"honestly turtledovix, be decent to those chaps", jut caught hold of himself quickly."it's not as though they claim to have come through a wardrobe..." jut had considerable difficulty not to poke the battle mage with his elbow. to castor paulinus he said promptly:" protocall demands that you camp either in the garrison or within sight of it's sentries. turtledovix here will alert the imperial palace regarding your presence. i must return home. my name is jut. i'm an armorer. should you need any further assistance summon for me". he extended a hand to castor paulinus. the commander shook it, more for the benefit of morale than anything else. jut turned to go. a guardsman arrived, in his black cuirass and bear-shaped helmet, indicative of his rank: a sargeant. "i am sargeant hewitt. would you and your men prefer to use the lodges or to make your own camp in the field?" c.paulinus turned to his lieutennant, scipio livius. the burly ligurian responded to the unspoken question"the field". paulinus turned to hewitt:" am i thus able to understand all men, having drunk that potion?" he asked. "yes" came the reply. " for a year since the drinking, and your men also, since you are their guardian, in a manner of speaking". much relieved, the romans turned to dig a camp in a nearby empty patch of ground. midday approached. the camp-digging done, livius ordered rest and time to eat some rations for the men. the silence in which their activities were carried out spoke volumes for their confusion and restraint. as early evening drew near, a council was gathered. the unit-commanders gathered in paulinus's tent. officiality was cast aside: " gentlemen" he began: "from what little i understand, this is a civilised if odd place, and people at least try to show some understanding. tomorrow we will see someone in a higher position. tell the men to rest and remember they are roman-" not a second elapsed since these words were spoken and the men began to tumble over each other as the earth started shaking violently. it was as though titans hammered at it, bellowing furiously, the roman sentry's buccinae brayed for dear life. paulinus and his seconds in command charged out of the tent. outside, sargeant hewitt and his men tried to calm the roman soldiers who were busy making entreaties to gods and demons alike in all the tongues of their empire. "nothing to be concerned about" rpeated hewitt. "hades what is t h a t"? asked paulinus. at the edge of the camp, charged a group of about 20 huge animals that looked like a python with the legs and belly of an elephant. " it's our battle-mounts, sir. the brontosaurus. harmless beasts. unless provoked. we always excercise them come evening". said hewitt, as to frightened children. "you mean to say you ride these monsters as you would a horse?" hewitt was offended. "sir, please! horses indeed!monsters, indeed! these beasts are very dear to our military heritage!". the serpent-necked herd charged away, towards some distant orchard. later on, they would return like cats after a nightly prawl. the romans, clearly shaken, fell to rebuilding their camp with vigor. the night was spent in thought and prayer, reading from classical texts and fitful sleep. paulinus dreamed of huge lizards with mouths like caverns and a large-breasted woman trying to raise the dead...
She turned away from the bubbling hot steam and rotting stench of the ancient iron cauldron which had weird reliefs of various skulls and demonic faces on it's side. She shook her long raven hair, stretched up her bare arms, and did a little jumping-dance. Some of the evil faces were glowing firey-red, and one with big horns and a forked tongue seemed to be leering at the beautiful bouncing flesh of the long legged sorceress. She often felt that it's empty black eye-holes were following her around the chamber whenever the dread cauldron was on full heat.
Her almost manic wide eyes glared down at the big wooden sarcophagus which lay at her pretty, bare feet. The lid was missing, and some torn pieces of dark ancient bandages littered the floor. The semi-wrapped dry corpse was several thousand years old. It had taken her 9 long years to find it, and then organise the robbing of the hidden tomb. She had paid a small fortune to the very talented, ruthless, selected group of rogues and thieves who brought the dead-lord to her in secret. But only half of them had survived the deadly traps, and the desert patrols, in the land of the pyramids and serpents.
She leaned down over the mummified King Astar-Hoth [ Main character ] and licked his dusty forehead with her long pink tongue. Meanwhile her big breasts almost fell out of her crimson silk top. Licking her lips, she seemed to get a jolt of pleasure through her whole body from what flakes of dusty power she had tasted. Throwing her head back she laughed loud with a vulpine howl... "Soon, I will taste ALL your sandy secrets ! Ha ! "
While she skipped joyfully around the big sinister chamber like a prancing school-girl, her breasts escaped to enjoy their brief bouncy freedom, but she ignored them for a while. Then she lifted them and pulled a very wet cloth from out of her top. It had soaked up lots of her sweat which had run all the way down from her face and neck. She squeezed the cloth out into a big glass jar, and then placed a new cloth under her heaving bosom. The jar was now nearly full, and she kissed the glass, and hummed with pleasure as she carefully placed the precious fluid on a shelf next to a small pickled human foetus in another jar. There were many shelves and different sized jars waiting in limbo in her chamber of horrors.
