back ones were more traditionally feline, but still a bit oddly shaped.

The creature's fur was bright red with purple stripes, and neither its odd coloration or shape seemed reason enough to keep a smile from its face.

“Its in my nature to grin. Do you ask why the inchworm measures?” It answered her.

The beast was quite large for a cat, in fact it was larger than Alice!

“Well if it is in your nature to grin I suppose you must be a Cheshire Cat, but I would think you're much too large for that.” Alice contemplated.

“Then I suppose I am a Chesh-Dire Cat.” The so named creature replied.

“What manner of creature is a Chesh-Dire Cat?” Alice demanded in irritation.

“Well what kind of creature would you expect it to be? Just like any sort of dire creature, it is like the original except more so. You've heard of a Dire Rat I'm sure?” The Chesh-Dire Cat insisted.

“It's a nasty very big rat.” Alice replied at once, her parents had warned her that though such creatures were very rare in her homeland, if they were to ever visit Richemulot she must be on her guard against them.

“Well if a common rat should have a right have right to be dire, why shouldn't a cat?” The Chesh-Dire Cat concluded.

Alice pondered that for a moment and decided that for better or worse the strange creature had a point.

“Well Chesh-Dire Puss while I am glad to see you, I'm afraid you've come a very long way to do very little.” Alice informed the unnatural creature.

“Why? There are two of us here now, and that means there must be twice as many things we could do! We could talk, we could see what's beyond this particular door...” The Chesh-Dire Cat reflected as it slid off the edge of the gargoyle and landed before the small door turning about to face it.

“I'd rather not. The doorknob is cursed, see the inscription?” She shuddered, knowing that place her hands upon the doorknob was to invite doom of one form or another.

A brow furrowed for a moment and then someone the Chesh-Dire Cat managed to snap its paws.

“How is a crow like a like dessert?” It asked Alice.

The young girl puzzled this one over and always having been rather good at riddles soon enough had an answer.

“I suppose to a cat like you there its more a matter of there being no difference at all.” She replied.

The Chesh-Dire Cat wrinkled its face (as much as a cat could) and twitched its whiskers for a moment.

“That's not a terrible answer, but I was thinking that in bar form both of them are good for opening things that have been shut tight.” It reflected, as all of a sudden the creature was wearing not just its fur, but a bright red jacket as well.

From the folds of his outfit the Chesh-Dire Cat removed a shimmering metallic object. With one swift blow it knocked the doorknob loose from the door.

“You see a dessert bar will make even the most stoic of men open their mouths to eat it, and a crowbar...” The Chesh-Dire Cat insisted upon explaining.

“Do you truly need to prove the answer to your riddle twice over?” Alice demanded feeling her time was rather being wasted.

“Well I wouldn't want to leave you feeling in suspense on my account. Now then lets just wahoooieeeeee!” As the Chesh-Dire Cat cat spoke it laid its weight upon the tiny door which swung open, revealing that there was no actual floor on the other side of it.

Alice cursing herself for not having warned the good natured beast to be more careful ran forward as fast as she could trying to grab hold of some part of it before it vanished completely from view.

She managed to just barley get two hands wrapped tightly around his tail and held onto it for all she was worth.

“I won't let you go!” She promised the Chesh-Dire Cat.

Now that she was over the edge of the door frame she could see a massive swirling ocean below her.

“That's is a most welcome reassurance, but could you pull me back up as well?” He asked rather awkwardly.

Alice heaved as best she could, but the tail was no part of a cat to get a proper grip on, and the feline in question was bigger than her to start with. The harder she pulled the more tired her arms got and the more unsteady her footing became, until eventually both of them were dragged over the edge.

“You could have let go, I always land on my feet.” The Chesh-Dire Cat admonished her as the pair plummeted towards the water below.

“What good is landing on one's feet going to do when falling from this high up?” Alice shouted back, having to half scream to make her voice heard above the wind.

“Well then why don't you land on my feet instead?” He offered, and before Alice could reply he reached out across the gap between them and wrapped his arms around her.

He even went so far as to force a paw over Alice's eyes, leaving her with no choice but await their inevitable landing. The wait was far too long, and yet far too short at the same time, as with a great “SPLASH” they broke the surface of the water.

The shock of the impact knocked his grip loose and Alice kicked her way to the surface spitting out water in the process.

A moment later to her relief another head bobbed up beside her.

“You can swim?” She was a little surprised at her companion's good fortune on those particular matters given the general feline aversion to water.

“I can kitty paddle well enough to keep my head above water, but we may need to find someplace to actually swim too soon.” The Chesh-Dire Cat answered.

Alice managed to win a hand free from the water long enough to wipe her eyes a little clearer as she inspected the vast featureless ocean. Then she suddenly saw a gleam of something shiny and pointed in its direction.

“That way, lets go that way!” She directed, and the two took off as best they could.

