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Chapter 10: Attorosi

Chapter 10: Attorosi

It was still dark in Shadow Vale. Tyranicus's body had been moved so that no one would trip over it. There had been a brief flurry of spamming, headed by Jumpin' Salmon, but now it was silent as well.

"Is it still snowing?" Lazarus asked.

"Yes. I doubt we could even open the door now, the snow is so deep," FBM said.

"I wonder how the fluffy turtles are doing," the Almighty Do-er of Stuff said, "Because of this weather, there aren't any newbs and therefore no sanity for them to eat."

Slartucker sighed. "I can't believe I'm stuck here. I could be doing something useful."

"Cheer up, Slarty. It'll be all right." Jumpin' Salmon looked around (as best he could in the dark). "Now, has anyone seen Marlenny or Kelandon recently?"

"Yes, they gathered up a few handfuls of spam and, um, retreated to a quiet corner," Lazarus said.

"Kel and Mar alone... away from everyone else... with spam?! Now I am highly disturbed," Jumpin' Salmon said loudly, "I don't even want to think about what they're doing."

Suddenly, there were a few orange flickers from the far corner of the room. A moment later, the flickers were replaced by a steady glow.

"Ha! I knew we could get a fire going!" Kelandon said.

"You got a fire going just by rubbing pieces of spam together? Impressive," Ash Lael said, coming to sit by it.

"Yep." Marlenny threw a few more pieces of spam onto the small fire.

"So... yeah... that's okay, I guess," Jumpin' Salmon said.

The Silent Assassin tapped Lenar on the shoulder and held his stomach.

"The Silent Assassin is hungry. Or about to be ill. Or he really hates the Governor of Nebraska, I'm not really sure which. But more than likely, he's hungry."

"Well, there's plenty of spam lying about!" Jumpin' Salmon said.

Lenar watched the Silent Assassin carefully. "He says it tastes fishy."

"I'm offended," Jumpin' Salmon said.

"The Silent Assassin is delighted," Lenar said.

"Fine. I'm just going to sulk in the corner here." Jumpin' Salmon sat down and stared into space. A moment later, he pulled out some papers. "I know! I'll take the cool Internet quizzes I have with me. The Silent Assassin will never know what type of dancing banana graemlin he is."


In the Geneforge 4 Forum, Delicious Vlish heard footsteps from the Avernum 4 Forum. Muttering, he hid the moisturizing skin cream. "What is with everyone today? Why can't I get some time alone?"

Drakefyre, Randomizer, and Archmagus Micael entered.

"Vlish!" Drakefyre said.


"Have you seen Dintiradan, the Lurker, or Wanderer lately?"

"Yes. They came through not too long ago with..." Delicious Vlish stopped, for he could hear footsteps coming from the Geneforge Forum. And what sounded like squeaking.

Dintiradan, the Lurker, and Wanderer stumbled into the forum. A few red rats were biting and scratching at their feet. A mung rat and several green rats entered behind them. One of the red rats managed to trip Dintiradan, and the Lurker tripped over him. Wanderer hesitated, unsure of what to do, until a curse ray from one of the green rats knocked him down.

"Rats!" Randomizer said, "Spray acid!"

A round of spray acid from Randomizer, firebolts from Archmagus Micael, and arcane blow from Drakefyre took care of all the rats.

"Hmph. I didn't even get a chance to try out my new feisty tentacle slap of pain," Delicious Vlish said.

Dintiradan got halfway up, and then collapsed again. "So weak... stupid curse rays..."

Drakefyre strode over and hauled Dintiradan upright. "What did you do?" he asked.

"Smoo summoned them, not me!" Dintiradan protested.

Randomizer, Archmagus Micael, and Delicious Vlish formed a ring around the three miscreants so they couldn't escape.

"Tell me everything. Now," Drakefyre said.

"There's this summoning machine in the mountains of the BoA Forum. Smoo summoned the rats from his scenario. I tried to stop him, but I didn't get there in time. That's all I know," Dintiradan said.

"You made that summoning machine, didn't you?" Drakefyre said.

Dintiradan didn't say anything.

"You have to tell me how to turn it off," Drakefyre said.

"You can't," Dintiradan said flatly, "Otherwise, I would have done so already."

"What happened to Smoo?" Randomizer asked.

"I don't know," Dintiradan said.

"And Zephyr Tempest?" asked Archmagus Micael.

"What about him?" Dintiradan asked.

"How did he die?" Archmagus Micael asked.

"He's dead? Well, I don't know anything about that," Dintiradan feigned surprise.

"I don't believe you. Unfortunately, I can't spend any more time here." Drakefyre waved his hand, and magical shackles materialized around the wrists of Dintiradan, the Lurker, and Wanderer. "Randomizer, Archmagus Micael, you will lead these three back to the General Forum, where they will be separated and guarded until I return. Don't hesitate to cast spells on them if they try to escape. Understand?"

