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Penny Arcade - Downloadable Content, The Penny Arcade Podcast


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Downloadable Content, The Penny Arcade Podcast

iTunes Podcast Manifest

06/10/2009 Lookouts (A Marked Propensity For Violence)
In which our heroes discuss Lookouts, a possible new project.

04/29/2009 A Reasoned Assessment (It's Just Tea!)
In which our heroes discuss the sexual orientation of creatures in Star Wars.

04/20/2009 For The Vin (The Most Tender Of Shoots)
In which our heroes primarily discuss fantasy literature and Vin Diesel.

03/27/2009 The Law Of Unintended Consequences (Shoo Fly, Don't Bother Me)
In which our heroes discuss the games of the day, OnLive, and inFamous.

03/23/2009 Freshness (I Can Log On, And I Can Log In, But It Just Logs Me Out)
In which our heroes discuss the Pokeymans.

03/18/2009 In Which Much Is Revealed (AIRJACK!)
In which our heroes discuss the iPhone, Twitter, Reality Television, and SyFy.

03/04/2009 The Old Ways (Young, Strapped, And Hopeless)
In which our heroes discuss Dungeons (and also Dragons).

02/27/2009 The Whedonite's Dilemma (Forever Dropping Zooms On Boom Booms)
In which our heroes discuss Joss Whedon's Dollhouse.

11/24/2008 The Truth Is The New Lie (In Search Of A Comprehensive Morality)
In which our heroes discuss Wrath of the Lich King and the Public Relations industry.

11/21/2008 The Services I Provide (Waving The Four-Four)
In which our heroes discuss the New Xbox Experience, Valkyria Chronicles, and a bunch of other shit.

06/09/2008 Couch Diplomacy (The Metagang Is All Here)
In which our heroes discuss apprentices, adversarial Boom Blox, and honeyed words.

05/30/2008 Market Savvy (It's Moisture Tyme)
In which our heroes discuss smoking, reviewing, and the news of the day.

05/02/2008 Making An Impression (Hip Hop, And You Don't Stop)
In which our heroes discuss Grand Theft Auto 4, and whether or not The World actually Ends With You.

03/07/2008 Our Crucial Pamphlet (Pimping All Over The World)
In which our heroes discuss Army of Two, from Electronic Arts.

03/03/2008 PON PON PATA PON (Deserving Of Reprimand)
In which our heroes discuss Patapon and Sony's marketing savvy.

02/15/2008 The Spore Cult (The Rhythym Will Invariably Get You)
In which our heroes discuss Spore, procedural content, and the gigantic hats of Lost Odyssey.

02/06/2008 We Are Only Trying To Help (I Have Recently Purchased A "Grill")
In which our heroes discuss the Playstation 3 install of DMC4. And candy.

01/25/2008 Real Answers To Pressing Questions (You Put Your Left Hand In)
In which our heroes discuss Devil May Cry and The Club.

01/18/2008 What Goes Around (It's Like This, And Like That, And Like This, And A)
In which our heroes discuss the ancient and forgotten Divx format.

01/11/2008 Rigorous Scholarship (Ring Ding Dong, Ring-A-Ding Ding Ding Dong)
In which our heroes discuss poop, EGM, and the shared continuity of Soul Calibur and Star Wars.

01/02/2008 The Ungift, Part Two (That Tantalizing Aroma)
In which our heroes discuss snacks, illness, and WoW FigurePrints.

09/05/2007 In The Love Nest Of Har'akki (A Universe Of Sensual Delights)
In which our heroes basically talk about breasts for a half an hour.

09/05/2007 Getting Down (A Star, A Star)
In which our heroes discuss the Console Wars.

05/11/2007 Disparities (Power Overwhelming)
In which our heroes discuss Hellgate: London and the news of the day.

05/09/2007 The Dangers of Exposure (A Viscous New Dip)
In which our heroes discuss Spider-Man 3 for the PS3 and the coming micropayment wars.

05/07/2007 The Broodax Etcetera (Friends, Let Us Kick It)
In which our heroes discuss the Ian and Matt incident, feminism and David Spade.

05/04/2007 The Broodax Imperiate (Friends, Let Us Kick It)
In which our heroes discuss Catan, among (many) other things.

05/02/2007 The Lidless Eye (Oh Shit, A Werewolf!)
In which our heroes discuss Sony's Eye of Judgement CCG, in addition to the news of day.

