It

It

Postby Rattrap » Thu Jan 12, 2006 7:28 am

It all began with a bump in the night. Alligail had been the only Broken Dagger representitive managing the bar that late at night, though there hadn't been much to manage. A trio turned to a duo, leaving Alligail with only the catwoman, Hafwyn. They were joined first with only noises; a hoarse whisper that seemed to come from below their feet. Alligail listened closer, pressing her ear to the floorboards only to discover that the whispers they were hearing were the tip of the iceberg.

Brave souls they were, the duo decided to investigate. They moved to the cellar, though not before being joined by another, a Matsuri Kato. Once again a trio, they opened the door with bated breath - only to have it blow open with a rush of the whisperings from below.

Then everything went quiet.

They began their descent into the cellar of the Broken Dagger tavern. The ground beneath the building had born witness to much bloodshed and death - there was no telling what the soil under their feet had eaten up, and god only knew how much blood it had drank.

Curiously, they found a man locked in the cellar. The poor fellow was unhealthy at best, though both Kato and Hafwyn knew that not everything was as it seemed. He uttered a single word, one which they all knew was not a friendly sign. The cellar door slammed shut of its own accord, and the trio defended themselves, hacking and burning the man to a gushing corpse's end. The temperature plummeted, more than one would think Hafwyn's ice magics could be responsible; it robbed them of their body heat, even as the dirt underneath their feet began to soften and give way, opening up to devour the three who had ventured.

Terror had struck, and the trio fled. Once the cellar door was opened, however, there were but two standing on solid ground. Of the child, there was nothing.


* * *

Alligial was fortunate. Her heritage saved her body, though it did little to save her mind. The airless, lightless nothingness of the earth brought only one thing - dreams. Terrible dreams. Images of faces would flash by, followed usually by terrible deaths, real or not. There was Quincy, Pritchard, Phlynn - even Doc D'Rael's face would slip through the young Dagger employee's mind, though it was terribly disfigured, almost unrecognizable. A flash, or three, with images of battles done against terrible opponents. A drow, a vampire, even another who had Alligail's position, just before she had been eaten before the Dagger owner's very eyes.

Whenever she awoke, Alligail may doubt she had - for the earth had not released her.
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Postby Alyrra » Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:49 am

So soon after the disappearance of the small barmaid, the feline member of the broken trio had made certain to find parchment, quill and ink so that a letter might be left upon the bar for those that knew the girl. She had never discovered the small child's name, but she could only hope that they would know the one spoken of in the description of the raven-haired worker who had attended the bar so late that night. The letter gave stroke to every strange detail that had occurred leading up to the battle, including the sudden death of the fire in the hearth, and those muted whispers from beneath the floorboards. In the woman's penmanship, she told of the key that she had left at the first step leading down into the cellar, and why the door had been left ajar, rather than to have been sealed back tightly in case of something stirring yet again. If the child had lived, she did not want her to be stuck in the dark without hope of rescue.

The snowleopard hybrid had done her best to clean up after what mess had been left before Alligail had been given the chance to clear it away. So too, in the company of Matsuri Kato, she had rebuilt the hearth's fire to its usual blazing heat once more. Both women had fallen asleep on the couch beside the flames, though neither for long. Their presence was no longer there as dawn would make itself known along the horizon.
"Life isn't measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."
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Existence

Postby Rattrap » Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:30 am

It had existed for years, now, waiting beneath the Broken Dagger's grounds. It fed on the bloodshed and misery that had come to the tavern - It was born of violence. Growing with each passing death, with each passing battle taking place around the static structure, It had waited and watched with unseeing eyes and an uncomprehending concious.

It saw everything - It had felt Lucien's power. It had felt the energy of Audmathus' blade. Of those that died It knew better than It knew itself. It wasn't until the arrival of Archimedes and the unnamed sorcerer who had aided the demon that it became aware of itself, feeding off the tremendous energy left by the sorcerer after he manipulated the earth.

