You need to see the original painting that inspired this fic – google 'Wheaton vs the Scalzorc' . Then, when your brain has recovered from the awesome...




Fur and Loathing – A Tale from the World of Weirdcraft




It seems like a good idea at the time. Manifest within the Dark Keep, spread fear and terror, maybe draw rude faces on a couple of the grimoires. And then, instead of the warlord, he finds himself facing a pretty blonde thing in a short tunic.

She screams. WslKr'Shr leers, all beard-of-evil suave. Causes all the doors and windows to bang shut, and the fire to burn with a cold purple flame.

"Hi." He purrs. "I'm an old...friend of Sheldor's." A nasty smile full of pointy fangs.

This is the point where the captured princess, or the temple handmaiden, or whatever she was, is supposed to faint. Not put their hands on their hips, eye the Sweater of Doom, causing despair and madness in all who beheld it, and say,

"What on earth are you wearing?"

"Silence, woman!" The demon self-consciously straightens the offending item. "This...garment contains within its very threads the essence of the mighty demonlord K'rust'eyh. It is my doom to wear it."

"Oh. Right. Hate to think you might have worn it on purpose."

He casts a curse at her that should flay the flesh from her bones.

The girl dodges with surprising agility. Looks at the smouldering pile of footwear in the corner of the room. The shriek is bone-chilling.

"My shoes!"

And that's where it all starts to go really wrong.

When Sheldor blows the doors in, WslKr'Shr is hog-tied in a length of sheet, and the barbarian is kicking him in the groin with venom and accuracy. She stops when she sees Sheldor.

"What took you so long?" She snaps, and then flings herself at him.

Demons can feel pain. Particularly when they are in corporeal form. WslKr'Shr blinks through watering eyes, and sees Sheldor's face. They can feel fear, too.

"Looks like we were just in time. What does that make us?" The halfling behind Sheldor chirps.

"Short, annoying minions." Sheldor says. He's still holding the girl, and they are both glaring at the struggling demon with identical expressions.

"Gimme my axe, Sheldor, I'm gonna go Cimmerian on his demonic ass."

"It's alright, my love, I shall banish him into a bottle."

"He'll fit better if I chop a few bits off first."

He's going to be painfully discorporated. And the other demons are going to laugh at him.

This has not been one of his better ideas.


Skal was not having a good day, either. Being an orcish footsoldier was never a bundle of laughs – arrow-fodder was the least of it. Living under the pointy little heel of a barbarian queen wasn't too bad, plenty of rampage and slaughter, but her boyfriend was a crazy sorceror-warlord who made bad enemies. Most of them ended up either in pieces, the dragon or a jar, but still...someone has to take out the trash.

The bottle is slightly warm, and if you held it up to your ear, you would hear, not the sea, but a muffled swearing. Skal holds it gingerly at arms length, and tries to ignore the smell of sulphur. One thing he hates worse than cleaning out the dragon pen is demons.

"...and so as you can see, it's quite a simple cantrip, really." Sheldor is fond of explaining himself. He'll even talk to empty air. (The air elementals around the Keep have been known to suck the atmosphere out of a room avoiding this.) "It will send you to the Fire-Gaps, and you can drop him in."

"...or I could just tape some bacon to myself and run through the wolf-pit." mumbles Skal.


"Nothing, sire." Skal shoulders his shield and axe, tries to look like a hardened professional soldier, closes his eyes.

He hates travelling by magic. Tries not to lose his breakfast (which doesn't taste much better that way than it did first time round) and opens his eyes to find himself in a barren landscape of flame-scarred rock and scorched sky.

He also drops the bottle. On the ground, not into the lava crack.

"Oh, fu..."

"...Reeee!" The smoke begins to billow up and take form. "I shall crush you utterly! I shall rend your flesh and fill your brain with worms of madness! I shall ride a steed formed from your darkest nightmares, your worst fears and imaginings..."

Skal, being quite bright for an orc, hastily tries to think of harmless things. Unicorns, perhaps. Or kittens, kittens were always good. You couldn't go wrong with a kitten sandwich, if you had enough mustard...

So WslKr'Shr finds himself manifesting atop a wingéd beast, half kitten, half unicorn. He bears down upon his unfortunate enemy, spear poised, ready to strike down this insolent creature...

The kitten half sees a feathered wing out of the corner of it's eye, and flails at it. Then it promptly screeches in pain, and the horse half rears back. WslKr'Shr makes an ignominious landing.

"It's like griffins. Half cat, half bird...never ends well." Skal sucks his teeth thoughtfully. "Boss used to breed 'em. Sticks to big glow-fish now, 'cept her ladyship's dragon likes to eat them. Don't half stink afterwards."

This demon is obviously quite junior. Only one head, no horns or batwings, standard number of arms. He'd have taken him for just another one of the pink-skins, if it wasn't for the eyes. And the outfit.

Skal squints.

"Knitwear." He says, in an injured tone. "Look, even the boss has a wolfskin cloak, right, big yellow fangs and everything. Strides about with a big black sword, wreathed in cold flame, demon wrought armour of ebon steel, sort of thing. And I was gonna get spitted by some git in a bad sweater?"

WslKr'Shr spits a curse at him. It bounces off in a shower of greasy purple sparks. Skal sighs, pretends he hadn't shut his eyes, and hides his relief.

"Look," he says, "Orcs, right, we're your basic footsoldiers of the Dark Forces, twisted out of eldritch magics, foul abominations of nature etcetera. We're immune to most of the nasty crap 'cos we are the nasty crap. 'Sides, working round the boss, you'd be lucky to be the same shape come the end of the week, so..." Taps the pentacle amulet round his neck, "Protected."

He feels the tug of magic start again, and grins thankfully. A friendly paw the size of his head knocks him flat.

"Mmmrowr?" The kittycorn enquires, then yowls in surprise as reality jerks sideways.

WslKr'Shr is left swearing at empty space, but still in one piece. He sits on a rock and contemplates a cruel, dark vengeance.

"Well, that went well." remarks the sweater.

"Oh, shut up."


Skal appears back in the magic circle, only mildly clawed and trampled.

"Oh, he's brought a little friend back for Tranquillity." Penelope says happily. "Look, Sheldor, isn't it sweet?"