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Froggy the Great

The Crown of Alice

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Legal statement: The Crown of Alice is written by Kevin Anderson and Lanse Tryon and is © the same. Savage Worlds is a trademark of Pinnale Entertainment Group and is © them. Alice in Wonderland, Alice through the looking Glass, and The Hunting of the Snark are by Lewis Carroll, and are in the public domain. Wonderland No More is a Savage Worlds setting being written by Kevin Anderson and Lanse Tryon, is © them, and is derivative of the works of Lewis Carroll.

 

This game is being played out in e-mail, and new turns are posted in this thread for observers to enjoy.

 

 

 

THE CROWN OF ALICE - TURN 1

 

Drifting through the mist...

 

Tumbling down the hole...

 

Two crossed arms, their hands clenched in fists...

 

Falling...

 

After such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs!

 

...I wonder if I shall fall right through the earth! How funny it'll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downward! The Antipathies, I think—"

 

Suddenly, thump! thump! down you come, and your reverie ends upon a heap of sticks and dry leaves. You are not a bit hurt, and you jump up on to her feet in a moment: you looked up, but it is all dark overhead; before you is a door, which you open and step through.

 

With you step out five others. Including yourself, the gaggle contains a walking frog in a dignified welchet, two Tweedle, a tallish ferret with a knapsack and rapier, a perambulatory sunflower with a knapsack and double-barreled shotgun, and a white pawn. This is all perfectly normal, and you could swear you know them all.

 

You find yourself in a large hallway with a red-tiled floor and wood-paneled walls. Oil lamps hung from the ceiling light the area. Doors of all shapes and sizes are arrayed around the hallway with curtains and wall hangings interspersed amongst them.

 

Before you have time to look around further, you hear a cry of "There's more of them!" and you see eleven people staring at you. They are all flat, shaped like playing cards with heads and limbs. On their chests you can see club symbols; 10 of them are 3 of Clubs and their leader is a 6 of clubs.

 

"Git 'em, lads!" yells the 6 of Clubs, and, brandishing their halberds and fumbling with revolvers, they charge.

 

TCoA-Turn1.jpg

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THE CROWN OF ALICE - TURN 2

Wheeling his enormous bulk to face his twin Tweedle Dan, Tweedle Bob’s face is a shade of crimson that one would naturally assume to be unsafe in any living being; much less one so large.

 

“I told you that was the wrong door, you bumbling OAF!!” he yells, the buttons on his mustard yellow trousers quivering and threatening to blow at each syllable; the knot of his narrow black tie digging ever deeper into the folds of flesh in his thick neck. “But NO, you wouldn’t listen to me would you?? I said that we should pick any other door than this one and now look at the trouble that we’re in!! Well fine, just remember it’s ALL YOUR FAULT!! And if I get a scratch or a dent in my new sword or shield, I’m going to be REALLY ANGRY!!”

 

"My dear brother," exclaims Tweedle Dan as the enemy charges, "Had you merely listened to me back when we..." he falters a moment. "When we what? I don't remember." Head down, he mutters "'tsyerownstupidfaultanyway...."

 

Grolps the bipedal frog looks with surprise at the group of cards as his tongue flicks quickly into the space before him. "Indeed!" he remarks and lifts his rake a few times. It's an odd item for a frog to carry, no doubt, but the item seems somehow at home with the frog's well made but slightly worn leather boots, wool pants and tweed jacket.

 

Stan turns towards the offending cards, a wide smile on his face contrasting to the double barreled shotgun casually carried in his leafy arms. Curious as to what has prompted such a rude and bitter attack he points the gun towards the tightest grouping of clubs and remarks. "Don't go away mad, just go away," and then pulls the trigger careful that these strangely familiar people are not in the way. Why are they here? Why is he here? How many doors are there? How long would it take to count the number of tiles in the hall? These and a myriad of other questions run through his head as he cheerfully suppresses the attackers.

 

Stan's shotgun blast strikes the nearest 3 of Clubs full in the chest. The card drops his weapons and falls to the ground screaming. The screaming stops as the red pool beneath him grows ever larger.

 

As their comrade falls, the 3s of Clubs charge. Two move to the wall (A7,B7) and fire their revolvers at Grolps. One misses completely, but one comes perilously close to hitting (would have wounded, but spent a benny to soak it) as Grolps moves, seemingly in bullet-time to avoid it.

 

Two of the soldiers run up to Stan (E12,F12), halberds out at the ready, but are unable to strike him, having run too far. Three soldiers charge Percival (C10,D9,E9) and strike at him with their halberds. Only the nearest one scores a hit, and Percival is easily able to avoid the glancing blow. The rest of the soldiers rush towards the battle, only one of them (A12) able to reach anyone, though he is too out of breath to stroke at Grolps.

 

The 6 of clubs carefully steps around the combat, and coolly fires off a revolver shot at Sallah, which strikes her square in the chest. Sallah falls to the ground as the bullet splinters her fine white enamel. (wounded, spent a benny, failed the soak roll)

 

Tweedle Dan whips out his umbrella and screams "Not the froggy! Not the froggy! Oh, forever not the froggy! I'm REALLY ANGRY NOW!" as he steps up and completely skewers the 3 of clubs menacing Grolps. The umbrella punches through the thin cardstock of the card, who staggers back against the wall, aghast at the hole through his chest. He slumps back against the wall and falls sideways to the floor, leaving the wall behind him stained red.

