Friday, February 29, 2008

Carl Joins With Filthy Minkeys

The Carl has abandoned it's alliance with NUDE-ists in favor of hanging out with filthy MNKYs. When the lead Carl asked the other Carls how they felt about allying themselves with monkeys instead of nudists, the other Carls pondered the ramifications of associating with a bunch of feces-throwing, bug-eating persons who prefer bananas to corn and swing from trees as opposed to associating with free-spirited perverts who have abandoned their outer apparel along with their modesty and good taste.

In the end, the Carl decided the important thing was that someone, anyone, would be subjected to the inane prattle and rampant lunacy that is the Carl. The Carl is relatively indifferent to who it inflicts itself upon just as it is indifferent to so very, very many things (other than corn). Also, frankly, pondering ramifications makes the Carl want to take a nap.

In honor of this new alliance with the filthy minkeys, we present to you the inspiration for the Carl's affectionate sobriquet for the MNKY guild:

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Tour of CarlHalla - Part 1

The following article is part one of a multi-part series covering the detailed inner workings of the Carls' Guild Hall (aka CarlHalla). Our undercover operative, Ghostly Wombat (pictured to the left), is obviously not of the Carl clan. However, at great risk to herself and her various pets (most notably her wombats), she infiltrated this heavily-guarded fortress to reveal to the world exactly what goes on when the doors of CarlHalla are closed. This [dramatic pause] is her story.

(Ghostly Wombat gesticulates wildly, most likely at something large and fearsome.)

I'll cut right to the chase: the splendor of CarlHalla is unmatched anywhere in the Guild Isles, from NUDE's eyesore (apparently designed by a color-blind three-year-old) to the former WoS haven with its splendiferous waterfall. CarlHalla not only meets these (admittedly low) standards, it surpasses them, then mocks them for their abundant inadequacies.

A holy light seems to ooze from CarlHalla's pores, pouring forth onto residents and visitors alike.

The wonders of CarlHalla are evident as soon as one enters its hallowed halls. The gaping entryway that funnels members and their sponsored "guests" alike into the main chambers guides them directly to the feet of their giant of a Guild Lord. His intent glare down at you is nearly enough to distract you from the amazing carving that appears to have taken residence beneath his feet.

Our reporter braves the Guild Lord's glare for this groundbreaking footage of a compass. Carved in the floor.

Despite the evident beauty of the compass, the Guild Lord's incessant throat-clearing and muttering about "kids on [his] artwork" drives any curious travelers away within a few moments. However, they soon realize that the scenery is just beginning...

Grenth is evidently held in high regard by the Carl

The gargantuan stained-glass window pictured above is the centerpiece to carlHalla's shrine to Grenth, the almighty ruler of the underworld and Dwayna's mortal enemy. Although the window has a staircase leading up to it, the stairs appear to stem from a bottomless reflecting pool, perhaps implying that the Carl worships no one, but certainly can appreciate fine art at discount prices (there was a chip in the glass that evidently reduced its list price).

The reflecting pool appears to be fed by a series of large gargoyle statues steadily drooling into it. While this reporter is uncertain as to where the spittle ends up, she decided not to let any splash onto her sandals; gargoyle saliva is notoriously hard to get out from between your toes. The pool also appeared to double as Tankarific Carl's commode/vomit repository when he was too lazy to wander over to the actual facilities.

After backing away from the spit receptacle, visitors may note the remarkable lighting conditions provided by CarlHalla's benevolent residents. The main hall is lit entirely by candlelight, outside of what little natural light seeps through Grenth's stern visage. Candles are scattered about the floor and lined up in wall sconces, providing lovely backlighting for those wandering about the main floor.

Lighting options abound in CarlHalla

My more perceptive readers will note that I managed to smuggle my pet thorn wolf into CarlHalla as well; I won't say how, and it wasn't pleasant. Judging by the prevalence of minipet waste products scattered throughout the floor and smushed into wall cracks, the home of the Carls is very much pet-friendly, and appears to host a wide variety of creatures. Oddly enough, I didn't notice any water djinn waste, but perhaps they just clean up after their elementals.

The massive stone pillars that support the high-reaching ceiling of the hall must have been built by giants (perhaps relatives of their Guild Lord), and judging by the levels of mossy growth on them, it must've been a long time ago. This leads me to believe that the Carls have a long and storied past, or at least are ardent horticulturalists.

Judging by the claw marks etched randomly on each pillar, I suspect that some of the guild residents have been attempting to subsist at least partially on this substance. That said, it didn't appear appetizing, and actually seemed to burn slightly when its leaves were broken. As I studied the markings more closely (they appeared to be made by a spear, and had glitter of some sort lodged in them...), I suddenly noticed what must be the centerpiece of the Carl art collection:

Stupid wyvern... doesn't even know we're watching it...

