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Tempus Fudge-it


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Okay, as anyone may figure out, this story is based on a pun that UUF gave for a quiz at the attic. It's not canon, and shouldn't be construed as such. There is some minor swearing, and definitely some violence in the story.




Phelan walked up to the dais, and saw Keldorn shackled to the floor before him. The red-headed Bhaalspawn glanced at his former traveling companion, and for a moment he felt a small bit of pity at the paladin's state, to see the once proud tied down as some rabid cur.


Stop that. Keep your emotions in check. If you don't, you won't get Branwen back. he chastised himself.


"So, old friend, it has come to this, has it?" Keldorn stammered, his voice raspy.


Phelan nodded, and then bent down to catch Keldorn's eye. He owed the man that much.


"Yes, it is," he whispered, and let just a hint of emotion etch his voice, "I've done the research, and there is no other way."


Keldorn nodded, one eye closed by dried blood, "It was an accident, you know. The illusions..." The proud paladin let the words die off as he saw Phelan start to look elsewhere, knowing that as long as he kept the former Bhaalspawn speaking, he had a chance of escaping.


Phelan shrugged nonchalantly, though the tension in his shoulder indicated he felt otherwise, "I know. However, no matter how I look at it, your blade was the one to take her life. And it shall be your life that brings her back."


Keldorn tried to rise, anger coursing his once handsome features, but he found himself bound and immobile. Then he slumped to the ground, and croaked, "Can you promise me one thing?"


Phelan cocked his head, "And what is that, old friend?"


Keldorn paused, wondering just how much his old traveling companion had changed, then answered, "My family. Will you make sure they are...cared for?"


Phelan tilted his head up and down, "Already planned for. They shall never want for money. My need was with you, not with them. And even then, if there was some other means, I would do it, but no other way opened itself to me."


Keldorn sighed, "Then do as you will."


Phelan closed his eyes, as he whispered, "I intend too."


The former Bhaalspawn stepped away from the prostrate paladin, and surveyed the area around him, the thick, rich aromas filling his head with a maelstrom of memories of his beloved, especially the time he had surprised her with some of that chocolate from Maztica, almost a hundred gold pieces per piece...and the satisfied smile that crossed her face afterward.


A small, dark spot pelted him from above, and all thoughts, pleasant and otherwise, were driven from Phelan's head with a sharp shriek of pain at hot liquid.


"Look out below..." laughed the craggy voice.


Phelan stared up into the darkness above, "Damn you Korgan. If you kill me, you won't get paid at all. Maybe greed will make you careful if nothing else can."


"Ach, you worry too much laddie buck. Hell, I still say this scheme is about the daftest thing I've ever heard, and I've come across quite a few. Still, your the boss. As long as the gold is real, and crosses my palms..." replied the dwarf's crackling voice.


"You will get your money. You know I am good for it. Hell, I gave you half up front, and showed you the rest. So, just do what I paid you for, and then we will be meet. All you have to do is pour that cauldron on my word, and that's it. Understand."


A few muttered curses wafted from above, but the dwarf finally uttered, "Aye."


Phelan looked toward the wings of the room, and he saw Jan Jansen and Edwin Odesseiron glaring daggers at each other.


Jan must have been trying to sell Edwin about the...erotic...powers of the turnip once again thought Phelan, feeling a surge of sympathy well up for the arrogant Red Wizard, Hell, I don't know how I kept from strangling the damn gnome before we stopped Melissan.


Phelan shook his head once more, and yelled to the two above, "Are you ready? We will have only one chance at it, and if you fail, you don't get paid."


Jan's voice was the first to respond, "Yes, yes, you don't need to tell me twice. Unlike my Uncle Ebhard. Poor fellow, born with two sets of ears..."


"Shut up gnome," Edwin growled, then directed his ire to Phelan, "I refuse to work under these conditions! I demand better conditions! Why, a man can barely hear himself talk under..."


Phelan interrupted, "I'll pay you double."


Silence filled the chamber, and Edwin said, "Double?"


Phelan nodded, "Yes, double. All of you. If this works..."


Another few moments of quiet filled the room, then Edwin stated, "I can work with the erudite gnome then."


Phelan smiled to himself, finding that at least with his current choice of companions, money was one sure way to cut to the heart of any argument.


"Then let us begin..." he said, making his way back over to quiet paladin.


Phelan winced as he dug into his pocket before pulling out an oddly fleshly colored pair of gloves, the smell reminding him of the butcher shop back when he stopped the Skinner Murders. He felt his stomach churn just a little as he slipped his hands into them, the insides tickling him with the few stray hairs that hadn't been removed.


You're in my hands now Xan, he thought with ill-humor as he grasped at the sword belted by his side. For a moment, there was a brief moment of resistance before the silver blade came forth, and instantly a blazing blue fiery nimbus enveloped the sword, from hilt to point.


Phelan glanced at the length of the moonsword, his eyes mesmerized by the flickering flames of Xan's sword, then he pivoted and buried the sword deep in Keldorn's chest. An anguished cry escaped the paladin's lips, but this was soon overwhelmed by the hum of the sword, and the smell of burnt blood filled Phelan's awareness. The blood untouched by the blazing moonsword flowed in rivulets off of Keldorn, and were soon caught in grooves cut in the floor. Following each stone passage, a bloody pentacle soon surrounded the paladin.


