The Piano Has Been Thinking

…not me, not me


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The Doclopedia #1,324

Spells Gone Wild: Magic Missile

Horkaw! Whut da hell wuz dat? You was s’posed ta cast dat spell at dose hoomans an’ dwarfs! How come dem magical mizzels went all over an hit our guyz? One a’ dem blew Fugnor’s arm clean off! Dwox iz dead! Cagmuk ain’t got no junk no more! Mizzez Cagnuk is gonna be pissed off.

Now you cast dat spell again an’ kill some o’ dem hoomans comin’ toward us!

(Seven magic missiles are unleashed)

AARRGH! Ya did it a’gin, Horkaw! Ya kilt three of da boyz an now Fugnor ain’t got no arms left! Roog done got hiz sword hand esploded an’ Migbok only gots half a face now. Git over here so’s I can cut off yer head!

I said GIT OVER HERE, ya coward! If I had both me feet, I’d come git ya!”

Doc Tempest VS The Demons Of Dr. Loveless

…from the September 1961 issue


Sasha Explains It All

Reader Mail

Hi, folks! Sorry this took so long but I’ve been busy doing science stuff and helping Santa during Xmas Eve. Here is some reader mail from the past few months.

My Auntie Rosie Kirkland asks “Do they (meaning aliens) have dogs? If so, what do they call them?”

Well, Auntie Rosie, it turns out that a great many sentient species have beloved animal companions. The Gliinod on Tarsus 4 have lizardy looking creatures they call Yeens. Yeens grow to about the size of a German Shepherd and will eat damned near anything they can catch, not unlike cats.

The Rasultans, who are about 85% human based, love their Jungtaws, who are about 85% dog based. The other 15% for both is a symbiotic algae. I gotta say, green dogs are pretty fucking strange looking.

The Elves on Earth 378-C domesticated Tree Dragonets, which are small wingless dragons that live in trees out in the wild. The don’t breath fire and their farts smell kind of like wood smoke.

Anyway, there are tons of dog analogs out there.

A Mr. Watson wrote to ask if we have the Ark of the Covenant in the Museum Room on the Bus.

Actually, Mr. Watson, we do have it. Well, we have A version, if not the one from our universe. It looks pretty much just like the one shown in the movies, except it has a not taped too it saying “Do NOT open this! I’m not screwing around!” and it’s signed “God”. Mom and Dad said that was good enough for them, so we coated the whole thing with Eternocrete and put a Class 9 self regenerating force field around it. Should be safe for about the next 10.75 billion years.

Finally, a text from sweetbaby900 asks if there is any version of The Crazy Game that humans can play.

You already play two versions. They’re called Politics and Religion. You suck at both.

That’s all for now, folks!

Until my next rant,

Dr. Sasha Jane Cross, PhD




The Doclopedia #1,323

Spells Gone Wild: Detect Evil

So there we were, just about to step into the Crypt of Count Kragmore, up there in the Blackwood, and Urlin says to old Methaxis, “Cast Detect Evil on the area”. Well, the old fart was half asleep, which you can understand, what with him being 315 years old, and he gives a start and starts casting the spell.

It’s kind of sad that we took him with us, but Frandelius was sick as a dog and we had a tight schedule to keep, so we brought the old boy along. Anyway, it takes him about three minutes to cast the damn spell and when it goes off, we all start looking around for that blue glow that indicates something or somebody that’s evil.

Then we see the backpack of Gilda, our henchman, glowing to beat hell. Naturally, she gets out of it fast and we open it up to see if some bastard slipped in a cursed item. After dumping it out, we see one small bag glowing. We dump it out real careful like, and it’s just full of flour…flour with little bugs in it.

While the rest of us were laughing ourselves sick, Urlin is telling Methaxis “Damn you, deaf old fool, I said EVIL, not WEEVILS!”

Just let me drink some ale and then I’ll tell you about what happened when he was supposed to cast Feather Fall.”

The Cucumber Of Madness (And Other Stories)

…spoooooky stories!

The Doclopedia #1,322

Spells Gone Wild: Fireball

“I swear, Finniken, as Great Hothar is my witness, not one of my old masters ever said not to cast the Fireball spell in an area of very high natural mana. They talked about the problems in low mana areas and how you should not cast it in small spaces or underwater, but there was not one bloody word about high mana areas!