 

Seeing the others are not intent on running or negotiating, Grolps quickly passes his rake to his left hand and crouches a tad. He extends his right palm and begins to focus the arcane energy around him. Drums beat from nowhere, and with an offstage 'hurrah!', imaginary volleys of arrows fly towards three of the cards, striking true on all three. One card staggers back (A7), the second falls to the ground with a rapidly-fading ghostly arrow through his chest. The third brushes off the multitude of ghostly pinpricks like so many flies.

 

Percival strikes with his rapier at the shaken card (E12) and dispatches it neatly, before turning and slapping the other card (C10) silly with the flat of his blade.

 

Tweedle Bob lumbers up to assist Stan, and cuts a soldier across the face. The soldier staggers back.

 

"Oh My!" exclaims the White Pawn, as she (for some reason "she" seems appropriate; perhaps the dainty legs?) unsteadily gets to her feet. "I do say this is Quite unexpected!"

 

Status:

Grolps - 2 bennies left, 12 power points left, unwounded

Percival - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Sallah - 2 bennies left, 10 power points left, 1 wound

Stan - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Dan - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Bob - 3 bennies left, unwounded

 

TCoA-Turn2.jpg

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THE CROWN OF ALICE - TURN 3

 

“I can hear your muttering, my dear brother, and I must insist on it being your fault.” Tweedle Bob replies sternly. “Besides you know how it infuriates me so when you do not enunciate!!” He lumbers ahead and attacks the 3 of Clubs at F10 with a powerful swing of his sword. It is a powerful swing indeed. The soldier's opinion of the matter is "Hurrk!" delivered as he slumps to the ground in a pool of his own blood.

 

"No it's not", Tweedle Dan cuts his brother short, quickly losing his temper and showering his twin in spittle in the process. "AND besides, you do not even KNOW what 'enunciate' MEANS!". He charges forwards, his face an angry purple, holding the umbrella as if it were a knight's lance and taking care to step right on the nose of the card soldier his bother has just downed. His target (G12) is most impressed and bewildered by the Tweedle's astounding umbrallamanship, and gets batted upside the head for his trouble.

 

Grolps meanwhile turns to his Tweedle rescuer for a nod of thanks and quickly realizes that the pawn is in trouble.

 

"Shooting at Pawns are we? I'll have nothing of sort!," he exclaims. Moving back and to her side, he again calls on the arcane energies, this time focusing intently on the 6 of clubs. Drums roll, and with the sound of charging cavalry, the 6 of clubs is slammed the ground as hoof print-shaped wounds in his chest start bleeding profusely. (3 wounds total) He struggles to regain his feet, but is not able to muster the gumption.

 

Sallah, seeing her rescue, steps next to her rescuer, all the while chewing something stringy with far too many legs. She hiccups, and a glutinous mist escapes her mouth and settles over the thrashing captain, pinning him to the floor. (Entangle, 2 pp)

 

"Is that the best you can do?" Percival yells at the cards, "maybe if you had a heart in your bunch you'd do better." He steps forward and stabs at the card in front of him (E9). The card staggers back as Percival, in the same motion, stabs at the card in D9, missing completely.

 

A couple of the 3s of clubs manage to come to their senses. They and their surviving companion give a rousing shout of "For the Queen!" and charge. One slips past Percival's guard and strikes a blow at Tweedle Bob, which misses. Another swings at Stan, also missing. The third lands a blow on Percival, but fails to do more than ruffle his fur.

 

Seeing the dexterous streak of fur slip in behind the grumpy club (F12) Stan happily cheers Percival on. "Excellent shot my furry friend, I never knew that they had such a soft spot for sharp objects.", then gleefully charging the 6 of clubs striking at him with his dagger. "poke poke poke." This is enough to send the 6 of clubs into unconsciousness. After all, what's one more artery at this point?

 

TCoA-Turn3.jpg

 

Initiative order and status for next round:

Tweedle Dan - 3 bennies left, unwounded

3s of Clubs

Grolps - 2 bennies left, 9/15 power points left, unwounded

Stan - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Sallah - 2 bennies left, 13/15 power points left, 1 wound

6 of Clubs

Percival - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Bob - 3 bennies left, unwounded

 

GM – 4 bennies left, unwounded

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THE CROWN OF ALICE - TURN 4

 

"How DARE you!" shouts Tweedle Dan, rushing to face the offender, pointing his umbrella like a fencer, with a murderous light in his small, pig-like eyes. "No one but ME gets to fight my brother! IS-THAT-CLEAR?"

 

He suddenly opens the umbrella and swirls it with a flourish in front of himself. "TOBEORNOTTOBETHISISTHEQUESTION!" he roars, and as the perplexed card soldier stares at him - maybe wondering if that was some kind of arcane formula - he kicks him in the groin and bows slightly to Bob, signaling him to finish off the 3.

 

"Thank you, dear brother" Bob replies. "I'll consider that an apology for leading us into this grievous situation." He lines up on the bent over card as if preparing for a croquet shot and swings his sword mallet-like at the injured soldier. With a disheartening crack, the card falls to the ground with a smashed pelvis, having passed out immediately. Whether or not it is dead, children are certainly no longer in its future.

 

Two of the 3s of Clubs pull themselves together and rush at the Tweedle. One (10C)swings at Tweedle Bob with his polearm, striking him about the noggin and leaving him dazed. The other, as well as the club at 12F, strike at Tweedle Dan. One misses, but the other lands a blow upside Tweedle Dan's head with the butt of his halberd, leaving the Tweedle shaken. The last remaining 3 of Clubs takes a swing at Percival, who easily evades it.