Before long they reached the source of the once tiny speck of light that Alice had noticed.

“Ahoy there, men overboard!” A voice squawked out.

“There aren't any men, just a girl and a cat actually! Also until we've been on board your ship I don't think it's possible for us to go over it...” The Chesh-Dire Cat called out in response.

“All the same we'd very much appreciate being rescued!” Alice adding wishing she could have used her hands to gag her companion before he somehow managed to talk them both into being left to drown.

“Mr. Sparrow toss them a rope!” The captain called out.

A moment later there was a soft "plink".

“Terribly sorry, it seems we're a bit out of position. If you can get a bit closer you're welcome to come aboard!” The booming voice admitted.

Left with no other real choice the pair kept right on swimming drawing closer to the craft. Taking a deep breath the Chesh-Dire Cat pushed Alice up out of the water.

The strain of it caused him to momentarily vanish beneath the waves, but as Alice clambered to safety he managed to win his way to the surface again.

Alice raced over to the miscast rope and dragged it along with her, lowering it down to the Chesh-Dire Cat (not wanting to repeat her previous failed attempt at pulling it up by hand) who climb up the rope and out of the water.

“Do try to stand back, this might be a bit awkward...” He advised her but before Alice could ask what exactly he meant the creature began to shake itself so vigorously that it was a wonder that he didn't come apart in the process.

Droplets of water splattered across Alice's already soaking wet dress along with landing just about everywhere else sending up a soft series of “plinks” as they landed.

“I've heard of a ship in a bottle, but never one being taken out to sea before.” Alice reflected as she looked around.

Sure enough, the vessel was a reasonably sized nautical craft, but it was surrounded by an even larger bottle. Perhaps it was for the best that the bottle was so big, if it's neck had been much narrower neither Alice nor her companion would be able to squeeze through it.

“Well it's the safest way to travel my dear. You see, these waters are quite treacherous. If we were to go sailing on a normal ship and we hit some rocks hard enough they'd breach the hull and we'd all drown. If we go sailing in a ship in a bottle, well the bottle ends up getting broken rather than the ship!” The apparent captain of their vessel explained as he flapped over.

He was as far as Alice could tell, a very large bird.

Much like the Chesh-Dire Cat he was wearing clothing (though his outfit did not directly match the color his feathers) but other than that only his size, and ability to speak lent him an otherworldly air.

“I am Captain Dodo, and this is my first mate Mr. Sparrow...” The bird explained while using a wing that seemed to end in something closer to fingers than feathers.

“Sparrow being my family name of course, my first name is Jack.” The other bird added, much like Captain Dodo he had on a sailing outfit complete with fancy hat.

“You do seem to be a bit wet, perhaps we should have a midterm race to help you dry off?” The Dodo suggested.

“What IS a mid-term race?” Said Alice.

“Why that's quite a simple my dear. A mid-term race is a race between those who can't be bothered to make an effort and those who shouldn't have been allowed to in the first place!” Answered the Dodo.

An awkward pause hung in the air which suggested that both Alice and her companion didn't think this was much of an answer.

“Needless to say, the losers will have to give the winner a little present of some sort.” The Dodo insisted.

Alice stuck her hands into her pockets and realized that they were empty.

“I used to have some little treats with me, but they must have gotten washed away by the wave...” She lamented.

“I wouldn't be so sure of that... it looks like you've still got ten delicious ladyfingers....” The first mate ruminated his beak shining ominously.

“Now then everyone get into a circle around Mr. Crow's nest. Start running, and don't stop until I call out that the event is over. If your legs stop moving the you're out!” The Dodo commanded.

Alice whimpered to herself, she very much did not want to take part in this race now, but somehow she doubted anyone would listen. So the only thing that she could do was join in the race and hope that she won.

The Chesh-Dire Cat positioned itself behind her while the other birds joined in at various positions and the Captain began to strike up a jaunty tune that got everyone to move. Alice ran, and ran, and ran, but it didn't make a difference, all too soon she began to slow down.

As she felt her muscles start to burn and her breath grow more and more ragged she hung her head and fell to the ship's deck keenly aware of the fact that she was going to loose.

“Whoops!” Her feline follower called out, the Chesh-Dire Cat bent it shoulder's slightly and and with one smooth motion managed to scoop Alice up and cause her to rest upon his shoulders.

While there he began to shift his shoulders back and forth every few moments, making Alice's legs bounce rather listlessly with his own movements.

“I say, is that entirely within the rules?” Called out Mr. Crow the ship's lookout who was behind them and clearly took some umbrage at this behavior.

“Her legs are still moving aren't they?” The Chesh-Dire Cat smirked back.

Captain Dodo made no comment one way or another and the race continued.

Though the bird directly before Alice had seemed tireless, it was only once she was seated in place upon the Chesh-Dire Cat's shoulders that she realized the true meaning of the word.

