Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The Battle of the Bands Part 1

Hello. My name is Dreyrugr Nott. I am the Dragonborn back-up singer and cover girl for the most awesome metal band around; Shetland Firestorm. For most of you, I'm just a name in the band. Only a few know of the earth warden behind the voice. In any case, that's enough about me. I'm here to tell you about the Battle of The Bands that took place on April 25th. Well part of it anyway.

It all started behind Stage A at Cliff's Bar and Grill. You may remember it as the bar that was burned to the ground by a rouge dragon. That's bullshit. It was burned to the ground by us in an attempt to quell the rogue dragon. An attempt that ended with dragon surfing. However, that is a story for another time. In any case, we were all behind the stage just hanging around. Judging by the smell, Wilco had shit himself in fear. There was also a charred dragon skull hanging above the fire place. Which is awesome. Lucas was the first to get bored. I saw him approach some Elvin guy who he probably thought was female and head out the back. As Wilco started to smell worse, the rest of us decided to leave before someone passed out. Brigsby ran straight to the bar and started drinking. Wilco, in a new change of pants, shoved his way past the rest of us, ran up to the bar and started a drinking match with Brigsby. I believe the bar tender pulled out some sort of Dwarven ale.

I saw Far Walker go up to the balcony and start praying or something. Remembering that I dived into a fist after getting drunk last time, I decided to follow Far Walker's example and pray. As I kneeled in front of the fireplace. Moradin reassured me about the coming battle. Confident, I rose and walked outside. There was a wagon that had some very strange noises coming out of it. Initially, I was going to investigate, but after I saw the elf that Lucas walked off with, I decided not to. Disturbed, I decided to head back stage and practice in an attempt to forget what I saw. On the way, I saw Thorn talking to the bar tender and Heronius throwing beer bottles at drunk people.

About 10 minutes later, I heard Cliff start yelling. "LADIES AND GENTLEFOLK! A SPECIAL TREAT TONIGHT. FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY, WE HAVE A BATTLE OF THE BANDS. ON ONE STAGE, WE HAVE THE FAMOUS MONCHYLD." I peeked out the curtains and oh god they were fucking hippies. At first, some sissy Orc started playing a tambourine. Softly at first, but it grew louder as the lights turned on. It almost seemed like he was keeping the beat for the band. Then some guy on the harp started playing and one of the women started singing.

"My Lady dwells on yonder hill
All Green and bright with flowers
Oh! Would that I could sit with her
And while away the hours."


Suddenly, Lucas let out A FUCKING KILLER RIFF AS HERONIUS SENT UP FIRE JETS ON THE STAGE. And as the riff died down, the crowd turned their attention towards the hippies as the 2nd harpist started playing. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Thorn giving the other band a death glare as she started singing.

"For she be fair as fair can be
Her skin like burnished gold
Her hair, black as a raven's wing
Her eyes are tales untold"

The lyrics, despite being absolute shit, seemed enchanting. And the harps were playing with perfect harmony with a slight ringing in the back from the tambourine. And once again, the crowd turned their attention back to us. Wilco, smelling slightly better than before, began quietly echoing Lucas's guitar on his keyboard. We were starting off slow to let Monchyld think they had the lead. A lute entered quietly from the background when suddenly it burst into the forefront letting off an elegant riff.

"But lo! She knows not of my love
Nor how my hearth doth weep
For she lies lost in slumber dark
And in Eternal Sleep.

A small mosh-pit had formed in front of us, but they weren't excited. I could see Thorn down in the crowd, still glaring. And Heronius was sitting at the bar. But it didn't matter BECAUSE BRIGSBY LEAPT ONTO THE AMP AND SCREAMED OUT


I could feel passion. Stepping forward, I lifted my head to the ceiling, I let out an INCREDIBLE ROAR AS LIGHTNING SHOT OUT.  As I closed my lips, I could see I had fried a few of the lights that had been illuminating the stage. The lead singer of Monchyld stepped forward and, in an amazing contra tenor, began singing.

"There was a prince, the stories say
Whom she was once to wed
She loved him not, nor in good faith
Could share his bridal bed"

Judging by the wink he gave Lucas, he was definitely implying something.