11/16/2006 Reading Between The Lines, Part 1 (All Hail Emperor Zorn)
In which our heroes discuss Electronic Arts and micropayments, among other things (Part One Of Two)

11/16/2006 Reading Between The Lines, Part 2 (Home of The +2 Gourd)
In which our heroes discuss Electronic Arts and micropayments, among other things (Part Two Of Two)

10/20/2006 Advertising In The Future (In League With Mermen)
In which our heroes (mostly) discuss bestiality.

10/04/2006 Zune And Very Zune (Set Phasers To "Fun")
In which our heroes discuss Microsoft's imminent portable music player, the Zune.

09/20/2006 In Breach of Warranty (The Triumphant Return)
In which our heroes discuss bodily functions, the difficulty of Mario Hoops, and other engaging topics.

06/02/2006 The Same As It Ever Was (The Twist)
In which our heroes discuss the PlayStation Portable's hidden eldritch power.

04/28/2006 Whence Wii (There, The Crevasse)
In which our heroes ponder: Whence Wii? Also mentioned are firemen, Porkfry, and the human organs of generation.

04/19/2006 Treachery In 1080i (And Lo, There Was A Great Rumbling)
In which our heroes discuss the news of the day, a coming war for your home theater, and meditate on grim outcomes.

04/12/2006 Doctor Feelgood (Behold: The pod is cast!)
In which our heroes discuss times past and present, and grapple with questionable science.

04/05/2006 The Zone Of Pure Breakfast (The Ultimate In Whatever This Is)
In which our heroes get very hungry and forget to record the rest of the podcast.

03/29/2006 A Blatant Disregard For Canon (Now Available In Chewy Ranch)
In which our heroes fantasize about Star Wars and Spider-Man.

03/20/2006 This Is What Democracy Looks Like (A cornucopia of delights!)
In which our heroes discuss The Video Game Voters Network.


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Penny Arcade - The Penny Arcade Kickstarter!


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The Penny Arcade Kickstarter!

Kickstarter only allows pledges of up to $10,000. That certainly seems like a lot to me but perhaps you’ve just inherited a large sum of money or maybe you’re the guy who invented Sudoku. Whatever the source of your vast fortune, we’d be happy to take a piece of it. If you’re looking to dig deeper into your wallet than Kickstarter will allow, we have a special selection of rewards to tantalize you.

  • $25,000

    1 of 1 Remaining

    Gabe will do an original medium sized painting of your favorite videogame character.

  • $25,000

    2 of 2 Remaining

    You'll be given the grand tour of Penny Arcade HQ and afterwards we'll all go out for dinner and ice cream!

  • $100,000

    1 of 1 Remaining

    You can appear in a non-commercial PA strip that you conceive with Mike and Jerry.

To purchase one of these rewards, please email ks@penny-arcade.com.


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Penny Arcade - Tracking a “Viral” story in real-time.


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Tracking a “Viral” story in real-time.

It was no big secret that our web servers were struggling a bit after the Ocean Marketing post was made (we did our best to keep up with the inflow of traffic, with mixed results). But what was REALLY fascinating was that Kenneth (the guy that runs all the tech over here) and I were still awake at 12:30 AM when Mike first made his post. After noticing an unusual increase in traffic, we spent the next few hours soaking up all the data we could. We figured it was something few people really had the opportunity to do - to track something "going viral," in real-time.

What's interesting about this data set is that it's at 1 AM PST, so there's really not a lot of additional referral traffic to muddy the results. It's pretty much Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, all of which organically feed off each other. Based on historical data, I was able to strip out what our average "normal" concurrent users are, so what you see in the graphs below I consider to be "traffic that is directly attributed to people sharing this." The following graph shows this data over time, sampled every two minutes. Note: I was taking the samples using Google's Real Time Stats.

For this two hour period, we experienced some major surges in traffic, but something we also started to track was our rank on Reddit. We didn't notice someone had submitted it there until 1:25 AM, so the data starts there. To me this is an interesting graph, but like most places, I'd imagine 1 AM isn't exactly a "peak traffic" time for Reddit, so this data really does require a specific set of circumstances.

It was fascinating to see the traffic bumps when you hit 26, the front page (top 25), and then what is essentially a flat line until you hit one of the top 3 spots.

