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Aug 23, 1995, 3:00:00 AM8/23/95
[Continued from Part 5]

> Climbing up the side of the device, Grignr set to the task of

Mike: --reorganizing his CD collection.

>resetting its mechanism. In the e event that a search was organized, it

Crow: --would not keep going through the same three rooms over and over
again like the last one.

>would prove well to leave no evidence of his presence open to wandering
>eyes. Besides, it might even serve to dwindle the size of an opposing

Mike: It's not the size of the opposing force that counts, it's the

> Descending from his perch, Grignr

Tom: --flew around the cage for a while and then ate some gravel.

>was startled by a faintly muffled
>scream of horrified desperation.

Crow [muffled]: NOOO! You mean I have to read it ALL THE WAY THROUGH?

>His hair prickled yawkishly in disorganized clumps along his scalp.

Mike: He should try a new conditioner.

>As a cold danced along the length of his spinal cord.

Tom: Time to break out the Robitussin.

>No moral/mortal barrier,

Mike: That's the most awkward play on words I've ever seen.

>human or otherwise,

Crow: Isn't that a White Zombie song?
Tom: No, you're thinking of "MORE Human THAN Otherwise".

>was capable of arousing

Mike: Crow, keep your mouth shut.

>the numbing sensation of fear

Tom: Or is that Novocain? I always get those two mixed up.

>inside of Grignr's smoldering soul.

Mike: --it's too dark to read.

>However, he was overwrought by the forces of the barbarians'
>instinctive fear of the supernatural.

Crow: Is this really the time for an anthropology lesson?

>His mighty thews had always served
>to adequately conquer any tangible foe.,

Tom: He did that with his thews?
Mike: Sure. Didn't you see the Nike commercial with Spike Lee?
Crow: "It's the thews, right? Money's gotta be the thews!"

>but the intangible was something
>distant and terrible. Dim horrifying tales

Tom: Like this one. The author is dim, and the prose is horrifying.

>passed by word of mouth over
>glimmering camp fires and skins of wine

Crow: Any tale is worth hearing if there's wine involved! This message
brought to you by the Booze Council.

>had more than once served the
>purpose of chilling the

Mike: --champagne for a romantic candlelit dinner.

>marrowed core of his sturdy limbed bones.
> Yet, the scream contained a strangely human quality, unlike that which
>Grignr imagined would come from the lungs of a demon or spirit,

Tom: Would a spirit have lungs? I thought lacking a body was a big part
of being a spirit.

>Grignr take short nervous strides advancing to the sarcophagus from which
>the sound was issuing.

Mike: It was also issuing municipal bonds.

>Clenching his teeth in an attempt to

Crow: --bite me.

>steel his
>jangled nerves, Grignr slid the engraved slab from the vault with a sharp
>rasp of grinding stone. Another long drawn cry of terror infested anguish
>met the barbarian,

Mike: Hello, barbarian. I'm terror-infested anguish.

>scoring like

Tom: --Danny Elfman.

>the shrill piping of a demented banshee;

Crow: Alanis Morissette.

>piercing the inner fibres

Mike: Y'gotta eat yer oat bran if y'want t'git yer inner fibre.

>of his superstitious brain with primitive dread
>dread and awe.
> Stooping over to espy the tomb's contents, the glittering Ecordians

Crow: I once saw Liberace playing a glittering Ecordian.

>nostrills were singed by the scorching aroma of a moldering corpse, long
>shut up and fermenting;

Crow: It don't smell so good but it gives ya one hell of a buzz!

>the same putrid scent which permeated the entire
>chamber, though multiplied to a much more concentrated dosage.

Tom: All right! Y'did it! Now get me a balloon or a paper bag or

>shriveled, leathery packet of crumbling bones and dried flacking flesh

Mike: You mean Alan Cranston?

>offered no resistance, but remained in a fixed position

Mike: I thought Einstein proved that was impossible.

>of perpetual
>vigilance, watching over its dim abode from hollow gaping sockets.

Crow: If there's nothing in the sockets it isn't really watching, now is it?
Mike: Sure it is. It's staring blindly.

> The tortured crys were not coming from the tomb but from some hidden
>depth below! Pulling the reaking corpse from its resting place, Grignr
>tossed it to the floor in a broken, mangled heap.

Tom: I get the feeling that Grignr did that not to find out where the cries
were coming from so much as just 'cause it's fun throwing corpses around.