He just kept running, and running, and running, as though he didn't have a care in the world.

Alice had no way to measure time other than how one by one the birds began to drop out of race.

The first mate was the last of the birds to give up, and only once it was clear that there were only two contestants left “in the running' did the Chesh-Dire Cat allow himself to falter.

He dropped to his knees forcing his passenger to slide off. Alice having been refreshed by her period of not having to run easily kept moving until the Dodo brought and official end to the race with her as the winner.

Though it hardly felt like she deserved it, compared to the alternative some unearned praise didn't seem quite so bad.

One by one the birds with varying degrees of resentment approached her and handing over bright or glossy feathers as tokens of their defeat.

“You can have this... you'll probably get more use out of it than I do.” The Chesh-Dire Cat told her as he reached into a pocket of his red outfit to produce his own forfeit.

It was a small black stone icon of a cat seated studiously upright upon all four paws. Looped around the cat's neck was a thin piece of string that Alice put around her neck to keep the statue in place.

As she did so, suddenly Alice felt something she hadn't for a very long time.

She couldn't put a word upon it, but part of her wondered why had she been so afraid?

The next thing Alice knew however the entire world was nothing but strong winds, and greyness. Then she was hit by something heavy and knocked onto her back.

“Oops, didn't mean to do that at all.” The Chesh-Dire Cat cat apologized.

Alice for the moment didn't really care.

She pushed the cat aside and looked around, wherever she was it didn't look anything like where she had been before, and there was no sign of the ship or anything else she recognized.

It didn't matter though, she still had the stone cat around her neck, its tiny weight felt like a great blessing. Even the weight of the weight of the Chesh-Dire Cat's body on top of her felt reassuring in a way.

She could find a way to beat this... couldn't she?

End Chapter One

Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:42 am
Evil Genius
Evil Genius

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:30 am
Posts: 637
Post Re: Monster Party Side Stories.
Monster Party Novella 1: When Logic and Proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

Chapter two: Dynamite and a laser beam.

“I say Chesh-Dire Puss do you have any idea where we are now?” Alice could only wonder as she looked around.

The only thing she was certain of was that they were along way from the ship in the glass bottle, for there was no sign of a sea or ocean in sight.

There were however, a number of tiny little brooks running straight across the land from side to side, and the ground between each brook was divided up into squares by a number of little green hedges that reached from brook to brook.

“Looks like a battlefield...” The Chesh-Dire Cat replied.

He was right of course, as before them was seemingly the remains of a great battle that had only just concluded, or indeed was in the process of concluding.

Dead men lay here and there, and tattered white banners bearing the symbol of a likewise colored rose had been cast down and trod upon.

Most prominent of all was that here, there and everywhere the victors had raised flags bearing their own symbol up for all to see, a large dark red blood-drop.

Yet if it was a battle there only seemed to have been one army taking part in it, or at least one human army. It was possible to spot a great many soldiers be they knights, men at arms, or even a few men in cloaks who might have been mages. They one and all wore white, except for where their own blood had stained it red.

Their bodies were being carefully examined by a large collection of ruby colored statues, all of them crafted in a vaguely feline manner, from the size of an ordinary housecat to a mighty tiger.

It was only after watching the proceedings for several moments did Alice finally realize something, the cats were neither dinning upon the slain soldiers, nor simply examining their bodies for shiny entertainment, but instead purposely manhandling (cathandling?) them into neat little rows.

“Are... are the cats the other army?” Alice pondered, unable to find a more logical explanation.

“Ridiculous! Who could control such a collection of felines?” The Chesh-Dire Cat insisted.

Then suddenly a pair of housecat sized red statues raced up, the rising onto the hind legs before the second jumped atop the head and shoulders of the first and blew into a small trumpet in its paws.

“MAKE WAY! MAKE WAY FOR THE QUEEN!” It insisted loudly.

“I say the speak rather good Mordentish for cats.” Alice reflected.

Then she abruptly risked a glance in the direction of the Chesh-Dire Cat fearing that she might have given offense.

“All cats are capable of learning the tongue, it tis simply that few care what is said in it, and fewer still bother to use it themselves.” He replied his manner still most cordial.

The army of cat statues began to stretch themselves out low pressing their heads against the ground in preparation for the arrival of their monarch. A proud and regal lioness statue paced onto the battlefield and upon its back road the woman who must obviously be the queen, if only because she was the only 'living human' anywhere nearby other than Alice.

Like the cats she had a body crafted entirely of bright red jewels, but unlike them she was not perfectly uniform of color. Instead it was as if several different materials had gone into her creation, creating subtle shifts in the hue of her clothing and her stiff long hair. A magnificent crown rested upon her brow, each ruby cut into the same blood drop shape as present on her flags.

“Victory!” Cried out the Queen with delight.

