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Date   : 02/20/2018    Duedate: 03/05/2018

STORM ROCK ARENA

DM 107    TURN 169

RANK TEAMS                 W    L   K    %  RANK TEAMS                 W    L   K    % 
  1 DEADLINE 20/432        9    6   0 60.0    5 BASH BROS TI 72/411  306  386   6 44.2
  2 COLOR ME SUA 42/365  715  493   3 59.2      BASHAHOLICS ANON 59/375
    CENTER FOR OLDS 18/364                      BASH BROS CHILDREN 38/407
  3 RHYME TYME 55/385    392  324   3 54.7    6 LADIES OF QUA 7/429    9   14   1 39.1
  4 DARQUE AGES 81/335   146  160   4 47.7    7 I'M NOT EGGB 20/421    2    5   0 28.6
    DARQUE ANGELS 39/420                      8 LOSERS 20/434          6   16   1 27.3
    DARQUE FORCES 31/318                        TWISTED SISTERS 72/413
    IMPROVED ILLUSION 59/349

                             REPORT FROM WITHIN THE TOWER

Hi there!

Tobaya Cantrell, here.  Look, somebody wrote ads and posted challenges.  Thank you, 
Master Darque.  *hugs*  

EVANGELION (59-2340) (48-63-1,547) of IMPROVED ILLUSION challenged BEDDER (18-10043) 
(76-107-4,250) of CENTER FOR OLDS.  EVANGELION devastated BEDDER in a 1 minute 
mismatched Challenge Title fight.  So, the peppy illusionist has defended his Horn, 
and is still the top Parry-Riposte.  Bedder is top Striker, as usual.

SOVEREIGN (39-3893) (21-12-0,47) of DARQUE ANGELS challenged RAYNER (20-182) (32-31-
2,73) of DEADLINE.  SOVEREIGN was vanquished by RAYNER in a 2 minute uneven Challenge 
battle.  Aw.

1977 AMC MATADOR (42-4116) (134-93-0,232) of COLOR ME SUAVE fought FAN ZHEN (81-1288) 
(49-39-2,190) of DARQUE AGES.  1977 AMC MATADOR subdued FAN ZHEN in an action packed 2 
minute bloody fight.  As always, the Matador is our top Wall of Steel.  Fan Zhen was 
voted this turn's favorite fighter, and he's also the top Slasher.

THE HYPHEN-DASH (42-4499) (102-85-1,219) of COLOR ME SUAVE fought RIRORNI CAPTAIN 
(107-26) (0-0-0,200).  THE HYPHEN-DASH devastated RIRORNI CAPTAIN in an exciting 1 
minute one-sided fight.  Mr. Dash is top Lunger.

JELLO KNUCKLES (42-4554) (107-92-0,258) of COLOR ME SUAVE fought VILLAINOUS INFORMER 
(107-23) (0-0-0,181).  JELLO KNUCKLES viciously subdued VILLAINOUS INFORMER in a 5 
minute brawl.  Mr. Knuckles is top TP.

TANTRUM YOGA (42-4563) (45-37-2,198) of COLOR ME SUAVE fought RIRORNI COOK (107-24) 
(0-0-0,181).  TANTRUM YOGA was devastated by RIRORNI COOK in a 1 minute mismatched 
match.

MOD COD (55-2638) (287-195-4,190) of RHYME TYME fought CHATROOMMATE (18-10034) (50-38-
0,165) of CENTER FOR OLDS.  MOD COD handily defeated CHATROOMMATE in a 1 minute uneven 
fight.  The Cod is our overall popularity leader, and Chatroommate is top Parry-Lunge.

DIRTY DIAPERS (38-5071) (52-53-2,155) of BASH BROS CHILDREN fought CPT. BUZZY (20-65) 
(46-47-0,179) of I'M NOT EGGBERT.  DIRTY DIAPERS vanquished CPT. BUZZY in a 1 minute 
uneven duel.  Dirty Diapers is top Basher.  *shudder*

HARD KNOCKS (42-4555) (41-40-0,177) of COLOR ME SUAVE fought IRON BITCH (72-5859) (26-
41-3,133) of TWISTED SISTERS.  HARD KNOCKS vanquished IRON BITCH in an action packed 1 
minute uneven fight.  Hard Knocks is top Aimed Blow.

