Medievia Mudslinger

December 23rd, 2001

The Perfect Gift - By Roirdei

The following is a work of fiction and bears no real relation to actual godwork or activities. Please send all comments on the piece to roirdei@medievia.com

Another beautiful December morn in Medievia saw Roirdei, the world's favorite Manager of God Training, bent over a piece of paper in his office, faced with a terrible dilemma.

Well, all right, he is the only Manager of God Training. And yes, firestorms and tornadoes, while they might qualify as beautiful with their dazzling light displays on the City's magical shield, do have a certain tendency to get people killed on the outside. As for the dilemma, well, I'll let you decide exactly how terrible it was.

It had all started 24 fateful hours before, innocently enough, with the divinity and his beloved mortal companion Anidorr curled up together in a white satin couch, which he had conveniently created for the occasion. Little did he suspect, as he gazed down into the irresistibly adorable eyes of the cleric girl, that she was about to launch him into one of the most trying quests of his immortal life.

"Matthew," she asked, using her favorite nonsensical pet name for him, "what are you getting me for Christmas?"

The God ran a quick mental search... Christmas, one of those periodic excuses to keep the holiday Gods and Goddesses busy, and the populace content. The mortals had developed some sort of gift-giving ritual around this, now? Uh oh, she's looking at me funny, better improvise something, quick!

"Why, I... can't tell you! It's a surprise!" he blurted out in extremis.

"OooOOooo, a surprise! I love surprises!" Anidorr exclaimed, as she started bouncing around the office uncontrollably, knocking down everything imaginable, and then some.

"Whoa, calm down there, Jessica darling," said the immortal, while wrestling his easily excitable love back onto the couch. "Remember what we said about overdoing it on the socials?"

"Yeah, I guess I kinda got carried away there," she giggled. "Whoops, there I go again. No, it's okay, you can put those rusty iron shackles away, I've got it under control," she hastily added, as one suddenly appeared in her lover's hands.

"If you say so," replied the God, swallowing the chains nonchalantly. "Mmm, crunchy ones and not too corroded."

"I'd better get going," said the clericette, eyeing him warily. "I have to go shopping for your present. I hear they have a sale going on down at ThE misceLlaNY SHop. It will probably take me a while so don't wait up for me. I mean, what do you get for the guy who can load everything?" With this, she gave him a tender kiss and promptly cartwheeled out of the office.

The God was stumped. This wasn't at all like last year, when he had simply loaded half the object database for his fellow divinities. He couldn't just load something for Anidorr, loading items for mortals was highly unethical, and it lacked the personal touch...

On that note, he firmly resolved that before the day was through he would have found the perfect present for his darling, without using his powers. And that is how it all began.



"Five million gold coins for that?!?" exclaimed an outraged Roirdei.

"With all due respect, Sir," replied Sardhara, world-renowned jeweler and owner of Gems & Jewels, "that is a bar of the purest adamantite. Not like that bulk trading stuff you can get in New Genesia."

"But still, how is a God who has sworn not to use his powers supposed to get five million gold coins? Have you seen many forms of Gods trading lately?" asked the deity.

"I am afraid that is not my problem," answered the jeweler curtly. "Now, if you are done, could you please leave, you are scaring away the paying customers."

As the God sulked out of the shop, a small imp popped in and handed him a slate, confirming his worries -

Gold Carried: 0
Bank Balance: 0

How on Medievia was he going to find five million gold coins...



"Hey, Liasow, look behind you!" yelled the God as he dived for the dragon's treasured pile of gold. A mighty swing of the ruby-scaled tail promptly sent him flying out of the room, back the way he had come from.

"This would have been easier with my godlight and wizi..." he muttered as he dusted himself off and tested his fresh cuts and bruises. "Well, at least having over 30k HPs helps a bit."

Faced with the perspective of trying to solo a rightfully angry 3.lair ruby dragon, the God wisely decided that a change of tactics was in order. As he sat on the bone-littered cavern floor, pondering the question, a plan started to form...



"Are you sure about this?," asked Olaffson, owner and bartender of Ye Daemon's Forge, one of the most popular bars in the Warrior's Quarter. "It's my experience that newbies never drink much. They just can't take the drinks like the Heroes do..."

"Bah, every char here starts out 20 years old anyway. And don't worry about their intake," answered the God, glancing towards the entrance every few seconds, "I have someone on his way to take care of that. Ah, speaking of the devil..."

"Not a devil, no, but I do have a few chained up down in the dungeon of my keep, if you like," called Horneg, striding up to the bar.

"Have you got the stuff?" asked the God anxiously.

"Indeed. I had to pull a few strings to manage to load this many," replied the mage, reaching deep into his cloak and pulling out a bundle of shiny bracelets. "Now, as for your part of the bargain?"

"Yes, yes, as soon as I get a chance I'll write you up an AutoQuest to find you a new wife," promised the God. "Alright then, everything seems in order. Why don't you stick around for a pint or two, Horneg? Lonely guy like you must go mad up in that keep. Ready Olaffson? Okay, here goes..."

85% heard you say, 'Free drinks for all New Adventurers in Ye Daemon's Forge!!! Simply type "t roirdei gimmegimme" for a quick trans to the bar!'

