Medievia Mudslinger

July 14, 2001 originally published on October 31, 1999

The Staff Canteen -- By Faelan

"You know," said the Gargoyle, "This job really gets me down sometimes." The other hunched figures around the table nodded glumly in agreement. "It's not as if we even get paid, is it?"

A deep voice from above boomed down to where the Gargoyle sat, hunched over his beverage. "Nein, und der pension scheme dat I vos promised has not come about. I am in mein castle all day, bellowing at adwenturers, killing them, letting them kill me, dying realiztically - und how many ov dese new so called mobs do that right? - and vot do I get? Nozzink." The Gargoyle looked up to the Giant sat on his right, the table illumined by the small corona of flames flickering around his head.

"Well, dearie, perhaps you shouldn't expect an award for a hammy performance. Now, as for I, I am a true star - sent from the heavens to guard the treasures sought by evil mortals." The Solar, sat on the opposite side of the table from the Fire Giant simpered gently to himself. The Gargoyle held up a restraining talon as the Giant started to work out what the Solar had said.

"Now there's no room for that kind of talk here. For one thing you were only sent from heaven after that business with the cherubim, and your treasure isn' t worth that many equipment points. Besides, there's not so many people round here would like the description evil being used offensively." The Gargoyle gestured at the Giant next to him but the Solar only pouted at him and began to buff his nails with a small file.

"Just ruins your manicure, making those treaures, doesn't it? Cost me a fortune at Fred and Vicki's."

"Heh," replied the Gargoyle, holding up his talons for inspection. "Just keep 'em sharp and use frequently - like the Boss said. He grimaced briefly. "Of course, if there wasn't so much metal armor around it would be easier to keep 'em sharp. Have to go across to Genkaya's to get them dealt with properly every so often." The gargoyle paused and stared at his talons for a second then turned to the hulking, scaled figure next to him. "Next tuesday alright? " he asked.

"K''ll'akssaklssll ssllk'llk," Genkaya replied, indifferently.

"True enough," the Gargoyle said. "I can get one of my brothers from Crime to cover for me - we close enough to fool the mortals - but if people keep killing you that often... well - I'll fly over anyway and see if you're alive. It'll be a day out at any rate." Genkaya just nodded and turned back to his bowl of green soup.

"What I don't get," muttered an emaciated Adventurer, staring hungrily at the bowl of nuts on the table before him, "Is why we don't just band together and really scare the life out of those mortals. They keep outnumbering us so why not do the same to them?" The Gargoyle passed the bowl of nuts across but the Adventurer waved them away saying, "Thanks, but I've got to keep my figure."

"Yeah - much good it'll do. Them Trolls tried that and started beating people up when they were trading goods around. Good money it was till the mortals figured out how to beat them off. By then the Kobolds had joined the game as well as some Bandits and Rogues. Now I hear a Demon Lord has joined in as well." The Gargoyle paused in his litany and waited for some form of intelligent response.

"Has he got those adorable puppies house-trained, lover?" asked the Solar, looking up from his small sponge finger.

"Ack, nein," rumbled the Giant, "He is still in need of trainink dem. He came to visit lazt veek and dey made holes int alla da floorz."

"I'm talking about ganging up and playing the mortals at their own game," growled the Gargoyle. "Organised resistance."

"Come on, dearie, it wouldn't work. You beat them off and kill them and they just come back a few minutes later with friends. Besides, him upstairs wouldn't like it one bit." The Solar finished his dessert and pointed at an Avatar stood at the salad counter. "Speak too loudly and word may get back to Him. Oh well, time to make another incarnation, I suppose. Ciao!" With a cheery wave the Solar formed into a bright light and disappeared.

"I vish he vud do dat after he goez back," muttered the Giant, wiping at his streaming eyes with the back of a hand.

"It's the looks of the thing," said the Emaciated Adventurer. "If he gets back there and someone sees him light up then it's bad form and the Boss can be a bit miffed. You wouldn't like it if he was miffed." His stomach growled in agreement.

A large wave of noise shattered the glass windows and tumbled crockery and utensils to the floor. A large figure materialised on the floor and slowly rose to its feet. "BY THE GODS ON HIGH! IT'S NOT SAFE TO BE AN IMMORTAL!" it roared. Realising where it was it looked around and waved a hand theatrically. The glass in the windows moved back into seamless sheets, the crockery and utensils leapt back to their proper places and the noise calmed down.

"Ah, Tyr - we're having a chat - come and join us," called the Gargoyle, pushing the Solar's empty chair away from the table. Tyr strode grandly across the room and sat down disconsolately.

"I tell you - it's truly unfair to expect me to continue like this. I may be the living incarnation of Tyr himself, but when I am not even allowed to move from the room I am in..." He shook his head sadly. "They just keep running in, exchanging blows and running out again. It's unfair."

"I was just saying this to the good people here - we want something done about behavior like this," said the Gargoyle.

"It's not as if they have any grace about it either. There I was, my corpse still cooling down, and they're complaining that my wonderful Warhammer isn't as good as the one they got from me last week. Admittedly I had to rush it a bit on Friday night, but it was still a good job."

"Yes, we all know how it is," soothed the Gargoyle. "As I was saying I was trying to get people interested in doing something about this. The Boss has to be told about this - it's just not good enough. I mean, all he does is sit on high and pass judgement and..." His voice trailed off as he realised everyone was staring past him.

"He's standing behind me, isn't he?" The rest of the creatures nodded slowly.

"Ahem - now you've 'told me', I suggest you look at the time. Don't you have a repop to make about 5 minutes ago? I want you to pick up an elemental stone from stores on your way."

The Gargoyle sped on his way, laughter trailing at his rear.