LNH20: Post-Metal Doomcore #3

Jeanne Morningstar mrfantastic7 at gmail.com
Fri Mar 4 10:10:31 PST 2022

LNH20 presents:
Featuring Another Gratuitous Character Introduction!
S01E03: "To Ponder the Orb"
by Jeanne Morningstar


And elsewhere in the subbasements, a figure loomed over a crystal ball 
and watched. Her long dark hair stretched out behind her. She stood 
up--her black cloak trailing behind, her tall witch's hat standing 
jauntily yet sinisterly on her head. Her black leather boots, which 
extended up to her thighs, which were--

[AHEM!] said Edwina the Ultimate Editor. [If you start describing her 
thighs you'll be here all day! Stop being horny!--ed.]

Edwina snapped her fingers and a shiba inu holding a stick loomed over 
the Writer's chair. Jeez, that's harsh!

[Finish the scene. This kind of thing is why they had to choose someone 
who was asexual and uninterested in sex to fill my post. Because you 
Writers are always getting horny and someone has to keep you on task!]

Okay, okay, fine--wait, that sounds a little horny itself--

[Ah, well, I didn't say I was uninterested in kink, but that is not the 
point! The point is, finish the scene!]

OW! Ok, fine. So, the as yet unnamed evil sorceress gazed into her 
crystal ball and saw Velaria appear before Imperilus. "Excellent, 
excellent," she said to herself, steepling her perfectly black nail 
polished fingers. "Everything is going according to plan. Now I shall 
see what has become of the other visitors above..."

She was the one who the Dungeon Master had summoned as the final boss, 
the last enemy the heroes he'd brought would face. The Orb of Pondering 
she wielded was a gift from the being who had brought in and empowered 
the Dungeon Master himself. But she, of course, had her own plans. [It 
wouldn't be an LNH20 story if it didn't have three or four different 
people's plans crashing into each other, would it?--Ed.]

She waved her hands over the Orb. The purple mists of her crystal ball 
rose and parted, and she saw...


Velaria beheld this strange place where she'd appeared and shuddered. 
Even after many delvings into such dungeons, she was never fully at home 
in them. Like all Elves, she shared a deep, elemental connection with 
the Sun. This was why the skin of the Elves in general was very dark. As 
a priestess of the Moon, Velaria was well acquainted with the night and 
knew how to make use of it, but she did not wish to walk too long in the 
depths which the Sun's and Moon's light did not touch.

(But had this actually been true before she came here? So much of her 
life and her world up to now seemed... vague, sketched in, simplistic... 
No, she wasn't going to think about that.)

She wondered if this was the same world she'd just been in or if she'd 
shifted again--separated forever from Maitrakh... There were times she 
was so irritating Velaria had almost wished it, but... No, she could 
never live without her. Not that she'd ever tell her that in a million 
years. (And Elves generally didn't quite live *that* long.)

But her fear had not come true--some indefinable thing had been 
different when she'd been shifted into this world, and was not know. She 
could, and would, get out.

Meanwhile, Imperilus, the Exterminating Son, disruptive influence from 
the Superhuman World, looked around at the pretty damn gorgeous elven 
lady who'd just appeared out of nowhere.

"So... you're my servant?" he said.

"I am certainly not your servant," said Velaria coldly. "I am the 
Moon's, and my oath to her requires that I aid those in need--but do not 
claim what does not belong to you."

  "Okay, okay! By Yiminy!" he said. Then he grimaced. "Vy am I talking 
like this! Did the Writer just realize that I am Svedish!" He blinked. 
"The.... Writer? Am I... a fictional character?"

"I can't say I fully understand it, but it would seem so," said Velaria.

Imperilus clutched his forehead. He did, now that he thought about it, 
have this strange sense of being... pulled between different influences 
that seemed to think about him in different contradictory ways, which 
sometimes changed. Could he actually be a fictional character that 
someone made up?

He thought about this for a while. It made him mad, as did most things.

"Vell, if these Writers are real I vill kick their asses! But for 
now...The first person who makes a crack about Svedish Fish or the 
Svedish Chef, I vill crush their vindpipe, see if I don't!"

"All right," said Velaria. "You wouldn't have to know your way out of 
this dungeon?"

"Ya, vell I haven't played any of these elfgames in a damn long time, 
but from vat I can guess, the only way to get out of here is to kill the 
final boss monster that's at the heart of this here dungeon. And that's 
just vat I came here to do!" He pumped his arms up and down as if trying 
to fire up a nonexistent audience. (Except maybe they did exist, but 
neither of them wanted to think about that.)

  "Mm, that tracks," said Velaria. "Let's move on, then."