After the following telepath spam and resulting series of young men and women poofing into existence out of thin air, the God, the bartender and the waitresses managed to get everyone calmed down and seated comfortably at the bar or at a table.

"Alright," said the deity as he started to hand out the bracelets, "Everyone take one of these bracelets of life and wear it. It will make this experience entirely more enjoyable for you, trust me," he added. "Is everyone ready? Okay, Olaffson, start serving the drinks. I'll take a mug or ten of your Olaffson's Special, while you're at it. This promises to be a long day..."



"So, Gawds can akchully make *hiccup* stuff, like, out of nothing?," slurred a particularily inebriated young magess. "Like, a major creashun spell. That is so cool..." she commented, before jumping up from their table and rushing off to the privies to throw up her previous meal.

"Charming," noted the God, before getting up and working his way through the mass of singing and dancing newbies to the bar to speak with Olaffson.

"All in all, this worked rather well," he said in a low voice. "It didn't cost you too much, did it?"

"Naw, even with those bracelets of yours, these newbies are still nothing compared with the rowdy lot of backstabbers I usually get in here," said the bartender. "Still, hook 'em when they're young, I've always said."

"Well, these guys looks just about ripe," observed the divinity, his gaze shifting from one group which was playing spin-the-dagger and giggling a lot to another, gathered around Horneg, listening intently to his tales of horror and magic.

"All girls," noted Roirdei. "That guy ought to get out more often. Well, time for the next phase of tonight's fun." With that, he created a loud thunderclap to grab everyone's attention, and said, "I hope everyone has had fun, please make sure to tip your waitress and to come back soon. But the night is still young, and I have a little sightseeing trip planned for you all. If you will just follow me, yes, that's it, take your drinks with you..."



"Are you sure this is safe?," asked one of the more lucid newbies, with only a slight slur. "My bloodline daddy says that dragonlairs are really dangerous..."

"Hey, who knows best, your dad, or a God? All right then, has everyone understood the plan? When I say go, you hold those packets of powder I gave you and run into the room with the dragon. Got that?" A series of feeble and scared nods was his answer. "Make sure that you are holding the powder when you go in, it will, umm, protect you."

"Excuse me, mister God sir," asked a scared and confused warrior, with the name of Zyxmyrborythe, "but why does it say "a packet of sleeping powder" if it's supposed to protect us?"

"That's just a technicality, my boy. Now, is everyone ready? Set? Then... GO!," he shouted, and the newbies set off into the dragon's room, while Roirdei listened carefully to the sounds of the would-be battle:

*battle cry*, *growl*, *scream of fear*, *snort*, *scream of pain*, *swoosh*, *scream of greater pain*, *crunch*, *death cry*, *collective death cry*, a silence, then a munching sound, another silence, and a loud *thud*. Finally, a *snore* told the God that the plan had worked perfectly.

"Oh well, they'll res," said the God to himself, as he relieved the now sleeping dragon of its considerable pile of gold.



Roirdei appears with an ear-splitting bang.

"Heya, I'm back, and I have the gold!" he announced cheerfully. The jeweler simply stared blankly at him.

"Hello? I have gold!" he repeated eventually, waving to get the mob's attention.

"Oh, right," he muttered as he walked over to her and set her split ears right again.

"There, I would like to purchase that bar of adamantite, if you please," he stated.

"Well, why didn't you say so before? That will be 5 million gold coins," announced the mobile. After Roirdei had paid the sum, she added, "And another 2 million in physical and emotional damages to my person."

"But I fixed your ears!" protested the God.

"Only because you needed them and me to complete the transaction. Shall I take the case to the Courts? I'm sure the jurors would love a good excuse to get back at a God for, well, just about everything unsatisfactory about existence," she retorted.

"Fine, take it!" exclaimed Roirdei, tossing what was left of the dragon money onto the counter, grabbing the bar, and storming out of the shop. He made a mental note to make that particular mobile suffer in some way through an AQ...

In any case, he now had his bar of precious metal, he was nearing his goal, the next step was...



"Well, sir, that isn't quite the usual material I work with..." started the leprechaun.

"Oh, do a God a favor, would you?," pleaded Roirdei. "Money is out of the question, don't even go there, but I'm sure we can come to an agreement."

"Well, I wouldn't mind if you could put a good word in for me with the people in charge of the Combs revamp. This place has gotten rather boring, and I've had a few nice ideas for redecorating it," admitted Myllrin. "It's not fair being called a mobile and still being stuck in the same room for all eternity."

"Consider it done," said the God. "Now, let's get down to business."

Myllrin cleared his throat, and started reciting: "What is red and..."

"Let's skip the riddle bit just this once, shall we?" interrupted Roirdei. "It's been a long day, and I'm in a hurry."

"But, that's not..." Myllrin started to protest.

"I'll have you know that we Gods aren't concerned by nofightroom restrictions," he stated. A silence. "Thanks. Now, I say we make the location finger, Jessica would enjoy a nice ring I think, the color adamantite, just the 1, I'm not about to go get more bars of that stuff, I don't think we can afford to lose that many more newbies... Sounds right, I'm done, make it!" the deity said excitedly.