Growing for years. So It ventured outward - the tavern's hearth had gone dead cold suddenly more than once, now. Strange noises to scare the kitchen staff echoed up from the cellar - a domain that those who ventured down to would find unusually cold, even for the wintertime. Occasionally, one could hear whispers - unintelligible noise that seemed was just beyond the hill of comprehension. Scratchings, as if something was just below the floor or on the other side of the walls. Growth came with expansion, and soon even the second floor of patron rooms would be visited - nightmares, to those who had not prepared their mental fortitudes and resistant wills. Nightmares of faces some knew, and some did not; nightmares from their own memories.

Lights liked to go out without notice. Rooms chilled seemingly without cause.

It was large.
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Growth

Postby Rattrap » Fri Jan 27, 2006 6:30 am

It had been testing the waters, as well as others' blood; there was a great deal of information in the life force of the many and growing It had tasted, but It was not prepared for the wealth of information It gained after consuming Corporal Stan Mannings - a tremendous treasure chest of information.

It knew, now. How to fight. What the Order of Straka was. Who Myrken's Council was. It was beginning to have ideas as to Its own creation, given a glimpse of the Broken Dagger's history. It knew, vaguely, who Quincy Randall was - a template it had already used to curious effect.

The other had escaped - Captain Thomas Daniels, It knew - but now it had great knowledge. With that, came power. It sought more - seeking into the dreams of Ashlyn and others who slept in the Broken Dagger. Nightmares would be the side effect as It pressed Itself into their minds, searching. Learning.

The Broken Dagger was Its home, and It still had no appreciation for the concept of 'roommates'.
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Postby Minty » Sun Feb 05, 2006 11:51 am

"Yes, ma'am, I think this hole is new...and someone just hopped into it."
"No, wait. You shouldn't get any closer. It might be dangerous."
"Here, give me that blade you have. I'll watch over the hole. Go get the local authorities."

That was about the time that Jecht felt the searing pain, an excruciating piercing sensation in his stomach as he was run through. An attack that would normally kill a person. It was doing a good job of killing this young man, as well.

It was a formidable enemy. An enemy that Jecht Demonsbane couldn't hope to defeat. He fell victim to its deception, mimicking a barmaid, stabbing him when he didn't expect it. It was fast, hit hard, and even worse, seemed unaffected by his blood, or his blade. Despite his heritage, Jecht was not a monster killer, or even a very skilled fighter.

As he staggered out the Dagger's door in the evening, bleeding from his gut, face bruised, he was pretty sure he would die here. Panick, fear, desperation. These were the things that ran through the young man's mind as he threw himself off of the porch, hit the ground gasping. He would grip at the ground. Too dizzy to pick himself up, he tried his best to crawl away, still screaming for help. None was coming. Hell, people had been in the tavern, and had simply looked the other way when he was attacked. It was a sad thing. His vision went. Either his eyes were closed and he didn't know it, something got in them, or he was blacking out. Then, he stopped moving. The blood ran out of him, onto the ground.

It wouldn't be until the next morning that Jecht would be found. Barely breathing, barely alive. Perhaps that theory about being able to regenerate was true. Or maybe he'd just been lucky. Not so lucky, though. But lucky enough that when he finally woke up two days later, he'd be very surprised to realize that he was at home, with his father sitting by his bed, wounds stitched up.

Ignas was relieved, but still concerned. What all this meant, he wasn't sure. But...he definitely wasn't going to let Amanda set up a shop in that damned town now. None of his children were very good fighters in his opinion. Mostly because they weren't monsters. They were unlike him. In the meantime, while his son healed, Ignas would just have to balance family time and caring for his son, with a little old-fashioned revenge.

....after all, he was only good at two things: Being a father, and killing. This was right up his alley, wasn't it?
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He

Postby Rattrap » Sun Feb 05, 2006 4:38 pm

His presence would not go unnoticed. He had joined It - this, those with Jecht Demonsbane had seen. The individual who Ignas and Ariane Carnath had chased beneath the Broken Dagger themselves came to find what it was he felt with the outbursts of Coran Kerrak's magics - and surely enough, he found It. While It had been climbing the Dagger, pressing Its will into the dreams of those who slept there - pressing Its will on the very fabric of reality there - He was simply a beacon, a bright source of energy.

Energy from a sorceror who had been collecting power for a long, long time.

