Friday, September 25, 2009

Crugg and the Cookbook of Destiny (Part 1)

Crugg squatted on the tree limb, the wind blowing softly into his face stirring his, once again thick, purple hair, carefully watching the doe as it contentedly chewed the grass beneath him. Brandishing his crudely carven spear Crugg let out a piercing scream and dropped from the branch to land hard on the ground, just in time to see the doe’s rump disappearing into the undergrowth.
It had been two full months since he had returned home with his mother, he reflected as he rubbed his sore bottom, and she had, so far, kept her word not to chain him to the wall…though he still didn’t trust her. Now he had the run of the forest, at least a day’s walk in every direction, not that he ever walked for an entire day, but that’s what his mother told him.
Crugg stood, still rubbing his bottom, “Ow…” he looked after the fleeing dear, “I gotta get better at this.” Then he picked up his makeshift spear and started walking. He didn’t really have a destination in mind, he just kept walking until he got tired and plopped down on a log to rest, dropping his spear next to him, he started looking for something to eat.
The forest was a dull green, the heat of summer ever present despite the shade. Looking around him Crugg settled on a bush with small, bright red berries that was within arms reach. Snapping off one of the branches he started popping berries into his mouth, their tartness making his cheeks pucker slightly inward. Then he sat back and sighed, “Bored now. What to do, what to do?” He pondered the question for a long moment before resolving to see how many of the tart berries he could stand to eat at once. After a few minutes he managed to down sixteen at one time. The overwhelming bitterness almost numbing his tongue he tossed the branch away, “Well…now I’m bored again.” He looked back at the branch, “What do you think I should do?” He briefly considered eating more of the berries before noticing that the branch was sitting on top of a thick, brownish book that almost disappeared in the dirt.
With some effort Crugg pulled the book out of the ground and brushed off its, amazingly, dry and unmarred cover. The front of the book read ‘Gordon Remulus’ Magnificent Recipes for World Conquest, or Destruction (Whichever is Preferable at the Time)’. “Well, this looks interesting.” Crugg muttered as he opened to the first page.
It was a table of contents; the book was split up into Drinks, Salads and Appetizers, Breakfast Dishes, Meat Entrées, Fish Entrées, Vegetable Entrées, Stews, Deserts, and Snacks. The writing was heavy, the ink so thick that Crugg was amazed when he turned the page, which he thought was made from some kind of thin animal hide, and saw that it had not bled through. The next page was mostly blank except for the word, Drinks, written in large angular letters which Crugg was sure he had never seen before. He flipped the page back and realized that the table of contents was written in the same script, only smaller. Shrugging Crugg flipped over to the third page. The label on the top of the page read ‘Deliciously Twiggy Tea of Timely Transportation’, this was followed by a list of required items,
3 large twigs from a sufficiently aged White Oak (with leaves still attached)
(If White Oak is not available any other Oak or Birch will due, or the twigs and needles of an older Comurdian Pine or Fir in a pinch, though results will vary)
½ a pinch of ground White Oak bark
(Non-ground bark may be used, but ground produces a better result)
1 small pot of fresh spring water
(fresh river or lake water can be used, but salt water or any treated water should be avoided)
This was followed by directions, ‘Boil water and allow to steep for five to seven minutes before drinking, or for spell results pour entire mixture (hot or cold) onto your feet while reciting the phrase Jumpity-Jim Strikes Again, followed by the name of your destination. The spell will result in instantaneous transit to desired location.’
Crugg read through the recipe twice before scratching his head and flipping farther into the book to look at another recipe. The top of this page read ‘Open Face Turkey Sandwich of Necromantic Power’, and was, again, followed by a list of ingredients,
2 slices fresh turkey (the turkey must be fresh, repeat, MUST BE FRESH)
1 cup turkey gravy (chicken gravy will suffice if necessary)
1 slice white bread (wheat bread will produce a lessened effect)
1.5 ounces dirt from a recently dug grave
The directions read, ‘Heat turkey until cooked through, at the same time heat gravy to desired temperature (I like it piping hot), place turkey onto bread (do not toast bread) and then pour gravy over top of sandwich and enjoy. If used for spell results poor gravedirt over top of sandwich and allow to sit for two days, then bury sandwich face down beneath the headstone of a recently buried (within the week) man (not a woman, a man). This should increase the potency of all your necromantic spells by a factor of 7 as long as the sandwich remains buried.’
Crugg shook his head and flipped farther into the book, the next recipe was titled ‘Simmered Meat Broth of Flaming Death’, the ingredients followed,
1 lb of bones (anything will do, though the bones should have a little fresh meat still clinging to them)
¼ clove garlic
2 pinches pepper
1 pinch salt
1 hot coal
1 large pot of fresh water (no sewage Manfried)
‘Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients, boil until meat separates from bone then allow to cool overnight. In the morning skim fat from top of pot and scoop out bones and coal then reheat and enjoy. For desired spell result simply fling hot broth onto the target, he will immediately burst into flame shortly followed by his demise. Note, non-edible ingredients do not have to be removed for the spell to work, I make all my soups this way, just in case.’