They went deeper into the basement corridors, under the dim, flickering 
lights. They thought they saw something scampering by just outside their 

"Vat in the name of Gary W. Olson is that?" said Imperilus.

"Gary W. Olson?" said Velaria.

[He was a Superguy writer. He was known as The Swede--Ed.]

"Superguy? Vat's a Superguy? Who vas that?" Imperilus looked around.

[Superguy was a shared superhero parody universe distinct from the LNH 
but which interacted with it a number of times, originating as a 
listserv rather than an usenet group; it is where the Lemurs who inhabit 
the LNHQ come from--Ed.]

"Hmmm..." said Velaria. "I thought I heard something too. This dungeon 
must be getting to me."

They saw something skittering around in the dark.

"Frink. Frinkfrinkfrikfrink. Ptang."

"Vat's that? Oh, it's lemurs."

"I think I've heard of these before. But... there's something wrong 
about them..."

Much has been written about lemurs, the arboreal nocturnal primates 
endemic to Madagascar, by biologists, cultural commentators, and 
esoteric philosophers, very little of which is relevant to this story. 
Some things are worth noting, however:

Lemurs were named, in the schema of modern Western biological taxonomy, 
by Carl Linnaeus. He took the name from the works of Vergil, attributing 
to them the name of the _lemures_, malignant ghosts who walked about by 
night and who the common people of ancient Rome held rituals to propitiate.

The Lemurs who originated in alt.fan.lemurs, migrated to 000SUPERGUY and 
thence again to Earth-20 did not have much in common with them. True, 
they did commit a lot of plot-complicating mischief, but they never 
truly endangered lives except when the plot really needed them too.

But some of them went deeper, into the subbasements, and were 
transformed by their eldritch energies. Among them were the deathlemurs, 
but these were the less dangerous kind.

Others, by semantic association, gained all the ghostly powers 
attributed to the ancient _lemures_, and a distinct hostility to those 
who dwell above.

They are, a little redundantly, called wraithlemurs.

And a pack of them were heading towards Imperilus and Velaria...


Meanwhile, back at the apartment:

"She's gone!"

"She probably got summoned into that creepy dungeon!" said Harper. "We 
gotta go save her!"

"Ah man," said Maitrakh. "I mean, of course I'm gonna save her hot 
butt--don't tell her I said that--but jeez, can't we just have one 
moment without some new thing happening? I was hoping we could all just 
have pizza together or something. We just keep getting dragged into more 

"Well, that's because we're adventurers," said Taurea.

"Pizza does sound good, though," I said. "I--" OK, Emily, now's your 
chance. Ask these amazing girls out to pizza. You can do it. Oh god, I 

"We should have all some later!" said Taurea. Thank god.

"Sure! Uh, can you come back here when you're done dungeoning? And maybe 
we could do that."

"We can't promise anything," said Harper, "given how adventures go, but 
we can try. We certainly could use a contact who's familiar with this town."

"Yeah!" said Maitrakh. "And you seem cool. Well, bye!"

And they ran out the door, leaving me, once again, alone. I didn't even 
have a cat, because that was against my terms of lease.

I mulled over their words. I seemed cool? Really? She couldn't really 
have meant that. There's no way I'd ever see her again...

I idly grabbed the toy car, running it along the mantle and making 
vrooming noises, then picked it up and turned it over in my hands.

"I really wish I could go with them. I want to be a cool hero too... Ha. 
I can't get over my anxiety long enough to get out of the house half the 
time--No. There's got to be something I can do too, or my name isn't 
Emily Q. Smith." Which, of course, it was.

I put down the toy car and sighed. "Never mind. Why am I talking to you? 
It's not like you're actually alive..."


And through all this, the evil sorceress, who I [the author, who has 
gimmickally switched the POV again--ed.] will maybe think of a name for 
next issue unless Drew does first, was watching Emily in her mystic orb.

She looked closely at this girl--tall, slightly chubby,  had an oddly 
compelling awkward energy about her.  She wore a red flannel shirt and 
blue jeans and a black choker around her neck. Her face was sharply 
pretty with a distinctive, somewhat crooked nose and deep greyish-blue 
eyes. It was a very interesting face, and the still frustratingly 
unnamed evil sorceress was enjoying looking at it, but this girl seemed 
completely irrelevant to her plans. Except... there was an odd energy 
trace that seemed to surround her. What could it be?

Then the Evil Sorceress saw the thing that sat on her dresser.

She grimaced and bit her lip. No. This wouldn't do. This wouldn't do *at 
all*. Having something like *that* in this universe would ruin her plans 
entirely. And she had to do something about it quickly.

She prepared to summon a monster to attack the apartment...

Jeanne "The Dark Space Princess Knight" Morningstar

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