I know this data isn't perfect, and there were factors other than Reddit. But I think this is as close to an isolated test environment someone can get to studying the Reddit effect. Even if it's not them directly referring traffic, I know they have a tremendous amount of influence across other platforms which ultimately drive traffic.

Throughout the next 48 hours, we were able to monitor people coming in from different sources and reacting to different stories - it would honestly take me a week to compile all the data we have on it, but for some more big picture stuff, I pulled some numbers for the full 48 hour time period (Tuesday @ 12:01 AM to Wednesday @ Midnight) and compared it to an average Tue-Wed.

The bottom three charts I tossed in to see changes in users since we were getting a big influx of "mainstream" folks - people that have probably never heard of Penny Arcade and will never come back. Less android... more iOS.... less firefox...

Who knows. Maybe this kind of stuff is strictly for the math majors out there.

-Robert


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Penny Arcade - Thanks, Cryptozoic!


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Thanks, Cryptozoic!


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Penny Arcade - Scrolls


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Scrolls

 

 

 

The first one, do it quickly;
The second, do it well;
The third one, train her swiftly;
The fourth one, who can tell?

- “The Family Wheel,”

Goblin Proverb

She knew her spoke in the family wheel, her function. Goblins were very, very big on function. And for now, her function was to babysit. She didn't have to like it. And, as long as she kept an eye open, it didn’t mean she couldn’t work.

She thinks that she can make something that is a sword and a shield both, and she won’t hear different. As always when she was working, her long, jade ears were joined in the back, held together by a copper ring through her welder’s pierce. You didn’t want a stray ear bouncing around in the guts of some half-formed whirligig. At least, no ear you wanted to keep, unless you were going for the kind of tasteful scar that marked your dedication to the profession. The ring was matte black with accumulated oils; you might not guess it for copper at first look.

And what would be the use in cleaning it, really? Who would take a second look at the ring, ever, dirty or clean?

She is thinking about The Wheel while she tips her pressure tank to mix the knitting fluid, back and forth, back and forth. She is thinking about her mother Shullobrugh, The startling idea which comes from nowhere. She is thinking about the deeply codified way the first child is considered practice; her eldest brother, Mintraskinori, has a name which means The first of many attempts. A prototype; barely a real child at all. You had to get that first one out of the way so the real work of a family could begin.

Undurabentin, The right wrench at the right time, pops into the bay where she is watching her brother. He mumbles a greeting through a mouthful of jutting screws, leaves with a turnip. She watches him go. Wonders what that would be like.

The fifth child, the child that was her charge, was considered incredibly lucky; that’s how you got a name like Challomochun, which is something like That which I will be remembered by. He was already meshing together a spheroid puzzle, an especially cruel one, which was about as Goblin as you could get, really. The thinking went this way: You want a ball, child?

Make one.

But he has already discovered its secret; this puzzle is utterly known to him. He’d sussed it quick, she had to admit. The elves would raise such a child before the court, they would fix him to some prophetic destiny, and his swaddles would be in open bidding by noon. The Dwarves would hoist him up on that empty Black Throne of theirs, and they would call him God.

In her house, a Goblin house, she guessed he was pretty smart.

But then, she was the Fourth Child, and nobody paid their notions much mind anyhow. Nobody knew quite what to make of a Fourth Child. They were either too late, or too early. Physically and metaphysically. Forever.

She is thinking about the fact that, outside of the blessed Golden Fifth, Goblins receive no name until they are ten - they make do with birth order until some measure of their ability is known. She is thinking about these things because she is ten, just today, and it is her turn to be named.

 

Words that leap like living blades!
That thurst to kill, and not be killed,
Come, curving bow! Come, blue-eyed wolf;
The means to wage a war distill'd!

Libor Aeschylus

dated 5th of Passage 154, Yr. of Consequence

***

Libor Aeschylus shuddered involuntarily as he sealed the verse in its case of iron and smoked glass, holding it away without looking at it. He drew his eyes shut, holding his breath, until a page mercifully nipped it away and disappeared. It had been two hundred and seven years since the King had made Decree The Fourty-Seventh, an edict girded by the full vigor of elfish law, stating that His Court would only deign to receive official communiques if said communiques were delivered in rhyme.

He was exhausted by the practice, well and truly; massaging a requisition order so that the correct number of radishes arrived from the capital was a criminal misinvestment of his incredible, some might even say unstoppable talents. Certainly, he would say that. He was a Libor, after all, and maybe he had the right. Seriously, though:

Drawn by steed of noble birth, Crimson jewels! Thou radish called, Ravished, wanton, fruit of earth, Bring me my Goddamned radishes.

