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#1 User is offline   snake0026 

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 09:36 AM

Didn't see this posted yet, so, to complete Gamet's Tale of the Forum trilogy, I present to you the critically acclaimed, #1 Quon Tali Ledger bestseller, Teahouse Gates:

Teahouse Gates Part 1:

PROLOGUE

"Snake has died, Snake has risen, Snake will come again."
- Prophecy of Karma

The wind that swept down from the mountains and ripped cold across the dry, broken potsherds that lay scattered like history's teeth. The winds scoured the desert sands, carrying them in uncertain tides, shifting endlessly for millennia. In the heart of the holy desert Forumaku, the sands and winds took shape, not of a whirlwind, but of a tornado…no…a tearnado. Summoning all evil too him, Sna'ike grew.
Destinies would be shaped, legends born. And into this world come the outlawed Spamburners; the embittered and enslaved Felisin Jnr; Cruz, the untried and dull-witted leader of the 7th Army. Into this blighted land come two ancient wanderers, Morto, the Trell and his half-Jaghut companion Malcarium, bearer of a devastating secret.
Life and history turns in cycles with the turning of the wheel. So, it was not the beginning, but it was a beginning…



"And thus it were, as e'er so,
He spake unto the masses 'neath clams.
Stood yonder, hair swept with thee, face to the wind.
Seven dogs
For Seven Gods
Adoration, even more, of one or a million
'Tis a matter of speling, it seems.

- Unknown


The Thirsty Hour was coming to a close and the barpriest staggered in its wake, blind, deaf and babbling. Honouring his God on this day, the servant of Phoenix, Lord of Booze had stripped and smeared himself in bloody marys, tia maria, vodka and fanta and beer – DrinksInBaudin appreciated the irony.
The air of the Phoenix Inn buzzed with flies. The floor, long neglected, was strewn with broken glass and empty crisp-packets. Somewhere in the streets outside, beneath slate-grey skies, a dog barked like a thing dying.

It was clear to Felisin Jnr, from where she stood, chained, that the priest was striding directly for her. She tried to arch her right eyebrow but could not. Images of strapping Vikings and kilt-clad Scotsmen flitted through her mind but they found no purchase. The growing horror did not disturb the numbness that lay over her like a warm blanket…slipping into a warm bath…
Felisin Jnr wondered if the guards would move into the barpriest's way, but guards were like bouncers the world over…and there was a reason they wore 'dickie' bows.
"I think not," said the man squatting to her right, half-closed eyes flashing in amusement. "Seen you flicking your gaze," he explained idly.
"Flicking my what?"
A stifled laugh came from the big man standing to her left. The chains between them pulled taught and painful on her wrists when he folded his arms across his broad chest.
"Something amuses you?" She asked briskly.
"Usually, yes."
She squinted and caught the scent. "Because you are drunk," she said, wrinkling her nose.
He smiled, a horrible thing. "And past caring."
The first man stood and faced him, their eyes locking over Felisin's head.
"Drink too much to stay alive and not enough to die, eh?"
The big man scowled, his skull-like face darkening beneath the tall black hat he wore.
"Something like that. Better that than too much coffee."
Felisin Jnr realised she was missing something but she did not care.
"Who are you?" She asked of the first man, her gaze tracking the elaborate coffee stains and bean and leaf tattoos that covered his skin. He was naked, save for (thankfully) a small loincloth (that Felisin wished were a kilt, or simply bigger)
"Cause…" He lifted his arms to reveal the stumps of wrists "Cause Light Touch."
"Yeah I know. Cause why?"
"No. Just 'Cause'."
"Yeah I know, no need to be like that."
"The Imperial Historian," said the second man suddenly.
Cause shot him a glare but said nothing.
"And once priest of Kenco," the big man added.
Cause sighed, "You cannot change what you believe in just to suit the times."
Felisin turned to the other man.
"And who are you?"
"DrinksInBaudin, of the House of Shame. What of it?"
Felisin shrugged. "Yeah I know."
"There is a mob out there ready to tear us limb from limb, drench us in stale tea, bombard us with cakes and biscuits…"
"Yeah I know."

