Sunday, December 25, 2011

Back for Christmas: I never said I was a hero

Okay, checked the books and they say I just have to find a portal to the End. And that I can only activate it with Ender eyes. 

Luckily, I found a couple down below. The folks here might need them but they'll just have to find their own; Christmas is on the line here. 

Apparently, all I have to do is throw them up and they'll lead me to a nearby stronghold, within which I'll find a portal to the End. 

Well, the eyes say there's a stronghold down there. Sadly, I'm not a digger enough to find it under all this water. I guess I'll have to hope there's another one somewhere. Maybe I can take that crazy bugger's portal out somewhere and try to find another one. 

This seems sufficiently BFE. Let's see what I can find. 

The eyes say that there's a stronghold down there. 

So I guess I'll set up a little camp here while I'm looking. 

Found it! I'm coming Christmas!

Didn't expect to find a library down here.... 

Did expect to find a portal chamber....

I guess now all I have to do is activate it. Then jump through. 


Okay. There we go. Am I ready for this? Sure. I mean, yeah! I've been trained by the best. I have everything I need. I even made a couple maps to this place in case someone needs to come looking for me. Not that anybody is even left to come look for me. Christmas is all I had left. Well I'm not going to mess things up this time. I'm going to jump through that portal, find Tra'Han, probably have to kill an Ender Dragon to free his mind, make him tell me where Christmas is, then take her in my arms, and tell her that I love her. Then somehow make it back from the end. 

Okay, I'm not one to complain about my training but it is kind of weird that there's no mention of how to get back from the End. In any of these books. No matter. I mean this Tra'Han guy can probably get us back. Once his mind is set straight. Right? And he'll owe me one. Right? 

One way to find out, I guess.... I just jump through this portal and kick some serious ass. Yeah. Yeah! Jump through and kick some serious ASS!! 


Or get trapped in an End prison. 


Back for Christmas: What happened here?

I was able to find Tra'Han's library. 

His journal makes it pretty clear that he's gone insane. It's a little worrying that there's no mention of Christmas in here. It's fully worrying that all the signs here point to Ender Dragon. I guess getting your mind tangled in the Ender Dragon's trap is what you get for letting it wonder the cosmos like that. 

Actually, I've only ever heard of this before. Honestly, I never thought I'd have to worry about an Ender Dragon. I knew monsters were active on Woot but I never thought that there'd be Enders here. But the evidence is pretty clear: Case 1, Case 2Case 3, Case 4. I guess I should have caught some of that the last time I was here. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Now Christmas is caught up in all of this insanity. And this Tra'Han guy sounds more like bad news the more I find out. 

Still, I'm getting a little ahead of myself. I haven't even found any signs of Christmas here. And if she's not actually here, I'm just going to leave this mess for someone else to clean up. I mean, they never prepared me for the End. I don't even know what's out there. I barely remember how to get there. 

Oh crap, this is Christmas's book. 

It's her favorite. She never goes anywhere without it. But there's no other sign of her. Whatever you did to her, Tra'Han, I'll return to you A MILLION-FOLD! If even one small bit of harm has come to her... I'd never be able to forgive myself. 

I think my task here is clear. 

It's obvious that Tra'Han's mind was taken by the Ender Dragon. I have no choice but to get to the End, slay the dragon, find Tra'Han, and make him tell me what happened to Christmas. Time to dust off the old training books and find out how I find the End. 

Find the End. I must be out of my mind.... 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Back for Christmas: The security guard returns!

Well, I'm back. 

Man I hate this place. Monster worlds suck. But I have to put all that behind me now.
Christmas is in trouble. 

And I have to save her.

It's good to see so many improvements made to the security of the place since I was here last, though. 

Still, none of that matters now. I have to find Christmas, I know she's in trouble. All I got was this letter under my door a few days back:

I have no idea who this Tra'Han guy is but I'm betting he's bad news. Why was I such an idiot?! Why didn't I just stay with her; oh Christmas, I'm so sorry that I let you down. 

But it's too late for that. 

Now she's out here in Woot somewhere. And I have to find her. 

First things first:

  1. Make a list of what to do
  2. Gather intel on Tra'Han
  3. Find signs of Christmas
  4. Set things right!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

HellCo: Inferno One Can Beat Our Prices (Part Three of Three)

"Mr. Johnson! Beelzebob from HellCo calling, and may I say, it is an utter delight to talk to you today?

Mr. Johnson, there is no reason whatsoever to employ snideness with me. I am simply happy that we will be able to resolve your HellCo account today, to what I am sure will be our mutual satisfaction.

Who is the "our" in that sentence? You wound me, Mr. Johnson. "Mr. Johnson." How formal I sound, when by this point the two of us are practically intimates! May I call you Ira, Mr. Johnson? Mr. J? No? And the wounding continues.

You'll recall, Mr. Johnson, that I needed to discuss your account with my supervisor, Eligos, Duke of Hell, to figure out WHY the HellCo Brand Reanimated Friendship Operative assigned to your case went... off protocol... by building so many free HellCo Brand Conveniencers on your property (I mean, at the very least, he should have invoiced for them.) At first, we simply assumed that it was due to gross negligence or breach of contract on your part, Mr. Johnson. After all, it's not without precedent, is it?