Fingers turned to the band. "Time to blow these chumps out of the water." And with that he made a death-defying leap onto the dragon skull hanging above the fireplace. Pulling out his guitar, he began to play the rankest, most bitchin'est solo ever that anyone has ever heard. I could swear I saw a few people's brains melt as fingers came to a stop. Lifting up his guitar, HE SMASHED THE BADASSTROCASTER INTO THE DRAGON SKULL, SENDING IT TO THE GROUND. STANDING UP, HE LIFTED BOTH OF THEM IN THE AIR AND SCREAMED WITH THE PRIMAL FURY OF ROCK.

As he tossed the skull back on stage and resumed his previous stance, a Dragonborn stepped out from Monchyld. As he set up his dulcimer, I could tell we were fucked. He just stared at us the entire time. Eyes just staring. At all of us. And then a pan flute joined in. Whoever was playing didn't know shit about playing a flute.

And then Sark came in. He wasn't exactly playing the drums. He was pounding them. Hammering one could say. But one thing was clear. They were being fucking destroyed. It looked as if a chest-burster was about to hatch. They symbols were crashing, yet it all blended together in an oddly melodic way.

And then, the Monchyld Halfling stepped forward. Opening a black leather case, he slid forth a gleaming triangle.
"Was that the dinner bell?" I sarcastically remarked. When suddenly, Far walker ran up, front flipped, and knee slip to the edge of the stage. Closing out the song, he began a four armed bass solo. His fingers flying all over the strings, he made chords and melodies you would never expect from a guitar. Head-banging to the music, he finished. A single, solid strike. To the E string. The crowd stared in awe as it rung throughout the building. Sadly, it wasn't enough. Monchyld won the first round. But it wasn't over. During the break, I watched as Lucas walked up to the elf from the wagon.

"I faked it." I let out a small giggle at the burn.

As the lights began to dim, I took my place on stage as Far Walker began. A sudden burst of colorful lights lit up the stage as he began playing a deep bass solo. The notes hung in the air as his fingers slid along the strings. Tuning the bass as he went, the notes took on an otherworldly feel. Counteracting the solo, The lute player began to sing as his lute went from a lovely hum to a glittering melody.

"And so away the years she slept
While prince he vied for her emotion, each and every day
Showing such great devotion, that no other girl could sway."

The notes seemed to carry across the room.

"So to the hill she took herself
and laid among the flowers
About herself, a veil of sleep
She wove with all her powers."

The voice was oddly enchanting, but the lyrics made me want to puke. Luckily, Brigsby was there to lessen it. As he rest a foot on the dragons skull and closed his eyes, he began to softly sing.

"Another night on the road, another sold out show.
I'm so lonely, that I just want to explode." 

Opening his eyes, he winked at a short Halfling girl in the crowd.

"And when the stage lights go down, after the last encore
I hope you're waiting in the light, by my backstage door."

Repeating the lyrics, he let it build up into a climax. And as he reached the chorus, HE SHOT LIGHTNING OUT OVER THE CROWD IN SHIMMERING ARCS.

"And I can't face the night alone, girl I need you here beside me!
And I won't waste another day without your woman ways to guide me!

The lightning began to swirl around him as he sang that, creating a glowing effect. Many of the women in the suddenly became pregnant and I could swear some of the men sprouted a beard. Undeterred, the dulcimer started up a riff and began playing. Two small hammers in each hand, she dinged the board in an oddly rhythmic way. One harpist pulled two harps over to her and failed in an attempt to play two harps at once. Tripping over the instruments, she gots cut up a bit and the crowd broke into a brawl. A few of the band members began kicking people off the stage.

Probably hoping to encourage the crowd, Sark drops his drumsticks and pulls out his maces. He began to play on the tough dragon skin drum covering creating a deep, resounding thump with each strike. While not as quick, it is a much more dramatic sound that reverberates through the bar. The symbols, abandoning their melodic sound, began to sound as if a man's plate mail is being smashed in. And the bass drum pumps out a mighty rhythm which carries through the song.

By now, the troll had dispersed the crowd and the other harpist took her harp back. Plucking the strings softly, a calm melody began to flow, capturing the audience in its current. And as the notes fade, her soft voices begins to sing.

"And so away the years she slept
While princes he vied for her emotion, each and every day
showing such devotion, that no other girl could sway
Our love it seems shall never be
I truly miss her so."