This house-sized painting "dorfs" most any viewer, as can be noted by your intrepid reporter standing dead-center (along with some yokels gawking at the camera crew). It's most unfortunate that the depicted wyvern appears to have gotten itself into such an entanglement; they're usually rather graceful creatures, which makes one suspect that this particular animal had been previously domesticated--possibly by Tankarific, during one of his drunken adoption drives. Sadly, most domesticated lizards die fairly quickly after being re-introduced to the wild, and this one was most likely no exception.

The run-down shrine is a testament to either Carl's practicality or, more likely, laziness. Either way, my thorn wolf was unimpressed.

Moving on past the painting, visitors arrive at a shrine that has apparently seen better days, perhaps because it has been superseded by Grenth's main-hall residence. One of the previously mentioned giants must have stomped in the middle, causing cracks to develop radiating out from
the center of the pedestal and knocking down most of the main arches (that now appear to be broken pillars). How depressing that any guild could let one of their holiest landmarks become so run-down...

Having grown weary of broken stonework and depressing art, I decided to explore CarlHalla's exterior in hopes of finding artifacts that survived the test of time in better condition. I was not disappointed; immediately upon exiting, I discovered a bridge that, while not entirely functional (it took my camera crew and I hours to get the above shot without slipping through to the waters below), was certainly fascinating to look upon. The Carls seem to have a penchant for metalwork, as evinced by the aforementioned candleabras. I would later discover that this theme does indeed pervade the entirety of the residence.

This once-lovely fountain appears to have been partially consumed by a landslide, probably caused by some of those accursed wurms that seem to prowl around these lands. My thorn wolf was most disappointed, as he was growing thirsty and couldn't abide by drinking out of the fetid reflecting pool in the main hall. Unfortunately, this fountain appeared to be long out-of-service, judging by the dirt-filled interior and the grass growing in the basin. I sent the thorn wolf off to seek out some refreshment while I continued to explore. I soon discovered one of the strangest artifacts of all...

Simply an ugly flag. Who picked this out, Diabolical Carl?

While the flag shown above appears to provide more evidence that the Carl has a fixation for decorative iron, I found myself puzzled by the presence of the relatively new flag hanging from it. After all, the Carl's official guild cape (of which I expertly made a counterfeit, as shown above) is black and white, so as to make it absolutely smashing with any ensemble (even shiny purple nipples, as unfortunately demonstrated by one of the hall's more ... peculiar residents). This flag, however, was unadorned red--a very unCarlish color, and seemingly out of place with their well-documented eccentric tastes. I decided to make a note of the item, but had to press on, lest my invasion be discovered.

Upon reaching CarlHalla's back door, I realized that I could have saved myself a great deal of trouble by simply sneaking in this entrance, as it never appears to be locked. Even heaving upon the so-called "Gate Lock" seemed to have no effect--the gates were determined to remain open for all to frequent. This made my adroit infiltration plan--hiding in an empty barrel labeled "BOOZE" in one of Tankarific's daily shipments and hoping he didn't open mine before passing out in a drunken stupor--seem rather pointless. However, I must warn readers that by the time this article is published, the Carls will no doubt have rectified the situation and have posted monkeys (governed by wombat overlords) at the gates to ensure that no non-believers gain entrance.

This marks the end of my first day at CarlHalla; I decided to hide behind the obviously-unused Gate Lock mechanism until the following morning, as I could hear someone yelling at her teammates (overlaid by the tones of drunken singing), and knew that if the Carls discovered me, my thorn wolf and I would have much larger problems than Tankarific's anger at discovering one of his booze barrels empty. I resolved to continue exploring the exterior of CarlHalla tomorrow, once everyone had drank and danced themselves stupid. I expected to have plenty of time to explore, for if there's one certainty in the world, it's that Carls cannot remain in one place for long, and wherever they go next, they're very much likely to wind up lost.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Working With Jerky

A flesh golem (left) assists Tankarific Carl and Koss in a battle with weird assassin things.

The average adventurer benefits greatly from the assistance of his companions. Such companions are often "hired guns" who go along for a share of the spoils. A few gold pieces, a spot of ale, some roasted meat and a shared bit of goat pornography are all it takes to convince the likes of Koss, Dunkoro, or Jora to go along for the ride. (Jora in particular likes her goat porn, especially it big teats are involved.)

Most adventurers choose their heroes by the types of skills they bring to the mission or quest, but when recruits are on offer with similar skills, the choice of hireling tends to become idiosyncratic and highly subjective. Many adventurers, being shallow, stupid, and, frankly speaking, mentally encumbered by the fact that they are male, will base their decision on appearance. Some go for the scantily-clad, large breasted type who is prone to doing a harem dance when there's a lull in battle. Others favor the petite, small-breasted boyish-looking women so they can feel more masculine and dominant while still catering to their hidden pederast impulses and suppressing their homosexual urges.