I mean, I figured I’d get some added power in the distance and damage, but who knew it would cover an area 80 feet across? Those trolls were incinerated. Pity about our two hired hands, but at least that chest full of gold is all in one chunk now.

Okay, okay, let me rub on this healing salve. There, see, those burns are healing right up! And faster than normal, too. I guess the mana affects all magic hereabouts. What? You feel your wisdom teeth growing back? Oh bother.”


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The Trouble Sisters Go Looking For The Teflon Bastard

…they wanted to mess him up



The Doclopedia #1,321

Welcome To The Village: Dragon Point

There are exactly 300 people living in Dragon Point. 150 men and 150 women, all of them looking about 50 years old. Unlike ordinary humans, these folks have strange colored hair. Some have fiery red-orange hair, which isn’t too odd, but others have jet black or green or yellow or blue hair. Some have gold or silver or bronze colored hair and others have hair as white as snow. The Dragon Point citizens don’t think twice about it, but the rare outsider who comes to visit tends to stare.

Those outsiders tend to come in two flavors: wandering wizards who might stay as long as a week, and traders who pull in with their ships, do their business, have a meal & an ale and leave. Still, the ships pull in once a week and news of the far lands gets told, so the Pointers, as outsiders call them, are up on the latest news.

Left to their own devices, the Pointers spend time fishing or gardening or crafting various trade items that the merchant captains pay very good money for. Sometimes, dances are held and every attends. Other than that, life is very slow and pleasant in Dragon Point. Nobody seems to think much about the future or the past, because everyone in town is a Dragon and may well live another 500 years.

The last 300 Dragon’s in the world have chosen to live here, disguised as humans, because the great and terrible Traxontoraz, most evil of all Dragons, still lives and searches for his kin, whom he wants to slay and eat to lengthen his life. So far, he has not found them. Since he is very old and growing weak, the Dragon Point citizens only need to stay hidden another 150-200 years. At that point, either Traxontoraz will be dead or too weak to defend himself against a mass attack.

Until that day, the colorful folks of Dragon Point will keep on leading their simple lives.

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A Pretty Kitty Sang A Witty Ditty

…her name was Smitty


The Doclopedia #1,320

Welcome To The Village: Granuush

Orcs. Ugly, violent, greedy, treacherous, cunning Orcs. Everybody knows them and everybody hates them. They even hate each other, which is why the various Orc clans are always at war with each other. Did we mention the practice cannibalism? They do, and often.

But not in the village of Granuush, an Orcish settlement of 900 individuals. Nope, these Orcs are peaceful and good natured. They tend farms and orchards and have shops. They sing merrily as they work and never fail to come to the aid of someone who needs help. They are, by any measure, darned nice folks.

And the 150,000 Orcs who surround them in the Wasteland of Kresh are terrified of them.

The story goes that about 100 years ago, several dozen Orc teenagers went through a sudden metamorphosis and changed into a slightly taller, much less ugly and much more peaceful version of your standard Orc. Naturally, the first instinct was to kill them, but the shamans forbade that. They declared that these new Orcs were punishment from the Orcish god Tuz and harming them would really piss Tuz off. Nobody wanted that, so they decided to exile them to one of the few remaining areas of fertile land in the Wasteland. Then they marked off a wide perimeter around it and left the New Orcs to fend for themselves. Later, when more teenagers changed, they sent them there, too. Eventually, the changes stopped happening, but by then, there were almost 200 of the New Orcs living and thriving in the newly named village of Granuush.

The village and it’s surrounding farms now measure 5 miles across. Much former wasteland has been reclaimed. New Orc children go to school in a fine new school house and a couple of them have recently shown signs of magical aptitude. On a couple of evenings a week, the whole village gathers to sing songs and play music. Life is very good in Granuush.

Note: Of all the villages discussed in this theme, Granuush is the only one where the occupants not only know the truth about where they are, they are happy to be there.

It’s All Fun And Games Until You Get Caught By Her Parents

…run, boy, RUN


The Doclopedia #1,319

Welcome To The Village: Porklyville

On PigEarth 3, where humanoid pigs are the dominant species, you’ll find the sleepy little town of Porklyville, Texas. Nothing much ever happens in Porklyville. People buy food at the Piggly Wiggly, go dancing and drinking at the Hog Wilde Saloon and see movies at Hamlet Theater. Local radio station KPRK broadcasts the news, weather, farm reports and music for 1940.