But Mr. E happened to mention this little problem to his golfing partner, Baalberith, HellCo Chief Archivist, and he managed to dig up a rather amusing factoid about the Reanimated Friendship Vessel in question! Apparently, this particular sack of skin and blood was instrumental in alerting the Head Office to the suitability of your nauseating dimension for HellCo operations in the first place! And once the Tra'Han/Mitchells Debacle had cleared the board for us, we were easily able to move in and begin the aggressive marketization of human resources you've come to know and love, Mr. Johnson. Isn't that a heart-warming tale?

But, more relevant to the matter at hand, the corpse in question also, by either sheer bizarre coincidence, or as a practical joke by those hilarious boys down in the Necromancy Department, had a strong pre-existing attachment to the land your home is built on! I know, Mr. Johnson, I was speechless too, when Mr. Baalberith told me about it from one of his many mouths. And, as we both know, a Reanimated Friendship Vessel with a strong attachment to a particular area can, in certain rare cases, wrest control away from the Possessor Class operative controlling it and act of its own volition. I'm sure you can see where this is going, Mr. Johnson. It's clear as crystal! Or a piece of glass. Or air, Mr. Johnson. AIR.

The RFV decided to "spruce up" your home, free of charge, out of some sentimental attachment to the place. It did so by installing a wide variety of high quality HellCo Brand Conveniencers, turning your home into a perfect model of state-of-the-pit technology. Normally, we'd track the Reanimated Friendship Vessel's family down and force them to pay for all this, but, given how many years its been since he was actually alive, and how intense the disruptions to the human population since then have been, we've decided on a more... merciful... strategy.

Pay attention, Mr. Johnson. This is the part we think you'll like. I've grown quite fond of you, Mr. Johnson. For a disgusting pile of bones and tissue, you have a sympathetic quality that stirs deep and horrible emotions deep within my carapace. So, I convinced the higher ups to give you... A Deal.

You see, Ira (I don't care what you say, Mr. Johnson, I'm Bob, you're Ira, and, as of now, we're intimate), HellCo would like to use you. Your home, that is! As the setting for our latest series of HellCo Catalogs! The rogue RFV (now disassembled, of course) did such a good job on the Conveniencers he illegally installed, we're going to let you keep them all - and all for the meager cost of a few weeks of letting HellCo Brand Photography Slugs slither through your house, taking pictures. Considering that the cost for all those improvements would normally be 4,212 souls... I think you'll agree it's a steal, Ira.

Now, is your house slug-accessible, Ira, my intimate friend? No? Well, it will be. Don't worry, we'll just add the cost to your bill.

Well, of course you still have a bill, Ira. The fact that you're getting the Conveniencers for free doesn't mean you don't need to pay for having your lawn mowed. And the Drinks Mixer. And the Drinks Mixer Drink Mix. And the interest on the Drinks Mixer Drink Mix. Be reasonable, Ira.

But don't worry, my dear, sweet, intimate friend. The total bill is really quite small. 3 souls. That's not so bad, is it? You can find 3 measly little souls for your dear buddy Bob and his friendly corporation, right? Turn to your family, Ira. They'll support you, if they know what'll happen to you if you don't pay your debts. Children can be such a comfort at times like this... Because Hell knows they'll sign anything you tell them to, without even bothering to read it.

And Ira? Thank you for choosing HellCo for all your lawncare needs. As we always say: "You had a choice. Now, let us help you live with it."

Goodbye, Mr. Johnson."


(The End)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

HellCo: The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Business Practices (Part Two)

"Good afternoon, Mr. Johnson! You sound tired... rough night?

If you detect smug satisfaction in my voice, Mr. Johnson, it is merely the satisfaction of getting to interact with my very favorite customer once again! It has nothing to do with your nightmares about giant eggs with eyes devouring your children.... Oh, just a guess, Mr. Johnson.

Now, where were we? Oh, yes. You were complaining because the HellCo Reanimated Friendship Operative you had stranded in your hideous dimension had managed to use its resourcefulness and fortitude to jerry-rig a way back to the Home Office so that it wouldn't re-die of thirst in the absence of a HellCo Brand Drinks Mixer. You will notice that I am not yelling about this today, Mr. Johnson! That is because, Mr. Johnson,.... I am drunk today! I have taken precautions. You will not get me today, Mr. Johnson, you disgusting pile of organs!

Now, let's move to the next item on your bill, shall we? A standard de-Ghasting, nothing that anyone could possibly dispute -

Very well, Mr. Johnson. I'm the immortal one here, we can waste as much of your infinitesimal time as you'd like on this minutiae...

What IS a Ghast? Well, Mr. Johnson, imagine a bird. A pigeon or stork or penguin or whatever they're called. Now, imagine a giant floating ghost killing that bird by spitting fireballs at it. That's a Ghast. And if they're not regularly cleared out of your rented portion of the Home Office, you'll be subject to some VERY painful fines.