“Victory!” Was roared back at her from every throat in her quadrupedal army, even the lioness she road upon.

She promptly slid off the back of her mount and approached one of the fallen men in white. Though she seemed to be solid as a rock her movements were swift and sure to the point that one might even call them graceful.

She seized one of the dead men, and without a second thought tore his body (armor and all) in half. Blood and other viscera leaked from both ends of his body and the Queen allowed the crimson fluid to flow down into her eagerly waiting waiting lips.

“Oh my.” Was all Alice could think to say faced with such a macabre sight.

After she finished draining her chosen morsel the Queen tossed its broken halves aside and began to survey her surroundings once again. It was at this point that her eyes (or the twin ruby gems that passed for them) locked upon Alice and her companion.

“Who dares not bow in my presence? Bring them to me!” She commanded.

A great host of brightly colored feline statues rose to their feet and sought to carry out the command.

“Should we run?” Alice half whimpered suspecting that both her and the Chesh-Dire Cat might soon suffer the same fate as that fallen soldier.

“Where to?” He replied stoically, gesturing behind them with one of those not digits that was not quite a thumb, but not quite not quite a thumb either.

Sure enough while the land ahead of them was divided by serene brooks and minor hedges, behind them lay a seemingly endless wall of twisting thorny vines that stretched as far as the eye could see.

Escape seemed quite impossible, and even if they wished to try, in no time at all they were surrounded by a mass of glittering cat statues bearing shining sharp fangs at them.

While it might be considered impossible for humans to herd cats, these cats proved quite adept at herding humans, the ones behind and the ones in front took steps in perfect synchronization and she had no choice but to move in the direction they desired or trampled under paw.

Soon both she and the Chesh-Dire Cat were brought before the Queen who had remounted her lioness in preparation for their arrival.

“Where do you come from and where are you going?” She demanded imperiously.

Alice had at least the good sense to curtsey before the mono-color monarch and tried to answer as best she could.

“I'm from Mordent, and for where I'm going, I'm just trying to find my way home.” The young girl explained, her hands clutching tight to the much smaller (and so far as yet still inanimate) statue around her throat.

“I don't know what you mean by your way,” said the Queen: “all the ways about here belong to me!” She insisted proudly.

“Who were you fighting and why?” The Chesh-Dire Cat abruptly interjected.

“The Queen of Diamonds...” The cat riding ruler replied with a haughty sniff of contempt.

“The problem with queens is that a land without one is in a very bad way, but a land that has more than one is in an even worse one. So I resolved to resolve the matter by testing her resolve on the field of battle.” She explained, even as some of her subjects were dragging over another of the fallen bodies.

Without missing a beat she leaned over, grabbed it off the ground, tore it in twain and began to guzzle down what remained of its lifeblood.

“Why do you do such a ghast... curious thing?” Alice asked, barely able to keep her tongue from landing the rest of her in a great (or at least an even greater) deal of danger.

“I find it takes all the blood I can get just to keep the same amount inside me.” The Queen replied.

“Why must you keep blood inside you in the first place?” Alice pressed feeling very foolish indeed, for asking such a question, though unsure how anyone could ever stop being foolish if they never asked questions at all.

“What, and let my beautiful colors be worn away by the rain and wind? Blood within to slowly seep out and dye the body red without, that is the only proper way to live.” She insisted.

It was only at this point that Alice realized that while the Queen might have asked about what she was doing, neither of them had spoken one word concerning who they were to the other.

“I'm Alice Liddell by the way, and if you were fighting the Queen of Diamonds I suppose you must be the Queen of Hearts....” She guessed.

The Queen reached up and took off her crown, she began to lazily inspect its jewels, before finding one in particular she liked. She plucked it from its resting place, studied it again, and then flicked it at Alice contemptuously.

The tiny stone must have been carefully cut, for in turn it opened up a large cut on the side of Alice's cheek as it flew past.

The young girl yelped and pressed her hands to the wound to try and hold back the bleeding.

“The problem with queens is that a land without one is in a very bad way, but a land that has more than one is in an even worse one. There is no queen in all the land who I hate more than the Queen of Hearts.

I hate her not because she commands an army greater than my own, I hate her not because she oppresses my favorite servants, I hate her not because deep down she is but a whimpering girl unfit to rule, I hate her not because she is a cruel tyrant... I hate her, BECAUSE PEOPLE KEEP MISTAKING ME FOR YER!” The most definitely not Queen of Hearts exclaimed, her point being punctuated by the lioness roaring in Alice's face with such force that she fell to the ground.

“What is your title then?” Alice pleaded hoping she might yet escape in one piece.

“I am the Sanguine Queen.” The Sanguine Queen declared proudly.

“Are those words really supposed to rhyme?” The Chesh-Dire Cat interjected scratching his own furry ears, clearly deep in thought..

