The Siege of Mt. Nevermind

The Siege of Mt. Nevermind

The Chaos War Series, Volume Six

Fergus Ryan

“For it is a rule of long standing that a good gnome judge is influenced by everything short of evidence.” (3)

“‘Reorx preserve the High Justice Gordusmajor!’

‘Reorx preserve him,’ echoed Innova and Deddalo, as they had been taught to do by their counselor, the public defender Scymnidus, who was sleeping off a scheduled hangover on the Twenty-Ninth level and had sent his polite apologies three days in advance.

‘Reorx preserve him from illness and untimely death,’ Talos continued. ‘From explosion and flame and too much immersion in oil-‘

‘Reorx preserve him from apes and panthers!’ Innova added. Scymnidus had taught them well, mentioning with emphasis the High Justice’s fear of wild animals.

‘From powder and fuse,’ Talos said. ‘From industrial mishap and unforeseen holes in the ground. From the attentions of ugly females, from magic and assassins, from… from…'” (9)

“Of coarse they were not under oath. The tribunal had dispensed with oath-taking years before, preferring flattery and bribery instead. After all, an overly scrupulous gnome might stick to the truth and thereby cease to be entertaining.” (11)

“The Life Quest was one of the oldest gnome traditions through which the young of Mt. Nevermind passed into adulthood and received a purpose for the rest of their days. Usually late in adolescence, each gnome appeared before the council of his or her guild to be assigned a mission, a project, a lifelong study. The Mathematicians’ Guild, for example, might assign you to prove mathematically that a duck is different from a dragon or that two plus two makes either five or six depending on the amount of resentment the calculator has against prime numbers. The Engineers might assign more practical projects such as how to distill sunlight from cucumbers or silver from the lining of clouds. The antiquarians looked for lost evidence, for archeological sights that would prove all history was wrong except for what they expected in the first place, and the Librarians…

Well, nobody knew or cared what the Librarians did, as long as it did not involve too much reading.” (19-20)

“If you could not see it, it was not there. Typical gnome philosephy.” (22)

“To taking his place at the bottom of some mutated food chain, prey to whatever creatures gods and toxic waste had created in these deep, unmapped recesses.” (25)

“What was hallucination, after all, but a fresh way of looking at things?” (26)

“Not for the first time, Innova longed for his old friend Talos, whose chemical talents would have explained this business, even if the explanation made less sense than the truth. (27)

“‘The will of the gods is two inches up my nose,’ Scymnidus replied serenely. ‘Nobody can touch it but me, and I am too polite to do so in public.'” (76)

“The subcommanders cited Sester’s Law: ‘If you want something broken, give it a gnome.'” (87)

The unpredictability and sheer incompetence of the gnomes is their strength” (103)

“‘Convenient mysticism!’ he ((Grex Pointillo)) snapped. ‘I heard it up and down in the prison topside, the Lily Knights rattling about ‘Vision this’ and ‘Vision that.’ But when it came down to it, they were doing exactly what they wanted, using a faint glimpse of song long-ago ritualized dream to justify whatever desire they had at the moment.'” (186)

“It was all going as planned, as he had mapped it out for the reluctant colonel- in detail over seven maps and twenty-three diagrams.

Simple stuff, really, by gnomish standards. Then again, he was known for his direct and forceful manner.” (192)

“She was his own creation, after all, and his mother had often told him that the ugliest child could pass for presentable in a parent’s eyes.

Deddalo sighed. Perhaps Mother had been trying to tell him something.” (211)

“‘I don’t even have a Life Quest,’ Innova complained.

‘A vastly overrated venture,’ Lucretius observed. ‘Pre-supposes that one of us actually knows what he’s doing. But a Life Quest is clear only at the end, when you look back over it and say, ‘So that’s what it was. That was my quest all along.’ And it seems to me that you already have a quest or two under your belt- a history that even the least circumspect of gnomes might have cause to envy, if cause still works in our transformed city.'” (311)

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Last modified on October 18, 2009