Because in Porklyville, it is always 1940.

The reason for this is that 1940 was the last safe year before the Different Pigs began showing up. Pigs that had powers. Mutants pigs.

Now, if these mutants had all been nice folks who worked for the betterment of swinekind, that would have been one thing. Trouble is, about two thirds of Mutants turn evil, crazy or both. Hell, even the ones that don’t go bad do all sorts of things that cause trouble and disrupt life. Mutants just couldn’t be allowed to run free.

So, in 1962, after over 20 years of dealing with Mutants both good and bad, one Mutant, Mental Wizard by name, helped the United States Government create Porklyville and a serum that first suppressed, then eradicated Mutant powers. He was the first citizen of Porklyville.

Now, the 2,231 citizens of Porklyville live their lives unaware that they ever lived anywhere else. They have false memories implanted before they arrive in town and, of course, never leave.

New residents, who now only arrive one or two per year. Always arrive at the town New Years Eve party, which everyone attends and which resets everyone’s memories to midnight, January 1, 1940. The mental programming has anybody that died the previous year replaced by new folks or “gone to live in Florida”. The whole process runs smooth as silk.

The power suppressant/eradicator is pumped into the towns water system. The road that runs through town is always washed out 5 miles to the north and nobody ever even thinks to drive more than 5 miles to the south, where the McPiggins ranch marks the boundary around town. Folks are happy to just live their lives in Porklyville, having the odd chat with delivery trucks that bring in supplies or take out cattle. Life is good.

Porklyville is at the center of a 10 mile wide circle. A couple of dozen ranches and farms surround it. Half of the circle is surrounded by “Fort Swiney Army Base” while the second half is surrounded by the “United States Scientific Testing Area”. Being good citizens, the populace of Porklyville never crosses the posted boundary fences.

There is not another town for 50 miles around the boundary. No jet planes fly over and a jamming field keeps out unwanted radio signals.

In the outside world, it is 2003. There are versions of Porklyville all over the world, operated by the United Nations with United States aid.

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Chapter 565: In Which Our Hero, Having Made His Way To China, Persuades A Warlord Into Wrestling An Octopus

…and it was a BIG octopus


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The Doclopedia #1,318

Welcome To The Village: Bleak Valley

With a name like Bleak Valley, you can pretty much predict that this village of 300 people isn’t going to be mistaken for Las Vegas. While the village itself is pleasant looking and sits in a small verdant valley measuring 2.5 miles long by 1 mile wide, that valley is the only greenery for many miles around. Everywhere else is deep narrow canyons and broad expanses of desert. The only contact with the outside world is via the giant Clockwork Elephants that arrive just outside of town each month in the middle of the night. Even then, nobody really sees them, since the whole valley is gassed into a deep 8 hour sleep. Supplies are dropped and the elephants are gone in about 3 hours. And attempt to track them is doomed, since they move quickly and cover their tracks well.

Bleak Valley was established as a place to keep “dangerous, but potentially useful radicals”. So far it has worked very well, with not a single escape. It’s hard to tell who the radicals are, since everyone in town is a bit odd in some way. Another point of interest is that everyone in town shares the last names of either “Miller”, “Smith” or Brown”. There are no children or teenagers living in Bleak Valley. The oldest resident is 73 and the youngest is 22. There are slightly more men than women. There are several dogs and cats in town, but nobody actually owns them.

Notable Residents include…

Albert Miller, age 55: The Mayor and owner of the General Store. Married to Barbara Miller. Nice guy, but tends to obsess over his rock collection.

Henry Smith, age 27: One of the newer residents. Has tried to escape 6 times. Claims to be a master of clockwork engineering.

Olivia Miller, age 31: Tall, quiet and impassive most of the time, Olivia always seems to be studying those around her. Has a strange tattoo on her left wrist.

Walter Brown, age 45: Walter is a big fellow who has a farm on the northwest side of town. He mostly raises poultry and root vegetables. He claims to have been a soldier in his youth.

Elsa Smith, age 59: A large rotund woman with a winning smile and a gentle voice, Elsa runs the Valley Cafe and knows everyone in town. She also swears that she gets mental messages from a “Doctor Ophidius”.