He watched as Faeryl and Audmathus and the others waged their battle above, laughing as they fed It. Laughed - and waited. For it was only a matter of time, now. With It, He would be invincible, and his presence was far more malign than It ever was.
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A battle in the night, an explanation, and more.

Postby Minty » Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:16 am

The Dagger had been the stage for a heated battle last night. Ignas, and two other people who he knew of, but did not actually know(Jirai and Suede), had been involved in a battle with that strange man he'd seen hop down that hole a while back, and something that took the form of a Straka guard. Once again, people didn't seem to care much, as a conversation about cute little kittens had gone on at the bar. Further proof that constant exposure to violence tends to desensitize people.

The battle had sort of ended in a stalemate, with the enemy retreating back underneath the Dagger, and a Straka guard had promptly entered once all the danger was gone(as it seemed to usually be). And so, with someone he hoped was a real guard, Ignas went to the guard station. He recounted his explanation of the fight. Explained abilities it might have, namely manipulation of the flesh, and invulnerability, as well as magic. Reported of the attack upon his son.

To make a long story short, that visit ended with Ignas being shoved out of the guard station the next morning, after being kept in a cell for the night, and being slapped with a hefty fine for punching a guard in the face after a heated argument about why the guards never did anything useful, and weren't closing down the Dagger, or posting a constant patrol there. His imprisonment for the night was more proof of that. It probably also meant that nobody in this place was going to help him with getting rid of this evil that nobody really seemed to care about.

Ignas walked away, angry, but not angry enough to get this organization of armed men and women after him for anything he might do. After all, he had business here, and incompetent, or corrupt lawmakers after him would only make things troublesome. No, no. He'd just have to scout out potential allies in this, and make do with what he found.

In the meantime, he wandered into a cafe, and sat down. When food and drink was offered, he accepted, and pulled out a small booklet in his coat. A veritable treasure, it was...more valuable than most of the other things he carried upon him. Pages were flipped, and once he found blank pages, it was time to sketch pictures of what he'd seen, write down a full account of his battle. It was always important to take notes, keep records.

The cafe was left, a small tip, as well as his payment was placed upon the table there to rest with the untouched tea and biscuit, and off Ignas went, into the woods, to practice a new attack. A new, grotesque technique to fight an opponent that wasn't demon, had no identifiable weaknesses, and didn't stop easily. Wanderers in the forest might find the remains of such practice, spots of melted, digested, rotting wood upon trees.
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Postby Rattrap » Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:42 pm

"Captain, get a load of this...some guy just stormed in here yellin' about vampire guards and evil wizards attacking the Broken Dagger. Vampire guards. HA! ...we haven't had any of those in ages." The Private chuckled, turning to head to his dorm. The Captain stopped him:

"...I'd like a transcript of what he said, Private."

The Private stopped in his tracks, turning back to the Captain with a confused look. "Say what? Err...I didn't write one down, Captain. I figured the guy was crazy."

Thomas sighed. "Get to writing quickly, then, Private, before you forget any details."

"Err...yessir!" The Private about-faced, going to see to his new order.

Captain Thomas Daniels frowned. There were the Drow, there was something underneath the Broken Dagger, and now this? While it was a possibility that the individual was indeed crazy, as the Private had said, the Captain wouldn't bring his hopes up. And to top it all off, there was still that sword out there...

Thomas didn't think their luck so bad that this was all a coincidence. Too much, all at once; but if something or someone was orchastrating it all, to what end? Who? What? Most importantly, would he be able to find and stop them before too late?
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The Haunted Dagger

Postby Rattrap » Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:41 am

It was considerably known, now, by anyone who recently or frequently visited the Broken Dagger that there was something beneath the Broken Dagger. What's worse, is that It no longer stayed below - the dreams and nightmares would afflict even though who slept in the tavern's paid rooms as It pressed into slumbering conciousnesses.

The walls had all aquired a hum of quiet, unintelligble speech.

Torches and candles flickered disturbingly, without any drafts or breezes.

Shadows stretched unnaturally, moving even when the nearby light did not.

Doors opened and closed with no one standing close enough to have closed them.

Occasionally, lights simply went out - giving in to the darkness and the unnatural chill that followed.