KARMA (20-419) (23-24-2,129) of LOSERS fought MR RIGHT HANDED (72-6876) (27-39-1,113) 
of BASH BROS TIRES.  KARMA overpowered MR RIGHT HANDED in an action packed 1 minute 
gory one-sided fight.  Mr. Right Handed is the top Parry-Strike.

STRABO (81-2689) (19-13-0,39) of DARQUE AGES fought CAPTURED PIRATE KING (107-2) (0-0-
0,30).  STRABO was savagely defeated by CAPTURED PIRATE KING in an exciting 1 minute 
match.  I hate to admit it, but the Pirate King is exciting to watch.

BARBAROSSA (81-2098) (24-34-0,19) of DARQUE AGES fought RIRORNI SOLDIER (107-3) (0-0-
0,30).  BARBAROSSA was handily defeated by RIRORNI SOLDIER in a 1 minute one-sided 
contest.

VLAD TEPES (81-1979) (21-11-1,72) of DARQUE AGES fought RIRORNI SOLDIER (107-3) (0-0-
0,30).  VLAD TEPES was overpowered by RIRORNI SOLDIER in a 1 minute mismatched 
conflict.

JOAN OF ARC (81-165) (33-25-0,89) of DARQUE AGES fought CAPTURED PIRATE KING (107-2) 
(0-0-0,30).  JOAN OF ARC overpowered CAPTURED PIRATE KING in a 1 minute uneven 
struggle.

I'M POWERLESS (59-2629) (38-75-0,52) of BASHAHOLICS ANON fought SPICE (7-6640) (27-25-
5,74) of LADIES OF QUALITY.  I'M POWERLESS was devastated by SPICE in a popular 1 
minute mismatched brawl.

Zontani Sharp Eyes said:  "A fool flies into a rage quickly and often.  The wise are 
angered by the same thing only once."  All right, granted that flying into a rage 
quickly and often is sort of stupid, but I think even a wise person can be angered by 
the same thing more than once.

Okay, that's all.  Have a great two weeks.

                                          -- Tobaya Cantrell

CHAMPION OF THE HORN           W   L  K PNTS  TEAM NAME                  CITY           
 EVANGELION 59-2340           49  63  1  557  IMPROVED ILLUSION (349)    ILLIS

GRAND CHALLENGER CHAMPIONS     W   L  K PNTS  TEAM NAME                  CITY           
 JELLO KNUCKLES 42-4554      108  92  0  261  COLOR ME SUAVE (365)       RODEKI
 1977 AMC MATADOR 42-4116    135  93  0  240  COLOR ME SUAVE (365)       RODEKI
 THE HYPHEN-DASH 42-4499     103  85  1  232  COLOR ME SUAVE (365)       RODEKI

GRAND CHAMPIONS                W   L  K PNTS  TEAM NAME                  CITY           
 FAN ZHEN 81-1288             49  40  2  202  DARQUE AGES (335)          SHADOWSPIRE
 MOD COD 55-2638             288 195  4  200  RHYME TYME (385)           KHALANI
 BEDDER 18-10043              76 108  4  190  CENTER FOR OLDS (364)      TALCAMA

GRAND CHALLENGER ADEPTS        W   L  K PNTS  TEAM NAME                  CITY           
 CHATROOMMATE 18-10034        50  39  0  180  CENTER FOR OLDS (364)      TALCAMA
 TANTRUM YOGA 42-4563         45  38  2  179  COLOR ME SUAVE (365)       RODEKI
 HARD KNOCKS 42-4555          42  40  0  179  COLOR ME SUAVE (365)       RODEKI
 DIRTY DIAPERS 38-5071        53  53  2  177  BASH BROS CHILDREN (407)   CLIFFHOME
 CPT. BUZZY 20-65             46  48  0  157  I'M NOT EGGBERT (421)      SEAM