As the audience finally begins to realize how shitty the song is, they turn their attention towards us. Thorn, from within the crowd, yells out "Get off the stage and take some music lessons you dirty hippies!" and the band winces. Wilco, picking up the keyboard, charges to the front of the stage and back flips into the crowd. As an unearthly glow forms around him, and he began to sing a raspy voice.

"Come close, listen to the story.
About a tale more awesome then the killing.
The dragon gave his favorite troupe just to killlllllll us."

Taking a breath, his fingers suddenly erupt in a burst of speed as he began to play with the power of ROCK!

"Can't drum, can't thrash, can't sing worth a shit!
But gather 'round, oh fans of mine and I'll play you a bit!"

The triangle player steps forward as waffle's keyboard solo comes to an end. Lifting the instrument, he gives it a subtle tap. "Ding" And as each chime fades, he strikes, again and again. A quick, yet rhythmic pattern. Though subtle and soft, they are felt throughout the hall with each strike seemingly hitting the hearts and the souls of the audience. And with a deep breath, he begins to sing.

"Perhaps one day, she will find love
and she'll maybe know,
the men who loved her,
the men who lost,
she'll see what they have seen"

The crowd cheers. Several women, and possibly some of the men, begin crying tears of joy. Bowing quickly, he steps back. All violence is gone from the crowd. It's time for me to take my place among the halls of rock. Stepping forward, I could feel the primal forces around me traveling throughout my veins. Suddenly, I charged forward and made an INCREDIBLE LEAP ONTO THE CHANDELIER. I could feel the power surge up from my chest as I began to sing WITH FUCKING LIGHTNING.

"The stage was shaking in the dark.
The band had stabbed a bunch of hearts.
Smoke was filling dragon's eyes,
We were free and surfed alive!"

Each word seemingly traveled with the lightning flowing out my throat.

"Blood and beer hit the ground!
Walls we couldn't move came crashing down.
We were free and surfed alive!
The day the dragon dieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed."

By the sheer power of ROCK, the band's instruments took on an unearthly glow as they were amped by the lightning. Taking a deep breath, I let out an EAR SHATTERING ROAR that broke the chandeliers chain causing it to fall to the stage. As I landed, I drew my sword and stabbed it into the ground, sending up spikes all around me. The incredible rockness overcame me. My long-buried ROCK EPILEPSY burst forth! Luckily, Fingers was there. Aiming his guitar at me, he let loose a killer riff that blasted me with pure unadulterated ROCK! "Flee ye demon of rock epilepsy back to the pits of hell from whence you came!" he shouts.

Undeterred, Monchyld began again. The pan-flutist and the tambourine player stepped forward and began playing.
BOOM shaka BOOM shaka tweedle deedle deedle dee!
BOOM! shaka BOOM shaka tweeedle deeedle deee!

Obviously, they have failed. But cliff, the owner of the bar, began to see how bad they are doing. Exiting the bar, he walked around the crowd attempting to gain support for this group of hippies. Saddened, but not beaten, Heronius and Fingers replace me at the front of the stage. The Two guitarists began dueling and every light fades to black. Suddenly, the flames in the fireplace roar up and produce two horses, one of fire and the other of lightning.

They dash, bucking their heads, fighting, using the sounds of the guitars as a base for their attacks. Their hooves strike the ground raising blast of lightning and fire. They make a lap through the bar, roaring through the crowds and over the stage before stopping in front of our band. The two horses rear up as the guitars reach their climax. Opening their mouths, they let forth a blast of fire and lightning that illuminates the entire establishment with an otherworldly glow. Suddenly, they charge. Crashing into each other they create a gigantic storm of their elements that floods the entire bar with light. They vanish completely, leaving the bar in total blackness as the guitars began to slow. All is quiet for a moment when suddenly, a faint light appears. The badasstrocaster begins to glow as the power of rock infuses it. Another light, this time basking the audience in an incredible majestic light.

Two figures, two guitars, two hands held aloft, ready to bring this show to a close. Fingers begins to sing.

"Tonight's been filled with hate and rage
The anger falling upon the stage.
Challenging eyes filled with sparks.
Furious crowds, and vicious remarks.
The tragedy upon this floor
is this what tonight was for?