 

Grolps nods satisfactorily as his tongue darts quickly forward. He then cranes his neck around Sallah to better measure the battle. With gangly legs and a tug on his welchet, he steps around her to engage the 3 at Dan's side (12F). The 3 of Clubs blocks Grolps's rake with a halberd-butt and a sneer.

 

Smiling while watching the Tweedle banter, Stan places a root on the 6's chest to make sure he stays put, seeing as he is likely to be able to answer some of the questions troubling Stan. "If anyone will know how many tiles are in this hall it's sure to be him." Stan's dagger never leaves a defensive position however because some of the clubs have retained their grumpy demeanor despite all the fun.

 

Sallah spins daintily out of Grolps' way, to D13. As she does, she releases, at just the right moment, a hard flat biscuit in the direction of the shaken 3's forehead at C10. The cake crumbles in her grasp, however, and falls to the ground. (Critical failure, spent a benny to reroll, another failure, but not a critical)

 

Percival points his rapier at the 3 in front of him," I would suggest the you impale yourself and save me some time, you know your no match for me." he says to the card, looking down at him over his nose as only a weasel can do. "Ah, too late," he says as he opens up with a flurry of blade work on the club. His first attack swings wild, but his second stabs through the club's shoulder and knocks the club to his cardstock patootie.

 

TCoA-Turn4.jpg

 

Status and initiative order for next round:

Tweedle Dan - 3 bennies left, unwounded, Shaken

3s of Clubs

Grolps - 2 bennies left, 9/15 power points left, unwounded

Sallah - 1 benny left, 11/15 power points left, 1 wound

Percival - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Stan - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Bob - 3 bennies left, unwounded, Shaken

GM – 3 bennies left, unwounded

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THE CROWN OF ALICE - TURN 5

 

"NOT FAIR!" shouts Tweedle Dan, outraged at the sheer injustice of it all - not so much for the two foes ganging up against him, mind you, as for the fact that the cards seem inexplicably unwilling to let him have a bit of fun by killing them. He closes the umbrella, grabs it by the blood-stained point, and does a complete 360-degrees spin on himself, trying to knock both the opponents with the handle. "Hee hee... I clubbed the clubs!" he chortles in his joy as both clubs fall to their cardstock patooties. Then he gasps as he realizes how close he came to dropping his brother as well (caused two wounds, spent a benny, soaked them both)and Sallah is also sitting dazed with an umbrella-shaped dent in her noggin.

 

Stumbling a bit and shaking his head to clear it, Bob moans, "My stars, I'm seeing stars!"

 

"Ruffian!" Grolps answers in response to the 3's (11I) sneer. He then cocks his head back and attempts to deliver a vigorous blow with his large, muscular tongue. Coming on the heels of the vicious umbrella, Grolps finds that the card falls over senseless at the merest lick.

 

"Ah, wrong one." Sallah frowns (you think) at the biscuit, while clambering to her feet again. She instead draws a dagger, coats it quickly with what appears to be olive oil, and leaps head first at the 3 nearest her (D12). "Aioli!" She knocks him to the ground and stabs him with the dagger. The card screams his last, and his body rapidly shrinks to the size of a thimble.

 

"You're a stubborn bodger, ain't you," Percival says to the club. Gingerly tossing his rapier down, he leaps onto the hapless card. He then tears into the card with his claws. His attack is successful, and the end result is that he literally rips the card a new one.

 

The remaining 3 of clubs grimaces a little at the fate of his comrade, but nevertheless he screams "FOR THE QUEEN!" and rushes at the ferret...doing absolutely nothing in the way of hits. In fact, he trips and falls on his halberd and doesn't get up again.

 

Beginning to really enjoy the swirling melee all about Stan begins cheering on his ever so familiar friends "Woo hoo. Deal those cards out of the game. You can do it." His root never strays from the downed 6 for if he gets away then who ill answer his ponderous questions.

 

The 6 of clubs does not appear to be conscious. As the noise of battle dies down, the webs holding him to the floor start to thin and melt away into mist. The 6 of clubs does not wake up, at least not yet.

 

Status after combat:

Grolps - 2 bennies left, 9/15 power points left, unwounded

Percival - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Sallah - 1 benny left, 11/15 power points left, 1 wound

Stan - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Bob - 2 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Dan - 1 benny left, unwounded

GM – 3 bennies left, unwounded

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THE CROWN OF ALICE - TURN 6

 

"Ooops..." mutters Tweedle Dan, quickly hiding the umbrella behind his back. "Didn't mean to hurt you, madam, not at all!" He kneels beside the pawn, grabs her little white wrist into his beefy fist and eagerly presses his huge, moist lips on her fingers, trying to act chivalrous. "That was a pretty neat trick you did with the centipede, you know? Sticking it into your mouth and all. Er..." He frowns, finding no sign of any orifice resembling a mouth on the chess piece's white head.

 

"Dear brother," Tweedle Bob say groggily, "I must disagree with your choice for method of attack. If that umbrella wasn't so effective at scaring away nasty blackbirds, I do think that I would forcibly have the hideous thing destroyed!"

 

"Nonsense!" rejoinders Tweedle Dan, still holding Sallah's hand. "It's useful for loads of things - such as, uhm, picking up dead leaves." He demonstrates by stabbing through a dead card's body and rising it slightly off the ground. "And not getting all wet when it rains, see? But it's true that we might do with some shiny new weapons, now that you mention it..." he says, looking hungrily at the fallen soldiers' halberds.

 

"Contrariwise, dear brother," Tweedle Bob responds haughtily, "it has also been proved to beat ones comrades heartily upon the noggin'!"