GRAND ADEPTS                   W   L  K PNTS  TEAM NAME                  CITY           
 KARMA 20-419                 24  24  2  136  LOSERS (434)               SEAM
 IRON BITCH 72-5859           26  42  3  135  TWISTED SISTERS (413)      DRAGONHEAD

GRAND CHALLENGER INITIATES     W   L  K PNTS  TEAM NAME                  CITY           
 MR RIGHT HANDED 72-6876      27  40  1  107  BASH BROS TIRES (411)      DRAGONHEAD

GRAND CHALLENGER INITIATES     W   L  K PNTS  TEAM NAME                  CITY           
 JOAN OF ARC 81-165           34  25  0   91  DARQUE AGES (335)          SHADOWSPIRE

GRAND INITIATES                W   L  K PNTS  TEAM NAME                  CITY           
 RAYNER 20-182                33  31  2   82  DEADLINE (432)             SEAM
 SPICE 7-6640                 28  25  5   79  LADIES OF QUALITY (429)    BONSUR
-CASPER 20-147                19  12  0   69  PHANTOM REGIMENT (433)     SEAM
 I'M POWERLESS 59-2629        38  76  0   49  BASHAHOLICS ANON (375)     ILLIS
 SOVEREIGN 39-3893            21  13  0   45  DARQUE ANGELS (420)        XOCHITHLAN
 VLAD TEPES 81-1979           21  12  1   41  DARQUE AGES (335)          SHADOWSPIRE
 STRABO 81-2689               19  14  0   29  DARQUE AGES (335)          SHADOWSPIRE
 BARBAROSSA 81-2098           24  35  0   12  DARQUE AGES (335)          SHADOWSPIRE

'-' denotes a warrior who did not fight this turn.

THE DEAD                   W   L  K TEAM NAME              SLAIN BY                  TURN

                               PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE

All -- I thought I'd go against the ADM norm and try to write personal ads every turn.  
I'm also going to be posting challenges.  Crazy, I know, but it is worth a shot. -- 
Master Darque

Mod Cod -- Thanks for the shot at the throne and all of these recognition points!  
I've never seen so many! -- Evangelion

Bedder -- This was not how I wanted to re-debut in this arena, but there isn't much 
that can be done about the random match ups.  You've improved much since I've been on 
hiatus. -- Fan Zhen

Captured Pirate King -- It must be good to be the king. -- Strabo & Barbarossa

I'm Powerless -- Thanks for the skills.  I actually did not want any of those.  I need 
Defense, though I guess you aren't exactly the style I should be hitting up to learn 
such things. -- Vlad Tepes

Spice -- A bit too spicy for me, deary. -- Sovereign

Rayner -- Well fought, warrior! -- Joan of Arc

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

EVANGELION devastated BEDDER in a 1 minute mismatched Challenge Title fight.
SOVEREIGN was vanquished by RAYNER in a 2 minute uneven Challenge battle.
1977 AMC MATADOR subdued FAN ZHEN in a action packed 2 minute bloody fight.
THE HYPHEN-DASH devastated RIRORNI CAPTAIN in a exciting 1 minute one-sided fight.
JELLO KNUCKLES viciously subdued VILLAINOUS INFORMER in a 5 minute brawl.
TANTRUM YOGA was devastated by RIRORNI COOK in a 1 minute mismatched match.
MOD COD handily defeated CHATROOMMATE in a 1 minute uneven fight.
DIRTY DIAPERS vanquished CPT. BUZZY in a 1 minute uneven duel.
HARD KNOCKS vanquished IRON BITCH in a action packed 1 minute uneven fight.
KARMA overpowered MR RIGHT HANDED in a action packed 1 minute gory one-sided fight.
STRABO was savagely defeated by CAPTURED PIRATE KING in a exciting 1 minute match.
BARBAROSSA was handily defeated by RIRORNI SOLDIER in a 1 minute one-sided contest.
VLAD TEPES was overpowered by RIRORNI SOLDIER in a 1 minute mismatched conflict.
JOAN OF ARC overpowered CAPTURED PIRATE KING in a 1 minute uneven struggle.
I'M POWERLESS was devastated by SPICE in a popular 1 minute mismatched brawl.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|LUNGING ATTACK                   6         WALL OF STEEL      8 -   2 -  0      80  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   3         PARRY-RIPOSTE      8 -   4 -  0      67  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      3         TOTAL PARRY       11 -   7 -  0      61  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    2         LUNGING ATTACK    19 -  13 -  0      59  |
|AIMED BLOW                       2         PARRY-LUNGE       12 -  10 -  0      55  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      2         STRIKING ATTACK    8 -   8 -  0      50  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  2         BASHING ATTACK    14 -  16 -  0      47  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    1         AIMED BLOW         5 -  11 -  0      31  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     1         SLASHING ATTACK    4 -  11 -  0      27  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  1         PARRY-STRIKE       0 -  10 -  0       0  |