The unsung heroes of mission assistance are minions. These disgusting bits of reanimated flesh extracted from the corpses of fallen enemy and ally alike form a decaying barrier between party leaders and those that wish to do them harm. Their presence can often mean the difference between a successful mission and multiple dirt naps, yet their praises are rarely sung by those who fight side-by-side with them.

In order to bring to light the value of these valiant bits of smelly, flesh-jerky, this news source asked adventurers about their fondest recollections of battle with resurrected creatures. Noted barley-based beverage enthusiast Tankarific Carl said, "They spend a lot less time boasting about their abilities than Koss, and they don't steal my ale like that drunken cow, Tahlkora. They also smell better than Fancypants's pants...but that's not saying much because even a yak that's been dead for 2 weeks smells better than his bloomers."

Since hearing his pants being mentioned piqued Fancypants interest, and he wandered over to talk to this reporter, there was no choice but to also interview him (otherwise, he wouldn't go away). Said Fancypants, "I enjoy the jerky because it allows me to indulge in some of my more socially repugnant tendencies without any fear of repercussions from the local constabulary. After all, expired minions tell no tales and necrophilia with a reconstituted corpse isn't a crime, is it? Is it? Well? Hey, come back here!"

Guild founder and leader, Healing Carl had this to say about working with jerky, "I greatly prefer working with minions. For one thing, they don't take a cut of the drops so I have more money to buy new outfits with, and you know how pricey elite armors are. What's more, they may be bits of meat held together by magic and directed by the will of a conjurer obsessed with death and dead things and minions have a tendency to run off and stir up trouble, but they're still not as much of a pain in the ass to adventure with as the other Carls." No truer tribute to the value of these (until now) unsung comrades in arms has ever been spoken.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Guild Hall Marked By Vandalism, Foul Odors

A drunken and dumb Tankarific stands before the snowman configuration left by an unknown vandal.

The Carl Guild Hall was viciously vandalized yesterday by an unknown perpetrator. A circle of snowmen was left in proximity of the Guild Lord near the center of the hall. The snowmen's configuration has left some calling them "Snowhenge", though it's really a pretty stupid name. Attempts to dispose of the snowmen were thwarted by a lack of really warm mittens. Local tough guy and celebrated drunkard Tankarific Carl said, "They's too cold to move now...let's wait until they're a little warmer." Attempts to explain that they would naturally melt with time left the drunken warrior confused and disoriented so he wandered off to a corner and passed out.

The Guild Lord and other merchants who perpetually inhabit the hall were questioned about what they saw during the absence of the CARL guild members. All questions were met with unrelenting sales pitches for various wares. It is unknown if the lack of cooperation is due to a stupor induced through malodorous magical vapors or if it is simply crass commercialism inhibiting the various merchants' impulses to exercise civic responsibility.

Witnesses who arrived at the scene after the prankster had left his mark said that, other than the snowmen, the only thing unusual was an intensely foul smell that seemed to cling to the snowmen and hang heavily in the air throughout the hall. The smell was reminiscent of a fetid elf known for aggressive acts with snowmen. This maladjusted elf previously attacked hydra in the Ascalon area and tormented visitors and residents of Augury Rock. Unfortunately, since there were no cooperative or cognizant eyewitnesses to the incident, it cannot be determined conclusively that the crazed elf was responsible.

When asked how this disturbing incident made her feel, hysterical guild founder Healing Carl said, "I feel violated...and a little nauseous from the powerful stench. I think I'm going to have to toss my cookies. Excuse me." As both Tankarific and Healing were indisposed, this news authority queried Fancypants Carl how he felt about this violation to which he responded, "I enjoy a good, hard violation," with a sly grin. This news authority then backed away slowly from Mr. 'pants.

The Carls claim that they always leave the Guild Hall locked up while they are away adventuring and there was no sign of forced entry. Healing Carl insists that the key is kept safely in her bra at all times. She said that it is an especially secure place for the key since neither of the other Carls is willing to go in there after it. Given that one is female and prefers to keep her hands off of other women's breasts and the other is mammophobic, it is unlikely that the key was clandestinely removed and stealthily replaced by another Carl. Said Healing Carl, "That key never left the ample crevice between my heaving bosoms!"

There is suspicion among the Carls that this is either a copycat incident, or, there was inside assistance from someone who was sympathetic to the lunatic elf. The key is left in the hall's storage chamber for brief periods of time on rare occasions when Healing dons her extremely scanty alternate gear for special missions. During those times, it's not impossible for one of the other Carls to remove the key from storage and have it copied.

