Stories by Grant M.
Here are gathered the tales of Lawrence of the Desert, follower of Grandfather Baboon and Stormbull (an uncomfortable combination to say the least).
Shave me a monkey
A bushel of baby baboons bounces up to older baboon bearing fruit.
"Tell us a tale,
Tell us a tale,
Wise old uncle" cry the baboons in unison. "What boons do you bring me younglings?" Torn Ear replies. "We bring you fruit, sweet ripe fruit from the tree that overhangs the river". This pleases Torn Ear for the fruit from that tree is very sweet but it falls into the river when it is ripe. Now that he is older climbing the tree to get the fruit is too much trouble, but telling a story well sitting in the shade while eating the fruit is no trouble at all.
"You have shown respect to your elder, made a request in the traditional form and so I will grant you a tale. For you will grow to be great troop warriors and hunters who will keep the troop safe and fed".
"This is the story of how Uncle Lawrence died while tainted by Chaos. Lawrence was a Stormbull and recently a lay worshipper of Baroshi, he never could never make a choice and stick to it like an adult baboon should. He got tainted running around far away from the troop. You know what Stormbulls who get tainted traditionally do, don't you?" "Die gloriously attacking a Chaos nest!!" shouts one of the listeners. Torn Ear pats the little sycophant on the head. "That's right, but no tradition was never good enough for Lawrence, so he goes off to become a lay member of Splashing Waters, yet another cult. Being a mainly human cult the first thing they do is shave all his fur off so now he looks a naked human" "Eeeww, thats humiliating!!" cries the sycophant who like all the baboons has heard this story before and knows what Torn Ear likes to hear. This earned him another pat on the head along with some sidelong glances from the other listeners. "Then Lawrence leapt off the cliff he was standing on into the water below. Still, being a baboon even if he looked human without his fur, he gracefully entered the water. The human with him made large splash and noise enough to wake all the fishes when she hit the water. The Lawrence climbed a fruit tree that hung over the water and knocked all ripe fruit into the water, not somewhere very useful for any baboon troop."
"So down the Zola Fel they go. Lawrence stops to chat with his Storm Khan and explain why he didn't...." "Die gloriously attacking a Chaos nest!!" "Torn Ear chuckles."
"And down the river they go again. Next, he meets a troop of baboon warriors who have spent so much time in Sun they turned yellow, maybe cooked their brains a bit too. They are standing in the river, and having lost touch with the beast rune, acting like humans. They also want to kn..." "Die gloriously attacking a Chaos nest!!" shouts sycophant a little early earning him a gentle cuff on the ear. "Lawrence who always had a silver tongue when it came to excuses for not following tradition talks his way past them also."
"And down the river they go again. Now comes the sad part of our story. They find a little girl tainted by Chaos through no fault of her own. Her troop was attacked and killed by Chaotic forces. Even human children have enough beast in them to know what to do when the troop is attacked by a much stronger force...." There is short silence until the oldest of younglings realises he is about to receive cuff to the head. "Younglings and mothers with children scatter and hide, the adults will delay the attackers" he quickly shouts while ducking. Torn Ear may be getting old and a bit slow, but he is still the biggest and strongest baboon they have ever seen. He took the strength of a bear part of being an Odayla initiate very seriously from a young age. "So the human child ran and hid till the forces of Chaos left, when she returned all the troop was dead but not going to join Grandfather baboon, humans call him Daka Fal. There was slowly beating heart at the top of the tower. The human child tried to move it but every time she tried she became more tainted with Chaos. She was only human and so fell to despair with all her troop dead and Chaos consuming her. Lawrence and the humans with him decided to help her be cleansed of Chaos and free the spirits of the dead troop. They assaulted the tower which was now guarded by ghouls. This took great courage so Lawrence called upon the memories of the great deeds performed by our troop to aid him. To destroy the Chaos heart they had to cut it into three pieces and then eat it. Biting off one disgusting foul piece at a time", for this part Torn Ear bared his fangs and stood towering over the younglings grinning and making chewing motions, " chewing it and swallowing the putrid revolting Chaos meat. The heart did not want to stay down and crawled back up Lawrence's throat forcing him to wretch and throw up. So Lawrence had to chew and swallow the putrid flesh again. This freed the troop's dead spirits... it was a good thing Lawrence and the humans did."
