Fabulous Goats Titillated My Ospreys

…I think they all had fun

The Doclopedia #1,399

The Over And The Under: What Is The Secret Of The Under?

From Frinita Quink, an Underling: Since I have your word that you will not repeat this to anyone, Underling or Overling, I’ll tell you. The Death Cloud has been harmless for at least 20 years, perhaps much longer.

It was 20 years ago that Elder Himo Roffer started up the Western Slope to end his life after the death of his wife and daughter in a flood. He walked up and up and soon came to the Death Line. Stepping across it, he found himself still alive. He thought that perhaps the line was misplaced, so he kept walking. Eventually, he reached the crest of the mountains at 4,000 feet and realized the truth.

His descent was long enough to let him think through the meaning of what he had discovered. If this news got out, the Overlings would come down with conquest on their minds. The other races, beyond the valley, would come in, bringing their problems. The Swamp People to the south might jopin them, even though the Death Cloud has never been a barrier to them.

Elder Himo decided that he would tell the Eldest Council what he had found and let them decide. We did and have kept the secret for 20 years now. Of course, it cannot be kept forever. Sooner or later some Loner will discover what Himo did. When that day comes, we have plans for dealing with the various problems it will bring.

Of course, as you have already found out, that does not include dealing with the Over, for which I am very glad.

From Var Obelinto Asmidu, an Overling: The secret of the Under? Well, we are sure that it is how the Elders are not telling the common folk about the coming collapse of the Death Cloud! Our best information says that it is probably no more than two years away. Then, my friend, we will wait until it clears completely before reestablishing ourselves as the rightful rulers of the Valley of Peace. Oh, what a great day that will be.

Other secrets? Oh please! Those savages could never have any useful secrets of their own.

French Lesson: “Honoré de Balzac” = “No Hitting Below The Belt”

…now I’m gonna have to fight some Francophones

The Doclopedia #1,398

The Over And The Under: What Is The Secret Of The Over?

From Zarisa Joon Lattiro, an Overling: Our deepest secret? You mean beyond the fact that the horrid Rekusi really control everything? Why, that would be the fact that our lifters and anchors are failing. Yes, it is true, we will one day start drifting on the wind and dropping in altitude. The best estimate has our five floating islands coming to ground 500 miles east of here and probably being destroyed in the process. Plans at the highest levels are being made to lower citizens to the ground before the crash happens.

Oh no, the general populace doesn’t know this. They would fall to despair and then panic. Only a dozen Zars know it and we have seen fit not to tell the Rekusi about it at all. We will tell more Zars in a few months, when escape plans are finalized and the drifting starts.

No, I feel no fear. I am very old and may well die before the drifting begins. I am only glad that we will not fall into the Death Cloud and all perish.

From Imkio Yeffer, an Underling: Something is wrong with the Over. The pale blue light we see coming from the underside of the islands is not nearly as bright as it used to be. We aren’t sure what it means, but it can’t be good.

Another thing those of us who watch the sky have noticed: the islands sometimes slowly drift east. Not much, but after well over a century of never moving, that is probably a sign of something important. Some say that it may mean that the Over will soon be carried away by the wind. That would be very nice.

23 Cats In A Red Boat

…they wanted to be pirates, but kept falling asleep

The Doclopedia #1,397

The Over And The Under: Where Is The Real Power In The Under?

From Twim Pimmil, an Underling: I suspect you already know the answer to that, stranger, but I’ll tell you anyway. The real power in the Under is the Trade Council, made up of people selected for both their love of the Under and their ability to be very discreet.

You see, despite what most people think, we never stopped trading with the Over. It was decided 50 years ago that trade with them was creating more problems than benefits. People were competing too much and depleting too many resources. Too many people got greedy and that was upsetting our way of life. So we closed Upsy Station and moved out trading facility to just below the Death Zone up on Mount Bantool. We told everyone that the Overlings ended trade. After just a few years, everything got back to normal.