Mystery man (possibly pants-less) in Carl cape in suspicious proximity to an elf fitting the description of the criminal in previous incidents in the Ascalon territory. (file photo)

All of the Carls plead ignorance when asked about who might have helped the elf, but the file photo above (taken in Kourna) shows a man in a CARL cape standing in close proximity to an elf. While it cannot be concluded that the man is actually a CARL guild member, as he may be wearing a counterfeit cape, his words to a "Psycho" and coincidental appearance in Kourna at the same time and in the same place as an elf are highly suspicious. Unfortunately, since the man in the cape can only be seen from the back, it's impossible to identify him. He is wanted for questioning by authorities. Anyone who encounters a man with blond hair and a penchant for sequined ankle accessories sporting a CARL cape should contact a member of the police force immediately.

The CARL guild is offering a reward of as much corn as you can eat if your information leads to the apprehension of the vandal. Of course, the foul odor may linger for awhile in the hall so you might want to get that corn "to go".

Names Awarded the Carl Seal of Approval #5

Hogun the Unpredictable

Lessons in Carl #3

If you missed the previous Carl lessons, here are lesson 1 and lesson 2.

For today's lesson, you're going to consider the Carl through the eyes of popular culture. Choose the most Carlish answer from the questions below:

1. Carl is a movie producer. What movie is Carl most like to make?
  1. My Dinner With Carl
  2. Battlefield Carl
  3. Citizen Carl
  4. King Carl
  5. Dr. Carllove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Filthy Monkeys
2. Carl is a rapper. Which sobriquette would it choose?
  1. Carl Monkey Monk
  2. Notoriously C.A.R.L.
  3. L.L. Cool Carl
  4. Wu Tang Carl
  5. Vanilla Carl
3. If the Carl were to have its own T.V. show, what would it be?
  1. C*A*R*L
  2. C.S.I. Carl
  3. CARL in Cincinnati
  4. Carlrama
  5. Carl's Anatomy

What movie is Carl most like to make?
  1. My Dinner With Carl (based on My Dinner With Andre) - This movie is about two bores who sit and talk about a lot of nothing over dinner. Spending time talking about nothing is very Carl, though being a bore doesn't really suit the Carl.
  2. Battlefield Carl (based on Battlefield Earth) - L. Ron Hubbard was a serious loon and refused to take his medication. That gives him something in common with at least one of the Carl clan. He also started his own religion which is bizarre and selective. His philosophy is scary and incomprehensible. That gives him another thing in common with the Carl. Despite all those things, the Carl simply can't sanction anything associated with anyone who started a religion which uses Tom Cruise as a spokesman, no matter how scary and insane he was.
  3. Citizen Carl (based on Citizen Kane) - The greatest appeal in aping this particular movie for the Carl lies in having a mysterious last word. Imagine what the Carl could do with the opening sequence alone if it were re-written to Carlish standards. An aged and decrepit Fancypants is lying in bed and whispers a breathy, "wombat" then drops a pair of sequined underpants. There's also great potential in a shrill, talentless love interest which Fancypants could also portray.
  4. King Carl (based on King Kong) - The main benefit of this is that there are monkeys in the original. Of course, a re-make would have to feature a giant Carl worshiped by monkeys rather than a giant monkey worshiped by Carls. The Carl bows down before no monkey.
  5. Dr. Carllove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Filthy Monkeys (based on Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the H-Bomb) - Peter Sellers was in the original and he had serious Carl. The fact that he's dead wouldn't necessarily stop the Carl from remaking this classic in its own image, but it might slow things down a bit. We'd have to resurrect his corpse using a necromancer and have him animate it.
The best answer is:
3. Citizen Carl
There's nothing more irresistible then Fancypants in a dual role.

Carl is a rapper. Which sobriquette would it choose?
  1. Carl Monkey Monk (based on Snoop Doggy Dog) - Carl can mix with filthy monkeys and does enjoy playing with monkeys. The only drawback is that monkeys aren't wombats, though they do tend to throw feces around and eat bugs. That gives them something in common with Shawn so this name has that going for it.
  2. Notoriously C.A.R.L. (based on Notorious B.I.G.) - This name has great potential because it suits the guild name pretty well. "Notoriously Confused and Ridiculously Lost" is very suitable. However, it's almost too smooth.
  3. L.L. Cool Carl (based on L.L. Cool J) - Any name with "cool" kind of sucks. Seriously, if you have to say you're cool, you probably suck.
  4. Wu Tang Carl (based on Wu Tang Clan) - The main benefit of this is that "Wu Tang" is fun to say. "Wooooo Tang". "Woooooooooo".
  5. Vanilla Carl (Vanilla Ice) - All the Carls are white and awkward. None of them can sing particularly well either. That means they have more in common with Vanilla Ice than any of these other rappers.
The best answer is: 4. Wu Tang Carl
The Carl likes things that are fun to say. It's a big priority. It's the only reason we ever go to places like "Arkjok Ward". Arkjok. Arkjok.

