Handsome Joe Goes To School For A Day

…and scores better on a test that most of the human kids

The Doclopedia #529

 Women By The Numbers: 64…

 …pounds is how much weight Maygo Goldenflower lost during her journey to deliver an offering to the Demon of Smoke and Death. True, she had been very obese at the start, weighing nearly twice as much as a halfling girl her age should, but by the end of the trip she was all muscle and looking very fit. She was also a much wiser young lady with a better outlook on life.

 It all started when an emissary from the Demon of Smoke and Death arrived in the only real halfling city, Nine Roads, and delivered the message that an offering of great value must be delivered by a virgin girl to his Master before the year ended. To not do so would cause the Demon of Smoke and Death to lay waste to the halfling homeland.

 This news caused halfling girls to give up their virginity at a record rate. Maygo was not one of them, as she seldom left home unless it was to get a book from the library or maybe visit her grandparents, who always set out a large tray of sweets.

 Eventually, the city watch and the city mage came calling and determined that Maygo was indeed a virgin and old enough to deliver the offering. Maygo was not pleased to hear that and threw a tantrum. Her parents, who were rather tired of their spoiled daughter, agreed to send her off, which started an even worse tantrum. After about a week, Maygo finally ran out of steam and stopped yelling. A week after that, she was off down the road with a group of four hired human escorts. The offering was a solid gold crown encrusted with diamonds. Maygo was in a very foul mood. It was early spring.

 The castle of the demon was, as the crow flies, about 900 miles away to the east. However, any crow flying straight on through would be passing over the Trollwoods, the Lake of the Serpents, the Firehills, most of the Hargan Empire and the Darkwood. The human escorts elected to take the longer route of going south through Fairy Fields, the Smallwoods, the Realm of the Horse Lords and then up along the Braided Rivers. They made it as far as the Smallwoods before a pair of Green Dragons ate their horses and much of their food. After that, it was 10 or 12 hours of walking each day until they reached the Braided Rivers four months later. The trip up the rivers, mostly on foot, took another three months. Eventually, the reached the Valley of Smoke and the demon’s castle.

 Seven months of walking, running, fighting for her life and eating short rations had made a new woman of Maygo. She was slim, tough and tired of this crap. Leaving her escorts outside, she went into the castle and was lead to the throne room. When the Demon of Smoke and Death entered, he was nine feet tall and quite horrid looking. Maygo was less scared than she was angry. Still, she bowed and placed the offering at his cloven feet, saying how she hoped it would please him and he would look upon her people with favor.

 The demon look at the offering, then kicked it aside. He bade Maygo to stand, looked her over a bit and then told her the offering was not good enough and that he would kill her people soon.

 Maygo lost it and told him to kiss her halfling ass. The demon laughed and bent down to look her in the eye. Maygo looked into his eyes, then spit in one of them.

 The effect was shocking. It was as if an arrow had pierced his eye. The Demon of Smoke and Death flung himself onto his back, screaming in agony. Seeing her advantage, Maygo spat a large gob onto his exposed genitals. The demon screamed even louder and his skin began to peel.

 Maygo was able to spit three more times before she dried up, but that was enough. The demon began to fall apart and the parts dissolved as though splashed with acid. All of his servants and lesser demons fled the castle, which itself began to fall apart. Maygo had just enough time to gather up the golden crown and a few equally valuable previous offerings before running out of the collapsing castle.

 Outside, after watching the place turn into a pile of rubble, the leader of her escort asked Maygo what she would do now. She dumped out the offerings and asked if perhaps he knew where they might sell this loot, so as to divide it up five ways. In minutes, they were walking off towards the east.

 Nobody in any of the Western Lands ever saw any of them again.

 The Doclopedia #530

 Women By The Numbers: 103…

 …dollars was the total on Arielle Ames’ expense account for the Case of the Nob Hill Nightmare. It included the following items.

 $40.00 in cash payouts to three “information brokers”, one of whom also demanded a three pound chuck roast.

 $1.50 for a three pound chuck roast

 $.50 for assorted phone calls

 $9.00 for cab rides, bus fare, etc.

 $3.00 for meals

 $10.00 donation to St. Anthony’s Church for the use of certain religious items

 $5.00 for an herbal potion purchased from Yip Soo Herbal Shop

 $.50 for a pound of frankfurters to distract guard dogs

 $1.00 for a bottle of whiskey to distract human guard

 $25.00 bail for a B&E arrest

 $1.50 for first aid supplies

 $6.00 to hire two bums to clean up the site of a demon banishment

 Plus the usual $50.00 a day fee times three days

 Total: $253.00

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