The two solos begin to crescendo

"Rock is not a sharpened blade!
An arrow striking from the shade!
Rock is beauty, Rock is love!
Now feel the power from above!"

A wave of light spread forth from the amps and envelops the crowd.

"Let go of hate! Let go of anger!
Rock equally with friend and stranger!
Bask in the pure, limitless art,

And with a final shockwave, the light from the guitars explode, and the stage is darkened. The entire bar is silent. The only sound is Cliff's footsteps. Monchyld is just standing on the stage in awe. Never even finishing their "song." Cliff walks through the crowd and up to monchyld's stage. And in a quiet and afraid voice, he says, "Well, by popular acclaim, I hereby pronounce the winners of the battle of the bands to be MONCHYLD"
"OH HELL NO" I shout. It seems like this was going to be a fight. But that, my friends, is a story for another time.

~Dreyrugr Nott

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A Picture of a Dream

I had a strange dream last night. I drew a picture of it.


Very odd indeed.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011


I am Heronius Napalm XVI, veteran producer and wizard extraordinaire. I know you have heard of me, so I will forgo a lengthy introduction. You see, something very odd happened recently and I feel I should write it down so the world one day the world can look back upon the things that shall occur from this point forward. They shall look upon this moment as the beginning of all that is about to occur. When they find this journal they will know, they will know that none of this is my fault.

I was traveling about in my usual manner, a Producer as famous as myself cannot stay in one place for too long or he risks discovery. If I were seen to be who I am, I would never have any peace. Regardless, I was relaxing in an inn, enjoying a bottle of fine wine when the oddness occurred. Between one sip and the next, my surroundings changed drastically. One moment I was in a private room in a fine inn, the next I was sitting in my chair in a cave. My wine had disappeared.

Cursing, I stood up and look at my surroundings. I was in a large, circular cave. The walls seemed to have been replaced with fire, and there was a shallow pit in the centre. Oddly enough, there were a number of people around me. Little did I know, these people would ruin my life. After a few moments of glancing around there were some rather awkward introductions. I don't remember their names very well as I was trying my best not to look at, talk to, or remember any of them. I recall there was some sort of magician among them, I doubted he could compare to myself, but another practitioner of the arts is a small comfort. After the awkward handshakes and head nods finally stopped a sound caught my attention. 

From the flames on the far side of the wall two large quadrupeds emerged. When I say large, I mean very, very large. Upon closer inspection they appeared to be, "Shetland Ponies?" I heard one of the group ask. Indeed, they were the spitting image of a pair of Shetland Ponies, just several times larger than any pony should ever be.

With a bellowing cry, A 7 foot tall dragonborn began charging toward the large ponies. He had red skin, a longsword and was wearing black plate mail. He jumped over the edge of the pit and struck one of the ponies in the leg. There was a soft noise, somewhat like a door closing gently. The ponies appeared to have a rather tough hide. He turned toward the group and made several thrusting motions with his hips. That seemed to anger something, as the walls manifested themselves as large human shaped creatures, except that they were made of fire.

The Flame Elementals stood behind the main group, one to each side. In unison they reared back, their chests expanding outward. They thrust their heads forward breathing out a great cloud of...small ponies. 8 small ponies surrounded the group, they were 3 feet long miniature Shetland ponies. They busied themselves scurrying about and being adorable. It was rather unsettling. The flame elementals attacked the group, most of us got out of the way, but one fellow, Wilco or some such was hit quite badly and caught fire. The elementals moved back toward the walls, waiting.

A man in plate armour called Mister X attacked the little ponies, but they were faster than expected. Another man moved forward, toward the pit. One pony bit him as he went by. Mister X took another swing at it, missing again. The archer shot his bow at one, killing it.  "Good show archer." I said. He looked at me and shrieked "My name is LUCAS STRONGBOW, and I am a HUNTER!". I arched an eyebrow at that outburst. "Indeed."

The flaming cavalier began running toward the large ponies. I don't know why, I had the situation quite in hand. I moved carefully toward the pit while explaining how fire elementals work to the group of miscreants. I conjured a sleep spell at the large Shetland ponies, the spell took immediate hold. They would be unconscious soon.