"And down the river they go again. As Lawrence is swimming along he and the human are ambushed by ogres with crossbows. Even Chaos creatures don't like Chaos creatures. Luckily Lawrence is wearing his armour through some Splashing Water cult magic, unluckily the bolt misses the armour and impales itself in Lawrence's leg. It was a very nasty wound and all Lawrence could do was float where he was for a while. Luckily H'ssss swam over pulled the bolt out and healed the wound" "What type snake was Hiss?" asked a youngling. "Not Hiss, H'ssss. H'ssss was soulless soul sucking sorcerer. A strange type of human that do magic wrong. After Lawrence was healed he swam and joined the human fighting the ogres. The ogres were losing and one them fell back and called for the aid of a Demon. The Demon tore open the air and stepped into battle. This was not good. Lawrence struck at the Demon with Long Claw, but by tradition, Long Claw is used to protect the troop from danger not by baboons traipsing around the world on business unrelated to the troop, and like Lawrence breaks tradition, the Demon broke Long Claw." "Oooh." "When baboons break tradition bad things happen. So..""Uncle Lawrenced Dies Again!!" the younglings cried in unison. "Yes, the Demon ripped Lawrence's stomach open faster than a boar rips open a clumsy hunter's guts. Luckily for Lawrence, who has more than his share of luck, there was a human with a strong connection to the beast rune nearby who resurrected Lawrence. The human and her human tools were able to kill the Demon and then dispatch its spirit while Lawrence was lying on the ground with his guts falling out."
"And down the river they go again. During the night the heart that Lawrence ate leaks more Chaos into him and he gets almost as strong as me. The reach the river mouth and go fishing for eels. One human shoots an eel in the head. The river cleanses the tainted ones of the Chaos. I have to admit Lawrence was a tough baboon whatever else he may have been and he keeps swimming as the Chaos is burned out off him. The human, being only human falls unconscious from the pain. The little girl who most tainted sadly died when the Chaos was burned from her. They took the little to land and buried her. Her soul was able to finish its journey." Torn sits in silence for a while. Then gets up and walks away saying "Time to worship Grandfather Baboon".
The younglings start to talk and fight among themselves."Why does Uncle Lawrence always die in Uncle Torn Ear's stories." "There is a ceremony today?" "Nah, just old uncles playing pinochle."
Tale the Second
"How Uncle Lawrence became a Storm Bull"
"Why Uncle Torn Ear enjoys talking about Uncle Lawerence dying"
So have you heard the one about a Shaman who walks into a bar with a monkey and asks for 5 beers?
The Shaman Sand on Stone* and Lawrence the Baboon did not have trouble finding a small table in the tavern to sit and drink undisturbed it still being the afternoon. After the first round of 5 beers each, Lawrence was relaxed although Sand on Stone could have been drinking water for all the effect Lawrence could see. Lawrence was out of clacks and getting change seemed too complicated so Lawrence just ordered 5 jugs for a Lunar. Around the second Jug Sand on Stone asked how an initiate of Daka Fal ended up an initiate of StormBull. Lawrence was well lubricated and had not had anyone to talk to for a while so after pour himself another started his story.
"Grandfather Baboon initiates have a slightly different attitude to cults with the beast rune than worshipers of his younger aspect Daka Fal. Grandfather Baboon has a beast Rune himself although things between Grandfather Baboon and StormBull are still not very good. Grandfather Baboon is much closer to Odayla and Yinkin than Daka Fal is. Especial with Odayla we share the two aspects of beast and man in one being. In my troop being an initiate of Odayla is pretty common. Growing up I wanted to be a BearWalker. Elder brother Torn Ear wanted to be a shaman but he was large, strong and quick so the Odayla initiates, and the occasional BearWalker the troop would meet always encouraged him to focus on Odayla. Although I am above average size and fairly strong I am a bit slow for a Baboon so never got much encouragement from the Odayla cultists."
"All I needed was an edge and a chance I thought. If I just had Long Claw, the family spear for a while I could show them what I could do. Torn Ear had it and there was no chance he would lend it to me. He never took me seriously, always telling me I was just a pup. I thought well if he is as big as Gorilla I have to be as clever as Monkey was when he got Gorilla's tail. So I spent a month preparing, by annoying Torn Ear about lending me Long Claw and anything else I could think of. Then one night well annoying Torn Ear and walking past the old bulls worshipping I heard them talking."
