The Let's Play Archive

King of Dragon Pass

by Haifisch

Part 440: Contest 2

Jenx shows us the true face of chaos:

Jenx posted:

Right, I'm on it! I hope this is chaotic enough for him!

and after a suggestion that the dread goddess might be something more like dog playing with chaos levers, Jenx gave us this interpretation:

Jenx posted:

What, something like this?

Wise inscrutable horse composes a poetic apology for sending those bad wine spirits to somebody else' tula.

inscrutable horse posted:

Gather ye round and hear my rhyme
The one of Eurmal and the troublesome wine
Our wealth we flaunted
Our drink was haunted
But our trickster had a plan

Please don't be mad
It's totally our bad
Here, have a cow, man

"Lend me your magics, ring
And I'll show you this wonderful thing!"
Our magics he squandered
The spirits they wandered
And the Stormriders were a happy clan

Please don't be mad
It's totally our bad
Here, have a cow, man

But then the pesky priests came
Showered us with trickster shame
"You passed the buck
Gave us your shitty luck
Now we're in the frying pan!"

Please don't be mad
It's totally our bad
Here, have a cow, man

So now we're in a bind
We thought they'd us never find
But their magics were strong
We did them wrong
And so they gave our hides quite the tan.

Please don't be mad
It's totally our bad
Here, have a cow, man

fount of knowledge has this to add:

fount of knowledge posted:

: I heard that one time you single-handedly defeated a horde of rampaging somethings in the something-something-tula.
: The Orlevings? A trifle! It was simply a matter of outsmarting them.
: Wow! I never would have thought of that!
: You see, Orlevings have a preset kill limit. Knowing their weakness, I sent wave after wave of my own men at them, until they reached their limit and ran away. Barngradus, show them the medal I won!

My Dad returns with a new story of our clan!

my dad posted:

Also known as "That thing we really don't want to talk about"

On the border of Stormrider tula, a massive horde of Praxian warriors gathered, ready to kill. Their leader, Jaldon Goldtooth, riding on his undying mount, turned his gaze towards the clan's fortifications. He laughed, sending shivers down the defenders' spines, and bellowed with an inhuman voice.
Today you die.

Standing on top of the rather poorly built walls, the clan's ringmembers were about to see if their preparations for the great battle had been in vain.

He's right. There is no way we're getting out of this alive.
Not if I have anything to say about it. Is everyone ready? Loricon, Oranda?
I've set the traps up according to Brangdor's "Emergency SNAFU Protocol" but I'm not completely sure if I managed to follow the instructions in his writings properly since I can't read. I wish he didn't bail out on us just before the emergency.
He is not a zombie. That is all that matters. Incidentally, I've used some of Huma*cough* Challana Arroy's blessings on the traps, they should do wonders against the undead mounts.
Our hunters are ready to hit them from the flanks as soon as Jaldon's horde gets into the trapped area. The spirits protecting our tula should also help us quite a bit.
It's still of no use. There's just too many of them, and all our ploy will acomplish is to anger them even more. There's no way we're getting out of this alive.
Who is that idiot running towards the raiders? And why does he have the illusion rune on his forehead? Vandarl, I assume that grin means this is your doing.
HAVE NO FEAR! FOR I HAVE A CUNNING PLAN. It's as cunning as a fox hired by elves.

By Eurmal's balls, what did you do now?

I've persuaded one of our weaponthanes to take up Humakt's banner and charge the enemy. We shall certainly prevail.
I assume that by persuading him you mean that you got him drunk and sent him off thinking he's Queen Angry?
Close, quite close. Let's sit back and watch.
How can we sit and watch when he's about to set off the...




Brother, I am hit!



He's going to crash into the watchtower!


I wonder if the tower can take the weight of his armor.


I guess not.


That poor bastard. But where's the Raven Banner?


Brother, I am pinned here!

These people are completely insane. Grab your stuff, we're raiding the Undaroli. Some things are just not worth it.


How did you endure those lunatics for so long!?
I constantly reminded myself of what things would have been like if I wasn't around to keep them in line.
Entertaining, that's what. Pass the popcorn.

Ciaphas finds the muppets of dragon's pass.

Ciaphas posted:

And that was probably the best fighting I've seen out of them in years!


Narsham reflects on our latest CowLARP failure.

Narsham posted:

She probably just made the sign of the wrong Cave.

Cave Johnson here. Ever notice how unappealing that white stuff is that oozes out of cows? Pasteurize it all you want, you still won't get any variety from it.

Here at Aperture Science, we're not just improving on milk. We're improving on cows. With our brand-new CowLARP cows, you can get all kinds of different things out of those udders. Chocolate milk, tea, hot coffee. We were gonna LARP up a cow that gave lemonade, but someone set fire to all our lemons.