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Life and Times of Crugg The (Part 1)

“Get off,” his bluish black fingers clawed and pushed at the log stuck on the adolescent goblin’s head. “Get off, I said!” The young goblin stumbled around, twigs snapping under his bare feet as birds sang mockingly overhead. “I’m going to eat you if you don’t stop that!” The goblin cried, still trying to push the log off his head. “Get Uff!” He shouted as he tripped over a rock half buried in the grassy clearing and landed log first with a thud. The young goblin reached up to scratch his head, but his fingers found only bark, “AHHH! Get off!”
He pushed himself to his feet and then plopped down on the grass and sighed, “I give up.”
“Crugesellimus Vantiminy Aristobulus Pamplimpton Udelsfernie, what do you think you are doing?!” The voice was clear and close, its harsh pitch reminding the young goblin of the reason he was lost in the woods in the first place.
“Mom, I told you to call me Crugg, and how did you find me anyway?” He whined through his log which had suddenly become a safety blanket rather than an annoyance.
“Not even when the pits of the six hundred thousand hells cave in Crugesellimus, I will not befoul the stateliness of such an ancient name of power for the foolish whimpering of a child.” The voice was almost on top of him now, “Now get up, we’re going home.”
The log exploded; literally with all the fire, heat and debris that normally accompany such displays, leaving Crugg sitting on a burnt patch of grass, the last wisps of hair still burning on his head with a look of complete and utter misery plastered on his face, “But I don’t want to go home.” He muttered softly.
“I heard that!” his mother towered over him, the shadows giving her face a darker hue than its normally bright green. She was scowling down at him; that was never a good thing. “You’ve been gone for three day’s Cruggesellimus, three days! I thought you’d run away, I mean, what else was I supposed to think?”
“I did run away!” Crugg yelled from his seat on the burnt ground, as the last of his hair puffed out; then he muttered, “Not that it did me much good.”
His mother started at him in horror, her wide eyes proved how genuine her horror really was, then she asked, “Why would you ever do a thing like that?”
“Well I…” Crugg started, then threw his hands up in the air, “Oh, nevermind, you wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh really, I wouldn’t? Really, I birth you, I raise you, I give you everything in the world and this is the thanks I get.”
“Mom,” Crugg said softly, “You keep locked in the cellar most of the time cause you’re afraid Dad’s gonna come sniffin around for me.”
“Your father’s dead Crugg, you know that, he’s been dead for a long, long time-”
“Yeah mom,” Crugg said quietly, “cause that usually sticks with demon lords.”
She cleared her throat loudly, “And I don’t keep you locked in the cellar.”
“Ok, sure, you stopped locking the door after you chained me to the wall!”
She squatted down and put a soft hand lovingly on his cheek, “Well, darling, I wouldn’t have to chain you to that wall if you’d just stop picking the door’s lock.”
Crugg jumped to his feet and tried to look his mother in the eye as she stood, he managed about the middle of her throat (his mother was a very tall Gobliness, almost five feet!) “You see,” he screamed, gesturing wildly, “Are you all hearing this, the way this woman treats her only son, just cause she’s afraid some demon king is gonna come banging on the door.”
His mother looking around calmly, “Honey, who are you talking to?”
Crugg stopped, “Um…the birds?”
She looked at him for a moment, “Fine, if you come home, no more cellar, or chains, I’ll even let you go outside to play once in a while.”
Crugg took a long moment to consider that, until his stomach started rumbling, “Fine.”
His mother nodded, then turned around, “Good, now come and walk with mummy, and what were you doing with that log?”
Crugg mumbled something.
“Metermaids? What are Metermaids?”
Crugg sighed, “Mittermites mom, Mittermites, I was looking for Mittermites. I was hungry.”
His mother looked concerned for a moment, then said, “Darling, Mittermites don’t eat wood.”

As the pair left the clearing two tall men faded into visibility, “That was him Curtis? That mewling brat was Gordon’s son?” Said the stouter one; rubbing his cliché black villain gottee with one hand.
“Indeed,” said the other, slimmer man, his long blonde hair blowing in a non-existent wind, “That was him Henry.”
“Tell me your joking; we’re talking about the son of Gordon, King of the Nine Hundred Thousand Hells.”
Curtis shook his head, his curly hair bouncing, “No, didn’t you recognize the caretaker?”
Henry nodded, “Yes his mother, she hasn’t taught him a single cantrip, he might as well be any other goblin brat!”
Curtis sighed and ran a hand through his short brown hair, “What do you want to do?”
Henry frowned, “We’ll have to take matters into our own hands, get him a book, I don’t care how, just as long as he doesn’t know who it’s from.”
“You don’t mean,” Curtis gasped, “One of those books?”
“Yes, I do.” Henry said, then stepped back into hell.