Earthen Ring Wiki

Technical Difficulties

by Fizzlepocket

"Skinflint. Cheapskate. Double-dealing pennypinching miser." These were a few of the epithets that audibly escaped Ellipse Tweeks lips as she stomped her way along the canalside. "S'posed t'have th'discovery two freakin' DAYS ago!" She rounded a curve, turning into the stone culvert leading to the Dwarven Quarter. "Useless shyster. Shouldda hired me a Goblin. More money up front, but he'd know his job."

She heaved a much put-upon sigh, knowing that the reason shed had to hire a lawyer more interested in his next bar visit than in actually arguing her interests was precisely that: no money to hand over up front. Was it too much to ask that her Da show a little fatherly concern, now that he knew about her? Was it too much to ask that she get some compensation for a fatherless childhood without having to haul in magistrates and darkrobes?

Staring at the shut door to Knockers, she decided that yes, that was too much to ask. No one who had money ever let go of it, shed sure learned that growing up in Undermine. Unless it was with an eye to making more money or gaining some advantage. She yanked on the door. Locked. Of course. Her waste-of-flesh father was hiding, unwilling to let her have the documents that the court had ORDERED him to produce. Hed even given up a couple of days of profit just to avoid her.

Fine. She wasnt gonna wait any more. Either he was in there or he wasnt, but the papers would be. She glanced side to side. Coast was clear, at this hour of the morning no one felt like rise-n-shine among the Dwarves. Ellipse frowned in concentration, raising her hands, purple light flaring. In moments, a large blue vaporous demon loomed over her, rumbling in annoyance.

"Shut it. Y'aint gonna say y'care about th'hour a'th'day. Fact is, y'aint gonna say anythin', which is a damn big improvement over Tarlop. So ya, uh, whatsyerface, Konmoth? See this door? I want in."

The voidwalker flung up its hands in frustration at being summoned for so trivial a task, but had no choice. One blow, a second, and on the third the stout door sagged off its hinges. The demon pulled the door away from the frame enough for the little Gnome to enter, and misted through after her. Ellipse trotted determinedly around the entry hall corner, only to come to an open-mouthed halt as the main room became visible.

"Cool " she breathed.

Nothing, but nothing, in Knockers was where it was supposed to be. Tables were shoved about, one completely flipped and lying on what HAD been a chandelier but now was a few curved bits of wood poking out. Confetti shards of plates covered the floor, mixed with tableware, much of it twisted and bent. The other chandelier, from over the bar, seemed to be missing entirely. Some light leaked in from outdoors, but most came from two guttering torches on the left wall, nearly burnt to nubs.

Ellipse tiptoed into the mess, fascinated by the remains of a far greater tantrum than she'd ever managed to throw. A closer look at the floor revealed imp footprints. Thousands of them forming a burned-in patina over almost every inch of the floor. She frowned. He'd said something about an imp problem, even shot one into discorporation, when he'd given her that meal. And what was with that? Was he already planning to skip town and figured one good meal would put her off of him for long enough?

A slow whirrrrrrrr of servos from above drew her gaze. Squirrels. Dozens of little metal monsters, motionless on the rafters, each and every green glowing eye trained in her direction. "Piss off!" she snarled, making a rude gesture upwards. "Konmoth-whatever, ya keep an eye on them." The voidwalker flung up its hands again but assumed a watchful stance, its knobby little head tilted upwards.

Ellipse turned in a circle in the rooms center. The damage was absolute. The wall paintings hung in shreds. Knockers theme knickknacks lay mutilated and strewn. Alcohols reek emanated from the bar; that proved to come from breached kegs and smashed bottles, the detritus dimly sparkling with shattered glass mug bits. A wary glance into the kitchen revealed upended fryers and half-eaten food scattered across the floor.

