Let’s Play Confuse The Goat!

…if the goat gets pissed off, everybody loses

The Doclopedia #1,192

Bad Swords: Heartbreaker, The Sword That Destroys

Yung Ki was the greatest swordswoman of her time, perhaps one of the greatest ever. She had fought battles beyond counting, against both men and demons. She had saved lives, villages, cities and entire kingdoms over the last 35 years. If she had wanted it, she could have become Emperess.

But what he really wanted, she could never have, for the love of another was denied her. She was cursed by the very sword whose power had helped her attain her legendary status.

She had been a good, but not great student under Master Shen. He told her she had the heart and desire, but her reflexes and senses would always slow her down. He advised her to walk to a shrine high in the mountains and meditate upon her future as a warrior.

The road to the shrine had covered over a hundred miles and given her much time to think. By the time she was halfway back to her home town, she had decided that she would give up her dream of mastering the sword and instead study the way of the healer. But when she came to a flooded out bridge and had to take a little used detour, her life took another turn.

Walking through the forest, she came to a ruined village. Curious, she poked around for a few minutes, trying to discern what might have lead people to leave this place. She was looking into what had been a meeting hall when she saw a sword on the ground. It was very finely crafted and oddly free of tarnish, despite being here long enough for debris to cover much of it. When she picked it up, she felt a thrill run through her, along with the desire to test the sword out.

And test it she did. First back at school, where she quickly rose to the top of her class. He master was impressed with her and with the sword, which they learned was named the Heartbreaker, first used two centuries earlier by the swordsman Li Kung and later by General Zao. It had been lost for 50 years before Yung Ki had found it.

It was not long before she had left school and begun making a name for herself. It was only slightly longer that the sword began to show it’s curse. Although it took decades, she eventually realized just how bad the curse was.

The first had be Tsung, the handsome young archer that had won her heart with his kind ways, only to be driven away by her outbursts of rage fueled by jealousy that had no basis in fact.

Then had come Master Wu, he equal with a sword and a loving and virile match for her in all other ways. After three years, they had parted violently, she attacking him with both her sword and false accusations that he was with her only to ride on the coattails of her fame. He had run across a footbridge, then cut it loose, telling her that he would not kill her, for she was crazed.

Much later, there had been Ahn, the man who brought her some measure of peace before she began to untruthfully resent him taking her away from a life of battle. He had left one night after a bitter argument. The next morning, she found the letter he had left. It told how he had spent the last few months researching her sword and had learned that anyone owning it would forever be denied love or peace. He advised her to go to a very desolate place far to the west, near a ruined city, to learn more. She had laughed at that, until her servant brought her her breakfast and she drank her tea.

Upon drinking the tea, Yung Ki was filled with an inner peace, which allowed her to think more rationally now than she had in years. Yes, she would go to this place and learn more about Heartbreaker, despite a tiny voice inside her telling her not to. She got her pack ready and set out on horseback before noon.

She is here now, in an ancient place that the desert will cover within another human lifetime. The tiny voice has been kept tiny by the drugged tea she drinks, a gift from Ahn. Likewise, she has read his final gift, a second letter left here only hours before she arrived. It tells her that the sword will try to get her to kill herself somewhere in a civilized area, where it can later be found by a new owner, but if she dies out here, the sword will be lost for centuries, perhaps millennia. A small vial sits near her. Fighting the urge to take up the sword and leave, she drinks down the poison. As a warmth spreads through her, she pushes the sword into a crack in the ground and watches as it falls several feet. Smiling, she lies back and welcomes the peace of eternity.

Later, when the moon rises, I shall make a large fire to burn her body and the letter. In the morning, I will leave and let the desert claim her.

Handsome Joe And His Pals Watch TV

…mostly, Animal Planet


The Doclopedia #964

Weights & Measures: 5 Pounds Genre: Fantasy

Yes, my apprentice, this Sword of Dragon Slaying does weigh exactly five pounds. A full pound of that is the golden inlay of runes that impart an Eversharp Blade to it, while the Jewels of Enhanced Speed in the pommel weigh a quarter pound all by themselves. Oh, no, the actual Dwarven Steel weighs much less than you would think. It seems the Gnomes, after many explosions and several non fatal maimings, devised a process by which the Dwarves could make the steel twice as strong with half the weight. Amazing stuff, really, as I was telling One Eyed Lefty Gnomingomer the other day.

The customer? Oh, that would be Duke Ringust Lantero of Lantieri. If ever there were a man and sword that had a chance at killing the Great Dragon of Tuuv, it is he and this sword. Even so, I give him a 50/50 chance at best. Have you ever heard that dragon described? 200 feet long from nose to tail and breathes White Fire! No, my shillings are on the dragon, lass.”




The Doclopedia #965

Weights & Measures: 10 Cubic Centimeters Genre: Pulp

It wasn’t much to look at, being a mere cube of metal with a few wires protruding, but Doc Tempest, Sally Smithfield and the rest of the crew knew that it had been the “brains” of the giant robot ape that Hurricane Hampstead had used to terrorize Govunga while he had been going after the diamonds in the lost temple.

Boy,” Sally said, “I’d sure like to get a look inside that to see how it works.” She was intensely interested in how Professor Grave had packed so much information into such a small space.

Doc nodded. “So would I, Sally, but I’m pretty sure trying to cut it open would destroy it. Still, we can x-ray it and run it through a few other processes. Maybe that will tell us something.”

It’s a shame Professor Grove chose to die with Hampstead, trying to get those diamonds.” Sally would never understand people who placed greed above science.

Doc placed the small cube into a padded case, which he then shut and locked.

Greed is a sickness of the mind, Sally. It has cost countless lives through the ages. That’s why we must fight to conquer it.”

With that, the seven of them walked back to their airship and set to getting it ready for the trip back to San Francisco.

Doc Tempest: The City Dies At Dawn

…from the 1999 graphic novel

The Doclopedia #405

The Alphabet, Again: D is for…Dragontooth

Dragontooth is a legendary sword made from, you guessed it, a real dragon tooth. After being taken from the mouth of a recently slain dragon, the tooth had many sorcerous spell laid upon it. It was then given to skilled Gnomish craftsmen who fashioned it into a truly amazing sword loaded with special powers.

The person using Dragontooth is nearly invincible and can withstand all extremes of temperature. They age very slowly and remain young looking throughout their lives. The sword itself is unbreakable and sharp enough to cut through steel.

Once a day, the sword can be made to teleport itself and the owner to a place of safety at least 100 miles from where they were. Once a month, it can be used to summon and control a fully grown dragon.

The Doclopedia #406

The Alphabet, Again: E is for…EK387-B

EK387-B, or Ek for short, is a Helperdroid on the “Boron” space colony that is now leaving the orbit of Saturn on it’s journey to a planet orbiting the star Aloron.

His jobs is primarily the care and wrangling of the stations cattle, which has earned him the nickname “Cowboy Ek”. Playing along with this, Ek uses a vocal matrix based on a combination of Sam Elliot and Gary Cooper. This often gets a laugh, because Ek is built along the lines of an octopus/spider love child. Ek is cool with that and just doffs his ten gallon hat and says “Y’all have a right nice day.”

When he’s not roaming the 200 square miles of pasture that the beef cattle live on, Ek will be in some nearby town doing odd jobs or getting his quarterly tune up. He’ll also spend a little time telling the children exciting tales of the Old West.