"Why are you here?" Cause asked of DrinksInBaudin.
He shrugged (again) "Perhaps there is a village missing its idiot."
Cause Light Touch glanced around the Malaz Forum, "Oh, more than one village, I think…"

The barpriest arrived before her, face hidden beneath the cowl. An odd darkness beneath, far too dark for the time of day. Tiny flickering orange dots and flashes from within.
"You are no barpriest," Felisin Jnr mumbled.
"Indeed no. I am but a binary monk. Reader of Dreams, for this will be a recurrent theme. Do you dream, Felisin?"
Her eyes snapped open at the sharp poke in her ribs. The monk was gone.

The ex-priest of Kenco grinned morosely, "So you still want to go out there?"
Felisin Jnr nodded, "Yeah."
"But you said that running the gauntlet through a tea-loving mob was like gouging your own eyes out with a spoon, and only someone who got into the gene pool when the guard wasn't looking would want to do it."
"Yeah I know."
"Right, so what do you want to do?"
"I wanna go out and face the mob."
DrinksInBaudin smiled and nodded to where the guards (probably the same ones that guarded the gene pool) were opening the doors to reveal the huge baying mob lining both sides of the street beyond.
A dog broke (and was promptly fixed) and ran down the street, ignored by the mob.
DrinksInBaudin grunted a laugh. "Now there's a lesson for you."
Felisin Jnr and Cause stared at him, waiting.
"The dog", he said finally, "remains unmolested because he wags his tail instead of his tongue. A lesson for all."
"Well", said the ex-priest of Kenco, "We can only die once."
DrinkInBaudin smirked, "Not in this world."
Felisin Jnr turned, "Yeah I know."

The roar from the crowd grew like an angry wave, a wave that was made of water (or tea), but really angry water (or tea) that sounded sort-of like thousands of people roaring. Felisin Jnr could not tear her eyes away.
"Mind if I hide in your shadow, DrinkInBaudin?"
He shrugged, "You'd not be the first."
Guards took up the slack in the chains and the procession of prisoners shambled towards the gap in the crowd. The noise rose like a midnight tide. The world narrowed in Felisin Jnr's eyes, shrunk until all she could think about was following the dog. She turned to Cause as they passed under the arch and the first soggy biscuit slapped her cheek, stinging like tears.
"I don't like it, I wanna go home."

Teahouse Gates cont.

PART TWO

"You will never get eight cats to pull a sledge. What does this tell you?"

- Unknown

"And all that came to the Path,
electronic print was their way,
muse, jest, argument and counter
On their Path, on virtual winds,
To lay claim
On the Path to the Mod."

The Path of the Mod
Cadz


A corkscrew plume of dust raced across the basin, heading deeper into the trackless desert.
From his perch on the mesa's edge, Morto followed it with relentless eyes the colour of sand, eyes set deep in a robustly boned, pallid face. He held a wedge of eucalyptus in his hand. He chewed slowly, thoughtfully.
Beside him, Malcarium flicked a pebble over the cliff edge. It clicked and clattered on its way down. His grey skin had darkened into olive green, his long, braided hair turning ginger beneath his tartan cap as though in answer to his father's blood. Malcarium's lined, weather-worn face twitched into something resembling a smile, just a hint. Morto grinned, exposing massive canines.
"I would have sworn you were smiling there…had I not know you so well."
Malcarium arched a brow, his eyes fixed on the featureless wastes below. "Not me, friend."

To Malcarium's left, half-buried in rocks, grit and sand, a huge hammer lay with its handle angled awkwardly to the sky. They had noticed it the previous night but decided to leave it be. However, only now, as he turned, did he see that at the side of the low, ruined wall that had surrounded their camp, sat an old blacksmith's anvil. As he stood directly between the two, an odd sensation tingled his spine.
"What do you see, Morto?"
"Something that should not be there. A T'lan Imass and a mortal."
"Shall we go down?"
Morto stood, straightening the kinks in his back. "Indeed we must. It is said there is a waterhole out there."
Malcarium scowled distastefully. "With the Sna'ike's army camped around it."
Morto said nothing.
"Morto, I have had dreams lately, of…an Inn and a bird in flames, rising from ashes. Is this relevant?"
"Do these dreams replace the ones you have of the place called Helaka, with Maldo, Zarion and the story you say you never finished?"
"No, I still have them, though they still leave me with a sense of guilt."
"Then I do not think so, friend. At least, it means nothing to me."
The wind threw dust around them, forcing Morto to turn his face away, and he was grateful his friend could not see the lie he felt was clear on his face.