We continue to trade with the Overlings, but only once per year and only for things we really need. You may have noticed that milkflowers are blooming. They were nearly extinct for over a century, until we got seeds from the Over. The same is true for many other valuable plants and even a few small animals, like the chipsquirrel. In exchange, we send them some fruits and vegetables and meats, which I am sure nobody below the Zar or Var class ever knows about.

Recently, we have increased the length between trades to 18 months. The Overlings don’t really have much we want anymore, but we do get some gold, which is always useful.

From Parisa Renel Amillia, an Overling: A question easily answered, stranger. The real power in the Under lies with the old women. It is well known that they possess magical powers, although nowhere near their pre-Death Cloud levels. They weave spells upon their men, inflaming their lust for battle. They control the weak minded. Oh yes, stranger, that is where the real power in the Under lies.

Basset Hounds On The Run

…probably running from the police

The Doclopedia #1,396

The Over And The Under: Where Is The Real Power In The Over?

From Rar Cium Kallema, an Overling: Why, the Zars, of course! They have always been our ultimate decision makers. They are the wisest among us and without them, there would be chaos.

But…I hesitate to mention this, since it is no doubt a false rumor…there are those who believe that someone or something controls the Zars. I have heard it said that it is the machines, that it is some unknown class of Overling, even that it is some sort of other species.

Of course, those are just insignificant rumors, started by citizens who were bored. The Zars are the ultimate power in the Over and always will be.

From Jorky Diggs, an Underling: Well now, friend, I remember my old granny telling me that she heard from her old granny that even longer ago than that, when those old vizards or scienteests or whatever they were accidentally created the Death Cloud, not everyone who escaped to the Over was human. A few of them was some other sort of folks.

Now, we know that there is other other folks in the world, outside our valley. Why, up at very farthest end of the valley, up near Spider Pass, folks sometimes trade with them. Usually it’s them big stinky hairy folks, the Uukwa, but sometimes it’s them little fast moving folks called the Janiff. Now, I doubt it was either of those races, but folks say there used to be other races here in the valley, back before the Death Cloud.

So anyway, the old legend goes that this other race sneaked up with some supplies just before the Death Cloud closed things off. Once they were up there, they hid out and took control of things. Them arrogant Overlings never even knew what was going on.

Anyway, that’s how I heard it when I was a young lad.

Handsome Joe Eats A Pile Of Pancakes

…with syrup!

The Doclopedia #1,395

The Over And The Under: Who Is Who In The Under?

From Asimi Fane, an Underling: I’m not sure I know what you mean. Are you asking who tribal or village elders are? For that, you’d need to ask each tribe or village. Here in my village, my gramper is the Eldest and he judges arguments and such. The elders are in charge of some things, the women are in charge of some things and the men are in charge of others. It works much the same in the tribes.

Of course, Loners are the only ones in charge if their lives. It sounds like a lonely life, but then again, it also sounds like a very free life. I’m not sure I could live that way, though.

From Par Wontella Nalestima, an Overling: Who is who in the Under? Are you joking? The people of the Under are savages! They live in tribes ruled by the strongest, most vicious among them. The few that live in “villages” are only slightly more advanced than the tribes. And let’s not forget that many Underlings roam around on their own, no doubt preying on the weak and defenseless.

A Raccoon Named Boone Went To The Moon Last June To Sing A Looney Tune

…who knew he could croon?

The Scottish Pixie Event

(Note: This is not actually that strange an occurrence at our house. Additionally, for those not in the know, Daisy, Sasha, Silky, Luke & Misty are dogs. Max is a mutant rabbit and Daisy’s boyfriend.)

So I’m at the laundromat when I get this text…

Daisy: 30 Scottish pixies have infested Mom’s closet! No time for details. Please come home to help us.

Me: Your text did not go through. Please try again next week.

Daisy: Stop messing around, Daddy! Mom will be home from Winco in 20 minutes!

Me: We are sorry, but Mr. Cross cannot answer you, consumed by laughter as he is.

Daisy: THEY BITE AND THEY CRAP ON US!

Me: We are sorry, but Mr. Cross has just expired due to laughing so hard.

Daisy: You are such a dick!