 

Sallah scowls at Tweedle Dan. "You should Watch where you put that Thing." She feels the dent in her head and sighs. "If you would repair the damage, I would not refuse, although I am capable of doing so as well. Does anyone know What is going on?" Perhaps we should awaken this Miscreant?" She glances at the 6 of clubs.

 

Grolps stoops to brush non-existent dirt from his trousers and again straightens his coat. Turning back to Sallah, he says "You are hurt, with your permission might I be so bold as to heal your wound?" He takes a closer look at the damage as his tongue flicks once to clean his left eye.

 

Turning to the white pawn, Tweedle Bob butts in. "If I may interject, and since I am doing so then I assume that I may, when it comes to repairs there are none who surpass my talents."

 

"Indeed, then, I would welcome your assistance." Sallah draws out a repair kit. "The whole thing really is Quite odd. I cannot seem to recall Precisely how I arrived here."

 

"Apologies," Grolps says humbly. "I have overstepped myself." He turns to the others then looks around the hall with no small amount of confusion.

 

Percival gets up off the downed card, looks at the card fallen on his own halberd and shrugs. He looks down at the dead card below him and says to it, "See it could have been that quick for you too." Percival picks up his rapier and sheaths it. He then looks himself over brushes a few bits of card off himself, and straightens and smooths his coat out. He then checks the cards other than the 6 to see if any of them might have a spark of life in them. The 6 of Clubs is the only card that is still breathing. Percival is then joined by Grolps.

 

"I should like to know where we are and more so why these ... cards believe we are 'more of them.' Highly irregular."Grolps scatters any weapons with the butt of his rake on or near the 6 and then places a spindly-fingered hand over the largest of his wounds.

 

"I will revive him. Do be prepared to hold him down, what?" With an eerie background changing, the worst of the 6 of clubs' wounds closes under Grolps's hand.

 

Stan holds the 6 of clubs gently but firmly and begins shaking him. Slowly at first but a bit quicker each time. "How long is this hall? How many tiles are there in it? What made you so grumpy? If all the flowers in the garden were lined up in a row could they fit in here?" Each question beginning to run into the next.

 

The 6 of Clubs struggles wildly but feebly, unable to break Stan's chlorophyllic grip. "Ruffians, knaves! Unhand me, or the Queen shall hear of this! You're with those chesspeices of course, why else would you reinforce them as they flee? Answer me that, Hmm? Well? Will you compound your treachery to the Crown of Hearts and end up like your slain ally?"

 

Status:

Grolps - 2 bennies left, 6/15 power points left, unwounded

Percival - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Sallah - 1 benny left, 11/15 power points left, unwounded

Stan - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Bob - 2 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Dan - 1 benny left, unwounded

GM – 3 bennies left, unwounded

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THE CROWN OF ALICE - TURN 7

 

Tweedle Dan continues his tirade. "And would you by any chance care to explain, brother dearest, where else should we have gone if not through this door? We fell down, somehow - for A LONG WAY, that's all I remember but I remember it quite clearly. A way long enough that climbing up again would be out of question, especially considering how much weight you've been putting on lately!"

 

Disgusted, Dan strides away and - since everything indicates that looting the dead cards' weapons will have to be postponed - he reaches the two Anthro and sulkily stands by them, watching as they interrogate the surviving soldier.

 

Seeing the the swashbuckling amphibian had brought back the 6 of Clubs Stan slowed the shaking retaining his firm grip. "I'm not a knave," Stan said smiling broadly. "I haven't stolen any tarts silly card. Now the Queen of course deserves our respect seeing as its not easy being royalty or anything but of course if she needs informed of anything its of just how rude you are to her subjects. The only chess piece I know is the white one over there although I'm not sure how I know her I just do but that's ok because we all need more friends. You know if you had more friends then you might not be so grumpy," Stan rattled on flashing a grin to his new found friends. "And you really shouldn't ask to be unhanded. How would you open doors or scratch your head if we unhanded you? Not a very sensible request if you ask me."

 

"Indeed, this card shall keep his hands despite the unseemly request," Grolps announces to the group. "Now then Sir, we must apologize for capturing your cards in such a ... wasteful manner, but you gave us little choice. All the same, where exactly are we and in what manner were we to reinforce the afore mentioned chess pieces? Did you attack them as well?" Pausing for a moment, he adds "We should very much like to see the garden after your answers. Do hurry with them please."

 

Percival looks distinctly disappointed at the announcement that the card would not be unhanded. "Now that we have a moment, how do I know you," he says addressing no one in particular. Looking at the card he bares his teeth and says "Hurry and answer."

 

"...eeble" opines the 6 of Clubs and passes out again.

 

Percival leans over and smacks the card not quite gently in an attempt to reawaken him. "What a disgrace, fainting under questioning."

 

Meanwhile, Tweedle Bob notices a crumpled form in the far end of the hall, about a hundred feet away. He looks up from his work on the injured pawn's shoulder. "Dear brother, would you be so kind as to check out that lump on the floor over there??" he says distractedly, nodding to the crumpled form on the floor.

 

Sallah looks down at the Tweedle's handiwork. "Very fine, I must say. Thank you." When he is finished, she goes to explore the rest of the hall, to see if there is anything else, such as doors or the like, to discover. Indeed, the hall is full of doors. This is why it is called, she remembers, The Hall Of Doors.

 

"Lump? Where...? Oh!" mutters Tweedle Dan, already bored with the stupid card who won't answer even a few elementary questions, and secretly hoping to find something interesting to pocket away for himself. "Sure, let's see..." he says, prodding the mysterious lump with the umbrella.