This, all above Its feeding habits, which It was more known for - the brutal violence that had recently begun to frequently take place in the Dagger's commons, the look-alikes that had grown in their ability to act and deceive.

The Broken Dagger was beginning to acquire a personality, and a very unfriendly one at that.
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For All Your Violent Needs...

Postby Rattrap » Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:55 am

The prior eve had been a violent one in the Broken Dagger. That wasn't news - that phrase, even, was rather familiar to the nearby citizens of Myrken Wood. But the degree, and the nature of the violence wasn't so. The evening had begun in the tavern's commons, and ended in the cellar and below the Broken Dagger.

First, there was an Orc. Her name was Zog, though the original had fallen victim to It. Now Its only name was the one the dark wizard had given It: Suhtamdua. But this wasn't known when the Orc burst into the room, nor was it of any consequence. Zog had immediately attacked Hafwyn, and the violence that ensued resulted in several impalings, defacings, and boiling blood.

Mikhail had come to aide, quickly, as well as a half-Orc who had joined without hesitation. Between the two, It attacked, persisting even when Ignas joined, pitting three pairs of armed arms and magic against the Orc-clone. The battle against the Orc ended with Its bastard sword impaling both the Orc and Ignas - only to become a battle against a white tiger, taken from the Elven shifter who had, as a matter of fact, arm wrestled Zog at the time of the prior attack.

The tiger did not linger between the three combants, but went once more aggressively at Hafwyn - she responded by shifting as well, retreating back to the ranks of the men standing in defense. It abandoned her, taking Mikhail as Its next target - the end result of which culminated in Mikhail's defacing and Its second impaling.

Hafwyn responded with greater magics, pulling the tiger form from Mikhail and proceeding to boil Its blood; It moved to smother and melt, letting Hafwyn feel the boiling blood as it burst through liquifying flesh.

The others had not been idle; Alli went to the cellar for a second time, while Ignas took a shortcut through the tavern's floor. It took one last form below in Alli's brother, issuing words in Its own defense before disappating like the other forms.

There was no unsettling quiet to follow, as the cellar was filled by the quiet, omnipresent unintelligble whisperings. Ignas took to the dirt, digging furiously to find the Dark Wizard who had shown control of It earlier - the Dark Wizard found him, instead, mocking him from the floor above as Ignas dug.

With a word of warning, the Dark Wizard left the Broken Dagger, leaving the battered combatants to tend to their wounds and the tavern's damage; a hole, smashed through by Ignas' mace, pieces and shrapnel of a frozen, exploded table - yet, there was no gore left by the morning, save for what Ignas had gathered in his flask. No chunks of skin or flesh; no blood.

The sun failed to show the next morning, giving only a gray sky as the last of winter's clouds fought against Spring.
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Postby Arcadia » Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:39 am

It was early morning, the sun not yet rising, very few up and about. Arcadia crossed the road between the Edificium and the Dagger, moving up the porch steps, a nail and hammer in one hand, a slip of parchment in the other. She glanced about, not wishing to distrube anyone and started to hammer the parchment onto the wall next to the door. She stood back and read once more what it said aloud to herself:

~Arcadia Silverwind is seeking help from any that wish to destroy the evil beneath the Tavern. Should you wish to do so, she can be found at the Edificium, or a missive can be left there for her.~

Arcadia Silverwind
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Two More Victims

Postby Rattrap » Sun Mar 12, 2006 5:54 am

The eve prior had begun innocently, as they always did. Sill had visited the Broken Dagger for the first time in a while, giving herself a gentle break from the poison treatments of Doctor D'Rael. She substituted herself behind the bar, drinking her own bottle while serving others; Sill had heard some of the rumors circulating about the Broken Dagger, but she was nonetheless unaware of the churning presence all around.

Coincidentally, and in no small part a great, great irony, the flames' death brought a Drow form - one that Sill recognized unhesitatingly. Jirai had appeared, safe from suspicion in the confines of the kitchen - when she pushed through, Sill did not flinch, or run; rather, she simply asked:
"When is he going to pay me?"

It...played along. It knew a little of Jirai's character from the Corporal's perspective, though It didn't recognize Sill. Still... "I'm going to just keep asking until he pays," Sill threatened.

