A Selection of Stones from the Sensorium by Hymneth & Others

1 post / 0 new
sciborg2
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 19 hours ago
Joined: 2005-07-26 19:14
A Selection of Stones from the Sensorium by Hymneth & Others

*Hymneth started this and the introductory text is theirs, others also contributed. Credits at bottom.

This is a collection of sensations hand selected from the vaults of the Society of Sensation. They reflect a variety of lives and experiences that will enrich any who would choose to consider them.

And without further delay:

1. Love
The longing is unbearable. The object of her affection is so close, yet the there is a distance between them that cannot be bridged. She looks at the soft, silken face of the beautiful succubus, the same longing reflected in her radiant eyes.. Their hearts ache for each others touch.
Her eyes trace the rounding of her hips. They linger on the gentle curve of her belly, tracing it downwards to the hidden spot that urges for her affection, while her lover returns the attention.
Their love cannot be.
It's not fair!
They both reach out, opposing their fate.
Where their hands touch, the water ripples outward, distorting the image of her lover.

2. Boundaries
Their pride almost reached a level of rapture. The ritual was complete. Thanat'hael saw his own feelings reflected in the faces of his colleague wizards. The rift in front of them was opening. Colours of all sorts radiated on him and his euphoric fellows, as their portal stretched throughout the known realms and beyond. No one had ever reached this far, no one had ever peered beyond the boundaries of reality.
The portal focused on its end destination.
It was.... wrong.
The first thing Thanat'hael saw was a writhing mass of tentacles and the colour purple. Then that image lost cohesion, for forms did not belong in the realm they had opened.
The first thing he heard was one of the other wizards laughing. It was Idril Calafas. She wouldn't stop laughing. She clawed at her eyes, trying to remove them from their sockets. The new realm was bleeding into their world, trying to form colours and shapes and sounds so it could exist here. Another wizard started floating upwards, while his body was twisting, changing, into the most horrible of sounds.
I must warn...Others must know!
Thanat'hael ordered his legs to run, away from this. But away was becoming up, and up was becoming ripples. The maniacal laughter and cries were warping his spirit, while he tried to maintain some order into his perception. He couldn't.

3. Reliable
Monodrone twenty-five thousand sixty-three was mining.
-”Ore,” it said, digging up the substance it had been shown and which it recognized.
“Ore, ore, ore.” There was a lot of ore in this spot. The little modron's task was to mine it until its instructions were renewed, one and three thirds of a billionth of one Passing in the future.
“Ore”, it repeated, as it recognized more of the stuff in the place where it was digging. It did not, however, recognize the creatures sneaking up on him. They did not behave or look like a duodrone, or anything he had ever seen, and it had been around for little short of one and a half tenth of a Passing.
-”Ignore,” the monodrone said, mining on. “Ignore, ignore. Ore. Ore ore ore.”

4. Birth
Nameless was picked up. It knew it would never see the others again, at least not in this form. Nameless was chosen. The others would remain. Many of them would die. The air was cold, to its moist body. It wasn't immersed in fluid any more. Its source of food was gone. But it would get a new one. A scream as Nameless was put in its new home. Another scream as it started to eat its way undisturbed, to the fresh source of brainy material. In seven days, its new host would be transformed into its own body, and it would truly join the illithid community.

5. Name
Months or weeks. Innaxis wasn't counting the days. She had been focusing on but one thing: the name. Everyone knew of course that the thing surrounding her was called a cage, a cell or a prison,...; there were many words for it. Innaxis knew words. They mattered not. She needed the name, its true, universal name. Her master had thought her the principles of using a thing's true name. Using it was simple; finding it was hard. The name rang through every square inch of her cell. It vibrated through the walls and the iron bars. But it was a very elusive thing.
Now she had found it.
The Yugoloth stood up. She extended her hand and triumphantly shouted the true name of her prison. It quavered, it resisted, then its passive urge to maintain its proper form crumbled.
The walls receded. The thorned manacles that had endlessly pierced her wrists flowed off of her like water. The metal bars bent outwards, forming a gaping hole in their midst.
Gonnorax had made a fatal error letting her live. An error he would soon suffer, for a long time.

6. Awakened
Slowly, with all the softness of a thieves step, a figure enters your vision.
Everything else is a blur; you know no colour, no sound or temperature. It’s as if you have no knowledge, feeling and instinct. No past beyond this point. You feel your muscles tense like coiled springs, you stand rigid in front of her.
Her, strange that you know this woman, deep in your chest…an empty chest? No. A boiling, frothing, hot chest, you know her and above all you fear her utterly.
You wince as she approaches you, but your face is unmoving, numb.
She raises a hand, you feel your arm torn from your side and raised just as she has. She smiles, she smiles and you fear.
She whispers in a long dead tongue, but you understand her command.
Suddenly, you think your brave, what is brave?
You could almost laugh. You don’t even know why you think, let alone that. The heat in your chest rises. Your arm returns to your side silently.
You reply in the same language, your voice like the clashing of shields, “No.”

7. Fanatical Belief, Crumbling Swiftly
The war wages on. You dash off the transport ship, dodging the silvered points of a cloud of arrows and just barely make it to the bunker. You have looked forward to this day for decades.Plans are quickly and methodically reviewed and eliminated. A course of action is decided. Three hundred troops charge to the south as a diversion. They are doomed before they even stand to leave, their sacrifice fitting for the eventual victory.The rest of your unit teleports a half a league to the east, appearing to the flank of the disorganized enemy ranks. Victory will be sweet today.Something is wrong. A second wave of enemy forces has appeared to the north, attacking your unit's weakest front. You swoop into the air for a few seconds to get a better view of the situation. It is not good, and a decision is quickly made. You push towards the back of the lines as fellow soldiers drop around you, their blood bubbling and smoking on the grey dirt. A great beast whose name you do not know bursts through the crowd nearby. You throw one of your fellow soldiers in its path, and your escape is complete.Hours later you sit, huddled under a dank stone underhang, watching almost disinterestedly as your wounds slowly heal themselves, and think to yourself "Loyalty has its place, but survival always comes first."

8. Déjà vu
You've never been allowed to enter this particular sensorium before, and you're very excited. This room is said to contain some particularly interesting memories of a concubine-empress of a certain prime world that you're just itching to get your hands on.A bluish green stone sits on a pedestal to the left of the room. The plaque below it reads "Excited Anticipation." Seems like a good place to start, so you approach the stone and begin to tease the sensation out of it.Later, you rouse yourself from the trance, feeling nothing but extreme confusion. The stone did not contain the titillating adventure you were hoping for, but instead a remarkably detailed account of your life over the last few days, as you were told of this very room, did everything you could to gain access, and were finally granted a short visit, ending with your approaching a certain bluish green stone. How in the Hells did that get there? Did you use the stone wrong? Was it someone else's memory that was just disturbingly similar to your own? Did you imagine it? Is this a trick? You back away from the stone with no small amount of fear and exit the room.It may be some time before you use another stone. In fact, you've heard some good things about the Free League that you may just have to look into more closely. . .