Alice precocious as she was had never heard the word before and so had no opinion to venture on the matter, which was well enough for the Sanguine Queen was clearly somewhat irked by the Chesh-Dire Cat's opinion on the matter.

“When I use a word,” the Sanguine Queen said in a rather scornful tone “it sounds just the way I choose it to sound, no more no less.” She insisted bluntly.

“If you hate the Queen of Hearts so, why were you attacking the Queen of Diamonds?” Alice pipped up as she slowly regained her feet.

“Because the Queen of Hearts is all the way on the other side of the chessboard.” The Sanguine Queen huffed in irritation.

Seeing that Alice's wound still continued to trickle blood the Chesh-Dire Cat tore of some of his jacket and bound the scraps about her cheek to give her a makeshift bandage.

“Really, I don't see her or her army...” Alice insisted squinting as hard as she could, without any success.

“There are chessboards, and then there are chessboards. The Queen of Hearts is on the side of the greater chessboard, and we are only on the second space of it. That is entirely too far for me to travel with any reasonable speed.” The Sanguine Queen “explained” at least for a somewhat loose definition of the word.

“But you're a queen, aren't you allowed to travel it all in one go?” Alice suggested, since she knew at least a little of the rules of regicide thanks to her father.

“Only if the path is clear, which it isn't. The Queen of Hearts has her pieces all over the place and so I'd have to stop and deal with each one of them in turn.” The Sanguine Queen reflected morosely.

“If this Queen of Hearts is truly as terrible as you say she is, then perhaps I'll never find my way home again, or even your way to my home, as long as she rules.” Alice contemplated.

“Besides, though I may feel like a pawn of some great unknown force now if I should make it to the other side of the chessboard then I'd be a Queen wouldn't I?” She added feeling her confidence rising.

A large furry paw pinned her to the ground as the Sanguine Queen's mount pushed her back to the blood soaked ground.

“You seem to have quite rudely ignored my wisdom, so let me repeat it a third time, there will be no forth. The problem with queens is that a land without one is in a very bad way, but a land that has more than one is in an even worse one.” The Sanguine Queen hissed as the lioness statue somehow produced a rock solid tongue with which to run over its gleaming teeth.

“Well I'm much too young to be an actual queen, I suppose I'd only be a princess instead.” Alice quickly amended.

The Sanguine Queen contemplated this for a moment and then had her mount take a step back.

“I suppose I could live with a princess.” She relented.

Alice was much more concerned with the question of if the Sanguine Queen would let her live as a princess, but pointedly did not say so.

Then she turned her attention to the Chesh-Dire Cat and slowly ran a hand along the scrap of his jacket he'd wordlessly given her scant moments ago.

“If you really are a Queen then you should knight my dear Chesh-Dire Puss, he's already saved me twice over, from downing and terrible birds!” Alice suggested eagerly.

“If you had come near to drowning once I'd have expected you to learn something from it and not go near enough to water to risk having it happen a second time...” The Sanguine Queen noted dryly.

“I meant once from drowning and once from birds.” Alice clarified, blushing slightly.

“Do be courteous enough to simply say what you mean in the future.” The Sanguine Queen commented, before turning her neck in the direction of the Chesh-Dire Cat.

“Resourceful sort of fellow is he?” She inquired, looking him over from top to bottom as he abruptly broke into a bow.

“I did take a few losses in my war against the Queen of Diamonds, though I've never been terribly fond of knights. After all, who has ever heard of a knight that has been able to keep up with a queen?” The Sanguine Queen admitted as she motioned for another of her feline servants to bring over a sword from one of her many slain foes.

She then got of her lioness and without a word the Chesh-Dire Cat got down on his knees.

“Thus do I rook thee Sir Cat.” The Sanguine Queen exclaimed loudly enough for all present to hear as she tapped him on the shoulders with the blade.

“Rook thee?” Alice said in a mildly confused voice.

“As I said, I've never been overly fond of knights, but I could always use another rook. Especially if we are to deal with the Queen of Hearts. To bring war to her the first thing we must do is...”

She never got a proper chance to finish explaining her plan as all of a sudden the world around them spun.

There was a soft “whump” as as the Chesh-Dire Cat was thrown to the ground, a much louder one as Alice dizzily landed atop of him and a loud “THUNK” as the Sanguine Queen landed a few feet away from them.

They were now in a seemingly ordinary house, except that everything seemed to be about twice as large as it should have been. “

Such an uncouth method of travel is beneath me.” Groused the Sanguine Queen.

“I shall try to position myself differently next time, then if nothing else you will be above me.” The Chesh-Dire Cat offered.

“Do you ever have any idea where we are?” Alice asked, not wanting to further disturb someone's house simply because she had the misfortune to be sent there by magic.

That was when she first heard a ticking sound.

