November 4th, 2001
Weather 'tis nobler... - By Excrucior
"Morning," the man called out to the Draug as it patrolled the streets
of New Ashton, kicking up little plumes of ash from the paving. It
just glanced at him before resuming its patrol, protecting the inhabitants
of the city. "Plain ignorant," muttered the man, dislodging fine ash
from his hair as we shook his head sadly.
"And in the last days shall the citizens ignore each other - and surely
this will be a sign of the doom that hangs over us," came a voice in
"Not you again. Can't you be miserable somewhere else?" the ashy man
"Well, sorry I'm sure," the city elder replied huffily. He glanced up
and down the street. "Looks like the tourists have gone so I can leave
the doom and gloom alone for a while."
"Oh good - it was beginning to grate on my nerves," the man replied.
He looked up at the sky and squinted. "Have you heard the forecast for
"It's always ash - we're directly beneath the mouth of a volcano here."
"I know that but I think I'd like some variety in it," the man sighed,
sneezing as some ash drifted up from his clothing.
"Come on - you know what happened last time we had proper weather. It
rained for hours!"
"At least it was different..."
"And even more different when it dried out. I'm just glad the Draug's
are handy with a chisel or I'd have never got myself out of that."
"Well, the hurricane was a change," the man said wistfully.
"What? Visibility's pretty poor around here anyway, but I couldn't
see my hand hand three inches in front of my face when that was on.
Don't even try to remind me about the drifts. I couldn't open my front
door for a week." The elder frowned at the memory.
"The tornado got rid of the ash for a bit..."
"And the roof from Civic Hall as well. Do you remember how much taxes
went up to pay for the new one?" The elder grimaced slightly, then
added, "Not seen my wife since that came through." For some reason he
started to smile a little.
"At least the mana storm was pretty..."
"Oh yes, all those pretty lights. Those pretty lights that nearly set
the whole volcano off again. Wonderful."
"You were going to say something about wasps, weren't you?"
"Little things floating around in the air," he noted, gesturing around
at the latest fall of ash as it drifted to the ground. "We don't see
that everyday," he added sarcastically.
"I'll agree that's entertaining. All those shields and armor those
Draugs carry make them excellent conductors. I saw one dance for an hour
once." The elder chuckled to himself for a moment.
"So, do you have any idea what we'll get tomorrow?" the ashy man asked
"Ash, I guess." The elder shrugged.
"Fine and powdery or the heavy black stuff?"
"Haven't got a clue. Not like the ash we used to get when I was a boy,
though. We had real ash back then, not this modern imported stuff."
The man gave the elder an odd look.
"Were you ever a boy?" he asked curiously.
"Hush your mouth, young whippersnapper. All this talking is making me
thirsty - don't know about you but I could do with a quick drink of
"What? This early in the day?" The man felt scandalized at such
"All the better to fortify myself with. If everyone's going to be
talking like you then I'll need it. Coming?"
"Just half a cup then, seeing as you're buying..."
Here the logs fade and become indistinct...
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