9. Resignation and Doubt
You stand over her body. Blood is slowly pooling around her form, soaking into the white and blue dress she wore. You shift your grip on the dented tankard in your hand, and shuffle your feet slightly. The look on her face is starting to make you very uncomfortable.She never should have said that about your ears. There's nothing wrong with them, and it's not your fault anyway. However, you fear you may have overreacted somewhat. It's not like she really deserved this, you suppose. But she was being quite rude. You take a step backwards to avoid the spreading puddle.You set the tankard down on the floor and close her eyelids. Then you walk over to a nearby chair to sit and wait. Someone will come eventually, and you'll explain, and you'll go peacefully you suppose.As you wait, you think about what could have been and toy with the tips of your ears, and wonder just why she thought they were so funny.

10. Fear of the Unknown
7 3 5 9 2 5 3 7 4 2 5 5 5 0 4 5 7 4 6 2 4 . . . Wait, that's the end of it. You did it. You've been trying to calculate the last digit of Pi for well over a millennium, and you did it! Elation fills your two dimensional mathematical matrices! The other Moinios will be so jealous! They'll want to know what it is and you'll know, and they won't, and then you can teach them, and it will be glorious!But wait, what if you're wrong? It did take quite a while, and you do calculate with flawless precision, but there was that time about 345 years ago when the Pentadrone asked you to quickly determine the angular velocity of a nearby cog for him. What if you missed a digit? Even if you didn't, then what will you do now? If you teach anyone else the answer, then they will teach others, and in no time everyone will know. You won't even be able to teach if they already know it!Maybe you'd better recheck your figures, just to be sure. Yes, that's the only logical conclusion.3 . 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5 3 5 8 9 7 . . .

11. Paranoia:
The bastards are everywhere...
They have all ready taken and replaced Shopkeeper and Innkeeper, and that sweet old lady next door, you bet she is one of them too...
They are everywhere, the faceless, bastards who wear skin of their victims as masks, and when you don’t look they take they masks off and laugh behind your back. They are toying with you before they finish you off with their filthy claws...
They have taken the town and they laugh behind your back...
You will show them, yes the axe will be fine...
They have taken your wife and your boy for sure and they laugh behind your back, the bastards... This will teach them... You will start with your "wife" when she gets home... THEY WILL NOT GET YOU !

12. Friendship
The tides of chaos whirl around you. Fire and ice and light and earth and the sheer beauty of the colors and randomness of it all. You are content. All is as it should be, and the writhing nature of chaos caresses your being. You are hungry.Well, this just won't do. You swim/hop/glide/merge your way through the all/nothing until you sense a presence nearby. You lick your lips and ready your talons. Then the soup of life parts, and you see the thing ahead of you, in a bubble of unnatural order.It sits on a uniform plane of earth in a bubble of air. There is fire before it, and a hunk of some other lesser thing on a stick over the fire. You drop to the ground, flex your muscles, and issue the time honored Challenge of Devouring.The being seems quite startled and lets out a yelp. The earth/air/fire construction it has made for itself wavers for a second before it can regain control. Then it looks at you and does something you've never encountered before.It smiles, and approaches you. Your guard is up, and you expect the unexpected, as usual. Then, it hands you the stick from the fire with the bit of creature on it. You hesitantly take it, and devour it stick and all.It's good. Very good.The creature sits down by its fire, forms another stick from the frothing everything, jams another bit of food on it, and replaces it over the fire. You hop over, sit by the fire, and wait.It looks at you again and smiles. You smile back. Maybe you won't eat this one after all.

13. Forbidden
The day is nearing an end, and you roll your cart from the market back to your home up a side street. You push it inside, then pause for a second to admire the growth of Razorvine that you managed to cultivate around your door. Such a simple beauty, and useful too.You step inside, and immediately walk to your shrine, to thank your patron for the good day you have experienced, for the profits your business has turned, and for your continued good health.You prostrate yourself before the small crude idol you carved yourself, and begin to concentrate. When you feel ready, you look up at the idol and smile. You reach forwards and pierce the skin of your finger on one of the sharp scraps of metal you have driven into the wood around the face. Your prayers are ready."My Lady, Empress of the Ringed City, Jewel of the Planes, ruthless and beautiful and powerful. I throw myself at your feet and beseech your Grace. . ."

14. Damaged
[This stone has a big, jagged crack running up one side and a few chips missing, but is kept around because its still functional, and is a novel form of sensation in its own right]. . . . . .. . . lonely. I need to m. . .. . . name is Caroline. Seems cute, but she has th. . .. . . ittle too serious. I think there must be a bett. . .. . . but I don't even like her! Marriage is completely out of the question! I'd rath. . .. . . cold here. And dark. I've forgotten why I decided to come this way. There's no point in. . .. . . and Angels. It was beautiful. So beautiful. I need to return that way again. The woods have many paths, but I'm sure that in time, with some effo. . .. . . gone. I didn't love her, but I didn't. . .. . . not what I thought. . .. . . can't get it off my shoulder. It's somehow bonded to . . .. . . want to die, but . . .. . . . . .

15. Annoyance
By the Gods and all their messengers, this was worth every copper. Tied to a padded velvet frame, restrained in the 32nd position of rapture, fed fruit and wine grown on the slopes of Mt. Olympus every third hour by men with beautiful, muscular bodies, oiled and sinewy. It transcends pleasure. It's such a shame that you could only afford two days, but you'll never forget it, that's for sure. You wish it would never end.Time to start saving up again, just as soon as. . .What's that noise? Oh, it's just a fly buzzing around the room. You settle back into the cushioned frame and concentrate on the beautiful music flowing from the. . .Argh! The fly landed on your nose! You try to slap at it, but your hands are bound to the frame rather securely. You wiggle your nose and snort, but the fly refuses to move, other than trying to crawl up into your sinuses for a second before giving up. Now it's crawled to your cheek. It tickles. Gah.You yell for an attendant to help you, but its only been an hour since you were last fed, so it may be some time before anyone comes this way again.Bah! It's on your lip now! You frantically blow and flap your lips, smearing your makeup and sounding a fool, but the fly continues its adventurous exploration of your face. Only two more hours till the attendants get back. You wish they'd hurry. . .

16. Boredom in the Strangest of Circumstances
You are falling. Quite fast at this point. You forget how long it has been since you first slipped over the rail of the stairs, but you're starting to get hungry and could definitely do with a trip to the latrine, so its probably been a while.The wind whistles, but it’s always the same note. You'd sing or whistle yourself to pass the time, but your throat's a little raw from that first five minutes of screaming. You really should have held that in.You go through your pockets again. Still nothing interesting. There was some string that you toyed with for a while, but you lost your grip on it and it blew away hours ago.Sigh.Well, you suppose you could take a nap, but you're not that tired. Prayer would be a good option right now, but you've never given much stock in the gods really caring about a single being. Anyway, you're having a hard time thinking of a god of falling, or of safe landings.Hum.You really wish the ground was closer. At least you'd be able to watch it coming. . .

17. Freedom
Today, you think you'll be a female Githyanki. Maybe an apparent age in the 30's? Yes, that will do nicely.Your skin stretches and discolors. Folds of flesh mimic clothing and skin alike. Soon, the image is perfect. You enter the street and live the Githyanki woman.Later, you tire of her, and you step into an alley to become a Dwarf. Male. Grey beard. Maybe a smith. No, no, that's too common. An acrobat. Yes. You shrink and contort. Bones realign and thicken. Hair sprouts and intertwines into intricate braids. You return to the streets and live the dwarf.When you return home again, you relax and allow the dwarf to fall off of you, your gangly frame returning, with its bland and unappealing grayish white skin and oversized head. You hate it so. Luckily, you're always free to change it, and live whatever you like.

