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WOSSNAME -- AUGUST 2007 -- part 5 of 7

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  • Not A Granny
    WOSSNAME - AUGUST 2007 -- PART 5 OF 7 (continued) ... oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ====Part 5 - WEIRD ALICE, CONTINUED 19) THE CLACKS
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 23, 2007
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      WOSSNAME - AUGUST 2007 -- PART 5 OF 7 (continued)
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      oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      ====Part 5 - WEIRD ALICE, CONTINUED

      19) THE CLACKS LOG OF WEIRD ALICE LANCREVIC (PART 2)

      oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      19) THE CLACKS LOG OF WEIRD ALICE LANCREVIC, CONTINUED

      Our destination was the oasis of Phati D'oun. It's well known among
      the D'regs as the Place of Herbs; here can be found the powerful
      stimulant qat and the powerful hallucinogen qit. Mixed together,
      they're known as qat-qit, and their effect can keep you up for days
      while making you see enough strange visions that you won't even
      *think* of the sleep you're losing. Once you've tried qat-qit it's
      hard to quit -- one of the common cries of D'reg hunter-gatherer
      groups translates as "Have a qat-qit, have a break!" -- and there
      was plenty of qat-qit use in evidence at Phati D'oun. As the sun set
      redly over the dunes and the baking hot desert day turned to bloody
      freezing desert night, we joined in the festivities. Oh boy, did we
      join in the festivities. I was designated Other Special Guest (since
      there was already a Special Guest, namely the Alchemical Brothers,
      from the valley of Great Sand); the masters of ceremonies were the
      handsome twins Fahim and Faher, and they accompanied me on camelskin
      drums with some pulse-pounding percussion as I played Loose in the
      Burnoose, Smells Like Tent Spirit, Camel Chameleon, You Dry Up My
      Life, an all-rocking rendition of Deeper and Dune, and an ode to
      Seven-Handed Sek, patron god of the Dehydrated Ocean, that I called
      Bringing Sek's Sea Back. Cert had got his mojo back by then and used
      his Technomancer training to put on a light show; the camels
      calculated trajectories and spat out their cuds at high speed, and
      Cert turned each cud missile into a ball of sparkling flame that
      landed harmlessly on the far side of the oasis. We partied and drank
      and watched the dancing houris and ate dates and no, I didn't try
      the sheep's eyes. And as the slow desert dawnlight rolled slowly
      across the dawn desert, we staggered off to our tents with a slurred
      chorus of "I'm going to Great Sand, Great Sand, down in Elharib, I'm
      going to Great Sand...proud D'regs our patrons in desert breeze, and
      we are going to Great Sand..."

      ***

      On the following day, we, that is to say the D'regs, were attacked
      by the Misplaced Tribe of Unreal. I'd believed they were only a
      legend, and when they first crested the dunes I thought they were a
      leftover hallucination from my qat-qit hangover, but no. The
      Misplaced Tribe are descendants of a lost cadre of Klatchian Foreign
      Legionnaires who joined the KFL to forget and then forgot they were
      in it; now they wander the trackless desert, pillaging passing
      caravans and plundering pilgrims on the paths. They were no match
      for al-Rhaiva's D'regs though, and the survivors willingly joined
      our lads (though not in as, um, unfettered a capacity as ours). They
      were led by a pale-skinned, pale-eyed young man called Sojar ibn
      Sheri, aka the Lyon of the Dessert (fierce wanderers aren't so good
      with the spelling), who thinks he came originally from Ankh-Morpork,
      or possibly Muntab, but has long since forgotten. He's quite good
      with camels though. The Misplaced Tribe will no doubt continue to
      exist -- they can't remember if they were the whole Tribe or if
      there were others who forgot to come along.

      We pitched our tents on yet another featureless expanse of sand
      which, I was told, was near the Djelibeybian border. It seems we can
      get transport down the Djel to the Circle Sea. I always did want to
      visit Djelibeybi; any nation that lists garlic as one of its primary
      exports gets my vote. Remember, my mother's side of the family were
      Nugganites...