"Your play Miah" said grandpa Flan.
"Wait this going to be interesting."
"They always argue."
"No Lawerence has been baiting his brother for a month, something is going to happen."
"Those old bulls are pretty canny, so took this as a sign, so I pushed Torn Ear into an argument"
"Why should I lend you Long Claw you have no sense of responsibility, you just play." shouted Torn Ear.
"If you lend me Long Claw for one mission, what I do will not be play." I shouted back
"But you won't tell me what this great mission is will you"
"I will tell the elders sitting here what mission is and let them decide if it is play or responsible. If it is not play you lend me Long Claw for the mission."
"and if they say it is play you will show me proper respect and do service for one year." interrupted Torn Ear, excited at the thought of putting me in my place.
I turned to old bulls and said "Hear me, wise elders, I wish you to sit judgment on my mission, tell us if it is child's play or bull's work."
"I will go forth on a mission to become a Runelord." I declared.
"that will take years" said Torn Ear in a quiet voice.
"but it is one mission" I whispered.
Miah stood and raised himself to his full height and pronounced "Becoming a Runelord is not child's play it is a bull's work" then he turned to Flan and said "See I told you it would be interesting. The Monkey's tricked the Gorilla out of his tail" then he fell to the ground laughing. Torn Ear turned red with embarrassment and rage.
Flan said "Torn Ear may be as strong as gorilla but he is quicker not only with claw but in wit too."
"Look at him, he is as red as you mother's ass on Wildday" replied Miah still laughing.
I had won, I had trick Torn Ear in agreeing to lend me Long Claw in front of the old bulls, but grandpa Flan was right. I was not as clever as Monkey nor was Torn Ear as stupid as Gorilla.
Torn Ear turned to me and formally handed the family spear to me saying
"Talk Long Claw on your mission and proceed with honour, do not return until your mission is fulfilled". I took Long Claw but felt sick in my stomach as I realised what his words meant. I was banished from the troop until I became a RuneLord. I would have one day to get ready then I would not see my family nor anyone I knew or loved for years.
"At first I traveled with a group of Odayla, that had been passing by our camp. We met some Storm Bulls who were going in the same direction and Odayla and Storm Bull get along well so we joined together for safety. Not many will attack a group Storm Bulls and Odaylas so we were happy to join up, and felt fairly safe and relaxed traveling together. My mother had joined the White Bulls before she died and so I spent a lot of time talking to the Storm Bulls. I was still angry with Torn Ear and since he was planning to become a GrandFather Baboon Shaman, me coming back as Storm Khan upset him. It does not seem a very good reason to become a StormBull initiate looking back. When I became tainted," Sand on Stone leans back, finishes his drink and checks if the path to the door is clear," I did not behave as I should have and die gloriously and quickly, but instead went and got cleansed by Zola Fel". Sand on Stone relaxes and pours himself another drink. " So here I am StormBull and Grandfather Baboon initiate, Zola Fel and Baroshi lay member. I still have my doubts and wonder if I should be an Odayla initiate. Odayla is friendly with both of them, so it would make me no stranger than I already am. I am the first new lay member of Baroshi since time began", Lawrence smiles, " but that is a story for another time".
Tale the Third
How Uncle Lawrence became a worshipper of Baroshi
So have you heard the one about a Shaman who walks into a bar with a monkey and orders 5 beers?
Oh, you have. Well, then how about the one where a Shaman walks back into the bar with a monkey and orders 5 beers?
When? I don't remember it was around Sacred Time, maybe when they went drinking the day before Sacred Time to celebrate that the monkey would be joining the worship ceremony of the Daka Fal sub cult of Grandfather Baboon, being lead by the shaman or it could the day after Sacred Time when they went drinking to celebrate having celebrated Sacred Time. Or maybe one of the times they went drinking to celebrate having enough cash to celebrate by drinking.
Sand on Stone and Lawrence went to the back of the bar and sat down. The proprietor being a good businessman showed up with a pitcher and 3 cups before they even had a chance to get comfortable. The Sand on Stone asked if the proprietor was joining them. "No the extra cup is in case one is accidentally thrown across the room." Sand on Stone looks over at Lawrence who is head down studiously pouring out two beer. "Speaking of barrows, did they pay you well for going into the barrows," asks Lawrence while still looking down.