"Tell me, friend, how long have we known each other?"
Morto's glance was sharp. "Long. Why do you ask?"
"I know reluctance when I hear it. The prospect disturbs you?"
"Any potential brush with such an unlikely combination disturbs me."
"An unlikely combination?"
"Indeed, an immortal dedicated to the destruction of spammers, and a spammer who seeks to ascend to Modship."
Malcarium's eyes widened slightly.
Morto shrugged his pack across his broad shoulders and started the descent. "Come, friend, all will become clear."

"Others approach," said the T'lan Imass blandly.
The man squatting across from him on the rock-strewn desert turned to follow his gaze.
"And so openly. Do you recognise them, TooLoose?"
"Indeed, a Trell and a half-Jaghut."
The man's face, though trained in the subtle arts, showed surprise. "Morto and the infamous Malcarium?"
The undead warrior nodded slowly, ancient bones creaking, black eyes hidden in deep sockets.
The man's hands slipped beneath his black robes – a motion that did not escape the attention of the T'lan Imass.
"Pointless…and futile, Topper."
Topper squinted at him then smiled, almost apologetically. "Old habits."
"The stronger the wind the stronger the tree."
"What does that mean?"
"You do not comprehend? Very well. We all of us labour against the cure, my own people more than others."
Topper sighed, "Too cryptic, I do not understand."
TooLoose returned his attention to the tow approaching figures. "Such things are common in this world."

"Greetings", began Morto, "TooLoose Cannon and companion."
"Welcome, Morto. Malcarium."
The half-Jaghut inclined his head. "Forgive me if we have met before and I do not remember."
The T'lan Imass nodded in understanding.
"Well", said the man, "this might just turn into a lesson in insignificance for me. A T'lan Imass, a Trell and a Jaghut all in one place. Although, I had thought that the T'lan Imass and Jaghut had been at war for millennia."
"We have", TooLoose Cannon answered, "But I am tired of it. Malcarium is not my enemy."
"Shame", said Topper, "There are many who would wager on the outcome of a fight between the First Sword and the infamous Malcarium. It is all the rage in Forumistan."

"Why", Morto began, "would a T'lan Imass be meeting with a mortal out here in this desert?"
"Well", said Topper, "I seek some answers to this world's many puzzles. I asked the High Fist Patchqual but all he ever said was that the timeline was not important, and the confusion is part of the appeal and that some things must never be known. I swear the man has visions on who is going to die next but he won't tell."
Malcarium swung his heavy gaze on the mortal. "The question my friend asked was why you were here? Why do you meet with the undead? Why, most especially are you in this story at this point?"
Topper rocked back on his heels, a low whistle coming from his lips. "Well, no-one ever expects the Spanish inquisition!"
Silence fell like a blanket. They waited.
Wind moaned across the basin, dust gathering in rising midnight tides. A tumbleweed tumbled by (obviously) and somewhere a dog barked (again).
"You seek the Path of Mods?" Morto asked.
Topper smiled, "Yes, but also answers. Tell me, must a D'ivers remain within a certain distance of the other parts of…itself? And, have you ever wondered what happens to heated Otataral when magic is thrown at it?"
Malcarium blinked slowly, miserably. "The empty vessel makes the most noise."
"Good luck is often with the man who dies not include it in his plans."
"To a dog, the whole world is a smell."
Morto coughed to interrupt them. "Yes, well, not sure what the hell that was. So, anyway, you are on the Path of Mod?"
Topper smiled, "Yes, and I am not alone in this. Many seek it, none more so than the one called Sna'ike."
TooLoose Cannon spoke. "And now you know why I am in this story. The Sna'ike must never gain Modship. It would be…regrettable."
Malcarium narrowed his eyes, "That would seem to be an understatement. I believe I would be opposed to such a circumstance."