If the Carl were to have its own T.V. show, what would it be?
  1. C*A*R*L (based on M*A*S*H) - The Carl tends to associate with itself through battles in on-line games and M*A*S*H was about a war. However, the show was more about the sexually promiscuous and humorous doctors. While some Carls are promiscuous, they are really only interested in yaks (cough, Shawn, cough). And, while they are humorous, they aren't doctors of anything except Carlology. The practice of Carlish medicine concerns itself not with the body but the soul.
  2. C.S.I. Carl (based on C.S.I. whatever) - All of these procedural deals are tedious and too realistic. The Carl doesn't see where it'd fit into anything remotely related to these shows.
  3. CARL in Cincinnati (based on WKRP in Cincinnati) - A radio station that is full of wacky characters who embarrass themselves and get into bad situations has great potential for showcasing the Carl. There's even an aggressive maternal role for Sharon to play in the show just like she does in real life.
  4. Carlrama (based on Futurama) - Animation does suit the Carl as its members are definitely animated. In fact, some of them carry a unique odor such that in person acting with that particular member (cough, Shawn, cough) would be eye wateringly difficult for the other Carls. The main problem is that the show would have to be set in the future and the Carl expects that it'll have a position as a world religion by then and no one would accept that its founders would do the lowly work of package delivery.
  5. Carl's Anatomy (based on Grey's Anatomy) - This show is formulaic and predictable. It's full of pretty people and cliched situations and relationships. Frankly, it sucks and there's nothing Carl about it.
The best answer is: 3. Carl in Cincinnati
Though the Carl really doesn't know how it feels about Cincinnati, the ability to broadcast the message of Carl and be wacky is rather hard to resist.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Carl Helps Control Animal Population

Tankarific checks out possible pets (fungal wallows on the left and a phoenix on the right) in the Canthan pound as an overdressed, overly made-up pound worker looks on.

The Canthan area is facing an animal population crisis. Reckless tenants of the area often adopt the bizarre and mutated animals when they are small and cute only to abandon them when they are big and ugly. As a result, hordes of unpleasant semi-domesticated former pets wander the Kainang City area living off of the waste from the city's vast and decorative sewage pipes and copious trash from its citizens' ramshackle dwellings.

At first, area governer's considered solving the problem by legalizing matrimony between men and their larger pets. The city has been suffering from a dearth of female companionship because most women prefer to run off and become assassins (very often named "Zenmai" for some reason) and join up with traveling riff-raff rather than spend their days washing tattered rags, getting loaded and bloated on rice wine, and living in dilapidated shacks. The reluctance of women to fulfill their female obligations as part of the rich Canthan culture baffles local officials. The obliviousness of Canthan officials baffles the Carl.

Unfortunately, bestial relations proved troublesome at best and lethal at worst as most exotic and fierce animals are not keen on being violated by amorous Canthan males. Most honeymoons resulted in lost limbs and rapid and raggedly applied castrations. On the bright side, the Emperor has more eunuchs than he knows what to do with to look after his harem and royal consorts.

The secondary solution to the pet problem was to offer transients the opportunity to adopt exotic animals as pets to take along on their adventuring. As incentives to take one of the orphaned pets as ones own, the Imperial household offered a free jade pooper scooper, silk doodie bags, and guaranteed that all pets had been forcibly spayed or neutered except the fungal wallows. Frankly, no one is willing to take a knife to the genitals of anything with spiny backs, razor sharp claws and huge fangs.

Tankarific Carl investigates a model of a more impressive potential pet at the pound.

Tankarific Carl looked over a wide variety of possible pets and was impressed by the beauty of the phoenixes and the potential fighting power of the fungal wallows. However, upon encountering a huge and impressive model of a dog, he opted to adopt one of the gigantic beasts because of its impressive stature and potential to intimidate and devour whole his enemies.

The small, irritating dog Tankarific got stuck with.

After filling out all of the paperwork, Tankarific was handed a small, ugly thing and assured that it was the very same dog that he had viewed a model of. After querying officials about whether or not this was a puppy, Tankarific learned that this was as big as it's going to get. Rather than adopt a huge, terrifying beast, Takarific is now stuck with a yappy, hideous lapdog that spends most of its time sniffing random spots and stains and lifting its leg to the Guild Hall storage chest. The other Carls have been whining about the smell of ugly dog wee-wee on their precious collectibles and crafting materials.

The Carl warns all those considering adopting a pet that they should not rely on Canthan models or honesty. Additionally, it's important to keep in mind that it's really hard to stop a fungal wallow that is intent on humping your leg.

Chinese New Year Brings Cheer, Plague-infested Vermin

The running of the rats allows for the efficient spread of disease-infected fleas among the local population.