"Huh. Insurance scam?" Ellipse surveyed the bar again. A slight crackling caught her ear. A smashed pile of equipment in front of the bar generated the noise. She knelt, avoiding a puddle of booze. "Huh," she repeated. "Looks like yeah. Egotistical bastard. He'd love th'sound a'his own voice." She prodded at what had been a fairly nice Voice Player Backer Deluxe 9000. "Konmothwhatsis, ya know anythin' 'bout these things?" Konmoth only gave a growling hiss, stubbornly staring up at the squirrels. "Fine. How hard is it t'push 'Play'?" She did so.

Today is May 12th and this is... the voice of Fizzlepocket James Rodriguez Fernando Martinez Ri....

(Fizzlepocket sighs for a moment and begins idly flicking switches on his Voice Player Backer Deluxe 9000.)

Fizzlepocket James Tweek. This is the voice of Fizzlepocket James Tweek coming to you previously recorded within' the swanky hotspot, the bar adjacent to the most talked about dive in all of Stormwind, the one, the only (Pair of) Knockers and... Im... I dunno. It just feels like everyday Ive been in some sort of daze ever since I found out I'm a father to this brat named "Ellipse" and ever since I... officially tossed 72 consecutive years o' bachelorhood out t' window 'n proposed t' Miss Glimmerflint Turnspigot of which Ive been exclusive with f the past six months.

Ellipse jammed a finger onto 'Pause.' Apparently the inner workings were intact, for Tweeks voice snapped off. "Brat? Brat??!!?? I aint BEGUN t'brat you! Did ya hear that, Konthing? Ooooooh!" She fulminated, glaring at the machine. "Six months. Some kinda record, huh." The angry finger started the recording once more, though it seemed to have skipped forward quite a bit...

Quote: "You should be happy," I imagine youre sayin'. "Y' got a beautiful woman who loves y' so much as t' make such a commitment t' spend t' rest of 'yer life wit' ya now 'n always, a woman who absolutely adores y' and wouldnt think twice 'bout bailin' y' out of Hounds custody when youre caught once again giving the orphans weapons of varyin' amounts o'destruction t'play tag wit' each other, a woman who is, I'm sure a great lay..."

But it just seems that m' life is no longer constantly spiralin' out o' control.

'Pause' again. "Oh, he found a peachy one. Wonder if he'd be NICE to a kid he got on HER." No response from the long-suffering voidwalker. 'Play'.

(The Voice Player seems to have skipped ahead even further, despite the fact that Ellipse had paused the device. Technical difficulties and all I suppose...)

...found myself reminiscin' about t' time I spent travelin' wit' m' engineerin' mentors up 'n down 'n around t'Eastern Kingdoms without a care in the world. I had no focus 'n life, no direction, no needs or desires, no dreams, or hopes. Plans for the future? Why would I need those?! The only thing I had t' worry about back then was just not blowin' off m' limbs in some sort of spectacularly retarded stunt that only myself in an incredibly intoxicated state could come up with...

I find myself looking back to the days where I worked as a Crimson Hound Officer where I was paid (Rarely) to beat on bums, deadbeats, thugs and criminals all day long with the biggest, most intimidating and flat out painful lookin' weapons that they'd provide me with, without a care to the world for food or shelter and a nigh on unlimited budget for developin' inventions 'n weaponry of m' fancy thanks to a loophole 'n m' contract that... actually made the job worth keepin' in the first place...

But now, here I am tendin' a vacant bar like some sort of washed up has been dreamin' o' days gone by where spiralin out of control was THE NORM.

(Fizzlepocket sighs again)

Ellipse jabbed 'Pause.' "Hmmph. Ya want things outta control, Da, just gimme access t'yer fundin.' I WAS just gonna start a nice business, but I figger I can make things 'citin' 'nuff fer ya if ya WANT me to." She started the tape again, eager to find out how he'd arranged to trash Knockers.

... And now I have thave a daughter too... a miserable little thing who wants nuttin' from me but a huge fortune just because I happened t' have gone 'n knocked up 'er mother almost four decades ago, like some sort o' deranged lottery! The lil' brats done nothin' but make me miserable with her meddling and harassin' me day and night, threatenin' t'part me from m'money. "Da! Da! Gimmie what's due! C'mon Da! Pay up!"....

(Fizzlepocket pauses..)