 

The lump turns out to be a red Pawn, and quite a dead red Pawn at that. It appears to have been killed by several blows from a halberd.

 

Grolps looks down at the unconscious 6 and shakes his head. Quite rude really," he says. "We spare his life and save his hands, and all this after he has ordered an attack on us, and the best he can manage is pass out again. One should expect more of an officer."

 

With no small amount of disgust, the frog moves away from the card and looks around again. "I would very much like to know where we are and why we are here."

 

Just noticing the expired chess piece Grolps runs to its side to see if there is anything he can do to help. Sadly however, the Red Pawn is beyond all aid, though Grolps does notice a trail of blood leading to one of the doors nearby.

 

Status:

Grolps - 2 bennies left, 6/15 power points left, unwounded

Percival - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Sallah - 1 benny left, 11/15 power points left, 1 wound

Stan - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Bob - 2 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Dan - 1 benny left, unwounded

GM – 3 bennies left, unwounded

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THE CROWN OF ALICE - TURN 8

 

Stan decides to stay with the card just in case he rouses again whilst the others examine the lump. His thoughts drift to wondering just how he knows these people. Where he's met them before. Idly he ejects the single spend shell and loads another while whistling happily.

 

"Oh how Very interesting! I do think that, don't you? Here is a Red pawn, and here I am a White pawn, and the cards thought we Both to be working against the Queen! I wonder which Queen they meant? Do ask him if he is Gracious enough to Awaken again. Should we see what is behind this Door?"

 

Percival looks at the card on the floor. "This guys not going to be much help, someone behead him. Save the queen the trouble." He wanders over to the dead pawn, looks at Dan and says,"You really shouldn't stoop to scrounging, it not becoming."

 

"I'm not scrounging!" Dan answers in a virtuous tone. "I'm looking for clues! And you all should really thank me, since I'm doing this for the greater good of everyone involved, despite the creepy nature of the task. And you know what a sensible soul I am!"

 

Grolps looks down at the expired chess piece and shakes his head. "I should very much like to know why we are all here. Like many of you, my oldest short-term memory is of an extended fall. Yet if I were pressed, I'm quite sure I could not offer a reason for the fall. And worse, I our actions although quite warranted will now put us at odds with any number of authorities. If I may be so bold, might I suggest we leave this area as quickly as possible? We may bring the captured six with us, but we any other artifacts of this particular encounter might prove troublesome in the future?" With that he swallows in a particularly audible fashion and cleans his right eye with his tongue.

 

Tweedle Dan scratches his head, puzzled. "Do chess pieces actually bleed?" he asks to no one in particular. "Because, seeing how my most beloved brother just disassembled a pawn's shoulder, one is left wondering..."

 

"Well, no of Course not, we Splinter and Shatter, or Flake a little but we do Not bleed." Since no one seems to offer an opinion, and her Curiosity is getting the best of her, Sallah opens the door whither the blood trail leads and peers through cautiously.

Percival rushes up to peer through the now open door; standing on the opposite side from Sallah. Glancing up at Sallah he mutters, "I still wonder where I know you from..."

 

"Here we are opening doors again," Tweedle Bob pipes in then announces robustly, "I would like to have it on clear record that the decision to open and proceed through this door is not one that was made by me and I will accept no fault of the consequences." He then lumbers over to the doorway and attempts to peer through, nearly knocked the others through in the process. The door opens onto a wooded area lit by sunlight filtered through the treetops. The blood trail continues into the undergrowth away from the hall.

 

 

Status:

Grolps - 2 bennies left, 6/15 power points left, unwounded

Percival - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Sallah - 1 benny left, 11/15 power points left, unwounded

Stan - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Bob - 2 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Dan - 1 benny left, unwounded

GM – 3 bennies left, unwounded

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THE CROWN OF ALICE - TURN 9

 

Sallah steps quickly away from the lumbering Tweedle. "Well, dear Percy - may I call you Percy? - I'm really sure I don't know Where we might have met. But I do say you also seem familiar. Nonetheless! I say this woods does look Inviting. Shall we follow? Are we bringing the 6 or not?"

 

"Let us follow the trail then and leave this place before their reinforcements arrive, what?" Grolps says, peering over the forward-most Tweedle (he's still not sure which is which).

 

"Contrariwise," Tweedle Dan says thoughtfully, "if we stayed here and ran around in circles so fast that they couldn't catch us, the reinforcements may easily just give up and leave us alone."

 

Grabbing the 6 and slinging him over his shoulder Stan bounds forward. "What's through the door? Are there more cards? Or at least someone who isn't quite as grumpy? I'm Stan," Stan says sticking out one leafy hand then the other alternating as he tries to shake hands and keep the 6 from slipping off his shoulder. "I think we should find some more pawns too. I bet if we talked to the pawns and cards both we might find out who is one who's side, then we could straighten it all out and stop all this nasty behavior."

 

"Pleased to meet you, err, reacquaint with you?" Percival replies to Stan, "Percival, or Percy how ever you care to address me." Percival looks through the door one more time to ensure there is no immediate threat and steps through the door into the woods. He looks back in the direction of the door to see what manner of edifice from which he had just egressed.

 

From outside, the Hall of Doors is long and vaulted, though it seems to be larger on the inside than it appears on the out. It's a rich redwood and granite building, and the forest grows almost up to its walls. The door here opens to a fairly well-traveled path, though the blood trail goes into the undergrowth to the side.