(Note: At this point, I was laughing so hard that a lady at the laundromat asked me if I was okay.)

 

A somewhat later text from Sasha…

Holy crap, don’t come home, Daddy! Silky and I stepped in the front door and there was shit all over the house and Daisy & Max & the whole nerd posse were all bit up and crying and a bunch of Scottish pixies in a cage called me a fucking cunt and Mom was right in the middle of things about to hit critical mass.

Suggest you come have a cold one with Silky and I at the pool hall until this blows over.

(Note: Cue another fit of laughter. People start moving to the far end of the laundromat.)

 

A slightly later text from Luke…

Misty and I were about to come home for the weekend when we got a text from Silky. We will spend tonight in Denver instead. We’ll come home once Mom has cooled off.

(Note: Luke and Misty have a highly developed sense of danger.)

 

The final text, from Grace, my wife…

When you get home, you’ll find Daisy and her crew frozen in carbonite in the front yard. DO NOT RELEASE THEM BEFORE DINNER TONIGHT! The Bots are cleaning the house and I am going to dispose of Stupified pixies, then take a nap. I do not want to discuss this day ever!

(Note: Not discussing it lasted only until she woke up from her nap and said to me: “Do you know what your youngest dog did today?”)

 

 

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The Young Girls Book Of Blowing Up The Patriarchy

…lavishly illustrated

The Doclopedia #1,394

The Over And The Under: Who Is Who In The Over?

From Var Ishan Elomini, an Overling: Well, of course, we of the Var class are in charge of most of the more important aspects of Overling society. At the command of the Zar class, of course. However, the Zars are almost always busy with much weightier responsibilities than I can speak to, so we are, by default, the leaders the people see. The Rar class makes sure that our life support systems are maintained and the Par class makes sure we have delicious food and drink.

Now, of course most of the Over is run by machines, but we humans still need to monitor them every day or two, as well as command them from time to time.

So there you have it, our wonderful system of doing things and getting things done.

From Pux Bonbo, an Underling: My friend, the Overlings may tell you all abour Vars and Pars and Bars and Lars, but they are all just one big lazy bunch. The ones at the top give orders to the ones below and they order about the ones below them, but in reality, their Arcane Engines do everything. All the Overlings do ismake minor adjustments and requests.

How do I know all that? My old grandpa worked at Upsy Station, filling the baskets with fruits & veggies. That was back when there was still trade between Over & Under. He got a sort of correspondence going with somebody up there and he learned how they do things.

A Short Film About Grits

…no, it’s not a gritty film.

The Doclopedia #1,393

The Over And The Under: What Is The Under?

From Widz Yarlyng, an Underling:The under is the surface of our world, the vast expanse of the Valley of Peace. It is where Humans have lived for millennia. It is trees and rivers and hills and animals and villages. It is where we live free, able to hunt in the forests of the valley and mountains, so long as we do not go above the 3,000 foot Death Line. The Under is where you cam meet people from 100 miles upriver or go off and live 50 miles from the nearest Human.

The Under is my home and I will never leave it.

From Rarisa Lann Kotelos, an Overling: The Under is a wild and deadly place. Who knows when you might be attacked by wild gaavs or trampled by a herd of ikunu? Even worse, it lies below the Death Cloud, which could collapse into the Valley of Peace anytime! The Underlings are little more than savages who must spend all of their time hunting for food and dodging death. But then, they are mentally deficient, probably from giving up Magic in order to gain some illusion of safety from the Death Cloud.

The Under is a horrible place. I would never go there, even if I could.

Blogtime Is Happytime!

…proceed to get happy

 

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The Doclopedia #1,392

The Over And The Under: What Is The Over?

From Rar Gosa Altiema, an Overling: The Over is where the True Humans live, up high and above the Death Cloud. It is a paradise where all are equal and free to pursue the arts and sciences, or just enjoy life. We have plentiful food and water, unlike the poor misguided wretches in the Under.

The Over is heaven, plain and simple.