“Dreadful as it may sound, I think I know where we are...” Warned the Sanguine Queen as she pointed toward a bright brass plate above the door with the name “S. Rabbit” engraved upon it.

“We have wandered into the home of the Silver Rabbit.” She concluded.

The ticking got louder.

End Chapter.

Last edited by jamesfirecat on Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:35 am
Evil Genius
Evil Genius

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:30 am
Posts: 637
Post Re: Monster Party Side Stories.
AN: This side story takes place during Book 3: "On a blue Sunday morning lies a body just oozin' life." Whatever you do, do not read this story until you have read that entire book or else you will spoil several plot twists. Don't say you haven't been warned!)

Side Story: This is war, this is pure insanity, dementia, you're driving me crazy!

"Fair enough, how about you lot stand with your hands against a wall real still like while we search you for the murder weapon?" As the doppelganger Sudji spoke he took a moment to examine Paridon's half a dozen newest arrivals.

He'd been close enough nearby (after all, the sooner the body fell under his "official domain" the sooner the single shaped residents of Paridon could start being told all they should know about the matter) to pick up information about their arrival from Roja telepathically.

They hadn't been part of the plan, but things could be adapted quickly enough to make room for them.

After all, if agents of the Flickerflame himself could be kept blind from which human face his master was hiding behind what chance did these fools have?

Sudji might even be able to see to it that they took the blame for a few of Roja's murders before being quietly disposed of!

To get that particular ball rolling of course he'd need to know more about them.

He opened his mind to the thoughts of the silver haired man who seemed to be leading them. After a few false starts he managed to slip his way in... and was not prepared in the least for what he found inside.

/Well wolf we wolf again, wolf just wolf this wolfn't have wolf end wolf me wolfing off wolf few wolfen sword wolfs to wolf them wolf down.\ Only a lifetime of passing for an ordinary human, and more recently over a year of pretending to be someone who actually cared about which human killed or stole from which other human kept his surprise from showing.

Sudji had read a lot of minds since he discovered his powers as a doppelganger. Even that stupid wolf in a man's clothing had an easier mind to read than the one he had just peeked into though! It was like trying to read a book that had been written in two different languages!

"Her throat was only slit, if I'd killed her with Wolf Claw here she would have been decapitated." The silver haired man insisted.

"Well of course, but all the same I'd like to make sure you don't have any smaller weapons on you that might have done the deed..." Demanded Sudji, continuing to peer into the strange mind.

/Oh wolf, if wolf bothers wolf look wolf all wolf James' wolfs then wolf's going wolf find wolf that wolfs by wolf chance wolf. Which wolfn't even wolf into wolf what wolf happen wolf he wolfs James wolf off wolf hat wolf get wolf better wolf at wolf face. This wolf going wolf get wolf before wolf gets wolfer.\ The silver haired man thought.

Was he doing this on purpose?

Sudji had encountered all manner of foolish attempts by people trying to make their minds harder to read in the past. None of them had ever come anywhere near this though.

If the doppelganger kept it up he was certain that he'd wind up with a pounding migraine before long.

He'd just have to focus his attention on one of the others, he could piece together everything he'd need to know easily enough once he found a mind he could actually read. This time he took a look inside the head of that woman in white...
/Bloodgetoutbloodoutbloodbloodgetoutbloodbloodogteutbloodbloodtteougbloodbloodbloodtegtoubloodbloodbloodtougetbloodbloodbloodbloodgteotubloodbloodblood...\ Was a rough approximation of what Sudji 'gained' by trying to read her mind.

One of his eyebrows went up for a brief moment.

To someone who was more familiar with exactly how much effort doppelgangers put into self control, this was the human equivalent of turning around and running away while waving your hands about and screaming at the top of your lungs that your faith's final days were rapidly approaching.

Suffice to say, he had no intention of ever again trying to take another look at that mind.

Instead, Sudji turned his attention towards the blood haired man who was coming to the forefront of the group while shouting something or other. He got inside his mind on the first try and was able to perfectly understand what he found in there.

At the very least he could understand the form it was presented in, the content though...

/Oh no...\ Sudji reflected.


"Sir Edmund Bloodsworth, there is an Inspector Logan here to see you?" The servant announced somewhat fearfully.

Bloodsworth dismissed him with a simple hand motion and soon enough he was alone in the room with the current commander of the Paridon Guard.

"We have a problem Roja." Sudji drove that particular point home by using the true name of his clan's patriarch, though to anyone else who heard it they would probably think of it as only a fanciful nickname.

"What could possibly so serious that you needed to visit me personally Sudji?" Roja shot back.

If he'd needed to pass on his information less urgently then Sudji probably would have just done a simple patrol of the area around the mansion, one that took him close enough to Roja that his superior could read his thoughts.

Instead however he'd come here in person, and Sudji would need to visit a few of the city's other nobles on unimportant matters before the day was through, just so that the Bloodsworth family didn't end up sticking out in retrospect.