A Dragonborn warden yelled "That is a normal pit." I thought we could all see that, but with some of these creatures you could never be too sure. She then crushed one of the small ponies with her shield. She said "Those fire elementals will attack again." Madam Obvious then took up a defensive posture and waited. I stared, with my mouth slightly open for a time, before the other Dragonborn, the one who had charged the large ponies, shouted across the pit that everyone (the group, obviously not including myself) was being quite stupid. I agreed quite vehemently. 

When Chesty turned however, the Large Ponies struck. One of them kicked Chesty quite hard. The other breathed a gout of flame that immolated both Chesty and Wilco, I couldn't help but snicker as they both caught fire. My spell finished taking effect, and both Ponies fell into a very deep sleep. 

A young Halfling stepped forward. He was a sorcerer of some sort. He took advantage of the weakness of the ponies to conjure a storm with its eye around chesty. The storm's winds knocked the two large Ponies into the pit. A rather clever move. We looked each other in the eye, sharing the mutual respect of those who practice magic. Then he made a strange pose and started playing with his staff. I quickly looked away.  I still don't remember his name.

A mul killed one of the little ponies, then threw a healing spell at the still flaming wilco. 

*sigh* A young man stepped forward, unstrapping some sort of instrument from his back. I could tell just from the sight of him that he would be a source of endless annoyance for me. He was tall and thin, with long dishevelled hair. He was wearing far more leather than was necessary. He strode to one of the fire elementals and plaid it a little song. I'm not sure what effect it had on the elemental but everyone else seemed to be rather motivated by it.

Chesty, flames still licking his body, charged back toward the group and attacked one of the little ponies, destroying it. He slapped the remaining fire from his clothing before looking over at the elementals.

The monster replied by setting the young man and Chesty on fire. The four remaining ponies surrounded the Warden of Obvious, biting and kicking. She was knocked down their assault, but was still alive. The remaining elemental tried to set fire to several of the group, but they dodged away.

The archer, Lyle or something, shot his bow at the group of small ponies hitting 3. The fourth dodged away causing the arrow to strike the prone warden.

Wilco, still on fire, jumped into the pit after the large ponies. I looked over my shoulder as he landed at the bottom. I heard a loud cracking noise, I believe he broke a leg. He hit one of the Large ponies with his weapon.

I turned around fully and filled the pit with fire. One of the ponies burned up like dry grass, the other looked quite worse for wear. 

The Mul sentinel burst into a puff of smoke, and in his place stood a gnoll. The creature jumped into the pit, short sword extended. He landed on the remaining Large Pony, killing it instantly.

The Warden of Obvious stood and charged at the uninjured flame elemental to the left of the group. The remaining small pony attacked her on her way past, but was too slow. She missed the flame elemental, which repaid her with a small gout of flame.  I hear cracking and popping noises, I thought she might have broken something. Instead her body morphed, taking on aspects of a large cat while retaining some of the features of the Dragonborn. I glanced around, most of the group looked rather uncomfortable, even the other Dragonborn did not look at her for too long. She backed away from the flame elemental, growling.

The other sorcerer attempted a lightening attack on the elemental. His spell missed, striking the ground beside it.

Then the true insanity began. Fingers stepped forward, eyes locked on the flame elemental. He began playing his instrument,  harder and faster than before. Other members of the band were immediately affected. I am a producer and I have seen many performances, and many people who thought that they could be bards, most of them had no chance. Fingers was a bard, a type I had never seen before. He began singing. The song flooded the entire cave, filling it with a power I have never seen before. Most of the group were unknowingly following along with his music, even singing along at some points. The other sorcerer seemed particularly affected, making up lines of his own. I admit I nodded my head slightly once or twice. I have transcribed the song that was sung in that cave.


With that, the elementals were entranced by the song, as was the little pony. The fight ended, the elementals and the pony left in peace. Most of the group stood there, awestruck at the turn of events.

I knew what I had to do.

I signed every one of them into a lifetime contract with myself as Producer. They were a band now, and under my jurisdiction. From what I saw in the cave that day, I knew that something had begun. Something that will likely change the entire world. 

It isn't my fault that this happened. I don't know how we got there, or who sent us. But one thing is for certain.

Shetland Firestorm had been born.

I am going to be so rich.