A warren flashed open a short distance away and a man stumbled into view, his shirt torn and bloodied, a thick, old-looking book under one arm and a shotgun in the other. His eyes fixed on TooLoose and he groaned.
"For Gods sake, not more undead."
Topper smiled. "Fritz?"
Time slowed as the man and TooLoose moved simultaneously. It was like in one of those John Woo movies…the shotgun raised…the flint sword swung…faces drawing into grimaces…diving…rolling…the crack of the gun…the whisper of air and flash of blade…
Then it all sped up again as Fritz hit the ground rolling, blood spurting from the gash across his chest. He stumbled to his feet and leapt back into the warren and it blinked out.
TooLoose examined the gaping hole in his abdomen. "Oh, that's just great!"
He opened a warren, "He will pay for that." He stepped through and vanished.
Topper stood and opened his own warren, the faint scent of brewing coffee wafting pleasantly over them. "Good day, gents, I must go also."

Morto and Malcarium stood alone again.
"Do you suppose", Morto began, "that these clips from other stories and films will be a running joke in this story?"
Malcarium grunted. "Probably."
"Shall we follow this Path of the Mod?"
"Yes."
"It is, I believe, a Path rising up to meet you."
"I believe I might find some answers of my own there."
I hope not, old friend. I hope not.

Just then three men dressed in robes of red, panting and tired, burst into the scene..."No one ever expects..."
The screen went blank.

"Bugger."

Teahouse Gates cont. Dunno why it is all small but I can't be bothered to mess with it...

PART THREE

"May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits!"
- Seven Cities Welcome


"Hood's breath", F(alco)iddler muttered, "I hate Seven Cities."
Beside him, Brynjar squatted in silence.
"So why are we here?" Ceda asked.
F(alco)iddler glanced at Brynjar and then at Apsalar; she stretched her arms behind her head and smiled at him.
"Because the Seven Cities is about to rise in rebellion."
"But I thought you were going to kill the Empress?"
Brynjar flinched. "There's been a change in plans", he growled, "I am going after the Sna'ike."
Ceda scowled, "Why? He is harmless enough, I mean, it's just a bit of fun, right? Aps, am I right?"
Apsalar closed her eyes and relaxed. "This one is personal, Ceda. Everyone has someone that makes their world unpleasant, and for our assassin here, it is the Sna'ike. As Takeshi Kovacs would say, 'make it personal'."
"If we get caught we won't just get arrested."
F(alco)iddler smiled, "Son, my ancestors were all convicts, shipped out to the colonies a long time ago. Breaking the law is what we do best."


The council room was low-ceilinged, its stone walls un-plastered but washed in white paint. A long table dominated, looking oddly bare without chairs.
Rallick Rel, Cruz and another witless officer were there. They all turned at the historian's entrance, Rel's brows rose in surprise. Clearly he had been unaware that the new Fist had invited Stone Duiker to the meeting.
Stone Duiker presented himself to the new fist.
"Welcome to Hissar, Fist Cruz."
The leader of the Budgie Clan showed the weathering of his forty-odd years in the plains of Quon Teali. His expressionless face was lined, eyes deep-set. Oiled braids hung past his shoulders, knotted with budgerigar fetishes and bird seed. He wore a battered vest of chain and a budgerigar-feathered cloak that hung to his knees.
"When I last saw you", the Fist said, "you had your head buried in a table full of books."
"Well, to be a historian one must be acquainted with the world and its past – knowing this gives perspective on the present."
"I seem to remember", said the officer with Cruz, "that the emperor regarded you as his most opinionated historian."
"Opinions are there to be expressed, are they not?"
"Yes" the other witless officer said blandly, "just like breast milk."
"This is Dassem Bultor", the fist offered, "my uncle."
"Has the council begun?" Rallick Rel asked briskly.
The Fist did not look at him, "When I am ready. Tell me, historian, by what creed do you live your life?"
"Honestly?"
Dassem Bultor frowned, "The Fist demands nothing else. Well, except that one time when you wanted twelve white swans in your tent…you were having a diva moment."
"A simple philosophy – I hate you and everything about you."
Rel checked a shocked laugh. "You would insult the Fist?"
"He understands the Witless better than you," the Fist offered, a faint smile touching his lips.