Turn 169 was great if you     Not so great if you used      The fighting styles of the
used the fighting styles:     the fighting styles:          top eleven warriors are:

PARRY-RIPOSTE      2 -  0     PARRY-LUNGE        0 -  3         2  LUNGING ATTACK 
WALL OF STEEL      1 -  0     PARRY-STRIKE       0 -  1         2  PARRY-LUNGE    
LUNGING ATTACK     4 -  2     SLASHING ATTACK    0 -  2         1  PARRY-RIPOSTE  
BASHING ATTACK     2 -  1     STRIKING ATTACK    0 -  1         1  TOTAL PARRY    
AIMED BLOW         1 -  1                                       1  WALL OF STEEL  
TOTAL PARRY        1 -  1                                       1  SLASHING ATTACK
                                                                1  STRIKING ATTACK
                                                                1  AIMED BLOW     
                                                                1  BASHING ATTACK 

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
PARRY-RIPOSTE    EVANGELION 59-2340         49  63  1  557 IMPROVED ILLUSION (349)
TOTAL PARRY      JELLO KNUCKLES 42-4554    108  92  0  261 COLOR ME SUAVE (365)
WALL OF STEEL    1977 AMC MATADOR 42-4116  135  93  0  240 COLOR ME SUAVE (365)
LUNGING ATTACK   THE HYPHEN-DASH 42-4499   103  85  1  232 COLOR ME SUAVE (365)
SLASHING ATTACK  FAN ZHEN 81-1288           49  40  2  202 DARQUE AGES (335)
STRIKING ATTACK  BEDDER 18-10043            76 108  4  190 CENTER FOR OLDS (364)
PARRY-LUNGE      CHATROOMMATE 18-10034      50  39  0  180 CENTER FOR OLDS (364)
AIMED BLOW       HARD KNOCKS 42-4555        42  40  0  179 COLOR ME SUAVE (365)
BASHING ATTACK   DIRTY DIAPERS 38-5071      53  53  2  177 BASH BROS CHILDREN (407)
PARRY-STRIKE     MR RIGHT HANDED 72-6876    27  40  1  107 BASH BROS TIRES (411)

The overall popularity leader is MOD COD 55-2638.  The most popular warrior this turn 
was FAN ZHEN 81-1288.  The ten other most popular fighters were JELLO KNUCKLES 
42-4554, THE HYPHEN-DASH 42-4499, KARMA 20-419, RAYNER 20-182, 1977 AMC MATADOR 
42-4116, HARD KNOCKS 42-4555, JOAN OF ARC 81-165, SPICE 7-6640, EVANGELION 59-2340, 
and MOD COD 55-2638.

The least popular fighter this week was TANTRUM YOGA 42-4563.  The other ten least 
popular fighters were SOVEREIGN 39-3893, BEDDER 18-10043, I'M POWERLESS 59-2629, 
BARBAROSSA 81-2098, MR RIGHT HANDED 72-6876, IRON BITCH 72-5859, CPT. BUZZY 20-65, 
CHATROOMMATE 18-10034, VLAD TEPES 81-1979, and STRABO 81-2689.