18. Discovery
You found the map ages ago, and it took you months to decipher it once you knew what it was. It finally led you to this place, a cavern of purest marble in a forgotten corner of Mineral. It was tough getting here. Weeks of trekking from the portal, carefully navigating by the map and avoiding the worst of the razor sharp crystals. You nearly lost a leg a few days ago, but luckily you still had one of those marvelous healing tinctures that priest of Loki traded you last year. But that's all over. Now you're here.In the deepest caves of the marble palace, for it was now obvious what it was, you found a door. You managed to pry it open, and a curious sight waited for you inside. A large, spherical chamber with a single plinth in the center, supporting a large strongbox. Around the box lie dozens of skeletons. Human, dwarven, that's probably a bariaur or a centaur, and who knows what that one is. All of them seem to be sitting around the box, waiting.This is far from the first time you have entered such a place, and you watch the bones cautiously. You approach the box and open it.It's beautiful. The craftsmanship. The way the light seems to leap from facet to facet. The gentle, graceful way the handle curves, and the artful burnish of the metallic edges. A single tear wells in your eye and splashes onto its surface.You close the box. It's just too much. You aren't worthy to see it, much less possess it. No one is.You push one of the skeletons out of the way and sit at the base of the plinth. You'll just stay long enough to warn the next person who wanders in, then you'll leave. Someone has to warn them. Someone has to guard it

19. Losses and Gains
You remember the pain. You lost the arm five years ago in a bar brawl with a particularly overenthusiastic Harmonium officer. Sometimes, when its cold and the smog gets particularly thick, you can still feel the ache. It was hard getting used to it not being there. Locking a door. Pouring a drink. Tying a bootlace. For a while you kept trying to pick things up with it, and were confused for a moment when you couldn't. It got easier over time, but it never became convenient.Not only that, but that same officer makes sure to track you down at least once a week to remind you that you'd still have both arms if you'd just agreed with him. Heartless bastard.This morning when you woke up you had another of those forgetful moments and tried to pick up a crumpled shirt from the floor. This time, somehow, it worked.You stand in the middle of the room, staring at the shirt you hold in midair at arms length with an arm that you haven't had for five years. You try again and manage to knock over a small table. Soon you're throwing everything you can get your "hand" on all over the room. Your cracked lips curl up in a rare, honest smile as you feel your missing fist flex.This is going to be well worth it all the next time that Hardhead knocks on your door. . .

20. Lost
Left, then right, then right again. It's another dead end. This passage looks familiar. They all look familiar. Every single dead end, all 3,721 dead ends, look familiar.Turn around. Left, then right. Dead end.There is an exit out of this accursed maze here, somewhere. There is always an exit. It's the final curse of The Lady; there is always an exit. And it's an endless search to find it. Not that you'll ever find it.Turn around. Right, then left, then right. Dead end.They debate about the worst place to end up. They say the Blood War is the worst fate, torn apart in a war of demons. They say the Waste is worse, slowly watching your essence drain away. They're wrong. The maze, the endless infinite maze, is the worst of them all.Turn around. Left, then right, then right, and another right. Dead end.It's a pointless search, but what else is there to do? It's an endless maze, and there is an exit somewhere, and you'll never find it.Turn around. Left, then right, then left, then right, then right. Dead end.This passage looks familiar. They all look familiar. Every single dead end, all 3,725 dead ends look familiar.

21. Twin
Finally found a safe haven in Pandemonium, an inn with thick stone walls in a little burg surrounded by standing stones. Good to rinse the grit from my teeth, after a week in the deafening winds of madness. The other patrons chuckle as the door opens again. I turn around and see ... Myself!"You stupid berk! Experience the howling dark, great idea! You're an addle-coved bleaker, not a sensate. Momma'd be turning in her grave if the dusties hadn't fed her bloated remains to their ghouls. She never wanted you anyway. Why do you think she programmed you have only failing, shallow relationships your whole life? Look at you, what a sniveling snot of a puss bucket you've become. User, hedonist, fool, junkie. Why if Torka could see ..."At the mention of my sister, slain these many years by the githyanki, I loose it. I leap forward, shivs drawn. My double meets my charge with the same speed and fluidity that I possess. Our blades clash to the sounds of cheers, laughter, and bet-taking from the crowded inn. The fight is fierce, but my will and rage are stronger, and my blade finds my double's groin.The body slowly crumbles to dust as I return to my mug, sprinkling a bit of black powder in the ale to calm my shakes. Torka would hate what I've become.

22. Miss Nocce
The sweet shop was antique; the old joke was the Tower Arcane and Miss Nocce’s shop were both built in the Time Before Time. Truth was the shop was older than the tower. A girl skips to the tiny door and knocks, the shop is closed, but the door opens. The girl is plain, a commoner with ginger hair and a hint of something elvish in her spindly fingers, which she often hides in patch-work pockets. The girl steps inside. The smell of wild cherries and sugar is empowering.Miss Nocce drifts from the back parlor, her inviting, warm smile defying her mother’s blessings. Scarlet skin, leathery wings and terrible, consuming maroon eyes. The girl was one of the few that knew of Miss Nocce’s heritage, her skin dances into the form of an old crone for all but the trustworthy. This girl, Miss Nocce knew, was destined to be a sorcerer. She felt it was her duty to teach the girl to use her skills for respectable ends. Besides, the girl’s main skill seemed to be detecting magic; it was only a matter of time, rather share a secret than have it spread in half-truths. Miss Nocce’s chest heaves as she takes a deep breath and from her lips the words seem to melt like chocolate…
“Belief, treasured Bella, the world, and as I will explain in time, worlds, hang on the power of Belief.”

23. Seer
What was it? Nobody knew. It was different every day. The feeling was frighteningly vast, unknowable. I felt sick, tides of bile would touch my tongue every few hours. I had the Shivers, my father said, as I began to see colours, smell colours. The ‘yanki had a secret weapon. I news was all over, even the frogs were chattering, gibbering, squealing about it.
Then, I knew what it was. It was nothing really.Later that night I was torn from my bed by a great red clad figure.
It barked, "Do not speak. Follow! Bring your kit bag, papers, thought stick and follow!"

24. The First Rule of Magic
The wizard jumped to his feet hastily, spun on one leg smacking Daniel in the face with his cloak and proclaimed to the yellowing ceiling “The first rule of Magic!”The elderly man moved swiftly along the small room; the bells on his feet jangled an interesting tune as he moved up to the tiny window, which was more of hole in the wall with glass over it. He tilted his head just long enough to let his grey curls fall and then pushed his nose against the glass and peered outside irritably, as if people had a habit of standing outside his cottage in mid-winter. He kept his nose against the cold glass and murmured to himself. Then he closed the curtains casually, pulled up his cloak sleeves and put his hands in his pockets. The boy squinted as his eyes got accustomed to new dimness; a thin stream of light fell on the wizard giving his long hair a silvery glow, the magic-weavers shoulders sagged and he began to hum an old sailor’s verse. Daniel began to notice the blast of the wind outside, he couldn’t be silent any longer, “rules of wizardly teaching” or not.“Sir, what is the first ru-““The first rule of Magic is that there is no such thing as magic!”