"I've got a better idea," the clone had said with Its perfect mimickry of the original Drow's sound quality and voice.

Violence broke; Jirai-clone struck, stabbing at the gypsy with her dagger. Sill was an agile one, though and dodged like a champ while they fought behind the bar. Not one to stick around, Sill made for the exit - only to have Jirai leap onto her back, knocking the gypsy to the floor. Things turned around very quickly as the Drow battered at the back of Sill's head with her dagger hilt, all the while pressing a broken bottleneck into the workings of her shoulders. To further immobolize the gypsy, Jirai-clone planted her dagger into Sill's back and started choking her - that's when intervention came.

First came Xue, for the second interruption. She was swift, and quick to action, though her initial blow dealt more harm to Sill than it did to Jirai-clone. Cedrex, a centaur, was next - rushing to disengage the Drow from the now unconcious gypsy. He succeeded, also disengaging Xue from the Drow.

They regrouped and Jirai's dagger materialized into a sword. At the defender's inaction, she rushed - only to be met in the air by the centaur's charge. The clone had deflected the creature's composite bow, but was nonetheless thrown into the nearby wall, causing a mess of the Dagger's bottles and shelved drinks. Jirai clone slumped.

...only to re-emerge as Ignas Demonsbane who leapt gracefully from behind the bar with the same longsword in hand, bounding swiftly to the rafters. All three defenders - now having been joined by who looked to be a boy, Puck - launched their attacks. Only Xue's had been definite, though had It not been in the practice of liquifying Its own fleshes, one of Cedrex's arrows would show evidence of a substantial connection.

Ignas-clone darted from rafter to rafter and dropped on Puck, striking at the lad. Puck counter-attacked, leaping to meet the falling attacker - and transporting both of them to the Astral plane. The half-demon's attack didn't halt, brutalizing the boy's back.

...and there, in the inbetween plane, Puck saw, in person, the terrifying visage that so haunted the dreams of sleepers inside the Broken Dagger's walls.

Puck fled back to the material plane, without the clone; dying, he told Xue what he saw -
"There were two of them. A creature, and a master..." The boy died in Xue's small arms as she was moving to take him to the Edificium. The centaur had left, leaving Sill to fend for herself.

It, however, would not be denied this eve; a new creature had spawned, significantly larger than Jirai or Ignas. It was a mighty Orc - one that only a few here would recognize as the mighty Zog from the Red Skull tribe. She swept up the internally bleeding gypsy with her thick arms and hauled her away into the kitchen - once again met with Xue's savagery.

But it would be in vain; the Orc made the damned march into the Dagger's cellar all the while flesh was stripped away like a fruit's peel, while eyes were gouged and crushed, oozing freely down torn cheeks. Skin and kidney alike were ripped away and muscles were sawed apart as Xue valiantly tried to stop them.

Zog-clone touched down on the cellar's floor and fell forward, sinking into the ground. Like quicksand, it began churning to accept them - all three, had Xue not fled at the last moment.

* * *

Beneath the earth, there was no calm. The lack of blood, the lack of oxygen all with the shock of being buried alive - It pressed Itself into the mind of the gypsy in her last moments, like some terrible nightmare that actually would kill her.

One might argue that Sill still lived on through It; few would say as much in a good light.
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From Beginning to End

Postby Rattrap » Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:48 pm

When Neimad, the old dark wizard that recent stalked around the Broken Dagger, came forth from the Dagger's cellar he was in a particularly bad state - mentally, physically. Energetically. He had just waged a silent, yet epic battle of sorts; two evils clashed, and though he were the worst, all but perhaps Ignas Demonsbane would have cheered for him over It.

Why? His was a human conciousness. Known, understandable, at least; It appeared to be mindless, and always violent.

But It only acted to exist, like every other entity in existence.

The betrayel had no emotion. Neimad was simply another meal, though one that brought terrible power, bringing It under his will, instead of Its will feeding upon the dark wizard. And so they had remained for some time; long enough to convince many above that It was his pet. The truth is that It was a freak of violent nature. An inevitable spawn when so much blood is shed in one place.