Anyhoo, the only problem so far is that about three quarters of our LARPers wind up lost or torn to bits. Or maybe it's four fifths. I don't do math, I'm the ideas guy. So if you know anybody who enjoys dressing up like a cow and running around on all fours, just send 'em our way. We'll take good care of them. Or what's left of them.

Cave Johnson, we're done here.

And finally, RYXlord sneaks in the final entry!

RYXlord posted:

Because I am a huge procrastinator, here is my entry for the contest. Though of course, we haven't had much in the way of clear chaos cultist activity lately, I assure you we were having a whole bunch of it back when I thought this up.

Also, I apologize about the length.

I present to you...

The Secret Origins of The Bad Luck Clan’s Chaos Cult.

Greetings Kentvent. I thank you for meeting me here.

Yes, I am the one who whispered that message to you. Don’t look so surprised. There are more of us around than you may think. You’ll learn to recognize the signs, in time.

We have been watching you over the past years. You have passed the sacred trials we have in secret levied against you. You have a hearty body and a large family. You are willing to make sacrifices to protect the clan. And, most importantly, you have proven yourself able to keep secret that which you are sworn to.

Though you are young yet, we feel your time has come. Your presence here tonight proves that there is no turning back. You are ready to know the truth of our clan, our terrible and dark secret. What I am about to tell you must not be uttered to any until they too are ready. There are those amongst the clan, people you have worked and fought alongside, who would kill you in a heartbeat for knowing what I am about to tell you.

This is the true story of our clan’s founding. Of why we follow the ways of Bright Elmal instead of Noble Orlanth. Of why we are plagued by chaos. This is the origin and purpose of our Bad Luck…


Once, long ago, there was a great darkness. Things had gotten so bad that only a great quest on Orlanth’s part could knit the shattered world back together again. He chose many companions to accompany him on his quest, but he did not take Elmal, who remained behind to guard us in these dark times. But of course, you probably already know that story.

The Great Darkness was a grave time for our people. All remember that the monsters of chaos roamed the land with impunity, eating up all those who dared to venture beyond safeties reach, but few people remember that it was also a time of great pestilence. Amungst Orlanth’s followers, you see, was Chalana Aroy, whose mercy restores life to the lifeless and brings health back to those beset by sickness. And though Chalana’s son Arroin had much of his mother’s skill, it was not long before his magic was wounded fighting chaos and he could help us no longer.

Our people, the Orlanthi, grew very sick. Our rye would rot in the fields and our cows would grow strange and misshapen. Try as they might, what few hunters remained healthy could not, alone, feed all our people as the crops failed and the cows died.

It is here our story begins. The oldest and greatest of our ancestors, Urgrain Stormrider (who was not the Bad King, but bore his name) was hunting a fox deep in the woods of Orlanth’s tula. For three days and nights Urgrain hounded the fox, each time coming closer to catching his prey, only for it to slip away at the last moment.

Finally, Urgrain had had enough. “A curse upon you, fox!” he cried out, “I have not the time to chase you through these woods forever. My family is sick and my people are dying! I must bring home food lest they all starve!”

“If that is the case,” replied the fox, stepping out from behind a bush. “Why do you not simply beg for mercy from the Mother of Disease? Has Malia not promised her dark protections to those who offer sacrifice?”

For a moment, Urgrain thought that perhaps this fox was Eurmal, playing some sort of trick. But of course Orlanth had taken Eurmal on his quest to the underworld, and so of course this could not be the case.

“Three seasons ago,” said Urgrain, drawing an arrow, “my brother-in-law, who lives in a distant land, was desperate as I now am. He made to Malia an offering of his finest stallion, and for a time his people were well again. But her demands of worship grew more and more severe. She demanded he sacrifice his first born and strongest sons, and when he would not she returned unto him and his lands all the foulness she had cured and a hundred fold more. Ever since then she visits him each night to inflict upon him new and terrifyingly cunning ills.”

“Then perhaps,” the fox grinned, “we can come to an arrangement. If you spare my life, I shall tell you of a cunning plan to both rid your people of disease and save your brother-in-law.”

“And why would you care about the wellbeing of my people?” asked Urgrain, putting down his bow.

“Because what fun is being a fox," said the fox, "if there are no hunters to outwit? Here is what you must do…”


And so the next night Urgrain did stand once more in the woods. He whispered aloud the unholy words taught to him by the fox and performed the strange ritual on ancient dirt. He prayed and invoked the power of Malia, whose gaze brings pustules and whose breath poisons the waters, to cure all of his people and their crops and their herds.

After many hours he heard her reply wafting through the wind like a bloated carcass.

“You ask for much, little Orlanthi,” she whispered “but I shall demand much in return.”

“You have but come before me and ask,” Replied Urgrain, “and all I have and more shall be yours, oh great Malia, whose touch is colder than Death itself.”

“So be it.” In a season’s time I shall come to collect that which you now owe me.”

And so the lands of our ancestors grew healthy once more. The rye grew strong and the cows were once more handsome. The children could laugh without coughing. The people were happy.