"Yes," Randomizer said. Randomizer and Archmagus Micael led Dintiradan, the Lurker, and Wanderer away.

"Now what do we do?" the Lurker whispered.

"When we get to the General Forum, I'll sneak out my Evil Overlord book and read up on... my book!" Dintiradan suddenly stopped and, with difficulty, searched his pockets for the book. "I lost my book!"

"That's too bad. Now keep moving," Randomizer said. He pushed Dintiradan into the Avernum 4 Forum.

"But... but... I don't have my book! What am I supposed to do without it?" Dintiradan asked.

"Delicious Vlish, will you come with me to scout out the Blades of Avernum Forum and discover what the rats are like?" Drakefyre asked.

"Of course," Delicious Vlish said.


Smoo awoke slowly. The last thing he remembered was trying to fend off the wererat while under a slow spell from the white rat. Then there had been a faint rumble from above and everything went black. Smoo guessed that a rat had knocked some rocks down onto him.

"Look! He's starting to come around."

"I'll go tell Slayer of Humans."

Smoo opened his eyes in time to see a giant rat scamper off. Two others stared at him with beady eyes. One started to speak, but the other cut it off.

"Silence! Spirit Born doesn't want us conversing with the prisoner," it said.

"You can talk!" Smoo said.

The rats just stared at him.

"Are we allowed to answer that, at least?" the first rat asked. The second rat shushed it.

Smoo attempted to move, only to discover that his arms and legs had been securely bound. After a few minutes of attempting to wriggle free, he gave up. "How did a bunch of rats learn to tie such difficult knots?" he muttered.

"I tied every one of those knots," the first rat said proudly, "I learned all about them from the little wharf rats who spend their entire lives on ships and docks. There are many ropes and knots in those places."

"What did I just tell you about talking to prisoners?" the second rat hissed.

"Oh. Sorry."

A moment later, the third giant rat returned with the white rat.

The white rat looked Smoo over. "Greetings, puny human. I am Slayer of Humans, One of Many, Spirit Born, Savior of Rats, Plague of Humans, Vengeance Made Flesh, Restorer of Rat Ways, Terror of Mankind..."

"Attorosi," Smoo said grimly.

"How did you know that? Never mind," the rat white said, "Anyway, you are our prisoner now. I need information. You will give it to me, if you wish to be spared when the rest of your kind is destroyed."


"No? Well, I'll leave you here for now. You'll change your mind soon. Like when you hear the dying screams of the first group of people to meet the end they deserve." Attorosi stalked off. "Foolish human. Humans never do what is sensible. I can still get the information I need, though. I have plenty of red rats to act as scouts." Attorosi muttered to itself all the way back to the rat lair.

In the rat lair, two more white rats were examining a book closely. It was Dintiradan's Guide to Becoming an Evil Overlord.

"Savior of Rats!" one of them said.

"What is it?" Attorosi said.

"We found this book. It appears to be full of instructions for how humans can better control the world."

"In that case, study it closely. Perhaps we can learn something from it," Attorosi said.


In the General Forum, Nikki and Emperor Tullegolar sat slumped against the wall.

Emperor Tullegolar stared at everyone with distaste. "Weaklings and fools, all of them. If I were an administrator, I'd show them a thing or five."

Nikki watched Riibu and Arancaytar through narrowed eyes. "Look at them, talking about Runescape. I don't have a chance at Aran with Riibu around." Nikki sighed. "I'm afraid I'll never get him to love me."

"Love is for the weak," Emperor Tullegolar said.

"No, it's not!" Nikki said.

"Of course it is. Look at you, moping around. 'Waah, I'll never get him to love me.' Pathetic."

"I don't see you doing anything, so that must make you weak as well," Nikki said.

Emperor Tullegolar looked highly offended. "You dare to call me weak? As it so happens, I have a plan. A good plan that your poor, weak, lovesick mind couldn't possibly understand." Emperor Tullegolar jumped up and stalked off.

Nikki sighed again. "Life is so unfair. Aran doesn't like me now that Riibu is back. And Nicothodes has been gone for almost two months now. I miss her trying to stab me with her pencil every time I called her cute." Nikki sighed yet again. "Maybe Emperor Tullegolar's right. Maybe I am being weak by just sitting around. Maybe I could do something that would make Aran notice me. But what?" Nikki thought for a moment. "Of course! I'll get rid of Riibu! But how?" Nikki thought for a while, and then drew out a mechanical pencil that he had stolen from Nicothodes. "If it works for Nico, it'll work for me." Nikki stood up and started walking towards the Tech Support Forum. "And I'm going to make absolutely sure that this will work."