Arena (Number)       W  L K  Arena (Number)       W  L K  Arena (Number)       W  L K  
BONSUR(7)            1  0 0  XOCHITHLAN(39)       0  1 0  ILLIS(59)            1  1 0  
TALCAMA(18)          0  2 0  RODEKI(42)           4  1 0  DRAGONHEAD(72)       0  2 0  
SEAM(20)             2  1 0  KHALANI(55)          1  0 0  SHADOWSPIRE(81)      1  4 0  
CLIFFHOME(38)        1  0 0  

TOP WARRIOR OF EACH ARENA     W   L  K PNTS  TEAM NAME                  CITY           
 SPICE 7-6640                28  25  5   79  LADIES OF QUALITY (429)    BONSUR
 BEDDER 18-10043             76 108  4  190  CENTER FOR OLDS (364)      TALCAMA
 CPT. BUZZY 20-65            46  48  0  157  I'M NOT EGGBERT (421)      SEAM

TOP WARRIOR OF EACH ARENA     W   L  K PNTS  TEAM NAME                  CITY           
 DIRTY DIAPERS 38-5071       53  53  2  177  BASH BROS CHILDREN (407)   CLIFFHOME
 SOVEREIGN 39-3893           21  13  0   45  DARQUE ANGELS (420)        XOCHITHLAN
 JELLO KNUCKLES 42-4554     108  92  0  261  COLOR ME SUAVE (365)       RODEKI
 MOD COD 55-2638            288 195  4  200  RHYME TYME (385)           KHALANI
 EVANGELION 59-2340          49  63  1  557  IMPROVED ILLUSION (349)    ILLIS
 IRON BITCH 72-5859          26  42  3  135  TWISTED SISTERS (413)      DRAGONHEAD
 FAN ZHEN 81-1288            49  40  2  202  DARQUE AGES (335)          SHADOWSPIRE

                      SUMMER FACE-TO-FACE IN ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA

We have planned our summer FTF for July 13-15, 2018, in Arlington, Virginia, only 7 
miles on a quick Metro ride from Washington, D.C.!.  It will be held at the Holiday 
Inn Arlington at Ballston.  Room rates are $79 per night on 7/12 and 7/15 and $129 on 
7/13 and 7/14, 1-2 occupancy.  There's free wireless throughout the property as well 
as a fitness center, outdoor pool, and business center, as well as a resturant and bar 
inside the hotel.  There is no airport shuttle and parking is $7/day.  The rooms are 
blocked -- ask for the Reality Simulations block.  Reservations must be made by 6/12.  
(As always if you have issues making reservations, please let us know!)  

                       Hotel site:  http://www.hiarlington.com 

Look for the tournament info sheet and minioverviews some time in June.  We hope 
you're all looking forward to it and that we will see you there!