When this complex ritual of incredible necromantic power is complete, she will talk to the long dead sorcerer-king, and force him to reveal the vital information she needs. But, there are still 2 things she needs to mix her perfect commanding spell. Some hair from a living virgin. And, the fresh heart of an evil human man. It must be cut out in her chamber and plunged quickly into the hot pot.
Both these missions have been underway for days, and they are due to arrive at her Tower later tonight...
Another humid day threatend to lay it's soggy armpits over the roofs of throssenspurt, a mighty metropolis, that has seen it's share of tavern brawls, heroic quests, oriental dooms, and the tentacular monstrosities usually mandatory therein. the sun deigned to wearily rise, casting inviting rays to aspiring country lads and steppe barbarians alike, who would be soon devoured by urban ennui and unhealthy feeding habits.
not much after sunrise, jut the armorer rose from a very pleasant dream in which several nubile maidens, tending towards terminal duskiness, were in the midst of explaining the intricacies of the famous "hide the dojimbuh" game to him. the fruit, originating from the jungle-continent of humbaza, was known to serve as an aphrodisiac as well as a deadly throwing-weapon... whatever could it be that had to be done so early in the morning with such loud knocks at his door? jut rose angrily, wore a house-robe over his paunchy stomach and grumphed his wayy to the door of his house. his armory was situated 15 buildings away up prince roderic the melancholy street, as a point of insistence: let those who indulge in the barbarian romances build an apartment above an armory. "people who place an apartment over a metal-working lot go around later on wearing their swords on their backs. and we all know i'ts the begining of the end from then" said jut's father to him years ago. well, the old man died peacefully, three years ago, but the common sense he bequethed his son was as sound as the weaponry they both made.
at the door, stood an alarming sight: 600 men, all in recently-polished armor, were rigidly arrayed before him, eyeing him and the street around them with a combination of irritation and confusion. the man jut decided was their commander, on account of his horse-hair-plumed helmet and apparently-winged-horses ornamented breastplate, tried to speak to him: "ave caesar". he said, in an obvious attempt at authority. the commander handed jut a scroll. jut, who could never miss a buisness opportunity, was well versed in the proceedings. these men will need a good armorer as a friend with so much metal on them. he took from a small shelf on the hallway wall a flask, and dropped four red drops on the four corners of the unfurled scroll. the foreign script now became legible in the local tongue:"
"my dear something-or-marcus" read the scroll. "as i could'nt possibly stand all that much broomstick-straight gravitas around me these days, about to be crowned as zeus king of the gods and all that, you and your men are exiled. for all that i care, go find another world to settle on my divine behalf. whoever governs it has you, as my gift to them. honesty is as useful as scrap metal these days". the signature was: "caligula"
"right" said jut to himself, and took two goblets from the same shelf. he poured some of the same liquid into them, offering one to the commander and quickly drinking himself. the freindly gesture seemed to ease the tension a bit. the commander drank. "can i help you, men?" asked jut. "i am castor paulinus, commander of the 34' legion in the imperial roman army. these are my men. we were to establish ourselves in ostia when a thunder-storm erupted just as we landed on the beach, and we found ourselves here, wherever here is." jut knew what to do. "follow me" he said. the fat, balding armorer, still in his dressing-robe, found himself suddenly leading a legion of foreign fighters to the city barracks, where he found the man he was looking for. "hullo turtledove fork-beard" he stated to the wizzened battle-mage seated on a stool before him. " i guess these men are here for some reason beyond our ken." he said, shifting to a dialect unknown to the foreigners, now that at least on of them could understand him. he told the tale to turtledovix. the latter tugged at his beard thoughtfully. "well, from what i recall, the flying horse is a symbol not uncommon among the men known as greeks, a group thereof arrived a decade ago under similar circomstances and were sent to fight by our divine empress against the canibal amazons of humbaza. they were peirced to a man by very sharp dojimbuh spears. now did i tell you that dream i had eralier this morning just before waking up? funny, it involved a game of "hide the dojimbuh" played by a group of terminally-dusky maidens and for some strange reason you were there...i'll tell you all about it soon". turtledovix hurriedly referred to the romans, seeing the hurt look on jut's face. "mind you, these chaps, who go around putting wings on horses are a step away, if you ask me, from taking a perfectly reasonable tyrannosaurus the wings from som hapless pterodactyl and calling it a dragon. these greeks told such tales to me when they arrived. my ribs still hurt for laughing." jut nodded sagely at the ever-patient romans, as would a parent at a child adding two and two and not knowing it was four.