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Re: Corbiss the Bemuser

Posted: 03 Nov 2019, 15:58
by Drassil
Beaujolais de Pfeffel, borne back up by his supporters, succeeds in imposing temporal disruption on all the dungeon's decision makers. Maesandre is able to avoid this spell by reinventing herself as a Winterian elder, Lady Hail. With support from Ariadne, she hatches a plan to free the dungeon.

Lady Hail sends BeauJeau a scroll that purports to be from a soothsayer called Jennifer the Accurate. Jennifer offers to meet BeauJeau at the tallest tree in Dunkley Wood, from where he can summon her to tell him the future while treating him to a lesson in bole dancing.

BeauJeau hastens to the tree, where he finds the 'TRICK or TREAT?' scroll from Series 6 and casts TREAT. Suddenly he is bound by webbing and his extremities turn to icicles. He is only restored by Lady Hail when he promises to lift the temporal disruption and remove the Anode Eel.

Corbiss the Bemuser emerges from temporal disruption. Acclimatising to the present day far more quickly than many believed possible, he proposes to defeat BeauJeau once and for the moment by challenging him to a snap election. Once again, Snapper-Jack makes the announcement:

"Snipper snap, snipper snap,
Good luck choosing: they're all cr...azed."

Many people besides BeauJeau and Corbiss are taking part in the election, including Jo the Winsome and Nicola the Turgid from among the Picts. Mr. Forage also shows an interest, backed by the Dunwold Thump and a nun called Ann Widdershins, so called because she wants to help them turn the clock back.

The race is on to choose the Powers That Be's new leader before Merlin starts sending people home for Christmas.

Re: Corbiss the Bemuser

Posted: 09 Nov 2019, 19:23
by Drassil
Campaigning in New Witch Haven, Beaujolais de Pfeffel is accused of being a lothario who draws power from Lord Fear's Mendacity Engine (as referred to in The Quest Volume 3 Issue 1) and makes it up as he goes along. He tries to assure the Grey Sisters that he is nothing of the sort: he has a plan for the Greater Dungeon and it is "oven ready". This accidentally (or not) comes out as "I'm coven ready". He is chased away by Peggatty.

Meanwhile, Corbiss the Bemuser realises that to increase his popularity, he must match BeauJeau's second-nature wit. He attempts this by tricking the people of Greenshades into buying jars of his plainberry jam laced with miretrog mucus. He explains: "The innate jest is snot for sale! Snot for sale! Snot for sale!" He is chased away by Peggatty.

Re: Corbiss the Bemuser

Posted: 16 Nov 2019, 15:12
by Drassil
Corbiss the Bemuser sends several knights off in search of a magic money forest, while he visits Wolfenden to spell out to the townsfolk that it's time for real change. So emphatic is Corbiss that he literally spells it out, unwittingly casting CHANGE and turning himself into a goblin.

Unsure whether this is cast-locked, Corblin opts to stay as he is, believing that a degree of hideousness will be to his advantage in some quarters. Indeed, trolls now support him even more than before. Brother Mace, however, no longer recognises Corblin as representing the Powers That Be. As he did when he encountered Goblin-Chris in Series 5 Quest 7, Mace reaches for the Staff of Saint Smasher the Aggressive. He gets in a few good whacks before Corblin's supporters accuse him of weaponising Christianity.

Beaujolais de Pfeffel, meanwhile, knows better than to go looking for a magic money forest: he decides to conjure one up. To fulfil this pledge, he spellcasts DELIVER. What he gets is a wood full of tree trolls complaining about him: a magic moany forest. The wood also has standing stones inhabited by the barbershop-quartet-reject gargoyle from Series 2 who repeats "Doom", accompanied by his brother who repeats "Gloom".

Unable to silence these trolls, doomsters and gloomsters, BeauJeau dispels DELIVER. Yet in reversing it, he gets REVILED.

Becoming wise to this 'dispellcasting', BeauJeau again makes a move to impose temporal disruption on the Greater Dungeon: he spellcasts PROROGUED, knowing full well that Lady Hail will order him to undo it. This he does by dispelling it as PROUDOGRE - summoning the Dunwold Thump.

BeauJeau is expecting Thump to be delighted to see him and to pledge his support. But Thump, having been yanked across from a distant land, is afflicted with spell lag and irritable and hungry. BeauJeau, keen to appeal to the ogre, proposes they dine on faerie creatures: one for Thump, one for him. At this, Thump flies into a rage and starts bludgeoning BeauJeau. As the club descends on BeauJeau's head, he is left wondering why the prescient Thump would react so badly to his suggestion of an "imp each".

