Upon this crag a vulture perched and watched The pass be taken and the orcs pour through; At such a place, where such a fight was botched, The omens tell, evil will rise anew. After the fight, the dead unburied lay; To make them rise again would not be hard. And where there's strife, demons aren't far away; This is a place that should have had a guard. I'll have my masons hew cliffs stained with blood, To build a fort that's famed to never fall. No lightning strike, nor earthquake, fire nor flood, Will breach this gate within the mountain wall. Had evil claimed this pass, things would go ill. Be glad that I'm the one who had the will.
I wrote this for the September Commuter Challenge, and kept meaning to post it and never getting around to it:
Beneath my hand, the dead will rise and walk. A thousand minions from a thousand graves. They'll neither fear, nor care, nor smile, nor talk. They'll only onwards march in endless waves. They'll pile and crash against the stony walls. Both cunning and device their strikes will lack. And when each weary bulwark finally falls, To mindless march they'll instantly go back. The living they'll ignore, but not avoid — Collide with them until they cannot stand. Of conscience their trampling is devoid. Their feet will smear the blood into the sand. And finally, when all is swept away, I'll rule an ocean empty, flat, and grey.
This is hopefully a less (obviously) depressing Evil-Overlord sonnet. I need to try and post these a bit more regularly.
O World, I say, behold my great machine! See that your tallest tower is made mine! With this, I'm on the world-controlling scene; With this, you'll see my every plan align. It fires forth, at my command, a ray, Refracted from the brightly-burning sun, Which swiftly finds and easily burns away Whatever I might wish to see undone. I've named my threat; now let my price be known! A million pounds of saffron, silk and gold, An island ruled by me and me alone, A vow to let me, undisturbed, grow old. I know this is a price you'll never pay, But it's distracted you this crucial day.
This is dedicated to the Winged Monkeys from The Wizard of Oz, and to evil minions everywhere.
There was a time when, honour justly earned, We swore our service to who saved our kind. And, since a vow means little if it's spurned, Made sure to swear an oath we knew would bind. We trusted that one with the grace to save Would also have the honour to rule well. We never thought that power, they might crave, Or that our oath of service, they might sell. So now our curse, both punishment and sin, Is that we shall not break the oath we swore. If our commands have demons ushered in, Then, with regret, we'll carry out the chore.
And thus a tribe whose honour was their name A by-word for a thing of fear became.
For want of more story to post, here’s a poem.
Who lies before me now cannot be dead. What I have loved, no other force can take! I swear it now, upon your broken head, I'll see to it that someday you will wake. To distant lands I'll go, that I may learn What moves the heart and what can make it still. There'll be no art to which I will not turn, For how could healing you be doing ill? My love is strong. I will not fail nor change, Until your eyes can open and meet mine. Then finally our wedding we'll arrange, And live a life that's of our own design. I know the risks. To evil I may fall. But for love such as ours, I'll risk it all.
While Ivy settles in at the underwater base, other things are happening that will eventually have consequences for the Leaders. This is one of them.
As everyone knows, true magic is forbidden in the Asonian Empire. Mages have always wrought havoc for Ason, bringing firestorms, plagues, floods, or legions of undead on any Imperial citizen who happened to annoy them, so it isn’t surprising magic is illegal.
But outlawing magic doesn’t make it impossible, and using magic to fight the criminals who use it would make the kings and queens who used it just as guilty. Therefore, the Imperial Academy of the Lesser Magics was established to create and teach completely non-magical methods of equaling the skills of mages.
Our story begins at that Academy, on a March afternoon in early first semester.
The Leaders finally do something for Ivy to record.
As I hurried to catch up, Jim pulled a device of some sort from an inner pocket. It was a clear plastic box with a screen, holding a lump of plasticine festooned with random electronic components. He held down several buttons, and spoke into a hole on the side. “Call: Clarisa. Council. Five minutes. Policy.” Several lights flickered, the object beeped twice, and a bit fell off and landed in the bottom of the container. Jim shook it, and put the device back in his pocket.
Jim turned around, and waved for me to catch up with him. “We must continue. As for that? It is said, among the Isikyus, that none but a fool relies, for a vital task, on something beyond their understanding. I follow that advice.”
“I see.” I presume the Isikyus also said it more clearly.
Ivy encounters the process of developing technology for an evil base.
As it turned out, getting to young Mike’s party was not a simple matter of walking up. After navigating up stairs and down corridors to the room it was in, I reached a door marked “CHILDCARE : ROOM B3-C11“. In front of the door, however, there was a robot.
This robot was not one of the gleaming confections of chrome and ceramic you see in movies. For want of chrome and ceramic, the entirety of the machine was painted in a matt white, with decoration spray-painted on in silver. The head was covered with an asymmetric arrangement of holes, lenses and sensors that looked more like a potato squashed into a tube than a person; the limbs were apparently constructed of plastic pipes, rubber bellows and duct tape; and the hands were corroding brass claws that looked like they had been taken from a high-tech pirate.
More of Ivy’s orientation in the underwater base.
Lunch was another bowl of the monotonous porridge. I made the mistake of asking how it could possibly be a balanced diet, and was treated to a lecture on exactly how much effort had gone into making sure it had the correct amounts of about 50 different nutrients. For this reason, there was allegedly no need to have any sort of condiment or flavouring with it; all those cost extra. The news didn’t improve the flavour.
I was too new here to have a conversation with anyone, so I sat in a corner chewing laboriously through the bland meal. Eventually, after scraping out the last of the tasteless gruel from the bowl, I had to meet Siersi Raralandra. I climbed slowly down the stairs, and stood before the door. It didn’t look like it was concealing a temple of evil, but how would I know? I knocked hesitantly, and waited.
Ivy has just agreed to work for the Black Fist, and is in the process of settling into the evil base that will now have to be her home for the rest of her life.
After recovering from Clarisa’s spell, I was rushed through various signing-up procedures so that there would be somewhere for me to sleep that night. One of the guards had helped me find clothes in one of the storerooms, and then led me to the room I had apparently been assigned. I was given a card that opened and locked the door, and the cupboards under the bed, and apparently could do anything else I would need a card for here, from licenses to money.