25. Riches
He had travelled far in search for truth. He had worked long and hard to find unlimited wealth. He had strived to get in touch with ultimate happiness.
Dariat sat on his horse and let his eyes feast upon the view of the setting sun caressing the lush grasses of the boundless plains. Then he closed them, so he could fully enjoy the soft breeze blowing through his hair.
He had finally found it all. And he had always had it. Once again in the moorlands where he had grown up, he had come full circle.
"How could I have been so foolish?" He asked his horse. "I've wasted so much time."
He looked once more at the landscape, at the riches, free for all too take. He savored the memories of his childhood.
"Giddy up!" Dariat spurred his horse forward, plowing through the grasses. He laughed.

26. Experience
I was wrong.
I was wrong once again.
Once again a new experience showed me I didn't know what I thought I knew.
Once again I have to rethink my views on life, on existence.
The sensates are right; I cannot come to full understanding, to wholeness, until I have experienced everything.
I will join them.

27. Name
Months or weeks. Innaxis wasn't counting the days. She had been focusing on but one thing: the name. Everyone knew of course that the thing surrounding her was called a cage, a cell or a prison,...; there were many words for it. Innaxis knew words. They mattered not. She needed the name, its true, universal name. Her master had thought her the principles of using a thing's true name. Using it was simple; finding it was hard. The name rang through every square inch of her cell. It vibrated through the walls and the iron bars. But it was a very elusive thing.
Now she had found it.
The Yugoloth stood up. She extended her hand and triumphantly shouted the true name of her prison. It quavered, it resisted, then its passive urge to maintain its proper form crumbled.
The walls receded. The thorned manacles that had endlessly pierced her wrists flowed off of her like water. The metal bars bent outwards, forming a gaping hole in their midst.
Gonnorax had made a fatal error letting her live. An error he would soon suffer, for a long time.

28. Zeal
Everywhere parts of the ceiling are crumbling down. Eoger makes no attempt to evade them. His mind is determined.
"What is your name!?"
The misleadingly feminine creature only smiles at his order. She is sitting calmly on the marble stairs, while all around her, the place is falling apart. One of the pillars has just smashed to crumbling bits several feet to her left. Dust from the faltering ceiling is slowly painting her black hair grey. "My, my, I really wouldn't stay if I were you. We're both gonna die." She flutters her eyelashes.
The paladin takes another step forward. A falling stone skimps off his once radiant armour. "Your name! Tell me! Now!" No matter how much threat and power he pours into his shouts, the creature doesn't care.
Around them the walls almost seem to mimic the sound of a ships hull at sea, stressing to maintain it's integrity under the onslaught of a terrible storm.
"Tell me!" Fury and despair mix in his voice. Neither impress the demonic woman.
As he steps closer, his great sword at the ready, he knows they are both going to be buried alive.

29. Purification
Inax opens the bag and pulls out the perfectly smooth sphere. It is transparent now, but soon his taint would be swirling inside. Thupar thought Inax wanted to use it to steal the good from some poor sod's soul. And in a way he was right. But the seller hadn't guessed Inax was going to use it on himself. The demon had been tainted with good. He didn't understand how or why. But from a certain moment in his existence, he had been burdened with remorse, guilt, empathy, pity. Things that had no place in his demon nature. They weakened him. They made him trust others, only to be stabbed in the back. They made him place the well-being of others above his own, endangering himself. They made him feel bad whenever he hurt others, even it was for his own good. He needed to get rid of it. He needed to be purified. Even as he held up the sphere, he felt doubt gnawing at his conscience. What about all the bad things he would do to others once the good was gone? Would that be right? Shouldn't he expel the evil instead?

30. Taste
Exquisite! So tender, so tasty, so exactly right.
I roll the piece of meat under and over the full length of my tongue, squeezing; squeezing every bit of its blissful taste out of it before I start chewing. Because chewing is whole new experience. There's much more taste inside the meat. Ooh. Aah. And the texture, so sublime!
I have to swallow it. Darn it. Even if it's over then, I have to! The taste down in my throat..., if my mouth could have an orgasm, that would be it.I lick my lips. There are still some remnants of the taste.
But it's not enough.
I shouldn't eat another piece.... It's dangerous.
But so delicious! Why didn't anyone ever tell me!?
...
Ah one last bite, I promise myself.
I take my knife and cut another piece out of my right thigh.
The pain is excruciating.
But the taste....
Aaaah,... It's more than worth it.
I'm getting dizzy.

31. Immortal
Finally! This is it. In a moment I will live on forever.
I will not fade away like the others!
I will not be slowly erased by time!
I put my hands on the recorder stone, ready to surrender my soon to be immortal memories.
I should find a way to make copies.
One stone is a bit fragile.

32. Endings
It's almost over.You watch the hours are slowly ticking away, moaning as impartial time keeps ticking on. After 3 whole days, 72 blissful hours, it's time to go back. Back to a world of monsters than need slaying, spells that need studying, and work that needs doing.Every wizard needs a vacation every once and a while, a chance to unwind. And for those who aren’t killed on sight, the upper planes holds some of the greatest resorts anywhere.But it's all ending. Time ticks by, and soon it will be time to return to a horrible reality. No more relaxation, no more sweet delights cooked by the finest chefs, reality and work beckons. And no amount of magic can stop as the last remnants of your vacation slowly wind away.Only 6 more weeks until the next holiday.

33. Infinity
You wipe the sweat off your forehead. The hammer seems so much heavier these days, but then again it has been sixty eight years since your father first passed it off to you. And today is the day you can finally rest.You look down at the anvil in front of you. The link is nearly finished. No larger than your fist, but forged of the strongest metals known to your people. Intricately twisted and inlaid with silver wire, covered with the runes taught to you by your father, passed down for untold generations.One final blow and, yes, the link is closed and perfect. Not bad for seven decades of work. At the other end of the smithy you can see your son toiling away at his own link, and beyond him you can see your grandson watching, nearly ready to begin his own link.You will not live to see the chain completed, nor will your son, or his son, or his son beyond him. But someday the chain will be finished, and on that day the Great Benefactor will return to reward your family for its sacrifice.But now, your time in the smithy is over, and it is time to rest.

34. Sacrifice
She knew she would have to make sacrifices, but this was hard. This was a great personal loss. But the others would see it as a weakness if she didn't go on with this. She drew the ritual dagger from its scabbard as she approached the man tied to the altar. She didn't let her regrets show. The man didn't whimper at the sight of the dagger. Proud and determined he returned her look, stubborn until the very end. That strength would soon crumble when the pain started. She took another step. This was so hard. He had been such a wonderful toy to her all these days. She would never again be able to delight in his suffering, in his humiliation.

35. Secret
"Hmm, it's delicious!" Kianee swallows the piece of chocolate. "Truly! And you're saying all of this is edible?" She makes an all encompassing gesture over the chocolate landscape.
"Well most of it," Zing shook away a bad memory. "Those sugar tipped flowers there aren't very friendly to ones stomach. And those thorn-bushes there, don't be fooled by their sweet, sweet smell. Chocolate can be very sharp!"
"And you have this place all to yourself?"
"Well, not all to myself. Not many know of this plane. It is after all very hard to get here. However this world is so scarcely populated that, for all intents and purposes, I am alone here yes." She turns to Kianee, a very serious expression on her face now. "I expect you to keep this a secret. I don't want my peace disturbed."
"Of course! Secret is my middle name!" Wow, the other sensates are going to love this!