From Sola Grymayn, an Underling: The Over is a very limited space with a stagnant culture. Overlings can never really enjoy nature or true freedom the way we can. They eat the same few fruits, vegetables and meats every day, never able to taste wild game or fresh fish or most herbs. The Overlings do not live, they exist.

The Over is Hell.

It’s National Buy A Blogger A Beer Day!

…I prefer stouts and porters.

The Doclopedia #1,391

Potion Ingredients: The Tears Of The Clown

We all know that the God of Terror most often takes the form of a clown whose name we shall not speak here. He…It…is a horrific creature and has rightfully been stripped of most of his former power by the other gods.

This does not mean he is weak. Far from it. He still manifests in small towns to prey upon children and adults. His need to feed upon their fear is endless.

His weakness is that he requires at least three worshipers to call him to a likely town using a ritual murder. This always takes place about two miles outside of town in an old abandoned house or a small clearing in the woods.

For reasons unknown to even the God of Terror, these murders always cause a small spring to bubble up from the ground where the victim died. The springs never get very large, with most being about three inches deep and a foot or two across. They last exactly a year, then dry up.

It is from these springs that you can gather up the Tears of the Clown. However, the utmost care must be taken not to get any of the water on your bare skin. To do so causes hallucinations and madness, so be very careful.

The Tears of the Clown will sell for at least 1,000 gold pieces per ounce.

 

While My Guitar Gently Meeps

…it’s a muppet guitar

The Doclopedia #1,390

Potion Ingredients: Piko Root

Like many other sought after and expensive ingredients, Piko Root demands a high price because it is such a bloody pain in the arse to get to. It is not at all rare in the high valley it grows in, but you’ll travel over 3,000 miles to find that out.

The Piko Bush is a small, low growing evergreen with bright green foliage. In the spring and summer, it produces clusters of small red berries that are popular with hungry birds. The best time to harvest the roots is early fall. Do not take more than a third of the roots, so as to allow the plant to survive the winter.

As to getting to the Donhexian Valley where the Piko Bushes grow, you must join a caravan heading east along the Grand Road. After crossing and hopefully surviving the Great Central Desert, you will arrive at Tradetown, on the banks of the River of the Gods. Book passage on a barge heading south to Canipas and you are halfway there. From Canipas, hire a ship to take you to the mouth of the River Jurr, then follow it upstream for about 200 miles until you ascend into the high mountains. You will know you are near the Donhexian Domain when you start seeing skulls on posts.

The Ice Cream Dwarves And The Candy Gnomes Go To War

…over caramel or peanuts or something

The Doclopedia #1,388

Potion Ingredients: Troll Sperm

Contrary to popular wisdom, only the very largest and very smallest trolls reproduce by splitting in two, with a new troll growing from each half. All of the other trolls mate like the majority of humanoids do. The trick then is how to get sperm from a male troll without getting killed.

You cannot cast an illusion strong enough to convince a troll to shag some sort of receptacle, nor can you build a convincing enough fake female troll. No, you will have to deal with a real female troll. We suggest the Red Troll species, since the females are far smarter than any other trolls. For a price, you can probably get her to gather a good amount of sperm during the annual breeding season.

Make sure you have her place it in glass jars with tight fitting lids, then pour essence of goldflower over each one. Store in a cool dry place until you get it to market. You should have no trouble getting 200 gold pieces per jar.

The Doclopedia #1,389

Potion Ingredients: Dungeon Blood Dust

Should you find yourself deep in a dungeon, as I am told more than a few adventuring folk do, you should keep your eyes open for this popular potion ingredient.

Comprised not of the actual blood of any creature, this scarlet dust is actually the dormant spores of Rust Monster Fungus, a type of fungus that infects and can even kill these annoying creatures.

The spores are completely harmless to any other creatures, so the actual act of scooping it up is simple. Of course, getting to it, then escaping the dungeon may be another matter.

You should expect to get about 75 gold pieces per ounce, although prices fluctuate in cities with a large Adventurers Guild.

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I Have A Very Large Duck

…no, wait…goddamn it, spellcheck!