A side door opened and two young boys entered the room and presented themselves to the Fist.
"This is Pale and Mulch."
Stone Duiker gulped, "But they were killed at Unta, spiked to the walls…the empress made sure of them."
Dassem Bultor growled. "Took them seven days to die, one budgerigar came every day for their souls. Seven budgies, so great were their souls. What does this tell you?"
"That budgies are stupid. Had they all come on the same day the warlocks would have been spared six days of agony nailed to a wall."
The Fist turned to Stone Duiker. "How stands the Seven Cities?"
"There are obvious signs that rebellion will come any day now. The prophecy of the Sna'ike has struck like a fever."
Rallick Rel sneered. "The Fist should take such words with caution, prophecies and rebellion are as numerous as Fools in this forum."
"Rel has hidden motives," said Pale suddenly, his startled face staring back at them.
"All men have midden hotives," the Fist answered.
"Eh, hidden motives, Fist," Bultor muttered.
"Indeed, that's what I said, midden hotives."
"Yes, of course, Fist."

"I am here", Rallick said, "to convey the welcome from High Fist Patchqual to Fist Cruz. He wishes you well in your new command. The High Fist commands Admiral Nok to take his fleet directly to Aren and for Fist Cruz to march the 7th overland to Aren so that he might review the 7th."
Dassem Bultor growled. "And leave the whole east of the Seven Cities without an occupying army? Tell the High Fist to get stuffed, that has to be the most stupid thing ever said since the most stupid man in the world gained his professorship in stupidity at Stupid University and then said 'Just call me Dubya!'."
"You would disobey the High Fist's orders?"
Dassem Bultor slapped his thigh (his own, that is) "Whoopdedoo! Sharp as a bag of tacks, this one!"
"Tell the High Fist," Cruz said, "that I advise against it and await his response. You may go now."
Rallick looked stunned, "Go?"
"You are naught but a messenger", Bultor spat, "and command nothing, indeed, you, sir are a worm, nay, you are a boil on the butt of a worm. Get ye gone lest ye feel the warmth of my boot upon your arse!"
Rallick's jaw dropped. He looked at the Fist. He looked at the historian. He looked at Pale and Mulch. Nobody looked at him.
"I'll get me coat then."
They watched Rel leave, and after he was gone, Pale turned to Mulch.
"Sweet," said he.
"Dude," Mulch replied.
"Totally," Cruz grinned.
"Historian", Dassem Bultor began, "tell me of Patchqual."
"Well, he is an infuriating git, always dropping cryptic comments, name-dropping…there are rumours that he has bled Aren dry of all knowledge, hoarding it for himself, denying the requests of his officers for some insights into the complicated histories of this world…but these are just rumours."
"I was going to ask you more about Cartheron Crust, Toc the Elder and all sorts of stuff about the old emperor and Laseen and other forbidden histories, but..."
"Such things only raise more questions than answers," Stone Duiker finished for him.
"Then let us move on with the story. Duiker, you are attached to my command now. Pale, are you ready?"
A startled face looked back at him. "Yes, Fist", said he as his gaze fell to the oversized packet of crisps he held in one hand and the bottle of red wine he held in the other. "Ready for anything."
"But I saw you [Snake]…faced by Anomander [Mandy] himself. How did…"
"I escape? Well, I dazzled him with fancy words, edging ever closer, then used my ninja skills to strike like a cobra, knocking the sword [Spamnipur] away and drop-kicking him over the side before tumbling backwards, slaying another Piss'd Andii on the way."
Silence. Lots of silence. "Fine!" He shrugged and grinned, "Someone hit him in the face with a coin, and he cursed just long enough for me to get away." ~ Excerpt from Gardens of the Tea Spoon
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#2 User is offline   HiddenOne 

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 02:30 PM

WTF? Is there something I'm missing here?
HiddenOne. You son of a bitch. You slimy, skulking, low-posting scumbag. You knew it would come to this. Roundabout, maybe. Tortuous, certainly. But here we are, you and me again. I started the train on you so many many hours ago, and now I'm going to finish it. Die HO. Die. This is for last time, and this is for this game too. This is for all the people who died to your backstabbing, treacherous, "I sure don't know what's going on around here" filthy lying, deceitful ways. You son of a bitch. Whatever happens, this is justice. For me, this is justice. Vote HiddenOne Finally, I am at peace.
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#3 User is offline   McLovin 

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 02:50 PM

:(

Oh. My. God.