36. Justice
"Correction, I did not murder your parents. I ate them." Ragnixiivaar spoke as if he was slightly offended. The red dragon was pacing to and fro -in human form of course, he couldn't fit in the court room otherwise-
"Big difference, you killed them you bastard!" The boy was shouting his voice hoarse.
Ragnixiivaar coughed, as if thinking for a moment -a mere charade of course- before speaking. "You and your parents were farmers were you not? You kept ..cows if I'm not mistaken. Cows whose lives you occasionally ended to eat, correct?"
"Those are animals you bastard, not people!"
"Those animals were animals, yes... let's come up with a slightly more satisfying justification shall we. What differs these animals, from people?"
The boy just looked angry, but when the judge looked expectantly at him, he knew he had to answer. "They're just animals. They can't think, like us."
"Ah. You don't of course mean that they are mindless, I take. A cow can still think. Hey there's grass! I move over there and eat. I'm thirsty, I need to find water. They are just very very stupid."
"...yes," the boy said reluctantly. He didn't see the trap coming yet.
"So what distinguishes you humans from animals -the ones you can't eat from the ones you can- is that your intellect surpasses that of them by an order of magnitude." Ragnixiivaar smiled warmingly.
It took a moment for the implications of his words to settle down in the boy's mind.
"But,... no...," He kept stammering, dumbfounded.
"Your honour, I rest my case." The dragon turned his back triumphantly.

37. Ignorance
You stand proudly before the lecture hall, and prepare yourself to speak."I am Ranklansis, Third of the Order, and I am here today to teach you of the Planes of reality. I have travelled to three of these places myself, and you should count yourselves lucky if you manage to do the same. So listen carefully."You point to part of a diagram on the wall. "This is our world, Maar'nath. It is the center of the Prime plane, named so because of its central location in the planes, and its importance. You know this already, so I'll move on.""These six planes are the Planes of matter. Earth, Wind, Fire, Water, Life, and Death. They orbit our world like stars, although they are too far away to see in the sky, except for Fire, which lights our world in the form of the Sun. These planes are attached to our world by the plane of Spirits, where the dead go after life.""Over here on the other side are the twelve Planes of belief. Each one is ruled over by one of the Gods of our world, and resembles their beliefs to some extent. These planes are inhabited mostly by Angels and Demons who spend most of their time fighting one another. These planes are connected to our world by the plane of Speed, where travel is nearly instant.""Any questions? No? Then we will proceed to the specifics of each Plane. . ."

38. Instinct
"But... but why are you leaving?" He just stands there, perplexed.
"Simple, because you do not love me."
"What?! Who made you think that? Of course I love you. I don't want you to leave!"
"No you do not. It is simple instinct, a physical urge for procreation. Love is just what you made up around that feeling."
"What?! Listen to me! I - LOVE - YOU!"
I change my shape into that of a male. "Do you?"
His face turns pale, then red. "You're a man," he shouts furiously.
I change back. "No, but you are. Your anger just proved my point."

39. Perseverance
I blinked, which was normally a deadly mistake by itself. An opportunity for him to strike through my defense. Of course, that he struck through my defense was the reason I blinked in the first place. A brief moment of terror for that deathblow.
But when I opened my eyes I still stood. He was defenseless now. Like me, he had expected me to die, that the combat was over, and had dropped his guard. I grin, ready to end his life with a single strike. He kneels. Hilarious. He prays to his gods. Pathetic.
...
A prayer of thanks?
Something on the ground...
Blood. I'm standing in a big puddle of blood. And it's flowing out of a body lying on the floor; my body! In shock I look at my transparent hands.
"Nooo! The lords of Othar be damned! I'm a ghost!"

40. Hot
"I don't like it here. It's too warm."
"It's called tropical. We're on vacation!"
"It's pressing down on me. And there's something wrong with the air too. It smells poisonous."
"Gah, that's just because you're only used to your chilly fire world. This is the real life!"
*Grumble* "And my feet keep sinking away in this magma. I'm outta here!"

41. Purpose
I was once fully sentient. I can vaguely remember that. But I had been altered.The man puts himself between me and the small one.He wants to protect it. I still understand that. I still remember. There once was a time when I didn't kill the little ones, or those weak, wrinkly ones. There was something wrong about that. But now I don't remember what."The war is over! Go back whence you came!"I don't remember what the war is about. They keep saying it is over, but how do I know they're not lying. I was created to destroy the enemy, there's no other purpose for me left now. Maybe there once was, but not anymore.I move in for the kill.

42. Memories
Something is wrong with my mind. Everything is so vague. I cannot remember everything. What I do remember is conflicting. I remember different me's. Vastly different times. But I can't remember all.
I cannot see. Where am I?
I belong to a mighty race, an ancient race. We're much stronger than the worthless slave races that surround us. We live in the waters deep underground. Our memories are supposed to be vast. But mine is full of holes. Am I becoming senile? Was I hurt in battle, and am I dying?
I'm dying...
No...
More memories are slowly coming to me. Perhaps I am healing.
Why can't I see? My tentacles feel so numb...
as if not fully formed.
Curses! I have only just become sentient. I still have to be born.
The memories of the boredom of this stage of aboleth life, passed on to me by my ancestors, makes this all the more boring.

43. Descent to War
"Captain, we have entered the world's air sphere!"Looking up from the map, the armor creeks and moans with movement. The purple haze around the ship drops and the rush of air from wind hits the deck. The dark sky filled with a million lights fades as the light blue replaces the black. Brisk as a cold spring morning, with the rising tensions of the crew as we all begin our approach to the field of battle.Although bruised from many a fight, dull and dark green and excellently crafted green plate weighs nicely, Vengeance and Wanderer hang snugly on the belt. Every movement to the front of the bridge feels like an eternity. The moan of the divinity leech down below, the bellows of the crew and the orders of Vera, my sister fill the main deck."Elania my Love...er...helms woman, take us 8 degrees to the port. Steady out and start our decent at 4 degrees.""Aye Captain." such a beautiful voice."Weapon Crew to weapons deck," calmly voiced to Dent, a rouge modron dressed like a pirate from a children's book, with dragon skin slippers...The wood on the ship creeks with movement, hum of the divinity leech engine, the magic inverter engine, and at full sail flapping in the wind. A mighty sight indeed.
Smoke rises ahead and a great city crumbles as legion of the dead march."Andre(a massive, black winged Aasimar in spiked green plate and a massive great sword bent on killing fiends) it is time to smash this army and send the bastard to the dead book.