 

 

Status:

Grolps - 2 bennies left, 6/15 power points left, unwounded

Percival - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Sallah - 1 benny left, 11/15 power points left, unwounded

Stan - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Bob - 2 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Dan - 1 benny left, unwounded

GM – 3 bennies left, unwounded

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THE CROWN OF ALICE - TURN 10

 

"As it seems that my suggestion will not be heeded," Tweedle Bob says haughtily, "I would like to reiterate that I had nothing at all to do with the decision! Come along, Brother dear." With that and without waiting for anyone else he heaves his ponderous bulk through the door to follow after the weasel.

 

Percival points at the blood trail, "It goes this way he says." Stating the obvious." Come on, we don't know how much of a head start our quarry has." He draws his rapier, and using it machete-wise, starts into the brush.

 

Stan follows Percy through the door and into the underbrush scanning all the vegetation to see if there is anyone else he knows here.

 

"Sure, just let me find a way to carry this poor thing out there..." Dan says, struggling to pick up the dead pawn and then advancing with difficulty, hufffing and puffing and wobbling dangerously. As soon as he's out, he unceremoniously drops the chess piece. "We're burying it right here, or not at all!", he states resolutely.

 

Too concerned with recent events, Grolps does not go out of his way to introduce himself or comment on the situation. "What say we follow this trail as quickly as possible?"

 

"Indeed, let us!" Sallah agrees.

 

The blood trail continues through the forest for a number of yards...it's distressingly easy to follow, actually. It's a foot or so off the ground in most places.

 

Just before it looks like there might be a clearing, everyone hears rustling up ahead, and a loud warning "SQUEAK!" from the clearing.

 

"This blood trail is distressingly easy to follow, is it not?" Grolps asks. After hearing the squeak, he stops. Clearing his throat and straightening his welchet, the anthro amphibian offers, "Allo there, we mean no harm... Are you hurt?"

 

"It does appear that someone is hurt." Bob states. "For a moment I thought that my dear brother must have stumbled and fallen on the poor little weasel fellow. However, since everyone is still standing, that must not be the case!"

 

"I feel compelled to express how deeply hurt I am by your lack of trust in my ability to keep my balance", Dan remarks, getting into yet another of his frequent huffs. "I don't think I have done anything to deserve it. Actually, I was balancing quite well even when carrying this poor red pawn - and by the way, I'm all for giving it a decent burial, yet if there's someone still alive around here, I guess we should check it first... After all, I doubt something would want to try eating a deceased chess piece. Well, maybe a woodworm, but..." He rejoins the others, prattling unremittingly.

 

"My dear Tweedle, perhaps if you could give a moment of Quiet, we might hear if whatever it is should Answer the Inquiry as to its health." Sallah listens again for whatever squeaked.

 

"Contrariwise," Bob responds indignantly,"if we're too quiet, whatever it is may think that we have gone and not make another noise altogether!" He folds his arms and assumes a haughty, defiant position thrusting his large belly out even farther than normal in an attempt at being intimidating.

 

The underbrush rustles, and a gigantic mouse, easily ten feet high at the shoulder, bursts in on the party, scattering trees, birds, rocks, etc. in its way.

 

"SQUEEEEEEEEK!" it roars, and sinks its teeth into Tweedle Bob, spraying blood everywhere and throwing the hapless Tweedle into a nearby tree (Three wounds, spent a benny to soak two)

 

Initiative order for this round of combat:

Sallah, Stan, Grolps, Percival, Enormouse, Tweedle Bob, Tweedle Dan

 

Status:

Grolps - 2 bennies left, 6/15 power points left, unwounded

Percival - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Sallah - 1 benny left, 11/15 power points left, unwounded

Stan - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Bob - a benny left, 1 wound, Shaken

Tweedle Dan - 1 benny left, unwounded

GM – 3 bennies left, unwounded

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THE CROWN OF ALICE - TURN 11

 

"NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Dan shouts, falling on his knees and sinking his face in his beefy hands. "Why, oh why, did you have to die, brother of mine? You know I loved you dearly, although you were sometimes so utterly unreasonable - actually, I daresay so stubborn and foolish... And dumb, sure, but yet..." he rants on in a melodramatic crescendo, totally oblivious to the fact that his twin is actually very much alive and kicking.

 

"Bad mousie!" Sallah scolds sternly. "No biting the Tweedle!" With that, she takes a quick piece of chewy substance, and lobs it at the mouse's muzzle to keep it from biting again. The enormouse is taken aback as his jaws are stuck shut by the chewy mass.

 

Quickly taking aim at the huge rodent Stan unleashes a double blast from his shotgun, unceremoniously dropping the 6 of clubs from his shoulder as he attempts to remove the beast's head from its shoulders making sure that the rest of the party was clear of the much larger target. "That's no way to treat my friend," Stand shouts as he fires. The blasts slam into the enormouse, already distracted by the ballistic chewing gum, and it falls back on its haunches and shakes its head to clear the stars.

 

Completely at a loss for words, Grolps quickly steps back and once again calls forth the arcane powers of Conflict to thwart the evil little Enormouse. Two flights of arrows metaphysically leap from his hand towards the enormouse, but falter and fade. The third flight flies true with a HURRAH! and slams into the mouse. Though its fur runs red at the point of impact, it seems to only make it angrier.

 

Percival frowns at the mouse, "Squeek is not a very articulate challenge, you should try something more like 'Have at thee.'" He then proceeds to attempt to skewer the rodent with his rapier. His first lunge falls short, but he connects with his second jab. Though his blade sinks deep into the enormouse's flesh, it does not seem to stop it.