Re: Corbiss the Bemuser

Posted: 16 Dec 2019, 18:46
by Drassil
The race to lead the Powers That Be enters its final phase. Beaujolais de Pfeffel sets out to charm the dungeon folk with a new jester's cap. He hears people appreciatively shouting "Coxcomb!" but wonders why they stop before the "scomb" bit.

Corbiss the Bemuser, taking a cue from watchers, tries to win people's support in the middle of the afternoon, offering them tea and Jammy Dodgers made with his own plainberry jam. BeauJeau, meanwhile, targets people at daybreak, catching them at their hungriest and promising to get breakfast done.

In a quirkier attempt to win favour, BeauJeau stands on people's thresholds holding up scrolls with lines from his favourite poem (from the Labyrinths of Fear):

'Widdershins won't do you
Dead ahead - too true!
Deiseal's how you want to go
To safely pass on through.'

Cadrighan the Chronicler tries to draw BeauJeau's attention to a young dungeoneer with low life force. BeauJeau pockets Cadrighan's spyglass.

Although answering questions is a fundamental part of dungeon life, Beaujolais de Pfeffel decides he doesn't much like it. For a while he hides in a Winterian sauna, retaining much of his support despite being so evasive: a jammy dodger indeed.

Then, in one final push, BeauJeau picks a questioner to confront: Igneous of Legend. But instead of giving truths, BeauJeau gets out the Horn of Jericho and blows it. He smashes through the red wall. This brazenness wows people across the realm and sweeps BeauJeau into power.

However, Corbiss the Bemuser won't relinquish power without a fight. That fight involves keeping his ears covered and loudly singing 'The Red Mage' to drown out a DISMISS spell.

Re: Corbiss the Bemuser

Posted: 20 Dec 2019, 17:59
by Mashibinbin
As this saga of fantastic work, in both senses of the word, likely nears to a conclusion I'd like to publicly thank for the sheer entertainment and peace of mind in equal measure it has helped bring about in a real age of chaos and uncertainly.

Re: Corbiss the Bemuser

Posted: 21 Dec 2019, 13:29
by Drassil
Thank you, Robin. That's most kind of you. I'm glad that my enjoyment and catharsis in writing it has been shared by people reading it.

Despite being axed, negotiations are underway for a few specials between now and April. Perhaps a spin-off will be commissioned too...

Re: Corbiss the Bemuser

Posted: 26 Jan 2020, 12:14
by Drassil
With Corbiss the Bemuser contemplating retirement, the 'Magic Great-Uncle' is very slowly seeking someone to succeed him as archmage.

An early contender is Jessica, a northern warrior better known as Combat Jess. She withdraws from the contest when it becomes clear that her enemies like her better than her friends do.

This leaves Corbiss with two possible successors. One is a former dungeoneer - the fifth from Series 8 - who has never got over losing her quest and hopes that serving the Powers that Be as archmage will help her conquer her enduring misery. There is growing support for Rebecca the Long Baleful.

There is also support for the knight who once tamed a wild bovine and founded the realm's finest inn, the Crazed Heifer, in its honour. Because of this deed, people started calling him Sir Bullock Settler, until he persuade them to modify it to Sir Steer Calmer.

Beaujolais de Pffefel is not following this contest. He is too busy with the Dunwold Thump, who is pursuing a frenzied opposition to a young maid. This maid is determined to stop ogres and other minions from polluting the realm with the waste from their excess. Named after a predecessor, with an epithet to show she has yet to be martyred at the stake by Thump, the maid is called Gretel Th'Unburned.

After Treguard recognised Gretel over Thump as his "Time Turns Person of the Phase", she used her influence to return several of Thump's outdoor latrine areas to nature. He furiously demands that BeauJeau find him a new one for use during his visits from the New World.

BeauJeau resorts to asking his supporters to help him secure a suitable swamp, in a campaign he calls "Bag a Bog for a Big Blond Blob". He ends up giving Thump a deep, cold lake. Renamed the Dungswater, all fishing there is promptly suspended.

Re: Corbiss the Bemuser

Posted: 04 Apr 2020, 13:16
by Drassil
This wasn't how Corbiss the Bemuser wanted his leadership to end. (If indeed he wanted it to end at all, or to begin, or if he even knew it had begun.)

After emerging from hiding in Winteria last year, Beaujolais de Pfeffel brought a terrible plague back with him. His action is now known as Oaf Hid '19.

With REVEAL and CURE spells in short supply, inhabitants of the entire realm are asked by Treguard to stay in their dwellings. This means that Corbiss' massive retirement party is cancelled.