As Keldorn's dying form slumped to the floor, Phelan removed a simple, dun-colored headband from his satchel. He looked at it regretfully, remembering how it looked on Branwen's head, before putting onto Keldorn's naked brow.


Phelan stepped back, and the Bhaalspawn began to chant in a tongue which had been last heard over a thousand years before. Each syllable rolled off his tongue in quick sequence, and a shimmering of silvery light enveloped Keldorn's body, blotting it from visible sight. A few minutes passed before the glow started to die down, revealing a figure pierced by Xan's sword, this time the blade impaled through the new person's chest, stapling the individual's battered plate mail to his body, and a great, all-encompassing helm obscuring his face, the leathery bandana the only other feature left behind, pressing tightly on the helm. The figure rose, and roared as he found himself bound by chains. When he tried to step, the summoned man's foot landed on a bloody line, and he quickly pulled it back as red light flared all along the pentacle, and a lick of flame spurted up, pushing him back.


"Release me mortal!" the figure shouted, his voice reverberating throughout the room.


Phelan closed his hands together, and extended his index fingers until they met in a point, resting them on his lip.


"No," he replied quietly.


The summoned man raged in defiance, and stomped his foot on the ground. A tremor shook edifice, and the individual howled, "Do you know who I am mortal? If you release me now, I shall at least grant you a swift death."


Phelan shut his eyes, and said, "No, Tempus, I shall not free you. Not until you return that which is mine."


The armored man stopped his shaking, and said, "I know you. You are the Bhaalspawn. I have no truck with you. Why do you restrain me so...and how?"


Phelan tapped his foot on the ground, and replied, "I told you, you took that which is mine. Return Branwen. Return my love."


He grinned, "As for how? Come now, Lord of Battles. You are practically siblings with my father, the Lord of Murder...and uncle to me. We are kin, if you want, but it was your demesne which took my beloved, not my fathers."


Phelan felt a surge of confidence well up from within, and he added, "As for how? Please, you are not dumb. Surely you can recognize the blood of Torm's slave. I couldn't find one of yours, but Keldorn should did just as well. When you've seen one war god, you've seen them all, haven't you?"


Tempus was quiescent as he took in Phelan's statement, then whispered, "This can't be, though. Your power was taken by Ao..."


Phelan laughed, "He took the essence of Bhaal, but not my power. One IS changed when they bear the trace of a god, however faint."


Tempus grunted, "You rise above your station, mortal."


Phelan's eyes hardened, "Enough with the insults. Now, give me back Branwen, or you shall stay here forever."


Tempus laughed, "And how long do you think that will be for? Already the Tormspawn's blood dries, and clots...and soon I shall be free."


"That's what you think," Phelan chuckled, then raised his head to look at the darkness above, "Okay Korgan, Jan, Edwin, let's do it..."


Phelan darted just as a yellowish-light circled around Tempus. From the dusk, there was a loud dwarven grunt, and a cry of "Me back!" before a long, rich black liquid fell over Tempus, captured by the glowing force shield. However, a stray glob flew over the top of the golden barrier, and Phelan wiped the liquid chocolate from his face. Then a cascade of white powder fell into the sweet blend, followed by the heady aroma of fresh milk, all mixing into the brown brew.


Then a purplish light grew from Jan Jansen's position, swirling hues of reds and blues swelling until they came together as an indigo tornado. Phelan gritted his teeth as a strong breeze whipped around him. Two amber eyes looked from within the cloud of color, and it seethed with suppressed hatred, "Yes master?"


"Go," he shouted at the air elemental, "Mix that brew together, then begone."


The elemental sniffed, "Is that all?" and flitted toward the areas above Tempus, mixing the chocolate, sugar, and milk together with its winds, beating it until Phelan could see there was no lumps. The elemental gave one more glance towards Jan, then vanished in a rising of winds just as it arrive.


Then a crimson flare enveloped Edwin, and in a tone of voice similar to that used by Phelan, summoned a dancing flame, vaguely in a humanoid shape.


"For what reason do you summon me?" it crackled with great energy.


"Cook that," Edwin intoned nasily, "Then depart with harm to none."


The fiery being looked at Edwin, then the chocolaty brew down below, then back at Edwin, "You've got to be kidding me."


Edwin flicked his right hand straight up, and the fire elemental bent double, howling in pain.


"Alright, alright!" it shrieked, "I'll do it."


"Then be about it, kindling," Edwin snarled, "And no more lip."


The fire elemental's corona of flame brightened in anger, but it made its way down to the yellowish, magical wall. It placed its hands next to it, and the wall glowed orange with the combined increase in heat, and soon the scent of fresh-baked goods filled the air. Once the brown concoction gelled into a simple, wholesome whole, the elemental disappeared in a flash of light.


The bound figure of Tempus howled, "What have you done? You can't do this to me..."


Phelan grinned, "Until I get your word, on your name, on your soul to return my beloved, your cleric, you shall stay here. Tempus Fudge-it."

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