                                          -- RSI

                             Mission to the Twisted Lands

                                     Episode One

     Old Brown could run pretty fast if properly motivated, but mostly he walked with 
a long-legged, distance-devouring stride.  He was a huge horse, a half-giant's 
warhorse, shaggy and self-assured, with muscles like half-buried boulders in his 
shoulders and hips.  Lounging in the saddle was the motivating force, the half-giant, 
Keel Woodhaven.  Although in his mind he was slouching and half-asleep, he sat up 
straight in the saddle since that is more comfortable for riding.
     It was twilight, stars coming out above and lights in farmhouse windows below.  
They traveled through vineyards, brown and fallow now in the winter, descending gently 
toward the tree-crowded coast.  The distant trees, not just pines, were green.  They 
stayed green because the marsh that surrounded the city-state of Bonsur had hot 
springs in it.
     Keel Woodhaven had always liked Bonsur.  It had a relaxed feel about it, the 
women seemed prettier, the music was great, everyone thought about having fun.  And 
the booze was excellent, of course.  He passed the arena at the edge of town, and 
paused to read the current statistics, posted on the gate and lit by a lantern.  So, 
an elven cobbler was the Duelmaster?  Why would a shoemaker take up such a painful 
profession?  Then he noticed the team name:  Shewish Picnic.  He snorted.  That 
explained it, all right.  As a half-Shew, he was kind of bothered by that team theme, 
which was present in Home Guard as well.  It was sort of funny though.  He saw that 
Elf Cobbler was headed for the Isle.  Probably not bound for Home Guard just yet, 
though.
     They passed a small chicken ranch.  A rooster uttered an untimely crow.  At about 
that time, Old Brown took exception to something and bolted.  Cussing, Keel hauled on 
the reins, to little effect since the horse was stronger than him and apparently 
frightened.  He didn't see the masked men coming out of their hiding places behind 
him, looking frustrated.  At least not until a crossbow bolt thunked into the backside 
of his leather cuirass. His horse screamed and ran faster.
     Hauling Old Brown to the left as they passed a set of big open gates into a well-
lighted courtyard, Keel got them behind the shelter of the high stone wall, and patted 
the horse's sweaty neck.  "You're okay now, friend.  I'll go take care of those 
bozos."
     As he dismounted, he noticed he was becoming surrounded by uniformed men, some 
with swords and some with halberds.
     "Howdy?" he said, hoping they were friendly.
     "Your horse has been shot," said someone, pointing at a bolt sticking out of Old 
Brown's butt.
     "Well damn!"  Keel laid a comforting hand on the horse's flank, which quivered.
     "So have you," the guard continued.
     "Yeah, thought so.  Doesn't feel like it got through the armor though."  Keel 
tried to look over his shoulder, but could only see the feathered end of the bolt.  
"Who are you guys?"
     "We are the Queen's Guard."
     "What?  Queen Gemra?  Okay, please take care of Old Brown here, and I'll go find 
the ***holes that shot him."
     "Sir, you are mistaken.  You will be taken to a doctor.  We will arrest the 
assailants."
     "Hey!  I'm on a mission from Sheila Greywand.  Anyway, they shot my horse.  My 
HORSE!  I'm gonna get 'em."  Unslinging his huge sword, Keel strode toward the gate.
     Four Guardsmen came with him, flanking him like the trailing ends of a flock of 
geese.  They might have intended a different formation, but he had the longest legs 
and walked the fastest.  The one who'd spoken to him before said, "I'm Corporal Brat 
Langerman.  And you are?"
     "Keel Woodhaven."
     "I've heard of you!  The Queen will want to meet you."
     "That's fine.  Let's stick to the sides of these buildings.  If they're still 
around, we'll be targets in the middle of the street."
     They weren't quiet, exactly, since the guards wore highly polished chain mail 
which jingled.  However, Bonsur had a lively night life.  Music and laughter came from 
bars and nightclubs on adjacent streets, people lingered on corners chatting and 
sometimes playing instruments, and children hawked newssheets, shoeshines, flowers, a 
selection of rouges, and offered to carry packages.  So the sounds the guards made 
weren't too noticeable.
     Keel led the way back to the chicken ranch.  He was thinking that the bad guys 
wouldn't have waited around to be hunted.  They might have left clues, though.  
Perhaps even a discarded, crumpled note offering a cash reward for his head, and 
signed by a notorious crimelord.  Or distinctive cigar stubs, monogrammed hankies... 
personalized masks.  Tracks of boots made by elven cobblers.  Anything.  Witnesses, 
even.
     There were no people on the street near the chicken ranch.  It was full night 
now, a bit chilly although there was a warm and slightly funky breeze from the marsh.
     Corporal Brat Langerman said quietly, "Is this where it happened?"
     "Yup."