Residents of the Shing Jea Monastery and Kamadan (the Jewel of Istan) welcomed the year of the rat at the start of the Chinese New Year last weekend. This time of year is always one of great joy as the celestial mascot showers the most devoted revelers with liquor, sweets, and fireworks and locals dance about drunkenly in their underpants.

Party attendees wearing ludicrous "lion" masks.

As part of the celebration, celebrants don a stupid-looking mask which is supposed to be a lion but really looks like a stylized fish head. Frankly, the Carl doesn't know what the designers were thinking when they made up this "lion", but it's pretty sure someone was high on powdered naga horn at the time. The fringe hanging off the bottom "lip" of the headress comically swings as merrymakers dance while waiting for the appearance of the celestial being. The loonier of the Carls insists this fringe is a "beard" or "goatee", but the saner Carls know he's been huffing powdered naga horn (early and often), too.

Imperial Chef Yan offers up a griffin wing dish to lure the celestial vermin down from the heavens.

Chefs must prepare a series of delicacies in order to convince the celestial being down from the heavens. The dishes tend to highlight a repugnant body part of a rare creature and feature such items as ebon spider legs, griffin wings, and mantis pincers. Frankly, the celestial creatures seen to delight in eating all the crap the Carl spits out and leaves on the side of the plate so its more than happy to hand over whatever gristle and skeletal remains the chefs need to prepare their specialties.

Celebrators attempt to flee from giant rats and plague-infected Frenchers.

When the celestial rodent appeared, he brought along a coterie of giant rats to run amuck about the monastery grounds with him. The rats dispersed fleas the size of strawberries which proceeded to celebrate the new year in their own unique way by sucking the blood out of party participants and infecting them with celestial plague. Diseased party animals felt that their boil-covered bodies were a blessing from the Great Celestial and attempted to convey that blessing on other participants with tonsil-tickling French kisses.

The Carl fled from the festivities at this point, but can only guess that the resulting carnage was more disturbing (and nauseating) than the contents of Fancypants's pants. Frankly, the Carl is glad that next year is the year of the Ox when the worst that can happen is party goers will be crushed in a celestial stampede or gored to death by celestial horns.

Names Awarded the Carl Seal of Approval #4

Baglorag Grumblesnort

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Playing with Wurms

Editor's note: The following is an excerpt taken from the journal of Godly Carl, who has not been spotted in Elona since these events took place. While he is certainly still alive, the Carl guild would appreciate any and all information pertaining to his whereabouts. If you think you have spotted Godly Carl, do not attempt to approach him; instead, back away slowly and contact your nearest Carl representative.

20 January 2008
How did it come to this? What kind of day begins with an ankle-high version of Varesh's unpleasant visage glaring you right in the eyes?

As I slowly emerged from my bedroll, I could tell she was hungry. Hell, so was I, but that didn't make food any easier to come by in this god-forsaken place [ed: Obviously excluding Godly Carl himself]. We'd been wandering in the wastes for what seemed to be months now, but according to Nature Carl had only been a few hours. That being the case, I'm no longer certain how I wound up in my bedroll, so either she's lying or Tankarific slipped me some of that drain cleaner he calls ale again. Short bastard; must have a hollow leg.

As I stretched up and looked about, I started to recall why I had been sleeping: the Waste sucked. Elona had spoiled me, what with the bikini-clad elementalists flowing through the streets with not a care in the world... and then there was the Waste, with no company aside from a she-ranger that always seemed to have somewhere to be, a nancy boy with defective (and vastly insufficient) pants, and a horde of wurms.

Oh yes, the wurms. How could I forget the next step in our journey?

Godly Carl looks down upon the wurms, circling some mysterious unidentified object

I had been told that we "knew where we [were] going" and that it was time to get moving. I pulled myself away from the hypnotic dance of the wurm and speculated as to what it could be circling so intently. Whatever it was, it appeared Nature was headed straight for it, which meant I had no choice but to find out for myself. Somehow, I was less than excited, and in fact had a vague sense of foreboding about the days to come...

The Carls inspect the mysterious object

"Seriously? Wurm poo? That's what we came to find?" I whined to whoever would listen. Unfortunately, it seemed the adventure was just beginning.

"We're not seeking this, but it's certainly necessary for the next step of our quest!" Nature exclaimed with far more enthusiasm than I thought was called for. Without missing a beat, she grabbed up a good handful of the stuff and waved it around in the air while making an odd crooning noise. Disgusted, I turned away and started to trudge back to the town, reflecting upon how my life had reached this point, when suddenly the ground trembled beneath the party.

"A trap!" I squealed, pumping my legs faster in hopes that the other Carls would provide sufficient distraction for me to make my escape. But indeed, it wasn't a trap, or at least not a deadly one. As I fainted, I could feel the wurm's jaws closing around my limp form.