 

The Enormouse rolls back to all fours, and with a mighty effort wrenches its jaws free of the goop. Snarling with rage, it bears down on Percival with its massive jaws. Blood sprays, bones snap, and Percival falls to the ground in a bloody heap (8 wounds, spent two bennies, managed to soak 4 wounds with the last one.)

 

"Oh, my dear head," Tweedle Bob mumbles, stumbling around and clutching his noggin after making it back to his feet. "Why must you people insist on continuously beating me so severely about the head?!?!"

 

Status:

Grolps - 2 bennies left, 3/15 power points left, unwounded

Sallah - 1 benny left, 9/15 power points left, unwounded

Stan - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Bob - a benny left, 1 wound

Tweedle Dan - 1 benny left, unwounded

Enormouse - 1 benny left, unwounded

GM – 2 bennies left, unwounded

 

Percival - 1 benny left, Mortally Wounded, right arm mangled(non-permanent) He made the vigor roll to survive till next round, but if he is not aided and fails a vigor roll at -3, he will die. I'm saving his last benny for that roll if he needs it.

 

Initiative order for next round:

Stan, Sallah, Tweedle Dan, Tweedle Bob, Grolps, Enormouse

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THE CROWN OF ALICE - TURN 12

 

Realizing there is no time to reload, Stan Leaps to the attack with his knife. "Luck be with me," He shouts stabbing at the Enormouse's eyes trying to blind the creature and divert its attention from his furry injured friend. "Aid to my friends and death to my foes!" His hit is a good one, and the mouse staggers back, its fur tinged red and Stan's dagger tinged furry.

 

"CRISPY MOUSE SOUFFLE!!!!!" Sallah charges at the Mousie, clearly angry. "Leave Percy - and the Tweedles - alone!! BAD! MOUSIE!" A stream of Creme Brulee engulfs the mouse, narrowly missing Stan. The mouse screams at an octave higher than anyone currently in the party can achieve.

 

"Oh great, go on, spoil such a lyrical soliloquy by refusing to keep your big mouth shut!" Tweedle Dan snaps, turning his back to his brother - out of irritation, or maybe just to keep him from seeing the tears of sheer relief in his eyes. "Now the least you can do is getting up and helping us with that beast!" With that, he lunges at the rodent and whacks it on the nose with his umbrella. It is a good hit...but not enough.

 

"Good idea for once, dear brother" Bob says, dusting himself off and drawing his sword. "Besides that poor ferret was injured trying to protect me...and by something that's probably related somewhere on the family tree no less. How absolutely vulgar!" With this he charges in for the attack looking for soft spots to stab in the mouse's underbelly. The mouse screams in pain. (1 wound, spent a benny, failed to soak)

 

"Smashing!" Grolps says at the distraction. He quickly reaches into his coat and retrieves a vial of swirling yellow and purple. Wasting no time he removes the stopper and pours a dose of the iridescent paisley patterned liquid into Percival's mouth.

 

Percival lays in a crumpled heap struggling to breathe. A bit of frothy blood trickles from the corner of his mouth, then he feels his insides and a couple bones knit together from the potion. He feels he can probably get up in a moment. He rolls to one side, and sees a crumpled form in a hollow behind the Enormouse. As he watches, the form weakly twitches a mouse like tail.

 

The Mouse Rolls back to its feet, and charges Tweedle Dan with murder in its eyes. Alas for it but not for Tweedle Dan, the foam-spraying incisors bite wide of the mark.

 

Status:

Grolps - 2 bennies left, 3/15 power points left, unwounded

Sallah - 1 benny left, 9/15 power points left, unwounded

Stan - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Bob - a benny left, 1 wound

Tweedle Dan - 1 benny left, unwounded

Enormouse - 0 bennies left, 1 wound

Percival - 1 benny left, 3 Wounds, Shaken, right arm mangled(non-permanent)

GM – 2 bennies left, unwounded

 

Initiative order for next round:

Sallah, Enormouse, Tweedle Bob, Tweedle Dan, Percival, Stan, Grolps

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THE CROWN OF ALICE - TURN 13

 

Sallah jumps up on the Mouse's head and hops up and down. "No! Bad! Mousie!!" She sends another firey cooking spell down at the mouse's head. The Creme Brulee splashes down on the mouse, catching Stan and both Tweedle in its gout. The mouse screams in pain, though it's hard to tell with the froth if he was actually wounded or not. The Tweedle both leap out of the way, but Stan is not so fortunate and is covered with it. Apparently it cooled as it fell, however, since he took no damage from it whatsoever.

 

The Enormouse, blinded by rage and creme brulee, tears at the pawn at its head, grabbing and biting wildly. He snatches Sallah to his mouth, and with the strength born of rage, crunches her and dashes her to the ground before him. (4 wounds, spent a benny to soak 1)

 

"Contrariwise, foul beast, methinks you've tasted enough Tweedle today!" Tweedle Bob says, jabbing again stoutly in retaliation. Whether it's the creme brulee or what, he hits but is not able to find purchase on the mouse's hide to cut it.

 

"EEEEEEEEP!" Tweedle Dan squeals, in a somewhat un-dignified tone. "HA! Missed, silly!" the Tweedle snickers, regaining his bravado. He quickly grabs one of the enormouse's huge, rope-like whiskers and pulls. Hard. The mouse is taken aback and disoriented.

 

Percival coughs a little and rolls more or less up into a seated position. "Wait a second or two guys, back off I think she may just be protecting a baby.?