It was surprising the 'Pause' button survived that blow. "Konflapmoththing! I'm a gonna gonna damnit! I can't kill him! I ain't in th'will yet!" An ache in her sternum surprised her, sparking burning moisture in her eyes. Had she really thought she might find a real father? She mentally poked at the pain. Yep. She really had thought that. This whole money thing had just, well, spiraled out of control after he got so snarky when they met. But now she was just a "deranged lottery," a "lil brat." So much for hope. It never got you anywhere. Good thing she had Tarlop and Konmoth. They HAD to stick around. And there wasn't any false hope with them that they might, y'know, LIKE her. So be it. No quarter. Da wasn't gonna give her love or friendship or even the time of day? She'd get him to give something a lot more useful. Nice, shiny, money. She began the playback again.

(The Audio Player has once again jumped ahead onto the next cylinder)

... I need a cigar.

(Fizzlepocket begins playing with the plastic wrapper of a cigar for a few moments before tearing it off with his teeth and fumbling for a lighter. He pats himself down a bit trying to feel for it and grumbles again.... "Where the helld I put that thing...?")

(Fizzlepocket begins rummaging under the bar in search of his lighter. He did only stock that afternoon. A few bottles get clinked, a few mugs shoved aside, searching, searching.... "HOLY ****IN SUNUVA ****ING *****!")

(Insert ungodly shrieking and cursing here. On one hand we got Fizzlepocket dropping F-Bombs left and right in Common, Goblin AND Gnomish while desperately trying to pry SOMETHING off his face. On the other we have what is undeniably a rather pissed off and frightened imp clawing at Fizzles face and screaming the same thing as Fizzle in both common and demonic. Off in the distance, a third voice, most likely that of Fizzlepockets parrot Uncle Fawker helps fill in the gaps, letting loose both a flurry of foul words in Dwarvish, Darnassian, Orcish and Troll but while the bird's at it, ALSO throwing out some interesting words to help crudely describe female anatomy.)

Ellipse listened in fascination. Someone was rearranging Fizzle's place, and Fizzle himself from the sound of it.

(Fizzlepocket finally throws the imp off him into a corner of the bar and in what sounds like one frantic, desperate motion, pulls off his shoe and begins smacking the poor imp with it over... and over... and over again...)

God... damn... imp! I... have... got... half... a... mind... to....

(Fizzlepocket stands up and stomps the imp a few more times for good measure before realizing that his audio player is still going.)

Oh.... er..... right. Ive been havin' a bit of an infestation 'round 'ere for a few weeks ever since some night elf strolled into the bar, forced her way into the basement 'n decided t' go ahead and try to "Seal" some gateway to the Twisting Nether or... some sort of bull$!@% like that. Ever since then, it seems that the little buggers have just been congregatin' 'n my bar on a regular basis like some sort of fu--- GOD DAMMIT!

What was that? A Gateway in the basement? That had potential.

(A new chorus of cursing, ranting, and raving begins when Fizzles jumped by another pair of imps, this time coming from the shelf behind him. Fizzle, in his usual spastic flailing manages to break off several beer tap handles positioned around the bar, causing beer to shoot out in several magnificent arcs behind the counter and only making things THAT MUCH MORE difficult for Fizzle as the floor behind the counter turns into a slip 'n slide. Mugs smash into the floor, Fizzle falls on his ass more times than he'd wish to admit in future retellings of the tale and much more shoe bludgeoning occurs. At the peak of all this needless violence Fizzle manages to free himself from his assailants and hastily tries to climb a small step ladder he has behind the counter, the idea being that he can go jump over the counter, dart to the front door and be out in the relative safety of the Dwarven District streets.

But... that doesn't go quite as planned. As Fizzle tries to clear the counter, his foot gets caught on the lip of the bar. Drenched in alcohol Fizzle slides across the polished bar on his stomach and crashes into his Audio Player Backer Deluxe 9000, sending both careening into the bar stools, chairs, and table in a spectacularly painful fashion. Silverware and plates smash into the ground to make room for the gnome who skids to a halt right in the middle of the closest table, where as the audio recorder finds a suitable resting spot in between a pair of bar stools. Despite the obvious damage and the shock that the recording device received from all of this, it still manages to keep on recording.)