>Upon one side of the
>crypt's bottom was attached a series of tiny hinges while running parallel
>along the opposite side of a convex railing like protruberance; laid so as
>to appear as a part of the interior surface of the sarcophagus.
> Raising the slab upon its bronze hinges, long removed from the gaze of
>human eyes, Grignr percieved a scene which caused his blood to smolder not
>unlike bubbling, molten lava.

Tom: But not really a whole lot like it, either.

>Directly below him a whimpering female lay
>stretched upon a smooth surfaced marble altar.

Crow: I don't believe it! He tied the two subplots together!
Mike: I think we're all more than a little proud of our Jim right about now.

>A pack of grasy faced

Mike: Grassy?
Tom: Greasy?
Crow: Knowing Jim, he probably meant to type "dingy".

>shamen clustered around her in a tight circular formation.

Mike: Blue-42! Blue-42! I want the defensive backs to blitz the QB;
safeties, hang back and cover your receivers!

>Crouched over
>the girl was a tall, potbellied

Crow: --Vietnamese pig.

>priest; his face dominated by a disgusting,
>open mouthed grimace of sadistic glee. Suspended from
>the acolyte's
>clenched right hand was a carven oval faced mallet, which he waved
>menacingly over the girl's shadowed face; an incoherent gibberish flowing

Tom: --the pen of Jim Theis.
Mike: We already did that one, sort of.

>his grinning, thick lipped mouth.
> In the face of the amorphos, broad breated female,

Crow: Amorphous? What, is she flowing all over the table?
Tom: At least Jim seems to have realized she can't be slender and voluptuous
at the same time.

>stretched out
>aluringly before his gaping eyes; the universal whim of nature filing a
>plea of despair

Crow [falsetto]: Where do you want this plea of despair filed, sir?
Mike: Just put it under Miscellaneous for now and I'll get to it later.

>inside of his white hot soul; Grignr acted in the only
>manner he could perceive.

Tom: He's a Method actor. Before the story started he'd been hanging out
with professional barbarians for three months so he knew how a real
barbarian would react.

>Giving vent to a hoarse, throat rending battle cry,

Crow: It's Clobberin' Time!
Tom: Avengers Assemble!
Mike: Umm... "stop, evildoer"...?
[awkward silence]
Crow: Mike, that was pathetic.
Mike: I am filled with shame.

Grignr plunged into the midst of the startled shamen; torch simmering
>in his left hand andax twirling in his right hand.
> A gaunt skull faced priest

Crow: Skeletor! Cool!
Tom: Now where are Beast-Man and Man-E-Faces?

>standing at the far side

Mike: --was Gary Larson.

>of the altar
>clutched desperately at his throat, coughing furiously in an attempt to

Tom: --get everyone's attention.

>catch his breath. Lurching helplessly to and fro, the acolyte pitched

Mike: --a no-hitter for eight innings, but it was broken up by a bloop
single with one out in the ninth.

>headlong against the gleaming base of a massive jade idol. Writhing
>agonizedly against the hideous image, foam flecking his chalk white lips,
>the priest struggled helplessly - - - the victim of an epileptic siezure.

Crow: How convenient! I'm surprised Jim didn't go all out and go for
spontaneous human combustion.
Mike: I'm not so sure I'm comfortable with using a serious medical condition
as a cheap plot device.
Tom: Could be worse -- he could've had him collapse in a diabetic coma.

> Startled by the barbarians stunning appearance,

Crow [falsetto]: Why, Grignr! You're stunning! Are those new earrings?

>the chronic fit of
>their fellow, and the fear that Grignr might be the avantgarde

Tom: I don't think anyone is going to think Grignr is avant garde in any
way, shape or form.

>of a conquering force dedicated to

Mike: --truth, justice, and the Ecordian way.

>the cause of destroying their degenerated cult,

Crow: Get the fuel tanks!

>the saman momentarily lost their composure. Giving vent

Mike: I've noticed that people tend to give a lot of vent around here.

>to heedless
>pandemonium, the priests fell easy prey to Grignr's sweeping arc of

Crow: --the covenant. Their faces melted.

>crimsoned death and maiming distruction.
> The acolyte performing the sacrifice took a vicious blow to the

Mike: Then his manager jumped into the ring and they called the fight.

>hands clutching vitals and severed spinal cord

Tom: If his spinal cord's been severed, how can he control his hands enough
to clutch anything?
Mike: Don't question, just accept. It'll go faster.