His followers are distraught and, because it was never clear whether Corbiss was for remaining or leaving, some of them insist on coming out of their homes and gathering in large numbers to pay tribute to him. A few of them start rolling out specially made flags and banners. Others collect up scrolls in panic, for what purpose I cannot say.

Meanwhile, over in the New World, The Dunwold Thump is advised by Olaf to "time his eggs to perfection" so he makes plans to restore freedoms by Easter. Treguard fears this is dangerously hasty. After consulting with Corbiss' successor Sir Steer Calmer and BeauJeau, and decides to be a true dungeonmaster by announcing a lockdown. Fidjit returns in triumph. (By one definition he is a key worker.)

Drassil wrote: 21 Mar 2020, 15:59 Merlin and Hordriss have deactivated their calling names; the Crazed Heifer is now surrounded by blockers; Lord Fear is trying to cast-lock a sanitisation spell on Hands; Treguard is projecting his face into marketplaces across the realm to tell people to take only two loo objects.

In a further measure, to stop goblins and miremen congregating at their favourite beauty spot, the Sewers of Goth are dyed crystal clear. Gumboil and the other guards order Corbiss' devotees indoors. "What about our flags and banners?" they cry. "At least let us roll them back up! You owe us that much!" "You can do it another time," comes the reply. "You're furl owed."

Maybe something is owed, thinks Treguard. He decides that some kind of send-off for Corbiss is called for, so he sends Majida, Heggatty and Casper to Corbiss' residence to have afternoon tea with him and express the Greater Dungeon's thanks. However, there is an apparent timing mishap: just before Corbiss' guests are about to leave, Treguard formally begins the lockdown. It is set to last several months.

As Majida starts to carp, Corbiss the Bemuser looks decidedly grumpy. He will not win the argument.

Re: Corbiss the Bemuser

Posted: 20 Jun 2020, 11:17
by Drassil
The dungeon is still in lockdown. Except for some.

Muckings the Dominican, not used to being told what to do, gets Beaujolais de Pfeffel to let him go out despite showing symptoms of the plague. He ends up at Background Castle, the mysterious fortress seen behind departing teams in Series 3. He later claims he was testing his eyeshield (and trying to stay alert and control the iris).

Like many folk, Corbiss the Bemuser is outraged. He places a curse on BeauJeau: for every child he has sired, a supporters' life force will drop.

This means that a lot of people are in danger.

To protect the realm, and give time for the curse to wear off, Treguard casts BeauJeau to Level 4. For his return journey, BeauJeau is left with only a spyglass and a knapsack imbued with new "quest and trace" technomagic. Though meant to be "world beating" (a phrase used by Radio Times to describe Knightmare itself), the knapsack fails after coming into contact with an apple. BeauJeau is forced to eat his own hair to survive, but finally makes it from Level 4 to Level 3. Whether he will proceed amidst a network of allies, or a web of lies, only time will tell.

Re: Corbiss the Bemuser

Posted: 22 Aug 2020, 11:49
by Drassil
Beaujolais de Pfeffel returns, having shed 14 pounds on the journey. He begins work on a memoir: Hardly Hotter and the Full Loss of a Stone.

Meanwhile the dungeon plague, as well as interfering with the lives of dungeon folk, has disrupted dungeoneering. It's not considered safe for children from the Home Plane to be put to the test on quests in this phase, but BeauJeau decides they should be given awards based on how well they were predicted to do: their Anticipated Levels.

This will require a powerful spell. Corbiss the Bemuser offers to help, but BeauJeau will not allow it. Instead he recruits a witch who claims she put the red bit on the Eyeshield and calls herself the Crone of Iris. He asks the Crone to mix her ingredients not in a cauldron but in the swamp in the Vale of Banburn. This is the quicksand which swallowed Gavin in Series 3 and still speaks with his voice. BeauJeau hopes that the quicksand will help to bind the magic, preventing any reversal, which would be so embarrassing.

The spell creates many injustices. One brilliantly prepared and skilful team, who had been predicted a Win, are awarded a Level 3 and sent home by Merlin for the Summer Solstice. Another team, predicted to redeem the Sword of Freedom, end up with the Pointy Stick of Promise. Teams from comprehensive schools are particularly affected, by not having got on Knightmare in the first place.

The far-reaching magic affects dungeon inhabitants too. Elita is furious when an attempt to 'BAG' her disembodied voice leads to her being kicked with an UGG Boot. And Heggatty, instead of saying "Eh? Eh?" now says "See? See?"