Myllrin took the bar and started working on it for a few minutes, deeply immersed in his work. Then he suddenly stopped, and let out a small sigh.

"Well, these things happen, you know," he stated.

Roirdei gave him an icy stare. "What *things*?" he asked.

"It was bound to happen, I'm not used to the material, we didn't do a riddle first, and you didn't even say please when you asked me to make it. It's all part of the game, and such," he explained, tossing the twisted remains of the adamantite bar into the pile of broken unegged item trash. "Are you alright, sir? You look a bit red in the face. This doesn't affect our deal in any way, does it, sir? Sir?"



"Olaffson, ale me," said the God in a defeated voice, "Vryce knows I need it."

As the portly bartender brought him his drink, he muttered, "Put it on my tab," chugged, and scanned the bar, now full of clientele of the fully-grown variety. Rowdy wasn't exactly the term he would choose to describe them. Bloodthirsty trolls would perhaps be more accurate, but at least the trolls had enough common sense to keep their stench out in the wilderness. Half of them he had frozen himself at some point or another...

"Kayla, you wouldn't do that to your best customer, now would you?," a vaguely familiar voice sounded from somewhere within the throng.

"If you're our best customer, we had better close shop, and fast," replied the bar's head waitress. "We spent five days cleaning up after your last scheme backfired. And that morgan horse will never be the same again. No, no more allowances. Either pay up or get out now."

Roirdei caught a glance at the struggling figure as he was being pushed out of the bar, still trying to justify himself. He should have guessed.

"Hey, Rapscallion!" he called out. "If you can convince the ladies to keep their hands off you one small moment, come over here, I'll buy you a drink or three."

Kayla hesitated, then unceremoniously marched the mage over to the bar. "He can drink as long as someone is paying, but then he leaves," she instructed, before heading off to toss the corpse of the loser of the latest brawl out the back door.

"Thanks for the hand there, old chap," the Avatar finally said, after trying to smooth his clothes into a presentable state, to no avail. "This place is one of the last bars that hasn't put a reward on my head... not yet anyways. I don't know where I would have gone if they'd tossed me out," he added with a sigh. "I hear there's a bar in the CPK part of the Barbegazian Alps, they might not have been warned about me yet." He took a sip of his drink, and then said thoughtfully, "I am so unappreciated in my time."

The God chuckled. "Being omniscient and all, let me reassure you, never will you be more appreciated than you are now," he said. "I'll let you work out whether that's good or bad."

"Blimey, you're in a right fine mood tonight," commented the mortal, taking another sip.

"And with reason," replied the God, before launching himself into an account of the day's fun and games...



"Ah, so that's what made the catacombs quake everyone was talking about on IMM," said Rapscallion, while getting Olaffson's attention and gesturing at his empty mug. "I wish I had thought of that particular lair tactic myself, though. With that kind of cash, I could make a fraction of a dent on the surface of one of my bar bills."

"At least that's a more constructive use that the one I chose," Roirdei sighed into his mug of ale. "Here I am, at the end of the day, without a single gold coin to my name and not the remotest idea how to get a present for Anidorr... She is gonna kill me," he added with a sob.

"The trials and tribulations of a Medievian God," Rapscallion nodded appreciatively, starting in on his now refilled mug. "Almost sounds like something you'd write up for the 'Slinger."

Roirdei paused, looked up from his mug and turned to stare at Rapscallion. "You know what, Raps, you're a genius," he said, before leaping to give him a huge bearhug. Before the startled mage had recovered his breath, the God had already started to fade away from view. The last thing he heard over the buzz of the barroom chatter was: "Hey wait! Who is going to pay for these drinks?!?"



Which brings us back to our favorite Manager of God Training, bent over a sheet of parchment in his office, a worried look on his face. He had already transcribed the day's events to paper, with only the slightest bit of theatrical highlighting here and there. The story would soon be ready for submission to Excrucior, just in time for the Christmas MUDslinger edition, no less. And the donation item credit he would receive would allow him to give Anidorr a perfect present indeed. Maybe a blessing would suit the extremely death-prone young cleric best... He'd let her choose, the perfect present always being the one you choose yourself.

Nonetheless, one problem still remained, hence his dilemma. He had no idea how he could possibly end his story. As he sat pondering the question, Anidorr strode back into the office, her arms loaded with parcels of all shapes and sizes, which she dumped onto the couch ("I'll have to remember to purge that one of these days," thought Roirdei).

"Honey, I'm home!," she exclaimed, coming over and passing her arms around his neck.

"I'd noticed," he answered, staring up at her for a moment, then looking over at the pile of parcels strewn about the room. "Are all those for me?," he pondered out loud.

"Well, to tell you the truth, those are all mine. I went from store to store, and kept finding such marvelous things... only nothing you would like," she explained. "I did find the perfect gift for you though," she added with a grin.

"You did?," asked the God with a smile. "In that case, where is it?"

"Oh, it's right here," replied Anidorr, her grin broadening. "The perfect gift for you, the God Roirdei, is... ME!!!"

Here, the logs become corrupt and indistinct.

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