>as he sprawled over
>the altar. The disor anized

Crow: Today's episode has apparently =not= been brought to us by the letter

>priests lurched and staggered with split

Mike: --ends. Looks like no one in this story uses a good conditioner!

>skulls, dismembered limbs, and spewing entrails before the enraged
>Ecordian's relentless onslaught. The howles of the maimed and dying
>reverberated against the walls of the tiny chamber; a chorus of hell
>frought despair; as the granite floor ran red with blood.

Tom: Hey, Jim, buddy, have you ever thought about maybe seeing a good
Mike: This is exactly the kind of thing Bob Dole was talking about.

>The entire
>chamber was encompassed in the heat of raw savage butchery

Crow: Hmm... could Jim be a vegetarian?

>as Grignr
>luxuriated in the grips of a primitive, beastly blood lust.
> Presently all went silenet save for the ebbing groans of the sinking
>shaman and Grignr's heaving breath accompanied by several gusty curses.
>The well had run dry.

Tom: I think the well ran dry for Jim long before he ever came up with this

>No more lambs remained for the slaughter.

Mike: I guess this means another year of nightmares for Clarice Starling.

> The rampaging stead of death having taken of Grignr for the moment,
>left the barbarian free to the exploitation of

Crow: --the workers! Down with the aristocracy! Power to the proletariat!

>his other perusials.
>Towering over his head was the misshaped image of the cult's hideous diety
>- - - Argon.

Tom: Mike, what's an eight-letter word for "hideous diety"? The last five
letters are A-R-G-O-N.

>The fantastic size of the idol in consideration of its being
>of pure jade was enough to cause the senses of any man to stagger and reel,
>yet thus was not the case for the behemoth.

Tom: Philistine!
Mike: He doesn't know art, and he doesn't know what he likes either.

>he had paid only casual notice
>to this incredible fact, while riviting the whole of his attention upon the

Mike: Sure, ignore the beautiful craftsmanship and only think about what
it's worth. This Grignr's a regular Cortez.

>protruding from the idol's sole socket; its masterfully cut faucets

Crow: Must be a Price Pfister!

>emitting blinding rays of hypnotising beauty.

Tom: I been hyp-mo-tized!

>After all, a man cannot
>slink from a heavily guarded palace while burdened down by the intense bulk
>of a squatting statue,

Crow: But a woman can. Down with the patriarchy! Sisterhood is powerful!

>providing of course that the idol can even be
>hefted, which in fact was beyond the reaches of Grignr's coarsing stamina.

Mike: Thus answering the timeless question, "Can God make a jade idol so
heavy even Grignr can't lift it?"

>On the other hand, the jewel, gigantic as it was, would not present a
>hinderence of any mean concern.

Crow: And it's 100% genuine cubic zirconia, and it can be yours for only
$29.95 if you call now!
Tom: Use Tootie!

> "Help me ... please ... I can make it well worth your while,"

Tom: This must be the slut the soldiers are always going on about.

>a soft, anguish strewn voice wafting over Grignr's shoulders as he plucked
>the dull red emerald

Bots: He said it again! He said it again!

>from its roots.

Crow: He took it from Kunta Kinte.

>Turning, Grignr faced the female that
>had lured him into this blood bath, but whom had become all but forgotten
>in the heat of the battle.

Mike: And then he hacked her up in a sweeping arc of flashing death and
maiming destruction.

> "You"; ejaculated the Ecordian

All: Eww!

>in a pleased tone.

Tom [falsetto]: Is that a rat's pelvis in your pocket or are you just happy
to see me?

>"I though that I
>had seen the last of you at the tavern,

Crow: It all comes together! This is obviously a work of exhaustive
planning and foresight!
Tom: Yet somehow, that makes it even more pathetic than if he'd just
knocked it off one night in a drunken stupor.
Mike: Me, I'm just glad to see her again. After her last appearance I care
deeply about her as a character.

>but verilly I was mistaken."

Mike: Grignr speaks in phony Elizabethan English too? I pictured him as
more the "Grignr smash!" type.

>advanced into the grips of the female's entrancing stare,

Crow: Mike, is this synesthesia?
Mike: No, it's just bad.

>severing the
>golden chains that held her captive upon the altars highly polished

Tom: In another level of the dungeon they keep a chamber full of Pledge.