When Lawrence looks up Sand on Stone is drinking a beer with one hand whilst holding the cup up between him and Lawrence, while looking at both of them. "So did I ever tell you about how I became the first lay member of Baroshi since time began?" asks Lawrence.
"I was investigating rumours of broos taking live captives near Snake Pipe Hollow, and that Zeena Duran, White Healer of Chalana Alloy was in the area. Storm Bulls are known for many things including bravery, stubbornness, fanatical charges, and combat prowess but subtlety is not one of them. When I found Zeena Duran, White Healer of Chalana Arroy she was a bound captive of the broos and destined to be sacrificed, a fate worse than death, unfortunately so was I. Fortunately a group of human adventurers was also in Shake Pipe Hollow and they came upon us before the sacrifice. Unfortunately, the Rune broo had many disease spirits at his command and the humans did not have a shaman with them."
"Fortunately there was a Foundchild with ties to beast in the party and he cast a javelin into one of my guards. I took this chance to escape the guards. Unfortunately, I was still bound and muzzled. Fortunately, I never had trouble eating anything so chewing and swallowing my gag was not a problem and I could fight again. Unfortunately, I was a bit too enthusiastic to join battle with Chaos so I made some poor choices next. Instead of biting off my ropes and freeing my forelimbs I charged the Rune broo partially bound, unarmed and unarmoured."
"Unfortunately, the Rune broo was neither unarmed nor unarmoured, let alone bound. Fortunately, I did have a chance to go Berserk before reaching the Rune broo who was currently using a bow. I was able to stop the Rune broo from firing his bow at the rescue party and forced him to switch weapons. The Broo crushed my leg knocking me down. Fortunately, a heal took care of that. So I popped back up to distract the Rune broo again. Unfortunately, the Rune broo's next blow landed in my stomach killing me. Fortunately, this means I did not get sacrificed to Chaos, a fate worse than death. Unfortunately, this is where things started to go wrong."
"I did an about face on my march to the Judge and found I had been resurrected by Zenna. She had unfinished business in Snake Pipe hollow so we all went back in. Exploring the tunnels I discovered that I had not paid very close attention to my troop's shaman when young. I found this out by fighting a Chaos spirit and losing and becoming tainted with tentacles growing from my head. I was back to a fate worse than death. There was a Babesteer Gor priestess with us who also got tainted. During the exploring, we found out that Zeena's unfinished business was healing the godling Baroshi#. Baroshi was wounded when he chased down and fought off a giant Chaos worm that had attacked when he was only a few days old. He seemed to be a great fighter against Chaos so I became a lay worshipper and asked him if he could remove my taint. He intervened and removed the tentacles but could not remove the taint. That night I spent planning the best way to remove the Chaos that had infected us. I had acted impetuously attacking one Chaos Rune level and would not soon make that mistake again." After this statement, Lawrence leans back in his seat and goes silent. Sand on Stone, thinking his drinking companion has passed out in a drunken stupor, orders another pitcher.
Lawrence reveals what went through his mind that night outside Snake Pipe Hollow.
A Babesteer Gor Priestess is a fearsome being and great warrior, even though Lawrence is a baboon he is only an initiate and no longer can cast Berserk. It may be time for a Stormbull to learn some subtlety. My best chance would be to surprise the priestess in the morning before she puts her armour on. I made a mistake of not fully preparing before attacking the Rune Broo and will not soon make that mistake again. If I wait till morning I will be able to cast strength, making myself stronger than the strongest unaided baboon, iron hand 4, co-ordination and fanaticism. Being unarmed I hope will allow me to surprise her and attack from behind. If I can wait for the right moment I can strike her in the neck and remove her head with a single bite, wait 10 seconds in case she resurrects immediately and then flee into tunnels with her head hopefully stopping her from being resurrected. There is no shortage of Chaos in the tunnels to die fighting. That is what a real Stormbull would have done. Is Stormbull my destiny or just a side trip?
"In the morning Zenna tells us of the hero quest on the Zola Fel that can remove the taint. I decide that is better than the plan I had made during the night. We wandered around a bit on moving hill of earth with Baroshi and then on a dinosaur and ended up on the Zola Fel. So now I am the first Baroshi lay member since time began$. Also, the only one since he seems to have no interest in worshippers or having a cult. Still once a season I sacrifice a point of magic to Baroshi and thank him for the aid he gave me."