The Doclopedia #1,387

Potion Ingredients: Ankaski Rainbow Sand

The island of Ankaski lies 700 miles off the coast of the southern Draan Empire. It is 97 miles long and from 5 to 50 miles wide. A tropical island, it is home to many deadly beasts both large and small. The sea around it teams with creature like the Greater Sea Drake, Crab Turtles, Flying Sharks and Bloodkelp. No sailing ship could survive the voyage there, even if by some miracle you found a captain and crew willing to try.

So, how does one get to the volcano at the north end of the island that produces this sand, which is the most expensive potion ingredient in the world?

You fly there.

About one in five expeditions to the island return and all of them used flight to get there and come home. People have used flight belts, trained hippogriffs, skyships, magic carpets and, in one case, an ensorceled young dragon.

Of course, getting the sand means dodging hungry beasts and possibly molten lava, but if you get back home and sell it for upwards of 5,000 gold pieces per ounce to alchemists and wizards who will fight like dogs for it, you’ll swear it was worth the trouble.

Confessions of a Time Traveler

Woodstock

I, along with my wife, assorted friends and dogs, have been to the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in our universe 6 times. Most of us cannot go again because of the annoying fact that if you are too close to yourself in the past, it is dangerous.

The effects don’t occur until you are within about 100 feet of yourself, but they start with a bad headache. Get a bit closer and you get a blinding headache and a nosebleed. Get closer still and you’ll probably have a stroke and die. So, with 6 of us at Woodstock for 3 days, we’ve just about reached the safe limit. Still, we had a great time every time we went.

Now, I need to qualify that “great time” statement. Unlike most of the attendees, we did not have to stand/walk/camp/have sex in the mud. We had a nice stable wormhole that transported us into the Bus anytime we wanted to eat, sleep, use the bathroom or whatever. The Bus was parked in a wooded area 56 miles from the concert.

The big question people have is why, if there are multiple versions of us there, they don’t see us in a single photo or film footage. Well, the answer is, you do see us! We all used a different android body each time, so we are actually in dozens of photos and shots from the movie.

The second question we get is “How was it?”, and the answer is GREAT! So much incredible music in one spot! On one trip, we even hung out behind the stage and met some of the performers. I killed a bottle of wine with Keith Moon of The Who. My friend Spike had his picture taken with Jimi Hendrix. It was very cool.

The third most asked question is, “Did you fuck around trying to change history?” and the answer is “Of course!”


We replaced the brown acid with windowpane. We changed the weather to sunny and warm all weekend. We made sure that all the equipment worked. We got about 100,000 more folks to the concert, including 15.5 year old me all the way from California. We got Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Bob Dylan, Procul Harum and The Doors to perform. Tried three times to get Frank Zappa there, but he refused each time. We…well, we did a bunch of things that spun off several new realities. It was fun.

So, if you ever get a time machine, I highly recommend going to Woodstock. And if you meet a tall thin white guy with red hair…or a short African American woman wearing a “WEED!” t-shirt…or a chubby kind of nebbishy looking Jewish guy going prematurely bald…or a big Italian biker with a scar across the left side of his face…or an 18 year old blonde hippie girl with silver gogo boots on…or a 25 year old version of me, say hello. They’re all me.

 

The Rare And Beautiful Nervous Bison Of Potawango Island

…they’re a neurotic mess

 

The Doclopedia #1,386

Potion Ingredients: Death Flower Petals

Collecting the petals of Death Flowers is a thing done only by the very strong of will and stomach, since they only take root and bloom in the blood drenched soil of a very large and recent battle.

The seeds of Death Flowers are transported from one battlefield to the next by carrion birds. Once dropped on the bloody soil, the seed germinates within 12 hours. About 48 hours later, the first flowers appear and are pollinated by flies that land on them. By the end of a week, the rotting corpses have feed the flowers well and they will release seeds. For the next few weeks, this cycle repeats.

For those who can stand to do it, collecting Death Flower petals is simple, easy and sure to make money. Both necromancers and druids will pay up to five silvers per ounce for the petals. No special storage is needed, but be sure to not let them dry out.