44. Unlikely
It always started with a hidden tree-root, a rearing horse, or something like that. This time, it was a giant rolling barrel of pickled sardines, fugitive from a merchant ship that was currently being unloaded. Weasly jumped aside to avoid being crushed flat, tripped, and tumbled head over heels through an open door and down a flight of stairs, only to land rather comfortably on a drunk. The latter cursed, flinging his tankard at Weasly's head. Weasly didn't even have to duck – missing him by an arm's length, the projectile hit a half-orc in the back of the head, making the colossus turn around with a vile look on his face.
“He did it!” the drunk said, pointing a sausage-like finger at Weasly. People started to cheer – man, was this place crowded. Things tended to get really embarrassing then. The brute gave Weasly a provocative prod. Flaying his arms, he stumbled backwards, trying to keep his balance but ending up with his nose wedged tightly in a pretty woman's cleavage. Struggling to get free, he groped all around, much to the joy of the crowd and to the dismay of the rather possessive half-orc. Weasly turned around just in time to see him raise a sturdy chair, only to witness it getting caught in the chandelier, tearing it down. Hot candle-wax and orcish curses galore, this time Weasly could not escape. He found himself being dragged out and thrown into something that could only be the establishment's latrine. Weasly ignored the cheering above when, after wiping the goo out of his eyes, he took a look at what the pointy things were he was sitting on.
-”Well Luck is my friend and Fortune my wife, or my name is not Weasly Robinson,” he muttered when he recognized the gleaming of a ruby in his hand.
Turned out he had located a smuggler's hidden stock.

45. Trust
-”It's right here,” Zzari beckoned, and lifted the carpet to reveal a trapdoor.
“This is an old garbage chute, that leads to a tunnel that will take you straight out of Menzoberranzan. I will meet you at the Cave of Silent Spires.”
Rauvinn embraced his love tightly.
-”Take care – if someone finds out that you freed a slave, your hours are accounted for and mine not worth being lived anymore.”
-”Trust me,” Zzari said.
-”I trust you,” Rauvinn answered, and lowering himself into the chute. “See you soon, my dear.”
-”Very soon,” Zzari agreed with a smile.
After the young drow had disappeared in the dark, she shut the trapdoor and put on her ceremonial garb. People outside were waiting for her; they cheered when she trod the balcony.
-”My sisters!” she shouted, at the exact moment that Rauvinn came tumbling into the arena.
“See now the punishment our Spider Queen has in store for those who commit sacrilege by believing that Lolth does not choose her faithful carefully! This male has provoked her disdain and will suffer accordingly!”
As Zzari gestured the portcullis of the spider-pen to be opened, she smiled and watched her slave's bewilderment before her monstrous pets made short work of him.

46. Redemption
Garpea hit him again. When the intruder got up and tried to spit out a bit of broken tooth – an attempt that looked more like drooling than anything else because of his already swollen lip – the succubus could see the contours of her split hoof showing reddish on his jaw. Garpea found it pathetic how her prisoner took blow after blow with little more than a sigh, which was yet another reason why she hated him and all champions of Ilmater, the Weeping God... but she was glad she finally got to see the man's bare chest and firm shoulders, and his smooth and muscular back where a tiny trail of blood led to where she had clawed at his neck. All this sweat and blood made her lick her lips involuntarily.
-”Tell me, brave sir knight,” she asked him, pouring herself a glass of wine and half thinking about what she would do to him next, “Why is it that you walk right into my clutches, unarmed and on my own ground, without as much as a shield in your hand? If your planning to use some paladin-trick, I'd love to see which one! For sure it has to be spectacular if it is going to be of any use to you now.”
Her knightly captive swallowed, and coughed to test the strength of his voice.
-”No tricks,” he said a bit hoarsely, “I came to see you.”
-”See me? For what?”
-”Just that,” he answered, and he straightened his back to look at her with a certain expectation; “you are beautiful...”

47. Stroll
-”Twelve copper for a stone and two ounces, that's outrageous!”
-”Crop's been a real letter-down this year. And you won't find any other pomegranates in this town, Melvin's tree got blown over last year and Cecil hasn't got any – worms 'ave gotten at them,” the merchant said. His customer pulled a face.
-”Crop's this, crop's that, you can keep your fruit – twelve copper, and they're not even looking worth nine. I'd rather eat my coppers,” he muttered, and left. Hadn't seen any as greedy as this one before.
Passing the Stubborn Dragon's Inn, he witnessed another sort of greed. Apparently, a low-life with a greasy beard thought the barmaid came for free with the ale. The maid didn't even want to dirty her hands on the man's cheek it seemed, walloping the man with her tray. There was a flicker of steel being unsheathed, and maid found herself running for her life.
After a short time, the man had her cornered.
-”Don't hurt me,” she wheezed, cowering against the wall.
-”What she said,” the stranger said, and crossed his arms. The thug laughed, and pointed his cutlass at him instead.
-”Guess I'll be havin' a piece of you instead then,” he chuckled.
-”Try me,” the stranger answered, and abandoned his human form. “What will it be? A wing? Some tail? Oh, why don't you try my claw!”
With a quick flick, he catapulted the thug over a brick wall and, going by the sound, through a window as well. Hardly a fair fight, he knew, but then again, who is a match for a venerable silver dragon?

48. Pretense
The Satyr rolled his eyes when Tiphaly entered his den.
-”What is it this time?”
-”Oh Sephim, this poor easy-weasy weasle-boy has broken his little leg!”
-”Tiphaly, I can't cure every freakin' critter you drag in here.”
-”Please patch him up – for me?” the dryad said, and fluttered her eyelashes in a way she probably thought had to be adorable.
-”Stop that, you strumpet. Alright, I'll fix 'm, but the next thing that breaks its leg I won't heal, not even if it's you. Heck, especially not if it's you.”
-”Oh, thank you! Don't be mad, I'll take care no-one breaks his leg, I take care of all my animal-friends!”
-”Oh for Obad-hai's sake,' the satyr sighed, and channeled some of his healing magic towards the tiny mammal.
“Lucky bastard,” he grumbled. The dryad clapped her hands in delight, and held the creature close.
-”Oh thank you thank you thank you, Sephim! He's so cute I'm never going to let go of him – you cutesy-cutesy-coo, you cutesy-cutesy you!” she cooed, cradling the little animal and rubbing its chin. “I'm calling you Mr. Scraggy-waggy!”
Meanwhile, Robert wondered if it was all worth it. Sure, scarcely dressed wood-women were nice, but being called like that? Constantly?
Man, that wizard had something coming...

49. Sight
Life, it was a strange thing. Some days you would be walking along and nothing unusual would happen. Others, well others all hell broke loose. For this person, it meant having their eyes opened to the worlds around them. One day they were walking down the street, minding the traffic, and on their way to work. Then it happened. An overriding sensation, from deep within the mind. A feel as if something has opened upon one's forehead that has always been ignored. Then the sight came. The young lady who had her sight opened began to see everything, everywhere, at all times. She could see across the planes, into minds, and across time. In fact, when she looked up, she was staring directly at the person observing.

50. A Healing Touch
This particular stone has the recordings of a man frantically operating on a patient. The patient seems to have everything go wrong for them, except one thing. The doctor has god-like skill. As each organ fails, the life within it is rekindled. As the patient's lungs heave with fluid, they are quickly drained and cleared. When the patient's heart stops, it gets a quick jolt of energy from the Doctor's palm. Soon, the recording ends. And the viewer is left not knowing the outcome. From what they could tell, the place was somewhere that gnomish devices ruled, and divine magics were faint if even present. Healing was conducted by strange tools and pointy objects rather than a prayer.

