minkhollow: (i'll melt the damn snow)
[personal profile] minkhollow
Long, long ago, on an Internet far, far away, there was a game. It sort of sprang up organically and sustained itself for a bit over a year before RL and/or Milliways pulled us all away.

Some of you reading this have probably worked out I'm talking about [livejournal.com profile] discworld_rpg; for the rest of you, don't go there expecting to read the actual content. When I say it sprang up organically, I mean I stumbled across the Ponder Stibbons journal, thought it looked like fun, and made another, and so did a bunch of other people.
It was an archivist's nightmare; the gameplay wasn't centralised by any stretch of the imagination. It was ridiculously melodramatic, which I chalk up to a lot of us (myself included) being in high school at the time. We broke the fourth wall on a regular basis - one of my favorite Internet things ever remains me and another player telling Lady Lilith de Tempscire exactly why mapping Lord of the Rings onto Ankh-Morpork wouldn't work at all (for one thing, you'd never find enough elves...).
It brought me some great friends that I still have, the longest-running character I've played to date - it'll be a tough record to break - and some nuggets of wisdom that I still carry with me, down to my email signature line. I'm considering changing it... to another quote from the game. I loved it, and I miss it, sometimes a lot.

Anyway, cut to last week, when I finally got around to reading Unseen Academicals. It's an excellent book on its own, but a certain bit character's reappearance for the first time in several books caught my attention - and promptly hit me with a plot bunny. For now, I'm only posting this here, as it may not make much sense to people without the context. It's taking the 'verse we were messing about it and moving forward to a bit before UA starts.
(If anyone cares to try anyway: The first POV character in this is an OC I played for a while; the game premise, such as there was one, was that PCs - Powered by Celery - became widely available; yes, this is still my OTP, nearly nine years later; Adrian did have himself a fan club; one of the major in-game plots was Lilith having a go at Ankh-Morpork, with semi-disastrous results.)

"Pseudopolis?"

"Pseudopollis," Imp confirms; why he's still clinging to the last bits of his accent after all this time, Morgan couldn't say - unless, of course, it boils down to 'Adrian likes it.' But she's not here to ask, tonight - she's here to keep them in dumplings and sake until she decides to close up shop, or until Gwen stops messing about and brings out some sushi, whichever comes first.

Adrian shrugs and braces his chopsticks as she sets down the first plate of dumplings. "Brazeneck's expanding, Ponder still hasn't learned to delegate so it seems like my best chance at getting a professorship of my own, and - well. Hex is getting lonely."

"Lonely," Morgan says, sparing a glance away from the fry pan to her own device. The poor thing's using more apples to do slightly less work than it used to, and it'd hardly be worth the trouble if Skazz didn't keep popping by to fix it, but she can't bring herself to replace it. "Funny, I've never had mine make that complaint."

"Well, those and the Powered-by-Celerys aren't as complex as Hex is. The way I see it, if we can't pin down a bit of electricity for him we should at least give him something to talk to. It'll need a different power source, though. I'm thinking chickens."

"Chickens?"

Imp grins. "What with the democracy bit, Brazeneck's got an actuall food budget, see," he says, stabbing a dumpling with his fork (it took Adrian three years to give up trying to teach him the fine art of chopsticks). "But that's hardly going to stop your average wizard's appetite."

"Yes, especially since your average wizard would eat enough for any three normal people."

"Whose side are you on?" Adrian protests - around his second dumpling, which rather spoils the effect.

"My own," Morgan says, "and I've got the sales records to prove it. You're not whisking anyone other than my cousin away, are you?"

"No, no, only sweeping the one person off his feet. These days. I mean, there's been rumors that the Dean - our Dean - may end up running the place, but--"

Imp frowns. "The Dean? But what if - I mean, I went there. Before. What if the next odd thing starts in Pseudopollis and he's too carried away by it to notice?"

"Well, then, that's what they'll need someone like me there for."

"Lilith," Morgan says, trying to disguise it in a cough and the act of taking the next plate of dumplings out of the fry pan. Sadly, Adrian doesn't fall for it.

"What was that, Morgan?"

"Just a frog in my throat. Or maybe a bit of poisoned apple."

"Shut up," Adrian says to the dumplings. "Fairy godmothering is completely different from something like..." He trails off, waving his chopstick-less hand at Imp rather than finishing the sentence.

"Don't believe I shall, Princess. I'm only saying, and I believe your dear husband is as well, that someone's going to have to be able to keep their head in a crisis - and if the next odd thing doesn't start there, you'll certainly generate one sooner or later. And I doubt you'll be able to count on your fearless leader for that."

"Exactlly," Imp says. "Skazz already said he'd rather stay here, and you don't know who else will be there."

Adrian shrugs, just as Gwen emerges from the back with a plate of sushi (she has yet to stop complaining that it's not really like the sushi they used to have in Bes Pelargic, no matter how many times Morgan reminds her she can't get the same ingredients here). "You're worrying too much."

"We worry because we care," Morgan points out. "I just want my family in good hands."

***

As they're getting ready for bed, amid the chaos that is a mostly-packed bedroom - at least they don't have to worry about taking the furniture - Imp says, "There is one other thing we need to sort out."

"Oh? What's that?"

"The music box. I don't - should we leave it here, or what?"

Adrian sits down on the bed, a bit more heavily than he'd intended to. "Oh, bugger, love, I'm sorry, I should have thought of that by now. I don't think we'll have any trouble if we leave it here. Ponder doesn't want it acting up any more than we do, and if we take it, we run the risk of it jarring open on the road."

"Gods know that's the llast thing we need." Imp tosses his shirt into the corner, where they've been piling dirty laundry until they can pack it, and climbs into bed himself.

"Imp... is something wrong? I mean - you do want to come with me, don't you? I really shouldn't have been assuming--"

"Ade, you're being ridicullous. Of course I want to go with you. Not saying I'm not surprised you're leaving Ankh-Morpork, it's so much a part of who you are, but if I didn't want to come, you'd have known before now."

"Believe me, I'm still surprised I'm leaving." Adrian sighs, and finally climbs under the covers. "I just - didn't want you to think I was pushing you into this."

"Hardlly. If it were something I didn't want, I'd have backed out years ago. Besides, if the Dean's going to be running Brazeneck, someone there needs to be ablle to think clearly."

"Oh, so my good looks and charm have nothing to do with that anymore?"

Imp laughs. "I never said that."

They just lie there in silence for a while; Adrian's feeling too lazy to turn off the bedside lamp by hand, and careless half-awake magic has been known to cause explosions, so it'll have to wait. Besides, sometimes they just need a moment to enjoy each other's company.

"Ade?"

"Yeah?"

Imp turns his head to look at Adrian. "Do you think... I don't know if Hex being lonely has anything to do with it, see, but - do you think we'll ever hear from those people from the round worlld again?"

"What, my fan club? I hadn't thought of that in ages."

"Just because the rest of your adoring fans haven't said anything in years doesn't mean I'm not still a member, llove."

Adrian laughs. "You have a point there, but... I really don't know. There's no reason to assume they're not all carrying on with - whatever it is they do, but whether we'll be able to talk to them again, I couldn't say. Why?"

Imp shrugs. "Idlle curiosity, I guess."

"Fair enough, but try not to dwell on it too much. We've got a lot to do tomorrow."
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