>face of
>ornamental limestone.
> As Grignr lifted the girl from the altar, her arms wound dexterously
>about his neck; soft and smooth against his harsh exterior.

Mike: He's crusty on the outside, but he's a really softie once you get to
know him.

>"Art thou pleased that we have chanced to meet once again?"

Crow: Think that's what Divine Brown said to Hugh Grant when she saw him in

>Grignr merely voiced an sighed grunt,

Tom: Now that's the Grignr we know and love!

>returning the damsels embrace while he smothered her

Mike [falsetto]: Grignr, honey, I'm getting mixed signals here!

>trim, delicate lips between the coarsing protrusions of his reeking maw.

Tom [falsetto]: Griggy-poo, have you been eating those soft cheeses again?

> "Let us take leave of this retched

Crow: --story.

>chamber." Stated Grignr as he
>placed the female upon her feet.

Crow: Lemme see here... the ankle bone's connected to the shin bone...
leg bone?... I knew I should've written this down!

>She swooned a moment, causing Grignr to giver her support

Mike: Honey, whatever you decide, I'm behind you all the way.

>then regained her stance. "Art thou able to find your
>way through the accursed passages of this castle? Mrifk!

Crow [falsetto]: I thought we agreed that you'd stop cursing in front of
the kids.
Tom [Grignr]: If you really loved me you'd quit trying to change me!

>Every one of the
>corridors of this damned place are identical."

Mike: Sorta like the Kids in the Hall.
Crow: What do you mean, Mike? There's... that one guy... Somebody

> "Aye; I was at one time a slave of prince Agaphim.

Mike [falsetto]: But now I'm a waitress.

>His clammy touch sent a sour swill

Tom: You mean Zima?

>through my belly, but my efforts reaped a harvest. I
>gained the pig's liking whereby he allowed me the freedom of the palace.

Mike: Never say "whereby" again.

>It was through this means that I eventually managed escape at the western
>gate. His trust found him with a dagger thrust his ribs," the wench stated

Crow: I'm feeling a little whimsicoracal myself.

> "What were you doing at the tavern whence I discovered you?" asked

All: Whimsicoracally!

>as he lifted the female through the opening into the mausoleum.
> "I had sought to lay

Tom [Grignr]: That was obvious! Now tell me something I =don't= know.

>low from the palace's guards as they conducted

Mike: --the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra.

>their search for me. The tavern was seldom frequented by the palace guards

Tom: But it was often frequented by this heavyset guy with curly hair, and
every time he came in everyone would shout, "Norm!"

>and my identity was unknown to the common soldiers. It was through the
>disturbance that you caused that the palace guards were attracted to the
>tavern. I was dragged away shortly after you were escorted to the palace."

Crow [Grignr]: Oh, so now it's =my= fault! =I'm= the bad guy!

> "What are you called by female?"

Mike [falsetto]: McGill, and I call myself Lil, but everyone knows me as

> "Carthena,

Mike: What's wrong with "Carthena"?
Tom: It's... it's... pronounceable!

>daughter of Minkardos, Duke of Barwego, whose lands border
>along the northwestern fringes of Gorzom.

Crow: Is that in the panhandle?

>I was paid as homage to Agaphim upon his thirty-eighth year,"

Tom: On Broadway. He's been running almost as long as "Cats"!

>husked the femme!

Crow: Gee, Jim, you don't have to shout.

> "And I am called a barbarian!" Grunted Grignr in a disgusted tone!

Mike: Let's see here. So far he's killed every single person he's met while
screaming like a maniac, crushed a rat with his bare hands, walked into a
bar and thrown himself on the first woman he saw, and he smells like a
public toilet. And they call him a barbarian!

> "Aye! The ways of our civilization are in many ways warped and

Tom [Grignr]: Save the cultural critique and let's get out of here.

>but what is your calling," she queried,

Mike [Grignr]: I teach the gospel doctrine class.
Crow: Is that religious humor, Mike?
Mike: Uh, yeah. LDS.
Tom: Good thing you didn't mock the Scientologists or we'd all be dead now.


Crow: Is it possible to =say= something bustily?
Tom: Jim apparently had the same question.
Mike: I figure that if anyone can, Carthena can.

> "Grignr of Ecordia."
> "Ah, I have heard vaguely of Ecordia. It is the hill country to the
>far east of the Noregolean Empire.

Crow: =Now= Jim bothers to tell us where Ecordia is!
Mike: And that answers your question about the untamed climbs, Tom!