It fell apart there at the end, he had to admit. He was really losing it out here.

Court murmurs regarding the site had very nearly become a physical thing, cresting, swelling in volume and power. Yes, extraordinary, borderline offensive sums had been invested in the site. Yes, Huum writings figured prominently, writings of ancient vintage. Yes, the “tomb” was entirely free of bodies.

He was not particularly superstitious; yes, it was the Year of Consequence, and that had tongues wagging, but last year was the Year of Lust, and look how well that turned out. The Libor had to admit, though, even as it stabbed at his liver: if ever there were a moment where sparkling verse might be apt, even necessary, it was now.

He needed this, and badly; needed to know that change of any kind of was possible. He was beginning to think this kingdom had the kind of problem that could be solved by a knife in the dark, judiciously applied.

 

When Goblins first emerged from the earth, either forced by dwarves or of their own accord (sore subject), they took residence in the gutted domes and globes that surrounded the Known Cities. Like so much else about the Cities, these structures made little sense - zones of inscrutable industry filled with nonsense machines whose strange hearts no longer thumped. They resembled nothing so much as a copper forest, gone green with rain, and their haphazard twists and clusters gave them an organic cast. They were crafted around an assumption, an assumption which was no longer true; specifically, that magic was a reasonable thing to build a civilization around.

Boy, you learned that one the hard way.

Now is a good time to talk about Dwarves, because her father makes quite a bit of money doing work for dwarves. Nearly all of it, in fact. Many Goblins would turn it down. Her father isn’t sure he can. He’s got his Fifth to consider. And a father is fuel for his family. Indeed, he’s working on a truly massive rook now, something the Dwarves hauled up piece by piece to be reconstituted in the largest part of his home. Like many old things, the “spirit” had gone out of it. It was no great matter to him, he could repurpose it; he could make it do as a watch-weight does, and wind itself; he could make the rook’s steps wind the machine, he could thread pull-chains in the torso the rook could draw to create its own power. He could do one or all of these.

As a practical matter, it meant that such machines seemed to fidget on the battle line, pawing and tearing the earth. This unseemly “eagerness” held a terrible psychic payload for the enemy. It served its own purpose. It was considered a “law” that machines could not create and sustain their own vigor, but he has as much use for this law as he did most others. And there was good money to be made in breaking laws. He’s been told to spare no expense on this one, a Rook for the city of Noal, and he has no intention of doing so.

It was very nearly done, now; she could see that as she wandered into the largest of the family bays. It was standing stock still, with its right arm fully extended. Climbing up and down the height of this thing must be hard on her father: he’s lunching in a kind of hammock, strung beneath the arm. “Hello,” he calls down.

“What is my name, Father?” she says. There is a pause, and this pause lasts a thousand years.

“Oh. Is it...? Already?” he says, visibly shifting some radish to the other cheek with his grey tongue. “Oh.”

He tilts his head, and then sets it right. Which one was this? He can remember... No, that was Ghalahai. Born in a machine; a fine omen. This was the other one, Yla. Or, not Yla, he supposed. Not anymore. And where was little ‘Ochun?

“Where is ‘Ochun?” he asks.

“He’s fine,” she replies, her voice insistent and productive, crumbling rock around the growl of a grinding burr. “He’s the best. What is my name?” He tilts his head the other way, in the hope that a name might tumble out of it. It does not.

“Gholusha,” he says, pausing to let it settle. Yes, that’s it. He winches down his lunch pail and clambers back up. She stares up into the highest part of the vault, where dust is whirling in shafts of light.

Gholusha. She who can reach the difficult place.

I don’t have to reach it, she thinks. I’m already there.

 

Claiming to have seen magic was something your grandfather did, and he was always lying. Maybe he’d talk about the Harvestmen, with arms and legs like shining needles, scurrying in the dark of night to fill their carts with boys. Then he might lie about the lies, saying, did you hear, my child? They are upon us! To bed, to bed!

There were no Harvestmen. Well, he’d have to qualify a statement like that before the Court. And then he would have to make it rhyme. And then he would probably vomit. It was more true to say that there was no longer anything like a Harvestmen. In any case, Grandfather was simply trying to get you abed so that drinking could begin in earnest.

So, maybe Grandpa was a bit of a lush.