She'd thought that was a lot of damage before. Stupid Playbacker, couldnt capture images? She'd pay to watch this tussle.

..... Owwwwwww...... (Fizzlepocket takes a few deep breaths and stares up at the ceiling for a moment, almost incapacitated by the pain. There's a few seconds of silence before a few concerning sounds get picked up by the Audio Player. The first being the sound of a chandelier beginning to swing back and forth in a precarious fashion. The second being the screeches and cackling of not a single imp, nor the pair of imps that were still behind the bar (Though they soon joined in on the hair-raising cacophony), but rather this... hellish chorus that seems to emanate from the ceiling of the restaurant.)

Oh !&$% me....

(Fizzlepocket, in an incredible display of putting two and two together tries to roll off the table to avoid the inevitable, though it seems that a good number of imps under the table anticipated this and at once lift the one side of the table that Fizzle was TRYING to roll off onto. With a sharp "Cluh-Clak!" the chain holding the chandelier above Fizzlepocket snaps and crashes into the raised edge of the table. The screams of agony from all parties involved are all drowned out regardless by all the racket that youd expect to arise when a 60 pound gnome flies into a low hanging chandelier directly over the bar, swings around violently on the poorly installed fixture and then when said gnome and said chandelier crash behind said bar smashing more of said glasses, plates, candelabrums and beer tap handles into nothingness.)

With the machine still merrily relaying the sounds of Fizzlepocket getting thrashed, Ellipse stood and took out a small wand, lighting the tip to illuminate her way down to the basement. If she could find a source of Imps, she could maybe find a way to sell access to them, rent them out, all sorts of uses beyond the stodgy cautions that drunken fellow shed met on the way to Stormwind had offered when giving her pointers on Summoning.

.... Alright...

(Fizzlepocket slowly gets up, slipping a few times on the wet hardwood floor as he does so and peeks over the bar where for the first time he can actually see what hes up against...)

Need a plan... need a plan...


All I gotta do here is grab a few o' m' Arcane Bombs 'n some other... weaponry o' whutever I can find, chuck a few out there 'n start cleanin' up t' remains once their brains liquidfy 'n start oozin out their ears and... Oh... right... I never got them back after tcourt was adjourned...

New plan... new plan...

OK! Not a problem! Just gotta haul ass through that mob, get to the front door, unlock it, continue hauling ass out into the street, NOT get run over by some drunk jackass speeding by on some poor radioactive stallion, get to the court house, turn around, come back and kick demon ass... seems... easy en...

(The giggles and cackles of the imps seem to have died down significantly and a new sound sneaks its way into the recording. The sound of... a key ring being shaken. The sound continues for several seconds longer...)




...... Mother!&$%ers...


But all thought of the Gateway fled when she saw the silhouette charred into the wood at the base of the stairwell.

Oh god... m'.... ow.... Alright, !&$% that plan, NEW NEW PLAN....

.....I hide in the basement and spend the next week sitting in the dark eating nothing but peanuts and booze hoping to some sort of... what are those things called... Gor... Meh... God! That's it! Hopin' t' some sort o God that someone finds me and saves my sorry ass before Im gnawed alive by either the GIGANTIC rats or the imps OR the DAMN PARROT down there...

Or I stay up 'ere and get the flesh stripped from m'bones in some sort of gloriously horrific fashion for their amusement...

(Another wave of shrieking from imps both visible and unseen erupts.)

..... I'll take my chances in the basement...

A little taller than her. Broader shouldered. Distinctly Fizzlepocket-Tweek-shaped. Sort of the image that would be left after a thousand angry imps blasted a man all at once.

"Uh oh. I think Ma needs ta see this." Gnome feet pattered rapidly back up the stairs and out the door, a quick word of dismissal releasing Konmoth back into the void before any passers-by could twig to Ellipses less savory practices. Back in the bar, the tape finished, once more settling into a small crackling sound.