But the seasons change quickly, and it was not long before dread Malia arrived outside Orlanth’s tula. Expecting the welcome deserved of a goddess, she was unprepared for the light that blocked her path.

“Who goes there?” cried Elmal, whose radiance burned at the darkness behind Malia’s eyes.

“I am Malia,” rebuffed the dark goddess, shielding her face behind her rotted black hands, “I have brought health to these people and now come to collect that which I am owed.”

“I have been warned of your coming and of your treachery, creature of Chaos. You shall find no welcome here. You think to trick me into letting you in, but I shall not. You shall go no farther.”

“I have traveled far, shining and stubborn one, and have no time to deal with the likes of you. I have many tulas to spread my dark glory through and many torments to deliver in many far lands before the night is done.”

But Elmal stood fast, and even when Malia threatened to send her son, the Author of Sores, to destroy him, Elmal would not let her past.

And so, with time, Malia grew weary and retreated back to the darkness from whence she came.


The next day Urgrain once again enacted the fox’s ritual, and once again did make his offering to Malia.

“Oh great Malia, whose embrace boils the eyes of men. Why have you not come to collect that which I have offered you? Again, I beseech thee, keep my people healthy and all I have and more shall be yours.”

And Malia’s reply upon the wind was that she had been rebuffed by stubborn Elmal, who even now was slaying the Author of Sores.

“Oh great Malia, whose laugh is the creaking of rotten bones, surely lowely Elmal is no match for one such as yourself? He is The Lesser Sun. Are you not the Mother of All Disease? Is not your wrath and stubbornness stronger than the steadfastness of any who Orlanth deemed too weak to take with him into the underworld?”

And Malia, who is proud and unaccustomed to flattery, did agree.

“Your people will again receive my dark cures, but again this night I shall return to collect that which is due. And no Loyal Thane shall this time stop me. Be ready.”


And so, once more did Malia arrive at the outskirts of Orlanths tula, and once more did Elmal block her path.

“I am Malia, dreadful and powerful.” she announced, “I have come to claim that which is mine. You shall stand aside.”

“Once more have I been warned of your lies. I shall not let you enter. You have no claim here.”

And so Malia did strike out at Elmal, turning the marrow of his bones into flies, but Elmal stood his ground and drove his burning spear through Malia’s shadow, burning at her very essence.

Long into the night did they battle, and though Malia sent the most terrible of bad luck spirits against Elmal, he remained resolute.

And so, with time, Malia grew weary and retreated back to the darkness from whence she came.


And so on the third day did Urgrain once more enact the fox’s ritual.

“Oh great Malia, who is the midwife of the devil and most feared and respected of the unholy trio, again I call unto thee! Again you have not come to collect the gifts you are owed, and I cannot bring them to you for monsters of chaos roam the land with impunity, eating up all those who dare venture beyond safeties reach! Has slow and stubborn Elmal truly laid you so low? Is not your desire for vengeance eternal? Are not your children many and powerful? I am loyal to you, oh Dark One, and shall again and again promise you all I have in exchange for the health of my people. I, and my children, and my children’s children for all of time. You simply need to come and collect it.”

And Malia, whose desire for vengeance is indeed both strong and eternal, and whose pride and hatred blinded her to Urgrain’s ruse, did again bestow her dark medicines upon our people.

And again and again did Malia try to collect that which was promised to her. The days turned to seasons, and the seasons turned to years, but always was she blocked by Elmal, who’s staunch loyalties immunized him against both her cunning tricks and her devastating blows, who’s Glorious Devotion to Orlanth shed light upon her foul children, no matter how small they were or how quietly they tried to hide, and who’s unquestioning belief in the nobility and goodness of his friends drove him to never question how Urgrain knew to warn him each day about Malia’s lies of ownership.

And so our people and our crops and our herds grew healthy. And our neighbors found that no longer were they plagued by malia’s children, whom she had called to her to battle Elmal. And our relatives in distant lands were no longer visited by the Mother of Disease each night with new and terrifyingly cunning ills, for her battles with Elmal left her exhausted and weak each night. And no longer did those who lived in the Great Darkness have to fear plague or pestilence, all thanks to the cunning of a fox and the secret devotions of our ancestor.


And that is the truth, Kentvent, behind all of the secret ceremonies you hear whispered in the barley fields and woods in the night. That is why we are the Bad Luck Clan. For when we are weak, Malia’s servants and children find us and seek to claim our debt with plagues of terrible curses and misfortune. That is why we always seem to have so much chaos plaguing our tula, for sometimes not even Elmal can hold them all at bay.

But so long as our clan continues to worship Elmal, he still watches over us. And so long as we small secret few continue to offer ourselves to Malia - as long as we invite her back night after night, we protect the entirety of the Orlanthi people from the worst of chaos’ foul nightmares.

Now here, hold this rotting goat skull and put on this robe. We have a lot of work to do before the night is through…