It did not hate the old man. Not when the dark wizard sought control; not when It turned on Neimad. Not when Neimad fought and ultimately destroyed it. Hate was an emotion that belonged to the people It had consumed; It didn't own any for itself. Like most everything else, It died with little understanding of Its own existence, other than that It existed.

It is a small irony, perhaps, that It followed the footsteps of the vampire who inevitably and unknowingly contributed to Its existence - killed, not in a huge battle against stalwart defenders of the peace or the Broken Dagger, but by the only individual who understood It better than any other.

There was no cry of triumph. No trumpets or fireworks. No gleaming beams of light radiating from anywhere. The Dagger did change, though; the presence that was ever lingering no longer lingered. The nightmares no longer came of from external sources.

The wooden floors of the Broken Dagger shuddered quietly, surging with the sudden release of all the built-up energy that comprised of It. Releasing Its conciousness, the death and the blood. Neimad left the tavern with only a minor confrontation from Ignas.

There was peace.
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Postby Civet » Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:19 am

And so no longer is there a self-cleaning floor in the Dagger.
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Postby Glenn » Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:09 am

Four years later:

Blood stains spotted the floorboards of the Broken Dagger. Glenn Burnie, recently returned from his time in Underdark knew so many of the stains well. So many were his own, after all. The Dagger was sparsely populated these days. Myrken was in the midst of a recovery, partially fueled by the discord in Heath and partially by a surprising political stability. The once mapmaker wore an everpresent smile these days, surely a sign of the good times to come.

Since his return, he had been using a cane, tapping it upon those self same floorboards to get around. Obviously, after a while, one began to note the hollow sounds. An inquiry followed, and the history of the cellar was made wholly apparent to him. People had, for very good reason, stayed clear of the area ever since the unpleasantness of a few years before. That was more caution and superstition than anything else, of course. It was boarded up, abandoned. So, in this lean time for the tavern, when patrons were few and far between, Burnie set about a few men to work. A tunnel was built. A separate entrance created quite a bit away from the Dagger itself. Insulation was installed to dull the noise from below to the tavern-goers above. It was, quite simply, the last place anyone would ever look for anything, therefore ideal for a number of projects to come.

----
Over a year after the work was completed, one of those projects was in full bloom. Candles were strewn across the cellar. Some makeshift decorations had been put up. A few tables and chairs were distributed, and a curtain separated the area, with something surely mysterious hidden behind it. It was not a large space, necessarily, but they were making the best of it. Upon one of those small tables was a rather nice double layer cake with an ornate C planted on top. And to one side was another curtain-covered object, this one far smaller and supported by a wooden stand of sorts.

Catch had been brought into the chamber, blindfolded, after a long walk around Myrken. When the blindfold was fimally removed, before the madman's eyes would unfold the birthday party in his honor, though only Rhaena Olwak was in plain sight along with Burnie. The two soft but occasionally bickering voices from behind the curtain were explained to be members of Burnie's staff, one of them being a man Catch had met earlier in the night. Excuses had been made to explain away why others, such as Genny, were not there. They had JUST discovered this date in their records, and there was so little time to put it together. It was not a wholly convincing explanation, but then there were presents and cake and a surprise to be had, so Catch had not seemed to mind too much.

In fact, the order for the party was to be the present, then the surprise, and then the cake, with festivities beginning quite promptly. Burnie walked across the room and placed the present upon Catch's lap. It was a conical object that rattled somewhat in the transfer. There was obviously something inside, for the word "Temperance" emanated from within the gift, repeated twice in a very strange approximation of a human voice.

Catch's hesitation, over Genny, over the entire situation, over some discomfit associated with the C upon the cake, gave way to the anticipation of what was in front of him. He tugged away the shroud, revealing nothing less than a hardy red and green parrot upon a perch staring right back at him. "Temperance!" It squawked once again.

Burnie gave the scene a little smile. "I do think it says other things, but I haven't quite managed it yet. Parrots don't like me apparently." Most animals didn't like Glenn Burnie anymore, if they ever had in the first place. It might be an effort keeping the thing alive in such a cold climate as well, but Catch was more than up to the task. He could CHEAT after all. Best not to mention that though.
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