The wurms, enraged at the desecration of their sacred spoor, consume the Carls as Xandra's spirit observes impassively

I awoke from my stupor in a rather dark and slimy place. "How did I get back to the guild hall?" I wondered silently as I inspected my surroundings. I seemed to be suffering from an odd double-vision effect--I could see a vision of tall ribs, noxious goo, and what appeared to be a pair of half-digested boots superimposed over an image of wurms burrowing through the desert sands. It slowly dawned on me that I had in fact not been warped back to the revered home of the Carl but was instead reclining in the gut of one of those accursed worms. As if to reinforce my insight, one of my compatriots burst forth with a monstrous belch, in an attempt to ward off further intrusions to its domain.

The wurm attempts to relieve some abdominal pressure

Thankfully, Nature had tired of tormenting us and decided to lead off to our destination. I had not yet learned the complex inner workings of the wurm's navigational system, which led to some unfortunate side trips involving margonites and various expletives unjustly hurled my way from my fearless leader. My attempts to explain my difficulty in maneuvering my monstrous transport resulted in scoffs and spluttered imprecations about leaving me out to die.

Having vented to her heart's content (upon your faithful and much put-upon narrator, of course), Nature eventually determined that we had reached our destination and somehow ordered the wurms to set us free. This was unfortunately executed using a technique that is somewhat unpleasant for all parties involved.

The wurms vomit the intrepid party onto safe ground. Not pictured: dignity, wet-naps

Having "safely" extracted myself from the wurm's maw, I felt I had some right to an explanation as to why we had decided to wander off into the wastes with no clear objective. Virtuous Carl (whose "virtue" is dubious at best, considering his choice of apparel) made remarks about some "arrow" guiding us, to which I snorted and turned to someone who knew what they were doing.

"Do you have the right quest selected?" Nature demanded, glaring at me as though the wurm snot on her boots was my fault. "We're doing " *fzzzzt*.... ... "Are you listening?!"

As I used the last of my napkins to wipe myself clean, I glared up at my tyrannical leader. "Of course I don't have it selected! You never told us what it was!" I glanced around in vain, seeking another means of wiping the last remnants of what could only be described as "wurm-goo" from my tunic. I eventually settled on Varesh's cape, much to her dismay.

Varesh's protests aside, I was about to launch forth with a bitch-fest of epic proportions when Xandra suddenly spoke up with her own explanation of our current status:

Xandra's expansive rationale for my cape being covered in wurm excrement

"Your mother?!" I exclaimed in disbelief. "Poor Gwen over there is knee-deep in wurm crap still and your reason for dragging us out here is a 'rumor' being spread about some woman you've never met?!"

"Be that as it may, we must proceed," Xandra explained calmly. "Don't we, Nature Carl?"

"Of course," our leader replied. "We have our own reasons for seeking out the source of that rumor; don't let his whining bother you. Just ignore him or else he'll just get worse."

I snorted in righteous indignation as they stalked away, pursuing some mandragors sighted off in the distance. Muttering imprecations under my breath, I had no choice but to follow, for I hadn't paid attention to where we had come from, and wasn't about to attempt to brave the wurms again.

The Carls trudge along, admiring the Waste's greenery and natural splendor

2 February 2008
Dear diary,

I don't know why I'm so drawn to Nature; perhaps it's that sweet ass and her gorgeous pants! One of these days I'm going to grab he---"Damn it nancy boy! I told you to stop writing in my journal!"

"You mean your diary?!" Virtuous replied in a mocking tone.

"My journal!" I exclaimed, glaring over the entry he inscribed--in pen, no less!--in the future bestseller of Tyria's literary world. I trust my editors will recognize this particular altercation as something to be removed, or at the very least, saved for the special edition DVD bonus features [ed: hee hee!].

As I grumpily stood and gazed about our campsite, I couldn't help but notice the lovely flora that surrounded us.

I admire the local foilage (note: it's pronounced fo-lee-age) of the lovely Waste

"How much longer is this trip going to take?" I whined to the ever-cheerful Nature girl. "My feet are sore and I could even go for some more of Tankarific's grog, the drunken bastard."

"Actually, we've arrived," she said, already thinking on which quest to do next. "Observe the splendor that is the ancient ruins!"

Our "destination": a pile of rubble, which apparently harbors Xandra's offending rumor

"That's it?! How exactly can this place be spawning any unfounded rumors about Xandra's dubious parentage?" I politely asked whilst attempting to wrap my hands about Nature's neck. "You will take us back now!"

"Indeed I will," she calmly replied, dodging the half-digested boots I had thrown at her (which I had inexplicably found in my pack), "for you see, we're filled with resignation since the quest is over. I suspect we will soon find ourselves--" she stopped and fell over, apparently dead, alongside Virtuous boy, who had done the same.