"We've got some new arrivals... and they're unlike ANYTHING we expected when preparing our plan." The creature with the face of Inspector Andrew Logan insisted.

"Why does what they're like make any difference? We knew this, or something like it, was going to happen sooner or later. The people of this city aren't entirely as easy to butcher as cows in a pen.

The single shaped fools were going to band together in a vain attempt to protect themselves eventually. If the leaders of this group are from outside the city, so much the better. It will allow us to more easily turn the average resident of Paridon against them when the time is right.

We will make them think that their greatest guardians are naught but monsters." Replied the one with the face of Sir Edmund Bloodsworth.

"That's exactly the issue at hand Roja.

They ARE monsters.

A dryad, a lycanthrope, a vampire, an elf, an asshole, and a... I haven't been able to pick up enough of their thoughts to be able to figure out exactly what the man who calls himself Alexander Diamondclaw really is.

What we can all be certain of is that they are monsters. Monsters, monsters, monsters." Sudji insisted.

"Why are you getting so upset over this? If they're monsters, well imagine how much less effort will be required to turn the public against them." Roja insisted.

"You're overlooking something.

There are no monsters in Paridon.

How long have we all worked carefully to make the single shaped fools who populate this city feel safe and secure in their beds? Their ignorance has always been our greater strength.

There are other clans besides Mulor who have realized that someone is preparing to challenge the Flickerflame, even if they have have now idea of who or how. So long as their own safety and security is not threatened they will not object to someone replacing him, they will probably even welcome it, comforted by the delusion that one day they could run the city.

If however during ensuing conflict the people of Paridon are given reasons, real concrete reasons to suspect the truth, the other clans will turn on us in an instant to save themselves.

Unless we are completely and utterly victorious, our entire clan will be exterminated. Our plan was to convince the residents of this city that those who might try to defend them were monsters... but the monsters were supposed to be nothing but smoke and mirrors.

Having them be real actual monsters... that's a complication which we can do without." Sudji explained.

"So what do you suggest we do?" Roja demanded.

"We need to start killing them, now. The sooner their numbers are winnowed the easier this will be. I'll impersonate Bardan in case anyone sees me to make sure the crimes get appropriately tied back to Bloody Jack, so that Inspector Logan will have an explanation for why he comes up empty handed trying to investigate them.

Meanwhile, I'll have Gimbal taking my place at the Paridon Guard, he'll walk into my office, lock the door and spend some time shuffling papers so no one notices my absence. However this particular attempt goes, we also need to start mixing up the same collection of chemicals we used the last time someone tried to track Bloody Jack by scent.

Given that they have a lycanthrope with them I'd be surprised if this group doesn't try to do it sooner or later." Sudji suggested.

"Then stop talking to me and get it done." Roja commanded.


His ambush point was perfect. His knife was coated with a venom that would slay someone in seconds once it entered their bloodstream.

The door swung open and he struck.

He felt the blade shift from plunging through empty air into something hard. It struck with enough force to knock his target to the ground, he screamed out "You are meddling in things that are none of your affair" and then took off running.

Once he was a safe distance away and had changed his shape several different times he turned his mind reading abilities outward to see what he could pick up.

After shifting through a few useless minds he hit upon one with some relevant information.

/Damn, I really am gonna have to give the guy who sold me that metal collar some good word of mouth, the thing saved my life!\ Was how it went.

Sudji nearly bit his tongue in half in anger.


"Lets assume you suddenly went insane and tried to murder me. Well, I wouldn't even need to lift a finger to defend myself! " The alchemist chortled.

Sudji sat there seething as unobtrusively as possible.

Oh yes, there was nothing he would have loved more than to have ended this right now. To kill the liar who sat across the room from him.

He was a liar of the greatest sort of that there could be no doubt.

Even with all the duplicity that went into being a doppelganger Sudji doubted he ever had told as many lies as this single shaped fool.

He didn't even need his ability to read the blond haired human's mind to spot most of them either. Yet what choice did Sudji have but to play along with those lies?

No choice at all when the alchemist couched his untruths in the fact that he was a foreigner and Paridon had throughout its entire history been a world unto itself.

If the being pretending to be Inspector Andrew Logan claimed to have great knowledge of the land outside of Paridon then he'd need to explain how he got it.

The great irony of their situation was that Sudji simply was not that good at storytelling. It was easy to lie when you have the telepathic ability to read the mind of whoever you were talking to. Making up a long story to justify those lies on the other hand... that was something else entirely.

Sudji was able to keep the alchemist dancing along to his tune, but only as long as he kept his own lies as simple as possible. If he tried to compose a story even more complex than the ones the alchemist spun, things might start to get rather complicated.