Returning from an Age long past, an Age yet to come, the Shadow of Spam has fallen on our beloved forum once again...
OK, I think I got it, but just in case, can you say the whole thing over again? I wasn't really listening.
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#4 User is offline   Cause 

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 11:34 PM

View PostHiddenOne, on 14 February 2011 - 02:30 PM, said:

WTF? Is there something I'm missing here?


If this snake is the Snake he is an old guard member of the forum whose speciality is spamming the boards and invoking futile wars against the forum mods. Futile but funny. He is also hopelessy addicted to fanta and if memory serves against all expectation a MD.

The story above is a spoof written by another old guard member Fist Gamet. He used to write all kinds of things even a full book once. The above stars some of the older personalities of the board and me in a mockery of dead house gates. Specifically at a time when a high house tea and coffee were at war on the boards over which was the breakfast drink of choice.

Man Im only 24 and I'm having nostalgic moments
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#5 User is offline   HiddenOne 

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 03:23 PM

View PostCause, on 14 February 2011 - 11:34 PM, said:


If this snake is the Snake he is an old guard member of the forum whose speciality is spamming the boards and invoking futile wars against the forum mods. Futile but funny. He is also hopelessy addicted to fanta and if memory serves against all expectation a MD.

The story above is a spoof written by another old guard member Fist Gamet. He used to write all kinds of things even a full book once. The above stars some of the older personalities of the board and me in a mockery of dead house gates. Specifically at a time when a high house tea and coffee were at war on the boards over which was the breakfast drink of choice.

Man Im only 24 and I'm having nostalgic moments



Thanks for the explanations, I figured out the spoof part, but had no way of knowing the history.
HiddenOne. You son of a bitch. You slimy, skulking, low-posting scumbag. You knew it would come to this. Roundabout, maybe. Tortuous, certainly. But here we are, you and me again. I started the train on you so many many hours ago, and now I'm going to finish it. Die HO. Die. This is for last time, and this is for this game too. This is for all the people who died to your backstabbing, treacherous, "I sure don't know what's going on around here" filthy lying, deceitful ways. You son of a bitch. Whatever happens, this is justice. For me, this is justice. Vote HiddenOne Finally, I am at peace.
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#6 User is offline   caladanbrood 

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 11:42 AM

If only I was still a mod, I would ban him for the sake of posterity :Brood:
O xein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti têde; keimetha tois keinon rhémasi peithomenoi.
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#7 User is offline   Mulch 

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 04:15 PM

Snake0026 wtf what happened to Snake0024???

Ah the good old days of banning snake once a month, Marduk, fooler, the fools rebellion, Mappo, toys going out of prams and paralel forume being set up (spank the manky and ????? wears a hat!)

This post has been edited by Mulch: 17 February 2011 - 04:15 PM

"Here's to beer!, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems" Homer Simpson
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#8 User is offline   rhulad 

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 03:14 PM

Who said tea was better with breakfast than coffee? Tea is an afternoon kind of drink! COFFEE IS FOR THE MORNING!
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#9 User is offline   Fist Gamet 

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 09:36 PM

Hey! I do still write you know! God Bless you, Snake for I had lost this. Ah, nostalgia ain't what it used to be...
Victory is mine!
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#10 User is offline   snake0026 

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 05:59 AM

View PostMulch, on 17 February 2011 - 04:15 PM, said:

paralel forume being set up (spank the manky and ????? wears a hat!)


Hehe, it was Knefles, and he's still holding on to his hat it seems! :)




"But I saw you [Snake]…faced by Anomander [Mandy] himself. How did…"
"I escape? Well, I dazzled him with fancy words, edging ever closer, then used my ninja skills to strike like a cobra, knocking the sword [Spamnipur] away and drop-kicking him over the side before tumbling backwards, slaying another Piss'd Andii on the way."
Silence. Lots of silence. "Fine!" He shrugged and grinned, "Someone hit him in the face with a coin, and he cursed just long enough for me to get away." ~ Excerpt from Gardens of the Tea Spoon
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