 

Seeing that Percy is moving once more Stan decideds not to tempt fate and endure another heated burst along with the giant rodent. Springing, he dives to the ground to scoop up Percival and get him clear of danger. "Tis ok my furry friend," Stand says petting the weasel's head "We shall get you well and cheerful in no time. Well at least in less time than it could take. Of course the time may be relative to the sun and the sun, being very cheery in and of itself, speeds things along nicely."

 

Grolps hardly notices the sunflower jump from the enormous mouse to remove his patient from battle. Peering between the goo-covered legs of the big mouse, he too notices the little one. His eyes pop open and he leaps over the assumed-to-be mother mouse to check on the smaller one. He lands beside it, and finds a stricken mouse anthro, unconscious and bleeding from a dozen wounds.

 

Status:

Grolps - 2 bennies left, 3/15 power points left, unwounded

Sallah - 0 bennies left, 5/15 power points left, 3 wounds, shaken

Stan - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Bob - a benny left, 1 wound

Tweedle Dan - 1 benny left, unwounded

Enormouse - 0 bennies left, 2 wounds, shaken

Percival - 1 benny left, 3 Wounds, right arm mangled(non-permanent)

GM – 2 bennies left, unwounded

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THE CROWN OF ALICE - TURN 14

 

Percival looks up at Stan. "Ease up buddie, I think she thinks we're gonna hurt her baby." He then looks over at the tweedles, and screams in an almost painfully high pitched voice, "Its Weasel, not shrew, get it right you oaf."

 

"You're perfectly correct, of course, my friend", Dan concedes. "Yet might I be so bold as to beg you to keep track of which Tweedle is which? 'Cause, see, some people around here _do_ know he difference between a rodent and a mustelid!" he says, clearing his throat loudly and shooting a spiteful glance to his brother. In the meanwhile, since his friends seem to have made up their mind about not hurting the enormouse after all, he steps back and licks his fingers, all sticky with the creme brulée dripping from the beast's muzzle and whiskers. "Yummy! You know, brother, I'm beginning to really like our pawn lady... I wonder if she's engaged already?"

 

"That Creme Brulee looks quite tasty doesn't it, dear brother?" Tweedle Bob says with a gleam in his eye. "If we stand down as the shrew asks us, I wonder if we'd have time for a serving!"

 

"Owch." Sallah woozily tries to inspect the gnaw marks, but falls over instead.

 

Standing guard over Percival Stan reloads his gun prepared to drop it for his knife should the enormouse charge this way. Slowly becoming disconcerted that he knows so very little on how to help all his injured friends. Well there is one things for certain. If its the furry mountain or his friends......the furball is going down.

 

"Hmmmmm," is all Grolps can manage as he looks back once to see Sallah fall. He quickly lowers his hands over the fallen mouse anthro as a distant orchestra begins a soothing crescendo while his amphibian hands glow a soft green. The crescendo falters, as a rogue kazoo wanders through the counterpoint, and the spell fizzles (critical failure, spent a bennie to make it a non-critical failure.)

 

The mouse weakly grasps Grolps's arm, and whispers "Crown...They took the crown...Mary Anne..." and collapses again. This time however, he breathes no more.

 

The Enormouse rears up in wrath, but then spies the mouse anthro laying dead. It pauses and appears to deflate. Mournfully it limps off into the woods, squeaking in pain and mousy despair.

 

(You have an hour to try to heal wounds suffered here. After that hour, they must heal naturally.)

 

Status:

Grolps - 1 bennie left, 0/15 power points left, unwounded

Sallah - 0 bennies left, 3/15 power points left, 3 wounds.

Stan - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Bob - a benny left, 1 wound

Tweedle Dan - 1 benny left, unwounded

Percival - 1 benny left, 3 Wounds, right arm mangled(non-permanent)

GM – 2 bennies left, unwounded

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THE CROWN OF ALICE - TURN 15

 

"He's gone," Grolps mutters. "He said someone took 'the crown' and mentioned the name 'Mary Anne'". Knowing that he can't repair Sallah, Grolps moves back to Percival. He removes the vial from his jacket again but notes it is only two thirds full now. "Can anyone help heal this poor soul?"

 

"Oh I don't know about any crowns other than the one the Queen of Hearts wears. And I don't think she's missing it. Mary Anne?.....hmmmm. Didn't she have a boat? or was it a ship? a small fish perhaps? I wonder who would take a crown or a Mary Anne? They would most certainly have to be a knave or is that only if tarts are involved? Leastways I know that I cannot heal anyone although I will assist in any way that I can," Stan says cheerfully.

 

Tweedle Dan, in a flash of insight, remembers that Mary Anne is in fact the housekeeper for The White Rabbit, who lives, or at least used to, in a village nearby.

 

Percival looks to his injured arm. "I'm afraid my fencing may not be up to my usual state of perfection without a touch of help." He looks at Grolps,"Anything you can do would be greatly appreciated."

 

"Contrariwise, Dan, looks like your new girlfriend is in need of my assistance again. Perhaps I should consider starting my own business!!" With that, Tweedle Bob gets to work on repairing the damaged pawn. After some interesting moments where he tries to fit an elbow into a shoulder socket, he sits back and looks quizzically at Sallah's wounds in befuddlement. (critical failure, spent a benny to reroll it to a non-critical failure.)

 

Status:

Grolps - 1 bennie left, 0/15 power points left, unwounded

Sallah - 0 bennies left, 3/15 power points left, 3 wounds.

Stan - 3 bennies left, unwounded

Tweedle Bob - 0 bennies left, 1 wound

Tweedle Dan - 1 benny left, unwounded

Percival - 1 benny left, 3 Wounds, right arm mangled(non-permanent)

GM – 2 bennies left, unwounded

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