Complicated was not the way that Sudji wanted them to be, life was already complicated enough given that they were busy trying to complete a series of murders while casting defiance into the ever changing face of the Flickerflame.

Yet, what choice did clan Mulor have but to push forward? By now surely the Flickerflame must have at least a general outline of what they had planned. Even if they did actually decide to knuckle down and turn over the Fang after the sixth murder, there could only be one possible result.

The Flickerflame would thank them for fulfilling their duties as Bloody Jack, and then have them all murdered the first chance he got, certain that only an unexpected turn of events had renewed their "loyalty" to him.

The only hope they had to survive was to fulfill their original plan. Their original plan which had no room in it for monsters like vampires, lycanthropes, dryads, and the asshole he was currently having a discussion with.

If only, if only he could draw his blade and end all of this right now...

The problem was that the alchemist was all too right, even though the "cat" and the "wolf" were both out of sorts at the moment, they weren't that out of sorts.

Both of them together were certainly more deadly than Sudji, and even if the alchemist was wrong about the speed of their reaction, Sudji placed the value of his own life a fair bit higher than one single shaped asshole.

No, what their current situation called for was to Sudji to give this blond fool a bit more of that evidence he loved so much.

Tonight he'd have Gimbal impersonate Inspector Logan then join up with the alchemist to go hunt Bloody Jack, while he took on Bardan's shape a second time.

After Roja and Bardan fled the scene of their third murder he and a few of Bardan's servants would be ready to ambush them.

The sight of "Andrew Logan" being viciously attacked should be more than enough to make the alchemist rethink any theories he was having about "him" being involved in the Bloody Jack murders.

The only weak point of the plan was the possibility that Bardan's servants might get overzealous, but he doubted Gimbal would allow himself to be too seriously hurt.

What could possibly go wrong?


Where had it all gone so wrong?

It had been bad enough needing to use his shape shifting powers to work that lead bullet out of his body before turning into some no account member of the Paridon Guard and going to the Temple of the Divine Form to get the wound healed.

Getting shot had been one unpleasant surprise, but it paled in comparison to the one that Sudji now found being presented to him.

It was a list of names chronicling all the people who had bought black cloaks from Ire McMoran within the last few months. His own name, well the name of Inspector Andrew Logan was on it.

What should have been the perfect alibi might end up giving the alchemist still more fuel for fires that Sudji would deeply prefer he not ignite. That meant that Sudji needed to do SOMETHING with the list to keep the alchemist’s attention elsewhere or else sooner or later even rusty gears might begin to grind.

Looking over the list again a thought occurred to him.

He still was not sure exactly what manner of monster Alexander Diamondclaw was, but on the other hand there had never been a werewolf in Paridon for as long as Sudji has been alive.

That must be what he was, and if he was... well one wolf could be used to deal with another.

Yes, that would keep them too busy to really examine list themselves. They might even be able to deal with a thorn which had been festering in the side of Paridon's doppelganger community for far too long.

There were no monsters in Paridon after all, and by the end of tonight he could make certain that there was at least one fewer.

He'd have Gimbal take care of impersonating the wolf's servant and he'd give that alchemistic asshole enough evidence to choke a horse with!

Either way it was win win.


Either way it was loose loose.

Sudji could try to close his mind to the soporific lyrics of the wolfwere's song, or he could keep reading the thoughts of the man who was trying to kill him.

He couldn't do both.

Why... why were they working together?

Wolfweres and werewolves were supposed to hate each other even more than they did humans!

Why was Alexander Diamondclaw able to have that song wash over him and not be effected in the slightest?

The only saving grace up until now had been that when Alexander been wielding his sword, his thoughts had become steadily more and more human. Sudji had been able to read them properly and he continued to do so, trying to dive deeper and deeper into the silver haired man's(?) memory looking for the truth of the matter, looking for a weakness that he could use against him before it was too late...

"Standing in the pouring rain,

All alone in a world that's changed.

Running scared now forced to hide,

In a land where he once stood with pride..."

Sudji finally managed to peel back past Alexander's surface thoughts, and penetrate deep enough to find his memories.

He searched through them wildly, with each passing second flicking through months of Alexander Diamondclaw's life looking for the truth of of what sort of monster he was.

"But he'll find his way, by the morning light..."

Then he found it.

He found the moment when Alexander Diamondclaw had become a monster.

Oh no...

Oh no!


It was with dreadful clarity that Sudji finally understood exactly what sort of foe he had found himself in a fight with.

"Sounds across the nation, coming from young hearts and minds…"

It made him long for blissful ignorance, at least for a few short moments before Alexander Diamondclaw smash his head into Sudji's leaving the doppelganger’s thoughts hopelessly jumbled.

While he couldn't think clearly he couldn't defend himself, but on the other hand he also couldn't feel any pain as Alexander began to pummel him into complete helplessness.

End Chapter.

Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:10 pm
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