In response to many complaints - including one from Series 8 contestant Blan Doyd - Corbiss steps in to override the magic, ignoring the stubborn voice of Gavin. Corbiss' new spell raises the results for many teams. This is great news for Series 5's former Bee Team, who get their own theme music; and for the Drimwolds, who dine on Breaded Kaa.

Corbiss' triumph is short lived. While taking his medication - the Bitter Pill of Self-Delusion - he is caught off-guard when Lord Dear has the original magic recast on the Bemuser. Corbiss is downgraded, flung back in time and forced to spend a year as a tearful drawbridge on Level 2.

Re: Corbiss the Bemuser

Posted: 27 Oct 2020, 18:50
by Drassil
Corbiss the Bemuser, restored after his year as Dorciss, puts on a celebratory spread. He is criticised when his table breaks the wall monsters' 'rule of six' by having a food item, a spyglass, a clue scroll, a spell scroll and four clue objects. Corbiss, who does not always pay enough heed to walls, doubts there is a problem but asks Diane the Abbess to help. Her solution is to bake the clue scroll into a biscuit, though someone with better arithmetic points out that this only reduces the total to seven.

The Dunwold Thump has been sicker than usual. After meeting the Crone of Iris and trying to grab her familiar, she strikes him down with the dungeon plague. In an attempt to prove he is not weakened, Thump gathers his subjects and removes his protective head armour. However, since this was holding his face together, his skin starts to fall off. He decides to transport himself to Knightmare Castle for succour and he defiantly attempts to enter via the Forbidden Gate - but a letter d has been scratched from the name and the gate shows him no favour. Thump retreats to his palace amid rumours that his downfall is nigh.

One group of dungeon inhabitants, the floating skulls, has a concern other than the plague. While many are held by the Opposition, some are freelance, roaming independently but struggling to find sustenance between adventuring phases when there is no dungeoneer life force for them to feed off. They should, according to many, be given free skull meals.

Leading this call on behalf of the skulls is a descendant of Harold Harefoot named Marcus Rushfoot. Beaujolais de Pfeffel does not share Rushfoot's concern for the skulls, declaring: "Let them eat pie."

This they do. Some of the skulls are given pie by Mildread and have a bad reaction; others eat the life force pie from Series 8 and have an even worse reaction. Realising that BeauJeau has a rump steak that will keep them fed for months, the skulls turn their attention to him, pursuing him through the labyrinth.

Motley is feeling somewhat redundant in the face of all this buffoonery. Corbiss tries to cheer him up by giving him the combined object mentioned earlier. Breaking open this fortune cookie, Motley is left confused by the message inside:

Paul's next job could be in locks.
(He just doesn't know it yet)

Re: Corbiss the Bemuser

Posted: 07 Nov 2020, 15:54
by Drassil
Despite the shortage of free skull meals, Beaujolais de Pfeffel insists there is food aplenty for everybody else: they just need to overcome their fear of the dungeon plague by going into clue rooms, kitchens and marketplaces and eating. Though Treguard refuses BeauJeau's request to popularise the half-Norman phrase "Enter, manger", Mellisandre agrees to pop up making cheerful gestures in the distance to encourage dungeon denizens to venture out to eat out. Melly is seen doing this just once before the plague starts to spread again. People start preparing for a second wave.

Around this time, one of Lord Fear's frightknights is recalled from leave. Exhausted from going from left to right and never finding the centre, the frightknight had been sunning itself on a desert island recommended by Treguard. The metallic guard, previously unnamed, it is now known as 'Sun-Kissed Armour'.
Mashibinbin wrote: 20 Dec 2019, 17:59 As this saga of fantastic work, in both senses of the word, likely nears to a conclusion...
11 months later and it seems that Corbiss the Bemuser will not be written off (or do I mean written out?).

In an attempt to ward off an investigation into his past actions and inactions, Corbiss asserts that he will investigate himself, using magic to search for and find the truth. Opting for "the old Norman", he spellcasts CHERCHER.

BeauJeau catches him and responds by dispelling it with a flourish: "E-H-R-C, E-H-R-C!" Corbiss is furious at this ostentatious interruption, complaining that the E-H-R-C retort was dramatically overstated. He storms off, bumping into the returning frightknight and tripping off a ledge. The frightknight casts a FLOAT spell that leaves Corbiss hanging in the air. Sun-Kissed Armour has suspended him.

Corbiss the Bemuser's power has waned. In defiance of the plague, he travels to the Isle of Wight to spend time with a nudist. (Sometimes I don't even need to satirise.)