It was hard to blame him, though, when you thought of the world he was born into. The typical elfin span of eight hundred years or more meant that his own father had seen magic. Real magic. Maybe he’d seen a Harvestman, even if he didn’t want to. Maybe he’d seen the spires of some implausible city collapse when the spirit went out of them. Not that you could have asked him: no one of his generation would say. Or couldn’t. At any rate, they didn’t. They would look within, or down, or up, perhaps where a tower had once stood; women would claw and rage like beasts, and men would weep.

 

It has only been a week, and Gholusha is beginning to wonder if having a name is so great after all.

She has been given many, many, many opportunities to prove just how difficult a place she can reach, and she has started to wonder if she has reached all those places by now, and perhaps she could reach an easy place on occasion just for a change of pace. The Rook has been completely knit by now, the seams between plates frosted smooth and clean, and only a tiny portal on the back gainsays its otherwise unified shell. It’s good work.

But there is a catch inside the right forearm that has her father swearing oaths in a language she doesn’t recognize. And he doesn’t want to open it, because it’s already knit. Something came loose when he swung it back down, it is profoundly borked, and now he wants her to crawl in there and figure out why.

“Alright,” she says, attempting to make the sigh sound like a big breath and not like an expression of soul-deep boredom. Clambering up the back, she jiggles the bottle-bright around her neck to get some light, and hops in.

I could live in here, she thinks. Not just anywhere, no. But there’s room enough. You’d have to be mindful during full operation. But there, a hammock; here, a little stove. She is optimizing this diagram in her mind as she draws herself carefully down a chain into the thing’s bulbous, almost hilariously large forearm.

I could live in here, too, she thinks. Something had indeed come loose in here, or shifted; she’d seen things like this before. There were creatures that liked to nest in old Rooks sometimes, or make little collections of things that appealed to them, and she was up to her knees in these treasures. She shakes the bottle-bright with more vigor, increasing its output, and is relieved to see that she is wading in clean silver cylinders and not clumps of fur and bone. She didn’t think of herself as having many points of agreement with rodents, but if she had seen a bunch of things like this, well, she might have piled them up too.

Reaching down to touch one, she can see that is not silver exactly. It’s metal, true enough, and it shines, but it can also be seen through which makes her cock an eyebrow. Because she can see through it, she knows there is a rolled parchment curled inside, and it doesn’t stay in there long. Dropping the empty case, she spreads the scroll against the inner wall and chews her lip in concentration. She knew it for what it was, even if she had never seen it: schematics.

They were rendered in Aeld-Huum, a fiddly, cantankerous grandfather of a language that even the Huum had apparently decided they’d had enough of. It held some value to the scholar, certainly; the kind of cryptic, partially recovered apocrypha they enjoyed was likely to be written in it. For a goblin mechanist, though, it was practically a daily tongue.

There are many goblins, in many places: goblin culture is no monolith, by any means. Just as an example, Frosthome goblins don’t really understand what the big deal is about machines anyway. The only thing goblins can agree on with anything close to consensus is that every other goblin dialect is terrible and useless for any real purpose. They adopted Aeld-Huum as a kind of middle language, particularly as a means of storing and distilling goblin cleverness, which is why Gholusha has been forced to learn it.

It was work of tremendous sophistication, and her mouth moved silently as she endeavored to know the whole of it. Even that slight less-than-whisper stirred something in her mind, echoing the dutiful scrap with its long held secret, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that the world we know was born in this moment.

A sound like that of a sledge on stone sang in the hollow, and Gholusha’s head flung forward, striking the wall. Stumbling to an upright position, and not in the least aided by a floor comprised entirely of cylinders, she could see a shape before her. She knew what it was instantly, as she’s just read an exacting diagram of it on a scroll. She is aware, tremendously aware, of what it is. And worse, she knows what it is capable of. It had seemed so large before, the bulbous steel gourd she was now imprisoned in. She had considered living here, and some part of her could recall where the pantry would go. But this part was very small, now, and very quiet, and it was impossible to hear.

 

A Libor had been sent for the moment the “tomb” had been discovered, and the honor had fallen upon Libor Aeschylus, in part because of his reputation for especially buxom verse. He was tempted to see this as a success of that system, evidence of some skittish wisdom buried deep, but no. No, no, no. Even the broken Hixian water-clocks of Gorast were right twice a day.

