[moody saxophone swirl]
It was a Sunday. It was late.
You know things are bad when you're still in the office late on a Sunday. Maybe you wouldn't think things were any worse than usual, though. Maybe you'd think it was bad enough sitting around on your lonesome, listening to the eggshells crack and the thunder of a thousand wings and the distant roar that fills the halls. I hate that roar. I hate the thousand wings. If you put a juiced-up wizard with an itchy trigger finger and a spellbook full of Porlos' Fury to my head and forced me to choose, I guess I'd say I hate the eggshells most of all. All I'm asking for a little peace and quiet. They send you to work in a Temple, you gotta expect some peace and quiet, right? Right?
Did I say I was on my lonesome? To be straight with you, that kinda depends on how you look at things. There's me, Ike, and then there's my buddy Jack Daniels. Jack and I go back a long way. Jack's who I want to be with when that damn roar fills the damn halls and the eggshells are cracking like it's lunchtime in the Skyshrine Café and Uncle Yelinak just asked for an omelette.
Yep, you'll never find old Ike far from his bottle of poison.
I guess that's why they call me ...
... the Venom.
So there I am. It's Sunday. Me and Jack are doing our thing. We aren't bothering a soul. It isn't party night in the Wakening Lands, but, like I tell you, it's no worse than usual. You want to party, you don't hang out in a temple. Long as I've got my poison I'm not complaining.
That's when the broad walks through the door.
As soon as she got the shiny sharp thing out I knew the broad was trouble. Doesn't take a genius to work it out. You hang around as long as I have, you know what the shiny sharp thing means.
Now don't get me wrong. I may work in a temple but I'm no gelatinous cube. I'm not gonna complain when a broad walks into the office, even if she's shining the shine and sharpening the sharp on her shiny sharp thing.
Trouble was, this broad's got some friends.
It's the ones with the hair that get me. If Veeshan had meant us to have hair she'd have made us all Kromzek, and we wouldn't have all this hassle in the first place. Some of these creeps have hair on their ears. Some of them have hair on their feet.
Something was telling me this particular Sunday was about to go downhill in a hurry.
Now, me and Jack ain't got a quarrel with the broad. We're even willing to overlook the hairy feet if we have to, just for the sake of a quiet night. But it seems like the broad's got a quarrel with me. Before I've even got time to tuck Jack up in his special secret place in the back of the desk, the broad's up in front of me, waving the shiny sharp thing around and calling me things that would bring a blush to old miseryguts Dozekar around in the east wing -- and believe me, you haven't heard cursing till you've had an earful of Dozey on a bad night.
So I square up to the broad and ask her to pipe down a bit. Fella's got enough of a racket to deal with anyway, what wth the wings and the roar and the eggshells and the headache that's beginning to get going now, boom boom boom like my buddy Jack Daniels banging on the inside of my skull asking to come and play.
You ever get the feeling there's something behind you?
"Okay," I says, "I get the picture. You looking for trouble, go find it somewhere else."
But the broad ain't listening, and neither are her friends.
Too much hair in their damn ears, probably.
All right Ike, I says to myself. Just going to have to play along. So I make nice for a while with the shiny sharp things, and then I roll over and let the creeps take what they want. We got a motto, see, Jack and I. It's not complicated and it never lets us down. And the motto is? "Let somebody else deal with it."
That's what Eashy's for.
Yep, Eashy. Eashen of the Sky. Know why they call him that? It's 'cos his head's swollen up so big it pretty much floats him right out through the roof. Now me, I'm one for the quiet life. If the hairy creeps want to stomp around on the eggshells and play with their shiny sharp things, that's A-OK with Ike, just as long as they go do it somewhere else. But Eashy's different. Eashy's got principles, see. Eashy likes his temple clean. Eashy wants to keep the creeps out.
So the broad and her gang go off to have a little word or two with Eashy. It doesn't go so well for him.
Guess they should have called him Eashen of the Bucket.
Now Ike's been around long enough to know how this story goes. If Eashy doesn't stop the creeps then, sure as Tormax's invitation to the Skyshrine Ball gets lost in the post every year, the creeps are going to go and pay a call on Dirty Aary.
At least they've got the decency to wait in line.
Guess that's about as much decency as they've got, though. Must have got tired of queueing and decided to stick Dirty Aary in the wall right next to them.
That's about when I give up. Time to wake Jack from his nap and have a little chat. If the headache gets louder maybe it'll drown out the cracking of those damn shells.
I don't know where the broad ended up. But I do know that Lord Feshlak and Dagarn the Destroyer didn't show up to work on Monday morning. I think I should have taken the day off myself. Did I say it was no worse than the usual Sunday night?
Guess I got that wrong.
A day or two later the postdrake flaps by. He's got a postcard for me. And guess what? It's from the broad. It's a picture. Maybe she thought I was going to pin it up over the desk.
Now I've got to tell you, the broad and I didn't really hit it off. I've been on some okay dates, and I'm pretty sure not a single one of them ended up with the lady whacking me around with a stick with a skull on the end. So I wasn't expecting a card. I've looked it over, and I still don't know what it means. Maybe it's supposed to be some kind of apology, I don't know. Maybe it's supposed to make me feel better.
Or maybe it's just some kind of a joke.
Well guess what?
I'm not laughing.
[more sax. Fade to black]