As I watched Varesh loot the corpses for any valuables (nothing but a huge pile of junk collectibles from Nature), I determined that this time, I would decide where the next step was, and it certainly wasn't following blindly to wherever I was told.

Upon returning to our sacred home, I softly packed a few bags, along with the note I had found in my pocket days earlier:
Godly Carl: If you ever feel so inclined, come out to Cantha for a vacation on the shores of the Jade Sea. It's lovely this time of year, and it'd certainly be a nice change of pace from harvesting corn with that blade you call a scythe all day!
I glanced back at my teammates as they haggled over the value of a rune found in those half-digested boots I had recovered. They'd never have to know. No one would. I could just sneak off and never return to that horrible land. I could make my fortune selling jade; there's sure to be a market for it there!

My scheme in place, I silently mapped away, leaving the nancy boy and his slave driver to play with wurms to their hearts' content.

As mentioned at the start of this article, any information leading to the captur--er, rediscovery of Godly Carl should be forwarded to your local Carl representative. And always remember: NEVER feed a Carl in the wild. That's how corn-related mishaps are triggered, and no one deserves that horrible fate.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Carl Circumvents Crustacean Crisis

A recent sightseeing trip to the Jade Sea region nearly resulted in disaster as the Carlish Trio met up with what appears to be a crustacean of mammoth proportions. In an attempt to reason with the monster, Ghostly Carl was spotted approaching alongside someone with a hygiene problem that would make Pigpen blush.

Shown above: Ghostly Carl confronting the Crab. The hygenically-impaired one could not be reached for comment, nor did we care to try.

After some brief words, Ghostly Carl and the sea-mammoth appeared to reach a disagreement, at which point threats and childish mother-related taunts became necessary.

Ghostly Carl exchanges pleasantries with the obviously unreasonable creature

One onlooker of the confrontation was overheard saying, "that thar craythur's big!" He was not asked for further comment. Xia Bukpui, a more interesting witness, was later reached for comment: "Ghostly Carl obviously represents the ... pinnacle of Carlish ... grace. The remaining Carls ..., and indeed ... all people [or creatures--ed.] ... in general, could ... learn much from this ... shining example." It should be noted that Xia Bukpui remains the only known living witness after the monsters had departed.

After handing out autographs and taking part in several publicity-related photo shoots, Ghostly Carl commented, "these creatures just don't understand who they're dealing with. They're used to encountering slack-jawed yokels attempting to live in a town made entirely of jade! Suffice it to say, the Carls do not expect to be gracing this site with their presence again in the near future." She continued, saying, "If nothing else, it's damn-near impossible to grow corn out here. How do you people live?!"

Sage words indeed.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

New Erotic Materials Shop Attracts Enthusiastic Patrons

Tankarific Carl and another interested patron are lead to the grand opening of a new adult materials store by cloven-hoofed smut purveyor, Warped Antler Goatfoot.

Shoppers flocked to a new adult materials shop which opened up last weekend in the Asuran territories. The shop, which offers a wide range of books, magazines, pleasure-giving devices, artificial "partners" and a vast array of tonics and elixirs to assist in enhancing ones erotic encounters hopes to cater to the large population of local perverts and traveling heroes with esoteric proclivities.

An Asuran, perusing the vast array of explicit goat-based material.

The shop proprietor, Mr. Warped Antler Goatfoot, informed the Carl that a wide variety of explicit materials were available, though there is a heavy concentration on goat pornography as it is of great interest to the small, gremlin-like people who largely populate the Asuran territories. Said Mr. Goatfoot, "For a smug and intellectually superior people, the Asurans are heavy consumers of base pleasures. Inflatable partners are an especially big seller as they can be easily tucked into a backpack or belt pouch for evenings of erotic distraction after a day of unfettered carnage." Mr. Goatfoot then added proudly, "Most of them are modeled on my sister."

In addition to salacious materials and objects for goat fetishists, there is a small but stimulating collection of yak items for those who prefer fantasizing about plus-size companions and a variety of specialty items representing the indigenous species of all the lands indecent adventurers who visit the Asuran territories come from. Unsurprisingly, the biggest selling items are potions designed to aggrandize the various appendages of the male members of all species and the size of the mammary glands of females of all stripes.

The shop is open from 2:00 p.m. to midnight every day of the week and items of special interest may be ordered at any time with a wait of approximately 2 weeks for delivery. The shop takes all major items (e.g., rare dyes) in barter, the "horn" of any species which can be used to distill into elixirs or payment in gold. As a convenience to those who find themselves overexcited after exposure to the shop's wares, a large hedgerow is located behind the shop so that patrons may take refuge in a non-public place to "relieve" themselves.