Tale the Fourth
The Epiphany of Lawrence the Dying: a Baboon is born again.
I am sitting here pulling an arrow out of my leg and talking to myself. Belintar is unconscious beside me but not bleeding badly and we have cover. Lots of stuff going on, broos dead and fleeing, same with the ogres, skeletons firing arrows, not sure what is happening with the vampire, Mallia Rune Priest, and Succubus, but these are not the main things on my mind. I just had a divine inspiration or maybe it just this mind spell affecting me. I have felt the divine before in worship ceremonies of Storm Bull and Grandfather Baboon, been brought back to life by Yelm, been partially cured of Choas taint by the physical touch of Baroshi inside of time, and just now performed carnal worship with a Goddess in the flesh. That last one was at a whole other level. This was a direct message to consider the last thoughts I had when I was last died. It was not StormBull because he would have urged me to kill and destroy all Chaos, not to be cautious. It did not feel like Grandfather Baboon, although the advice would fit Grandfather Baboon. I know nothing about what inspiration from the Fate rune would be like, it could have been fate. The only part of the message that was clear was that leaping headlong in battle with spear, claw, and fang was not what was being recommended.
If I not supposed to be charging Chaos head on at every chance I get what was I supposed to be doing this last year.
First I joined Stormbull and became a stronger force against Chaos. Then I joined the liberation of Pavis that drove the Chaos tainted Lunars out. I thought I had become a warrior hero and was going to Snake Pipe Hollow to kill the Chaotic Mallia priest in combat. But the stern hand of Fate or something, killed me to try and show my mistake. Although StormBull hates all Chaos, Shamans often have a special hatred for followers of Mallia, so that makes me feel it was Grandfather Baboon. I meet Baroshi as he joined us living in Time. I tried fighting the Cacodemon in close combat and a stern hand once again tried to show me my mistake by killing me. Then the harp was placed in my path which led me to Sand Covers Stone and a chance to return to Grandfather Baboon, but I ignored it. Working with Sand Covers Stone, lead to my aiding in the construction of the Great Cleansing Canal that is slowly draining the swamp. Next, I was lead to this earth temple city before I had a chance to sacrifice to Stormbull. I tried again to fight Chaos in close combat as would a StormBull and for the third time, Grandfather Baboon's stern hand killed me to show me my mistake, like a parent must repeatedly cuff a child who is slow to learn. This led me to again meet an earth deity living in Time because of damage Chaos has visited upon the land. Finally, Grandfather Baboon realized how slow a learner I was and that killing me would take too long and tried another tack. I see now I was only to work with Stormbull to become a stronger fighter against Chaos, not to forsake Grandfather Baboon. This was a sign from Grandfather Baboon that my path lies with him. My purpose is to aid the mortal children of Grandfather Baboon in Prax and the lands to the west blasted by Chaos. I am to do this not by fighting Chaos with spear, claw, and fang but bringing together others to work together to cleanse the land. I see know I was brought to Sand Cover Stone to humble myself to one of the descendent race as an assistant and to learn the ways of a Shaman from him. I am but a messenger to petition Baroshi and the White Bull to aid the Golden Goddess so she can aid in the cleansing of the land as Baroshi has. My path is not the meteoric path of a heroic warrior, but the slower path of aiding and bring together others to accomplish grand work. I must learn patience under Sand Covers Stone followed by work offering a change to worship to the descendants of Grandfather Baboon in Prax who lost their shrines when Chaos once more swept land in the form Lunars. Many of them will be humans who went to Pavis when their families died and Shamans were killed.
I see now that everything thing that happened in last year was not just random like the rolling of bones in a game of chance but destiny and Grandfather Baboon's loving but stern hand guiding me. It all has been a lesson to bring me back to Grandfather Baboon, to show me the path I am to follow. As with all of Grandfather Baboon's plans it has succeeded even though my foolishness slowed it.
When I get back to Pavis I will ask Sand Covers Stone to aid me in talking with my Grandmother Munchi ( a Shaman). She is the wisest Baboon I know and can help me make sense of my of all this.
* The shaman introduced himself as Sand Covers Stone but never corrected Lawrence's mistake. Back.
# Wrong, she was there to heal someone else. Back.
$ Again, wrong. Hallelujah Harnsdottir also became a follower. Back.
Last updated March 13, 2020
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