      The story so far, in song:

      Travellin' on a flyblown carpet
      With a whiffy smell, like Nobby's armpit
      I met a D'reg houri in Klatch's service
      She mixed me up like a whirling dervish
      And she said,

      Do you burn from the sand down under?
      Hot rash below? - well, no wonder
      Do you feel, do you feel quite sundered?
      Your tender bum you better keep covered!

      Half-dead in a D'regs-filled place is
      Even worse by far with no oasis
      I said, "Is the coastline that way?"
      They just grinned and gave me some scorpion sorbet
      And they said,

      We run with the sand down under
      Where thirst can kill if you blunder
      Do you feel, do you feel encumbered?
      Beware the sun - you better keep covered!

      Flying in a windblown quand'ry
      With a sick Imp and no clean laundry
      I said to the D'regs, "Let us leave this country
      "Because I long for a land that's tent-free!"
      And we said,

      Sinkin' in the sand down yonder
      Where camels plod and D'regs wander
      Do you feel like you're bleaching blonder?
      You're turning brown, you better seek cover!

      ***

      Second Clog: "Not lost, just cartographically variable"

      The Lost City of Ee materialised next to our tent during the night.

      This is not as unusual as it sounds. According to the history books
      I've read, the Lost City of Ee is a brigadoon, a magickal node of
      placeness that disappears and reappears at various places on the
      Disc (or sometimes elsewhere in the multiverse). My Mapp placed it
      well rimwards of Elharib, but it was published in the Century of the
      Fruitbat and is obviously out of date. We were also obviously out of
      dates, and thirsty again, so we packed up and set off inside the
      strangely carved walls in search of breakfast; we couldn't ask the
      D'regs, because every one of them, man, woman camel and prisoner,
      had mysteriously disappeared without a trace. So had the inhabitants
      of Ee, by the look of it. Everything was covered by a fine layer of
      dust -- not all of it desert dust by any means -- and the streets
      were paved with very old-looking mud, but the fountains in city
      centre were still running and the water was cool and delicious. And
      there were fruit trees! With fruit on them! Cert insisted on
      muttering a few poison-detecting spells over our "found meal" before
      we ate, but they came up clean. I thought I noticed a funny shadow
      at the edge of the market square when he was spell-saying, but it
      was probably just a heat hallucination, or the last effects of the
      qat-qit.

      When we were well fruited, I decided to have a bath in the fountain
      while Cert explored...after all, there's been a lot of geography
      between here and the last bath I had in Genua...and after bath came
      nap. By the time I woke up, it was late afternoon and Cert was back.
      He'd found some old grimoires (he was well chuffed about that, since
      if you remember he'd thrown his own ones overboard just before
      Captain Aie's pirates captured us) and some fresh clothes (for a
      "probably centuries old, but at least they look like no-one's died
      in them" value of "fresh") and a couple of fine-looking ceremonial
      daggers (in case anything new and exciting attacks us), but no
      people and no food, so we've had some more fruit. He's also found
      what he thinks is a collection of sapient pearwood figurines, but
      said it was getting dark fast in that part of the city and he'd
      rather rest and go back in the morning. We gathered some old
      furniture and made a fire because the temperature was dropping
      again. I swear the shadows look funny around the edges of the
      square. Must be the firelight. But in the end we decided to go back
      outside the walls and pitch our tent in the open desert, in case the
      city decided to leave with us in it while we were asleep.

      We've made a pact to sleep on separate sides of the tent until we
      get back to someplace less, well, lost.

      On a side note, Gimpy has been acting funny. I've been getting him
      to read back my posts before he sends them, and I keep having to
      make corrections to the spelling and grammar and sometimes ask him
      to delete whole passages he's copied down twice. He says his
      processor spell needs a flush. I don't even want to think about what
      that entails. Cert says he can fix Gimpy but he needs some
      specialist supplies including something I think he called a daemon-
      magnitiser and something about a hard drive. But I don't drive my
      Imp too hard! Hopefully, the next time we're near someplace vaguely
      civilised, we can sort this out.

      Tired now. Here endeth this post.

      ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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