51. Impure
"Xantalar, you come alone." The five ill-shaped beholders grin. "Or perhaps you have taken a wrong turn?" They were not like Xantalar. They were abominations, rejects. Their twelve eyestalks were an insult to the perfection of the Great Mother. Xantalar needed to rid its realm of these impure ones.
It had indeed come alone. It was indeed outnumbered.
The beholder had been busy the previous days. Using its disintegration rays with the utmost care, it had dug out a maze of caverns, all closely crawling over and through each other. The only thing that was supporting the labyrinth was this very ceiling it had aimed its eye at now. Xantalar grinned, and fired, bringing a city's weight in rock down upon its misshapen kin.
"There, rid of another bunch of aberrations." Satisfied, Xantalar waggled back on its stumpy leg appendages.

52. Rebirth
At long last, the time has arrived. The implements are in place. The tincture is brewed. Everything is perfect. You undress and lie down on the cold stone slab. You hold the bowl full of liquid, your hands trembling. The moment of truth has come. You utter one last prayer to Kiaransalee and gulp down the brew. The taste is atrocious, and there are a few unpleasant lumps which you have to choke down. There is a moment of uncertainty, then excruciating pain. You feel like molten fire is flowing in your veins. The elegant crystal bowl slips from your fingers and shatters on the ground.You black out and are no more.You open your eyes. For a moment you think you are floating, then you realize that you just can't feel the stone slab beneath you any more. You sit up and look around you. Everything is just as it was a moment ago, but a thin layer of dust has accumulated on it all, and spiders have begun to spin in the corners. You hold up your hand before your eyes and examine the tight, leathery skin that seems to feel nothing. Then you look up at a large mirror that you placed directly across the room for just this moment. Two coldly glowing orbs stare back at you from an emaciated rictus of a face.You smile. Success at last. . .

53. Brothers
I crawl over the body of the small walker, passively letting my acids dissolve it, so I can more easily digest it. The other two walkers are shouting, but I don't care. This small one will be enough to feed me for the remainder of the week. The one with the grey hair and tough, untasty looking skin speaks in a loud voice. Lightning arcs from his fingertips and strikes directly at me. The energy dissipates quickly throughout my body, healing the little damage they caused me earlier.Now why did they do that?While I am puzzled about their motives, the other, strong walker lunges at me, roaring angrily -I think- and slashes me in half with his walker-weapon.A disorienting sensation. The room spins. When my sense of direction returns, I am looking at myself.
My two, equally black, amorphous bodies stare at each other.Hmm, now there's two of me, I may need some more food. We may need some more food.

54. Eternity
A quick look-see around the table brings a familiar image and a familiar feeling: the local berks playing cards and the knowledge that you're taking them for all their worth. And then some. But that's only normal, you being the best cardsharp in this area. And now, it's you and a tiefer in some pretty poor quality clothing and he's all in. You're not, but not by much. He may be the only other good player at the table right now. Stakes are high, what with the whole slave thing if you don't win the table and pay off your debt in time, so you need the money."I'll check." You're confident of your cards, pretty much a winning hand in almost all circumstances. Plus, he's been slow calling this hand. He's only been this way when he's bluffing, so it's a pretty good sign he still is.Tick. Tock. Tick.. Tock.. Tiiick. Toock. You've been waiting for him to decide now for what seems like an hour. He's still seemingly waiting for some kind of signal. Maybe he's a bobber? And his adam got fed to the belly? The tiefer looks at you in that annoying little fashion of his, with that eye that doesn't quite look at you and not through you, and his head all roostered, as if he's trying to figure you out. Think you've found a dark about me? Know me well enough to know a tell? I'm pretty sure you're wrong. Don't get as good as I am without being able to hide them.He seems to take another couple of years to decide. But finally, he puts down his cards. "I call." You both lay your cards down.You look at his cards. You look again. And again. You can't believe it. The little berk won. He has to be peelin' you. Or something. There's no way he should have won. You even slipped in some low cards to prevent a possible win!"Pay up, please." You hand over the jink, defeated. You are sure that he did something, but you're not sure how he did it. You'll have time to figure it out; you're going be the Fiend's personal slave for the next thousand years. You don't know with that kind of suffering for that... that... eternity.

55. Morning
You lift your blinding mass over the land, your light travelling past mountains, through woods, darting off streams and the mirrors of ice. Your gaze turns to the desert.
You transform into the figure of a regal man, yet still you are the sun, and walk bare-foot into a temple of a thousand petty animal spirits. You stand in the huge arched doorway of the windowless place, though no shadow dare cast as you approach.
With a word the priests and faithful fall,
"Ra!"

56. The Other Self
When I first saw her knelt there I nearly screamed. She seemed to have simply appeared, like ice she froze the scene, drawing everything nearby into her opening act.
Greasy threads of blonde hair obscured her face; thick unnatural shadows hung about her feral eyes, her striking neck and arched body. I knew not her age, only as my eyes grew accustomed to her, that she was far larger than me. She flicked a wrist towards me, it wavered momentarily then dropped to the hard tiled floor, then snaked its way back to her exposed side. The silence between us was brutal.
Nervousness forced my index finger along my neck, stroking rigidly. A very old habit.
I chose my path then, I suppose, and acknowledged her through speech.
“Who are you?” my voice quavered,
Suddenly she was behind me, by my collar she rested her thin, lead heavy arms, it was then I realized my burden.

57. Contentment
The wind blows through your leaves, disturbing a small nest of creatures in your boughs. Light streams through the canopy and bathes you in its delicious warmth. You greedily leech the water from the soil, feeling it flow through your rigid form. The creatures settle back into their nest and make quiet noises to themselves. You are happy.You have vague memories of a time before. A time when you moved like the creatures around you, ate the flesh of the creatures and destroyed the trees of the wood for warmth. You think you once met something in the depths of the woods that disagreed with you about something, but you can't remember. It was so long ago.Oh well. There are only a few more hours of light left. Best not waste it on such useless thought. Ah, the warmth. . .

58. Charon Express
It rumbles with the darkness. It never slows, it never stops. It never stops.Your eyes are blurred, your muscles feel like they’re frozen solid.
With effort you lift your head and glance around, you see people in expensive black suits sat at cheap, squeaky plastic seats with tacky square patterns on them by old, coffee stained tables. Next to them are windows, not that it matters, outside is rush of purest black. They look as exhausted as you. You look down and you see your wearing the same expensive clothing.Your dead, they are too. You know it.The dim lights flicker.
A viciously loud voice crackles over a radio, making everyone snap to attention, but your mind is to drained to understand it.

59. Slaad of Laws
I am Benbahsinsay. I was the prince of bedlam. In my mind, I was the king of all. I was wild, mad wild, mad. With instinct born from chaos, I flung myself at Mechanus. I would change it all, I would bring it to its knees; make its knees fleas, bees, cats in the trees.
I was modified. I was kept, bound to a cog. Slowly swirling, ever swirling, and turning. Turning. For a seemingly endless era. I was instructed and shaped by the lowly, mindless modrons until there superiors were satisfied.
For the first time in my life, I understood regulations, justice, law. I hate law. I hate them, I understand and hate, hate, hate them all. Damn them, damn them to a plane worse than the all the Lower Planes combined. I will destroy all the piddling, clinkety-clank modrons, silence there hollow voices. The voices! Those awful puppet voices, damn them all.
I escaped the shackles they placed on me, they couldn’t take my individuality. I know myself more than perhaps any creature will. I know myself. I know myself. I know myself.
For now I wait, they gave me patience, I am the slaad that can linger and scheme. They took my instinct…but I am Benbahsinsay.