Meanwhile, someone else is growing in power: Count Brinkatore, or Joseph to his friends. Eager to challenge the Dunwold Thump, he has grown old biding his time but is now ready. Joseph the Bider finds an ally in Harris (actually Hordriss in disguise*) who gives him two spells: a powerful one and a humble three-letter one.

Brinkatore bursts into Thump's palace to seize the Crown. He must choose which spell to cast. He decides against the longer spell, HUMILIATION: Thump has been using a self-activated equivalent every day for four years and is unlikely to be harmed by another person casting it on him. The Bider goes for the shorter spell: TAX.

Thump is struck down, bawling in rage. He demands that his subjects "STOP THE COUNT!" but Joseph the Bider leaves calmly with the Crown. Thump tries to allege that the Bider's magic was corrupt, but this is pure falsehood. Many spyglasses cut away in disgust. Only the Brollachan comes to Thump's defence, repeatedly intoning of the Bider's magic:
TheBrollachan wrote: 12 Jul 2005, 18:08 is ILLEGAL.
Thump barricades himself in his palace. It's going to be a long winter.

*Who is actually Lord Fear in disguise.**

**Who is actually January the dungeoneer, using the Ring of Power she'd failed to use in Series 6 Team 4. So ultimately, January will be the end of Thump.

Re: Corbiss the Bemuser

Posted: 12 Dec 2020, 14:26
by Drassil
Corbiss is returning from the Isle of Wight. He is sustaining himself on the journey with a supply of confectionery treats that have half a nut on top.

Meanwhile the Dunwold Thump, vowing to fight on against Count Brinkatore a.k.a. Joseph the Bider, has appointed as his spokesperson Ridolfo. The minstrel is sent to make a proclamation at Dungarth, but gets lost and ends up at a nearby garden shed known as Fourth Season Purple Landscaping. The Bider, who has not forgotten Ridolfo's indiscretion with Lady Brinkatore, helps some goblins to track the scent of Ridolfo (whose Italian surname he knows).

Moments before the creatures catch him, the minstrel finds a scroll. It reads: 'Giuliani, say hello to the goblins and ask them if they'd like a present.'

Beaujolais de Pfeffel has a problem of his own. One of his courtes- er courtiers, Gretel the maid, has become notorious for her bullish aggression, with rumours that she's become addicted to Big Bill's Beefy Extract potions. Unwilling to face the truth about Gritty Gretel, BeauJeau orders his courtiers to "coalesce in a quadrilateral" so as to protect her from anyone daring to want justice.

In doing so, the courtiers give each other the plague. Gretel promptly downs more of the potion, turns into a bull again and breaks out of the square, rampaging through the dungeon. She is finally subdued by a passing Corbiss, who loses the last of his nut-topped confectionery in the process. Aggrieved at having the walnut whip removed, Corbiss retreats to his study to await a healing potion.

Re: Corbiss the Bemuser

Posted: 24 Dec 2020, 18:08
by Drassil
Despite Beaujolais de Pfeffel's promise of food aplenty, there are shortages in many clue rooms, especially of fish. Treguard decides to put his post-Series 6 avuncular disposition to good use by making sure that dungeoneers are fed. He restocks all the clue rooms with fish pies under a pseudonym, the UNITE Chef.

This prompts an indignant response from Moggrees, who declares that the UNITE Chef should be ashamed of himself. An embarrassed BeauJeau reacts too, charging off to Gaul and striking a deal for "quite prodigious quantities of extra fish". He retires to his chambers to feast on a surfeit of lampreys.

Corbiss the Bemuser is doing his bit too. He makes sure that vegetarian and vegan dungeoneers have legumes available, provided by Corbiss' new Peas and Helmet of Justice Project. He also offers winning teams access to his stash of walnut whips, supplied to him by the mysterious "Princess Nut Nut".

Yet with the dungeon plague still raging, and forcing some dungeoneers to seek refuge on Level 4, Corbiss aspires to do more. When a villager insults him, it gives him an idea: a magical prick. He will enchant the dungeon's needles with healing properties so that Pixel and the other pixies can fly around the dungeon making people better with a simple scratch.

Despite widespread calls for Treguard to get the first scratch, Corbiss gallantly insists that it be him. He also says that to fully test the magic, he will allow the needle to pierce his skin.

Unfortunately for Corbiss, the pixies are all busy, and coincidentally have all just received a commemorative gold coin with BeauJeau's face on it. The last thing Corbiss sees before he faints is Grimwold approaching with the oversized needle from Series 8 Quest 2 Level 3.