It was a Libor’s job to know. Not knowing was like a rash on the brain. That’s what made the “tomb” so intoxicating: there were Huum writings, and Huum cities, and Huum other things, but no living person had ever seen one. The writing they did have was nothing of cultural significance; it was... difficult to describe. You could call them primers, almost. Lessons in pronunciation, stories about dogs. There wasn’t much you could do with it. It was the shell of a mystery, the polished dais upon which a thrilling mystery would reside.

The Huum were gone, and wherever they went, they had taken magic with them.

Libor Aeschylus had the great doors opened by someone he could care to lose. Then, peering into the darkness, he had two men stand at the doorway with great torches.

He threw three handfuls of copper coins into the heavy shadow, as far as he could, and bid his crypt-boys to collect them. He wondered how many would come back this time, and made a friendly wager with himself.

 

It was unfolding itself now, growing taller, stretching like a shadow. In the dimming haze of her bottle-bright, she could make out the wicked hooks of armor, its cruel lines, and the still-Gholusha part of her sincerely doubted their practicality.

It had eyes, or something like them, flashing inside the helm; she saw it blink, as though waking up. The great breaths it took were like a cart-ox struggling on a spring road, and the spear seemed to fashion itself from the gloom of the chamber, growing larger, until it was nearly six feet in length, crystals forming at the tip, crystals which fell and hissed into nothing.

It drew the sorcerous thing back, blue-black plates creaking; there was no mistaking its purpose.

Her eyes fixed firm on the creature, she knelt down to seize the scroll she’d so recently freed, doing now with purpose what she done unwittingly before. Another creature, the twin of the one that had been there presently, was born with the same resolute clang that had announced its brother. It was pierced in an instant, filth dripping from the point just a foot from her teeth.

Climbing up the creature’s back, using the jutting haft for leverage, still-Gholusha sneered inwardly at some of these absurd barbs. Careful to avoid the worst of it, she made her way to the shoulders and then leapt, grabbing the chain that lead up and out, dragging herself up. She scooted through the elbow joint, and stole a moment to look down.

There was nothing there.

 

Libor Aeschylus could hear his footsteps on the stone, polished smooth as glass, though they were occasionally muffled by dust. He was given a wide berth by the rest of the campaign; most contented themselves to operate near the entrance, where they could prove with a glance that the sun and sky were still going concerns.

Unwilling to place flame anywhere near the treasure of a lifetime, he shook a small bottle of goblin manufacture to coax out its blue-green light. The great stone meshes before him were arranged in a semicircle, thirty-one in all, each one dedicated to a Huum phoneme. Some of these were quite full of shining scrolls, some less so; either by virtue of loss or simply the natural distribution, some contained more than others. Whistling for a crypt-boy, he chose one of these sounds not entirely at random, and had the scroll removed and placed in his waiting hand. The Libor used his other hand to wave the boy brusquely away.

It was no tomb, was never a tomb. It was a library.

Of beings.

“Get out,” he said, to everyone. “Get out.”

The guards whose job it was to not get out, in fact, their job was to stay in, did not move. Scribes whose task it was to be meticulous about these goings on, emboldened by the behavior of the guards, chose instead to take down events in an even more detailed, granular way.

The boy whose task it was to bring water heard something in the Libor’s voice he did not like, and ran.

Libor Aeschylus took his time then, pulling scrolls from the great lattice before him, throwing them casually to the floor when they did not meet his specifications. Ah, this ought to do. Holding the scrollcase in one hand, he rolled out its contents with the other, savoring its meticulous diagrams. He vibrated like a plucked string.

The vault roared with the howl of wind, storm-driven winds that held a terrible voice within them. And from these winds were born three, no, four ragged grey lumps, wriggling and squeezing as they tapered town, jittered on thin limbs; the carts behind them were half-full of arms, legs, and heads. Those who had remained, for whatever reason, found it difficult to move. Tremendously difficult. That is to say, they could not. The Libor shook his head.

“I did tell you to go,” he said.

 

Passing through the tension chamber, she could hear the dock opening, exposing her father’s bay to the autumn sun. He did that occasionally, though it was typically in the heart of summer, when the combination of his knitting and the baking sphere of his workspace made it a necessity. But it was not, today, a necessity. It had rained nearly all day. She wondered why he had done it.