>I have also heard Agaphim curse your
>land more than once when his troops were routed in the unaccustomed
>mountains and gorges."

Tom [falsetto]: And he was =really= pissed when Ecordia beat out Gorzom
for the 2002 Winter Olympics!

>Sayeth she.
> "Aye. My people are not tarnished by petty luxuries and baubles.

Mike: We walked to school in snow up to our hips! With no shoes! And we
slept on the floor! With no pillows! And we ate bugs and sticks! And
we liked it!
Crow: I notice his culture's disdain for baubles didn't stop him from
grabbing the first gemstone he could find.

>They remain fierce and unconquerable

Tom: --and unsanitary.

>in their native climes." After
>reaching the hidden panel at the head of the stairway, Grignr was at a loss
>in regard to its operation. His fiercest heaves were

Crow: --after some bad clams down at the Clam Shack. He was up all night!

>as pebbles against

Mike: Bam-Bam?

>burnished armour! Carthena depressed

Tom: Carthena's not the only one who's depressed.

>a small symbol included within the elaborate design upon the panel

Mike: The batteries, on the other hand, were not included.

>whereopen it slowly slid into a cleft in

Crow: --Michael Jackson's chin.

>the wall. "How did you come to be the victim of those crazed shamen?"
>Quested Grignr

Tom: Suddenly he's going off on a quest? One adventure at a time, Grignr!

>as he escorted Carthena through the piles of rummage on the
>left side of the trap.
> "By Agaphim's orders I was thrust into a secluded cell to await his
>passing of

Crow: --gas.
Mike: Let's not get crude. It's almost over. I think.

>sentence. By some means, the Priests of Argon acquired a set of
>keys to the cell.

Tom: Big mystery here. They said, "Hey, Agaphim, can we have the keys?"

>They slew the guard placed over me and abducted me to
>the chamber in which you chanced to come upon the scozsctic

Mike: I never know how to pronounce these Slavic surnames.

>Their hell-spawned cult demands a sacrifice once every three moons

Tom: Give or take a moon.

>upon its full journey

Crow: Then they'll be waiting a while. There hasn't been a full Journey
since Steve Perry left.

>through the heavens. They were startled by your unannounced

Mike: They thought he'd be appearing at the Laff Factory on the other side
of town.

>through the fear that you had been sent by Agaphim. The prince
>would surely have submitted them to the most ghastly of tortures

Crow: Insert joke about having to read THE EYE OF ARGON here.

>if he had
>ever discovered their unfaithfulness to Sargon, his bastard diety.

Tom: You mean all the religious strife in Noregolia is about Argon vs.
Mike: That's the way these things usually go.
Crow: Religious fanatics aren't known for being too Swift.

>Many of
>the partakers of the ritual were high nobles and high trustees of the inner
>palace; Agaphim's pittiless wrath would have been unparalled."

Crow: It would've been downright perpendiculared!

> "They have no more to fear of Agaphim now!" Bellowed Grignr in a deep
>mirthful tome; a gleeful smirk upon his face. "I have seen that they were
>delivered from his vengence."

Tom: Say what you will about Grignr, you can't knock his keen sense of

> Engrossed by Carthena's graceful stride

Mike: There's just something in the way she moves that attracts Grignr
like no other wench.

>and conversation

Crow: He respects her mind! He's a sensitive 90's guy!
Mike: If you had Grignr's intellect you'd respect Charly Gordon's mind.

>Grignr failed

Tom: --trig.

>to take note of the footfalls rapidly approaching behind him. As he swung
>aside the arched portal linking the chamber with

Crow: --the Pamela Anderson Home Page.

>the corridors beyond, a
>maddened, blood lusting screech reverberated from

Mike: --the nearby Alanis Morissette concert.

>his ear drums. Seemingly
>utilizing the speed of thought, Grignr swiveled to face his unknown foe.

Tom: This being Grignr we're talking about, it took forty-five minutes.

>With gaping eyes and widened jaws, Grignr raised his axe above his surly
>mein; but he was too late.

Crow: And that's it? The end? The sweet end at long last??

> -7-

Crow: NOOOOO!!!
Tom: I think we can wait a few minutes for Chapter Seven. Let's go, guys.


[Continued in Part 7]

May 1, 2020, 5:56:14 PM5/1/20
Being LDS, I found that one joke hilarious.
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