Oh, Mr. Johnson, must we play games? Of course you already knew that you had to rent the section of the Home Office your HellCo Brand Personal Transport Portal links to. It would be idiotic, moronic, imbecilic, and downright stupid for you to not know that, yes?

But never fear, Mr. Johnson, our Operative, like all of our Possessor Class agents, is well-trained in the Miyamoto School of Fireball Tennis, and was easily able to de-Ghast your property with only minimal damage to its Re-animated Vessel. Repair fees will, I am DELIGHTED to tell you, be light.

In fact, the Operative even managed to earn you a nice finder's fee for charting an unexplored region of the Home Office! You'll see the credit below the total for the debt, there at the bottom. Rather like a tiny wart hanging off the bloated corpse of a screaming pig, isn't it, Mr. Johnson? Oh, just another guess....

Ah, looking through these pictures has me nostalgic for home...

I can almost smell Mother's apple pies cooking within the skulls of our enemies..

As we danced and sang and dared each other to drink from the poison lakes...

Such a romantic time to be nearly alive...

Oh, I'm sorry, Mr. Johnson, the moment quite escaped me. As I was saying, our Operative scouted the location for HellCo Brand Drinks Mixer components, while introducing the local natives to our special "Hellspitality Program" (which is to say, it hit them with its sword and then stole their gold). Quite propitiously, the Operative chanced upon a pair of HellCo Brand "Blaze" Security Guards!

Normally, they'd be in one of our HellCo Brand "Evil Fortress-style" Warehouses, but these two appear to have slacked off! As it happens, the spines of HellCo Brand "Blaze" Security Guards are a VITAL component of the HellCo Brand Drinks Mixer, so the Re-animated Friendship Operative quickly set to murderously disassembling these worthless layabouts. Oh, they moaned and they whined about their right to live, about the horridness of their servitude, about the HellCo Brand "Blaze" Security Guard Families they'd be leaving behind... None of which matters much to a mobile corpses animated by a possessing demon, as I'm sure you know, Mr. Johnson!

Mr. Johnson, did you put the phone down? How rude! Although, I'm not sure why I mind, especially... since the price of this phone call is being charged to your account...

Ah, there you are, Mr. Johnson! I thought that might bring your hefty, hard-breathing frame back to the telephone. Shall we go on?

Obviously, having the parts for a HellCo Brand Drinks Mixer is not enough to fulfill your shirked contractual obligations, sir. In order to make things right for you (and we at HellCo are, first and foremost, all about making things right for our dear, fat consumers), our Operative was also required to find HellCo Brand Drink Mixer Drink Mix! And unfortunately, even on the lush and welcoming shores of the Home Office, that can only be found in one of our patented HellCo Warehouses. And so, Mr. Johnson, the Operative set out to search for one (at a very reasonable hourly rate, available, I think you can see, on your bill).

And he immediately found it! Huzzah, Mr. Johnson! What do you mean, that's not a very narratively satisfying turn of events? I'm not a storytelling demon, Mr. Johnson, I'm a Customer Service Demon. No, I do not see a need for "suspense," or "more focus on the journey." It's an invoice, you blubbering fool, not a novella.

Fine, Mr. Johnson, it's your rapidly accruing debt, after all.

After a long and perilous journey, with much bravery and derring-do and frippery and twaddle, the Operative found one of the ancient and terrifying fortresses, birthed from the living rock of Hell. He fought his way inside, defeating the various walking pigs and floating fire people, to recover the precious Drink Mix within.

Is that suitably epic, you half-witted child? Have I roused your passions? Is your slobbering need for story sated? The Operative hit some things with a sword and dug some holes and finally found the Damned Mushrooms. Are YOU HAPPY, YOU SNIVELING CORPUSCLE OF DOG'S VOMIT?!!!!!!

I would apologize for my outburst, Mr. Johnson, but, frankly, we're at the end of your invoice, so I don't really see the point. As a customer, I have satisfied you, as is my remit, with the sweet milk of information, and now YOU, Mr. Johnson, will become a sort of "Demon Satisfaction Agent," because I will feel terribly satisfied to transfer you to Collections, where they will be Satisfied to help you find a payment and/or punishment plan to resolve your vast debt.

Other stuff? Mr. Johnson, at this point I can only imagine that you have fallen in love with my dulcet tones, such is your ardor for inventing reasons to stay on the phone with me. What other devices could you mean?

Appliances? Gardens? Tools, toys, terrors?! Mr. Johnson...

Yes, Mr. Johnson.

Yes, I see the pictures in this file.

No, Mr. Johnson.

No, that does seem highly irregular.

Mr. Johnson, I am going to have to consult with my manager, Duke Eligos, the Many-Eyed Goat. May I call you back tomorrow at dinner time? No? Well, that's when we're going to call. No, whenever you sit down to dinner. Yes, we'll know, Mr. Johnson, we're very good. I'm hanging up now, Mr. Johnson. Yes, yes.

And... Mr. Johnson?

Sweet dreams."



"Mother? It's Bob. Oh, nothing, just a long day at work. How's Dad? Still dead? Good, good...."

(To be Continued)