Murder With A Side Of Hash Browns And A Cup Of Coffee

…black coffee, black as a bad dame’s soul

 

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The Doclopedia #1,385

Potion Ingredients: Chimera Dung


When gathering this very useful ingredient, one must get is very fresh. Still steaming, if possible. Naturally, the person or persons doing the gathering should be very adept at stealthy movement, very tough and very fast on their feet. A strong constitution coupled with a poor sense of smell would not be a bad idea, either. The dung, which can weigh up to 5 pounds, should ideally be collected in an unbroken state, but as Hralji the Lame once put it, “Fat chance of that!”. Regardless, it must go into a large jar that has had the interior of both jar and lid coated in beeswax.

Fresh Chimera dung can fetch prices as high as 100 gold pieces per pound and has a ready market in most large cities. It is a key ingredient in potions such as Dual Form, Fire Breath and Protection Against Minor Undead.

Chapter 134: In Which Our Hero, Forced To Wear A Suit Made Of Feathers, Must Free Young Kate From The French

…and she’s allergic to feathers

The Doclopedia #1,383

Amazing Ordinary Stuff: Cat Tree

Why give your cats some plywood and shag carpet monstrosity to play/sleep on when you can give them an actual, living, cat tree? Thanks yo modern genetic manipulation, these 7 foot tall trees grow very well indoors and have plenty of wide horizontal branches for kitty to lounge on. The trunk of the tree naturally develops hollows that cats can hide in! The tree also gives off a lovely scent that both cats and humans enjoy. Best of all, it sheds very few leaves each year, making clean up a breeze! Available at pet megastores and garden stores everywhere. Only $59.95 and it comes with a 5 year guarantee!

The Doclopedia #1,384

Amazing Ordinary Stuff: Egg Slicer

Be truthful, have you ever tried to slice any egg larger than a chicken egg in an egg slicer? You can’t do it! But with this new adjustable egg slicer, you can slice duck eggs, turkey eggs, goose eggs, ostrich eggs, even Triceratops eggs! Just adjust the holding tray, then bring down the custom titanium wire slicer and BINGO, perfectly sliced eggs every time! Available everywhere for only $22.50!

We’ve Got Minks In The Pickle Barrel!

…GODDAMNIT! A whole barrel of pickles, ruined!

The Doclopedia #1,381

Amazing Ordinary Stuff: Melon Baller

If you like sports, then you need a melon baller! Just place any melon into it, select the type of ball you want and press the button. In just2 to 4 minutes the outside of any melon can look like any ball, from a golf ball to a basketball. Great for those game day tailgate parties! $29.99 at most stores. Buy one this month and get the Autographer attachment, normally $19.95. for only $10.00!

The Doclopedia #1,382

Amazing Ordinary Stuff: Allen Wrench

No matter if Allen is your first, last or middle name, this wrench is made for you! Using special Allen specific nanotech, this fully adjustable wrench will last a lifetime and look great doing it. And it’s only $15.00! We also have William, Robert, James, Peter, Richard and Paul wrenches for sale.

The Secret Origin Of Ian Skinner!

…one of my Patreon backers!

 

The Doclopedia #1,379

Amazing Ordinary Stuff: Ice Cream Scoop

Do you love ice cream? I mean, REALLY love ice cream? Well an ice cream scoop is just what you need! This device will keep you up to date with the latest ice cream news. New flavor invented somewhere? Favorite ice cream shop having a sale? Famous celebrity declares their favorite flavor? This little gadget will give you the scoop on all that news as soon as it happens! Under $25.00 in most stores. Requires internet connection.

The Doclopedia #1,380

Amazing Ordinary Stuff: Bread Box

Now you can stash your money and other valuables where no thief would ever look for them: in a moldy stale loaf of bread! Or at least a box made to LOOK that way. This quality stash box is made to resemble a large unsliced loaf of bread that has gone hard and has some greenish mold on it. No burglar in his right mind would touch it! Be safe and secure with a bread box! $19.99. includes plastic storage bag. Also available in sourdough round or French loaf.