Her steps slowed as she approached the rear hatch, until they stopped altogether. She could hear the tic-tic-tic of a winder, a fairly rudimentary bit of craft that could haul back the string of a crossbow. She heard several of them them activate in rapid succession, heard commands shouted in a harsh Dwarven guttermouth followed by heavy boots ringing off the sphere.

Creeping to the rear aperture, she heard a sound; leather folds squeaking almost silently, breaths of exertion from the climb. She saw a hand grip the open edge, and then another hand to steady it, this one holding something like a crossbow in miniature.

A head crested the opening, then, skin beyond the pale of bone, black teeth, dark lips, a durable skull lodged in its inky hood. She waited then, for him to see her, so that he would know who had killed him, and released the chain that held the rook’s spine.

Bolstering herself as it collapsed backward, the dwarf had a few moments to be authentically horrified before everything from the ribcage down was pulped. Scrambling through the taut links of its purpose, she directed the rook to swing its arms up, over and back, forcing itself up, jumping the feet back so that it was again upright.

She saw something she didn’t want to see, something she could not see right now and do what needed to be done. She chose not to have seen it. Took note of where they were. Receded when the bolts began to come.

She could hear yelps of pain, shock and surprise; shrieking in answer, her voice completely swallowed by the shell, she drove the machine down, down, swinging its arms madly, drawing howls that sounded unlike living things. Staccato barks of Dwarven were moving, shifting, ultimately receding. Leaving.

Gone.

 

 

When none returned from the tomb, save two horses, half a cart, and a boy who needed to be held fast asleep for the screaming, there were many questions. It was more than a month before there was any word, by which time His Court had been sundered into various firmly held positions, failed attempts at consensus, and the occasional proto-cult. In a misguided attempt The King made a decree a week now, never of any particular import; they had to do with how one should prepare quail, or eat it, or (as stated in Decree the Eighty-Seventh) how preparing or eating quail was a criminal enterprise. He claimed that a quail had sung to him so sweetly, there on his plate. He had plans to marry a quail in the spring.

When it did arrive, the message was placed on fine paper, held with the seal of Libor Aeschylus, and thus impeccably lettered; everything was quite in order, thought it differed from the strictures of His Court in at least one key respect. In whole, it read:

I will kill you.
I will eat your throat.
And yes
I am aware
that this does not rhyme.

Tripping the lock, she slammed the rear hatch shut. While her body occupied itself with The Hundred Things, those tasks which must be done, she began to plan.

 

She wasn’t going to get far in the Known Cities with a such an unrepentantly green name; her uncle had pared down his splendid Gachimudura (The Wrench Which May Seize Both Large And Small Bolts) down to Dura before anyone could be bothered to remember it. She could be Ghoh, She With The Ability; but no. It meant something else in Elven, and any goblin would simply think her haughty. Manually adjusting the chains as they moved, nudging them to the catches, she turned the rook in accordance with her compass, guiding it to the dock. With tugs of the appropriate length and enthusiasm, she told it to move, but also to build and store power. She would do this also.

She would not be Ghoh, but Lusha. She would be Lusha, The Hard Place.

And if anyone tested her, they would find out why.

 

 


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Penny Arcade - PATV FAQ


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PATV FAQ

What's the difference between PATV and Penny Arcade: The Series?

PATV is the channel, whereas PA:TS is the first show on the channel. The other shows on PATV include Blamimations, CheckPoint, The Adventures of Ledo & Ix and others!

Is there a release schedule for this stuff?

Depending on the season, the exact release schedule varies.

What's a Blamimation?

Blamimations are a series of animated shorts from our friends Scott Kurtz and Kris Straub.

Where can I get the music in the show?

Below every video you can find links to the artists that allowed us to use their work. They are awesome.

Are you planning on releasing longer episodes?

We think the 8-10 minute length is right for the web, so that's what we'll be sticking with.

Are you coming out with a DVD release once the seasons are over?

Yes! PA: The Series, Season 1. Blamimations with Kris and Scott Season 1.

For some reason the video isn't showing up. What gives?

If you're using another adblock software make sure to add *.penny-arcade.com, *.fwmrm.net, and *.blip.tv to the whitelist. Otherwise, for something more specific shoot us an email to patv@penny-arcade.com with a bug report and we'll get on it ASAP. We also know that some versions of IE have issues with our player. Definitely try using a different browser.

What if I want my show to be on PATV?

We're not actively taking submissions, but feel free to email patv@penny-arcade.com.


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