60. Fool men
You asked them what a queen needs in men.
"Courage! A knight may not show signs of cowardice. He cannot retreat from conflict he has real chance to win. A knight must face death bravely and accept it at any time. " said the red man,
"Courtesy! A knight must be polite and courteous to others. Male knights must be especially polite and courteous to women." said the blue man,
"Generosity! A knight must be generous to those in need." said the green man,
"Justice! A knight must obey laws of the land, and pursue and punish, according to law, those who break it." said the white man,
"Truth! A knight may not tell a lie and must do anything to fulfill any oath he swears." said the black man,
"Obedience! A knight serves his lord best way he can. A knight must avenge any dishonor to his lord." said the brown man,And as they left the hall, you ordered for them to be shot.

61. Again
You stand in the darkened left wing, watching. You have done this many times before. The audience sees a queen, a tragic heroine. You see Alaina, in pointed wax ears and a gaudily colorful dress meant to invoke...you don't know what. You don't design costumes."Then we shall meet again tomorrow." Alaina says to Horth, who also wears pointed wax ears, though his costume is somewhat less garish. You quickly turn and start pulling on the rope next to you, hand over hand. It moves easily and the curtain falls gracefully to the stage, shutting out the audience."Ten minutes' intermission." says Onoth in a low voice into the strange crystal she holds in her hand, then looks up at you and nods. You nod back and turn to watch Alaina walk briskly past you off the stage. You grin at her, but she does not seem to notice you. You shrug and walk after her.

62. Balance
-What... what is going on?!
Etina watched in shock as her troops were ambushed by a horde of the Dark one.
-How did they know...
She pulls her sword, ready to jump to the aid of her men. Anam stops her.
-Don't stop me, I have to help them. They are being slaughtered!
-It's quite an even battle actually, Anam says calmly.
She looks puzzled for a moment.
-You, ...you
betrayed us!
Anam nods and reveals his true form, his coppery skin and his ridged forehead. Etina still didn't understand. She had expected a monster.
-Why?! Why damn you! You know what they stand for! Why are you helping them?!
-You are as dangerous as they are. We can't allow the balance to be disrupted. Good and evil must be held at bay.

63. Order?
Ray'ada takes another sip from his glass. "Ah, there's truly nothing sweeter than Elysian dewberry wine, is there friend?"
Mudizi is still looking at his present, one eye twitching.
"Is there something wrong?"
"You brought me a red lamp."
Ray'ada glances briefly at the oil lamp he'd just give his Slaadi friend.
"Yes?"
"I told you I like blue," Mudizi grumbles.
"So you did, so you did... But you changed your mind didn't you?"
There's a moment of silence.
"How did you know?"
Ray'ada laughs. "Friend, you always change your mind; I can set my clock to it." He pulls out his little mechanical gimmick. It was slowing down. It would need rewinding soon.
Mudizi's croak is like a deep sigh.
"It isn't funny! The others, they all avoid me. They find me too predictable, too orderly. They say they can smell it. I'm an outcast!"
"But they are wrong friend. They are so very wrong. You are the epitome of chaos. There's nothing more predictable than the unpredictability of your kin. They all are, each and every one of them. Don't you see the order in that? You break that order, you are the unexpected flawed link in an otherwise nicely polished orderly chain of untrustworthiness and unpredictability."
While Mudizi was deeply thinking about his words, Ray'ada refilled his glass, one corner of his lips smiling.

64. The Pipes
These gotta be old because, well, they're deeper in the ground than even the old lead ones the gang has been digging through, but they shine even down here, lookin' all new. The pipes, these things have to got to be older than the whole sewer system! No, the country even! Mama Mia!
The whole place was put on lock down yesterday; some things came out of the pipes. Things. Turtle-things.
Turtles! Hahaha, giant turtles! Me and the gang, little Lui included, saw 'em and ran. The Feds showed up as soon as they heard and we was given the rest of the week off, more like forced though, gotta stay at home they say. Don’t make calls they say. Don't leave town they say.
Not me though, I've wasted by whole life away in pipes...
Now they're giving me a way out.

65. Tight Spaces
. . . What? Am I alive? Where am I and why is it so tight?. . .Oh, Zeus! The tunnel! I was trying to squeeze through a tight spot, and then there was a loud rumbling sound and. . . It collapsed, didn't it? It must have. Well, I'm not dead. That's a start. I can't feel my feet. Are they still there, is my back broken, or is the blood cut off? This is not good. I still hear the rumbling, it may not be over.Wait, it's pretty damp in here. And kind of hot. I don't remember the tunnel being hot before. And what's that burning feeling? Oh.Oh Zeus, I hope I at least give this thing indigestion. . .

66. One Too Many
"There seems to be a problem" the bookkeeper tells you. He is a small impish man who would be right at home with the Guvners."Problem? You ordered a hundred stones, and here they are. All high quality memories, not a single lemon in the bunch. What could the problem be?" You've tried out every single stone, every single memory, and now get to experience the joy of sharing those memories (the jink you're being paid helps too, of course)."We ordered exactly one hundred sensate stones" the droll accountant says. "There are clearly one hundred and one stones here."The man is complaining about having too much stuff? Ridiculous. "Consider it a bonus gift, my compliments.""That is unacceptable. The ledger states that we will be receiving exactly one hundred stones. Please remove one."Remove one? But, they are all so amazing. All incredible. Each and every one is a brand new experience. How can you choose one to remove? How can you judge which experience is the least deserving? "I'm sorry, but I can't do that. I can't choose."The man wrinkles his nose for a moment in disgust. "Very well, we'll take the order as is." After taking the sensate stones and giving you your jink, the man opens the bag. He takes one particularly fragile looking stone, and without blinking slams it to the ground. The stone shatters, forever destroying a precious memory."Exactly one hundred stones" he says, as you can only stare in horror.

67. Truth and lies
You're standing out on a street corner in Sigil, watching the greybeards expound on their philosophy of the moment, talking with a man who seems somewhat agitated.He says: "It was all screed you know. The rag's exclusive interview with the Fiend wasn't real. It was made up on the spot. How do I know? I wrote it.""So you're saying it was all a lie? But the interview felt so REAL! Like I was finally getting an answer from him! I've never gotten the Fiend to lann me on why he left! And I've tried ever since I came to the Cage! Thanks..."You shake your head in a quiet expression of despair."I suppose I should make it up to you then. You know, it isn't all lies.. Some of it's true.""What?"You feel suddenly hopeful."Whatever portion of it you want to be. He'll never say any different.""So what you're saying is there's no difference between the truth and a lie?""Yeh, you got it. That's the mystery of the Planes. Sometimes, the only difference between the truth and a lie is that we call true is simply what we believe in..."

Credits:

Azure – 21
Dire Lemon – 61
Evander – 43
Hymneth - 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 33, 37, 52, 57, 65
Kestral - 54, 67
lsdfjkdsf - 20, 32, 66
Sagetim - 49, 50
Squaff – 11
TheSky - 6, 22, 23, 24, 55, 56, 58, 59, 60, 64
Yaeri - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 51, 53, 62, 63