LNH20: Post-Metal Doomcore Prolog: "Brain-Slaves of the Demon Pit!"
pwerdna at gmail.com
Sun Sep 5 22:49:20 PDT 2021
Prolog: "Brain-Slaves of the Demon Pit!"
The cover is a Frazetta-esque painting! Within a fetid, mouldery catacomb, an
enormous snake with hypnotic eyes twines around an ancient statue and hisses at
the heroes, who raise sword and shield 'gainst them!
A banner at the bottom says "STOP! (Tomare!) If you haven't read 'Prelude to a
Prologue', do so-- before it's too late!!"
"See, I told you there would be a dungeon," said Maitrakh.
When the LNHQ had transformed into a spaceship and zoomed up out of the
atmosphere, the sub-basements had been left behind. There was a police barricade
up around them, and the mayor of Netropolis, who hasn't been established yet so
I get to do it, was standing on a fancy podium, giving a speech to a concerned
"Don't worry, my good citizens," said the Right Honorable Mayor Bonnie Bauchle.
"The Netropolis police force has everything completely in hand, and the rumors
of terrible nasty monsters with horrible teeth and six-inch claws crawling up
out of the earth to harvest the organs of the unwary have absolutely *no* basis
"AIEEEEE!" All heads turned to look!
Out of a stairwell was climbing an enormous, hulking figure with glowing yellow
eyes and bands of glowing fur across its body - it was some kind of giant,
"See," said Mayor Bauchle, "those claws are only four, five inches at most."
Suddenly, the beast roared as an arrow embedded itself in its arm. Velaria
nocked another and let it fly, as Maitrakh put a pepper in her mouth and said a
mystic syllable or two, letting out a breath that turned into a gout of flame!
The deathlemur growled, turning and loping away back down the stairs. and the
people applauded the heroes of the day!
"Oh, uh..." Mayor Bauchle immediately spun around on her heel to address them.
"Greetings! And, er, thank you! Who might you be?"
"We are... the SLAYERS OF THE NET!" Maitrakh leapt up on the podium, pushing
the mayor out of the way. "Heroes from a far-off world, rocketed away from its
destruction to become the heroes of *this* world! We have proven ourselves
*mighty indeed*!" She pointed out at the crowd. "Now, who among you is brave
enough to join in this quest?"
"We do need a healer," said Velaria, daintily stepping up next to her. "And a
tank, actually, now that we don't have Rune around anymore."
"Nah, nah, I can tank fine."
"THAT DOESN'T COUNT ELEMENTAL WEAKNESSES ARE DIFFERENT." Maitrakh spun around,
arms crossed, and almost ran into a four-foot-nothing girl wearing bright cyan
robes. "Oh, hell-o!"
"Hi!" said the girl. "I saw what you did and I'm interested in joining up! My
name's Taurea. I'm a member of the society of @lantean monks known as the Order
of CMYK. We've decided to have closer ties to the outside world, so I and a
bunch of my classmates were sent out to explore and have adventures!"
"Awesome!" Maitrakh clapped her hands. "What are you good at?"
"Well, we're all highly trained martial artists, and I'm especially good at
using my spiritual energies to bolster my allies and relieve their wounds!"
"...convenient," said Velaria, raising one perfect eyebrow.
"And what are your opinions on having se--" Maitrakh's attempted seduction was
interrupted by a golden form whooshing by on a plume of smoke.
"WHOA SCUSE ME! Sorry! Whoa!" Whoosh! Whoosh! THUNKbrrrrrrhissss, and now,
there was a suit of chunky golden armor laying face-down at the end of a
ripped-up trail of soil and grass.
Velaria, Taurea, and Maitrakh looked at each other, and crept carefully towards
PWOOSH! Steam vented from the joins, and the figure hopped up. "Hah! It worked!"
The faceplate popped open, and within was a youthful face with a scattering of
freckles and messy hair sticking out. "Sorry about that, but my armor worked!" :D
"...what does it do?" said Maitrakh, immediately adapting to the circumstance.
"It flies, kind of! And watch this!" She turned and made a fist, and the fist
popped off, flying into the podium and smashing it to smithereens!
"THAT'S SO COOL!" said Maitrakh and Taurea in unison. Velaria facepalmed.
"Okay," she said, "but is it any useful in combat?"
"No idea! Could you help me test it out?"
"You're on the team!" Maitrakh grabbed her hand, shook it, and shouted as it
popped off and flew away with her.
Velaria watched her go, rubbing the bridge of her nose. "...hokay. Well. The
most dysfunctional adventuring parties are the most epic, right? ...right???"
She shook it off. "Right, uh." She turned to the armored girl. "Your name?"
"Harper Blackraven!" She gave Velaria a thumbs-up, reattaching one of her hands.
"Like it, like it!" Maitrakh stumbled over, smoking slightly, and handed Harper
her other hand. "Looks like we've got a full crew!"
"Looks like." Velaria looked over them and couldn't help but smile... pressing
her sadness back as far as it would go. "We need a good meal before dungeon-
"Lemme introduce you to a thing called 'pizza'," said Harper.
"You know," said Maitrakh, "I think I could get to like it here."
Down the sub-basements went, down, down, impossibly far, space curling into
strange dimensions. And all the way down on the 100th floor, there was a hidden
space, lit only by strips of color-changing LED lights.
In this darkness sat a devilish, calculating mind, before a tome that glowed
with an eldritch hue, unless that was the blue LEDs.
"So, my monsters have attracted those who think themselves heroes once more.
Excellent." They waved a hand, pages of their book turning. "Their struggles
shall fuel our strength. Those foolish Isekaisers waste the power of emotional
conflict on creating piddly little worldlings. But my underground kingdom will
grow a thousand times stronger than they could possibly imagine! They will never
guess what grows under the stewardship... of the MASTER OF DUNGEONS!"
Author's Note: Okay, so, the ending is a dangler, but I don't have any
particular plans to follow up on it, so it's not my fault if there's another
cascade. <.< >.>
The title is because I watched the Heavy Metal movie a few weeks ago. It's not
very good but it's the right aesthetic so here we are!
Taurea's name comes from the scientific name for the cornflower, source of an
early cyan-ish dye.
Also: "BAUCHLE: A name for an old worn-out shoe, and in particular one that no
longer has a heel—although it was also used figuratively to refer to a pointless
or useless person." From
Drew "polrumptious" Nilium
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