     "Well, I don't think they're here anymore."
     Keel was about to agree, when a crossbow bolt appeared in the Corporal's arm.  
The young man hissed, "Everybody down!"
     The guardsmen hunkered against the wall of a hardware store, which didn't offer 
anything resembling good cover except that they were in shadow there.  Keel crouched a 
little, but he knew he was a pretty big target, plus his sword gave off a faint 
greenish glow.  He looked around, searching the darkness for signs of their foes.
     A shadow on top of a shaded walkway across the street shifted a little.  Keel 
pulled a weighted dart out of his pocket and hurled it.  He was good at tavern darts, 
but it was dark, the distance was too great, and he just wasn't lucky.  The little 
missile clattered against the shingles of the porch roof.  There was a startled twitch 
from the half-seen form.  At that instant, Keel lunged across the street.  His long 
legs carried him across to the opposite shadows in three bounds.  More bolts came out 
of the darkness, one lodging in his calf, the others missing him altogether.
     Now the Guardsmen had a good idea where their foes were, and it takes a while to 
reload a crossbow.  The four men charged, yelling wildly.  Tucking his sword under his 
arm, Keel grabbed one of the posts holding up the porch roof, strained, and dislodged 
it.  After a moment he yanked it out of the structure entirely.  The roof sagged, 
there was a yelp of surprise, and someone's foot appeared off the edge of it.  Keel 
grabbed him by the ankle and hauled him the rest of the way down.
     There were brief sounds of fighting, then footsteps that rapidly receded down an 
alley.  Three Guardsmen raced off in pursuit.  Keel's prisoner started to try to get 
away, so the half-Shew tossed him up, grabbed him by the arms and bashed him against 
the wall.
     "Are you okay?" asked Brat, sheathing his sword.
     "Took one in the leg, but it's not too bad I think," Keel said, shifting his 
unconscious prisoner to one hand and bending to pick up his sword.
     "I'll help you tie that one up," Brat said.  "There's a dead one here.  I think 
there were two more."  He grunted slightly, trying to reach something with his injured 
arm.  "Got some ties in my right-hand belt pouch.  If you could get them for me?"
     They bound the prisoner, then bandaged each other.
     "What did they want?" asked the Corporal.
     Keel shrugged.  "No clue.  Let's get him somewhere safe and we can ask him..."  
He listened.  "Your guys are coming back."
     "Yeah."
     The Guardsmen hadn't been able to track their assailants in the darkness, but at 
least there were no further injuries.  The group of them returned warily to the 
courtyard of the Guard House, where a woman was smearing some kind of ointment on Old 
Brown's wound.  After the horse was bedded down in the stable, the Guardsmen led Keel 
into their office, where there was a welcome scent of fresh coffee.  The medic set 
about binding Keel's wound and that of the Corporal, who turned out to be an extremely 
handsome man.  Keel remembered hearing that Queen Gemra required her Guardsmen to be 
good looking.  That didn't mean they weren't competent, though.  Brat had done pretty 
well.
     The medic roused their prisoner with smelling salts.  They all sat in the main 
office, Corporal Langerman facing the miscreant, who was seated in a cushioned chair, 
looking reasonably comfortable except for his bandaged head.  "All right," said Brat.  
"Now I want you to tell me that you're going to turn Queen's Evidence."
     "Not on your life, pretty boy!"  The man had, perhaps, some excuse for hard 
feelings since he was more homely than not, with a crooked nose and eyes set too close 
together.  He and Keel looked shabby and ill-favored amongst all these gleamingly 
handsome Guardsmen.
     Keel leaned forward.  "You guys shot my horse."
     "Oh.  Sorry, didn't mean to do that.  We were just shooting at you."
     "Why?"
     "Glowing sword."
     "What?"
     "Duh, it's a magic sword!  We saw it when you drew it in Delarq Tor, and figured 
we could sell it so we followed you."
     The half-Shew snorted.  "The Dentless isn't magic.  It was in a Chaos Gate for 
five hundred years and it picked up some energy, that's all.  All it does, is glow.  
And cut things."
     The bandit looked chagrined.  "But... it's got to be magic."
     "Ain't.  Sorry kid."
     After that, Keel was taken to enjoy a sumptuous dinner at the Palace.  Queen 
Gemra was a definite babe, with long, silken black hair, a delicate pouty face, and 
luscious curves.  She asked him about his mission, which was to go to the Twisted 
Lands and shut down a leaking Chaos Gate.  He entertained her with the story of his 
adventure on the Two-Shew Express, and she gave him a brown velvet cloak to show her 
appreciation.  She did not invite him to her bed, which was fine because his heart 
belonged to another, always and forever.
     
                                      * * * * * 

                           This is a continuing adventure.  
         Watch for future chapters in the Bonsur and Home Guard newsletters!