[FFML] [Lucky Star / Strawberry Panic (Sort of) / D&D Classics] The Hidden Shrine of Tamao-chan

John Biles john at biles.us
Fri Jun 5 19:54:52 PDT 2009


The Hidden Shrine of Tamao-chan

A Lucky Star / Strawberry Panic (sort of) / D&D fanfic

By John Biles

****************

    "You want us to come over to your house this Sunday?" Kagami said to
Konata at lunch.

    "Yes," Konata said with her usual lazy smile, then began slurping
chocolate out of her spiral cone.

    "Okay," Miyuki said.  "Are we going to study?"

    "Something like that," Konata said.  They recognized her mysterious
voice.  This was rarely a good sign.

    "Sounds fun," Tsukasa said.

    Kagami just had a bad feeling about this.

****************

    Books.  And paper.  On the table by Konata.  Who was clearly USING
them.

    For a moment, Kagami thought she'd somehow been transported to another
universe.  She surreptitiously checked everyone for goatees, then felt
stupid for doing so.

    Konata fanned out four sets of stapled together papers towards her three
friends.  "Each of you pick one."

    "Is this some sort of card trick?" Miyuki asked, taking hers.  The top
page was a picture of a tall, slender blonde woman in hakama with a sword
held over one shoulder.  It was titled 'Rei, Fighter 9'.  She studied it
quizzically, then began flipping through the several pages of odd statistics
which followed.

    There was something oddly familiar about all this, she thought.

    Tsukasa clapped her hands, closed her eyes, and took the far left piece
of paper.  The front picture of hers showed a woman in black leather with
dark purple hair.  It was titled 'Nancy, Rogue 9'.  Tsukasa blinked, then
stared at the endless numbers and stats on the following pages.

    We're doing math!, she thought.

    I AM DOOMED.

    Tsukasa crumpled in on herself.

    Kagami frowned, then reached for the remaining one on the left.

    Konata moved her hand over so Kagami could only reach the right one.

    Kagami grimaced and lunged for the other one, tripped on the table, and
landed on top of Konata instead, her face planted in what passed for breasts
on Konata's chest.

    "You realize this means we'll end up lovers at the end of the series,"
Konata said dead-pan.

    Kagami jumped backwards as hard as possible, crashing into the closet.

    Konata tossed her one of the sets of paper.  "This one is for you, this
one for me," she said, hugging her own paper to her chest.

    Kagami picked up the papers which had landed on her face.  It showed a
ten year old boy with tiny little glasses on, holding a large staff.  It was
titled 'Negi, Wizard 9'.

    Isn't that kid in some anime, she thought.  Dammit, this is one of
Konata's efforts to get us to buy some manga thing she wants or something, I
bet.  "What is going on?" she demanded.

    The fourth set of stapled papers, with a picture of a blue-haired woman
riding a horse and the label 'Amane, Paladin 9', went down next to Konata as
she sat up.  "I dug out Dad's D&D stuff so we could play a game!  I even
wrote an adventure."  She slapped down a dense stack of papers with a
picture on top of a Maya style altar with a brown haired girl asleep on it,
while a blue haired girl cut off a lock of her hair.  "The Hidden Shrine of
Tamao-chan!"

    "This is..." Kagami began.

    "So it's not math," Tsukasa said carefully.

    "It's not math.  I pre-did all the math," Konata said.

    Miyuki said.  "That was nice of you."  SMILE.  "Sure, let's try it,
okay, Kagami?"

    Kagami grimaced.  "Okay."

****************

    One long explanation of basic mechanics which wasn't funny enough to
make the final cut later, they were ready to go.

    "Okay," Konata said.  "Now, you all have been sailing south from Keoland
into the Amedio Jungle, having found a treasure map indicating that an
ancient temple of a long-forgotten people..."

    "Can I use my Knowledge (History) to see if I know who they are?" Kagami
asked.

    Konata said, "..."

    "Well?" Kagami said impatiently.

    "I...but it's just the opening monologue," Konata said.

    "If I'm going to be a wizard, I expect to be wise," Kagami said.  "How
can I push everyone around and send little kids to throw rings in volcanos
if I don't know the history?"

    "Those weren't little kids, they were hobbits," Miyuki pointed out.

    "Exactly," Kagami said.

    "I guess," Konata said warily.

    Kagami rolled.  "Okay, a 15, plus my skill of 12, that means a 27.  What
do I know?"

    Konata began flipping through books in a frenzy, then said, "I hate
studying!"

    Kagami laughed.  Petty triumphs were sometimes all you could get.

**************

    "Okay, someone roll Profession (Pilot) or Profession (Sailor) to steer
your ship to shore," Konata said, much later after a long search and some
stumbled historical narrative.

    "I don't have it," Miyuki said after a quick check.

    "Nor I," Kagami said.

    "I'm not sure how to tell," Tsukasa admitted after a five minute search
through seemingly endless amounts of paper and character writeup.  "What's a
'phase spider'?"

    "When you turn on your magic belt, you can move through solid objects,"
Konata said.

    "Ooooh!"

    "Buffeted by the storm since none of you know how to actually pilot your
ship...," Konata began.

    "How did we ever get off the shore of the Amedio Jungle if none of us
know how to pilot our ship?," Kagami asked.

    "Beginner's luck," Konata said firmly.

    "Oh dear.  I do know how to swim, thankfully," Miyuki said.  "Skill 11."

    "Umm...I...I get +10 for having big breasts?" Tsukasa said.  "But
I...well, I guess she is drawn that way...so that gives me +20, I think."

    Kagami flipped through her sheet.  "I don't know how to swim," she
said.  "I think."

    "Well, you are only ten," Miyuki said.

    "I knew how to swim at age ten!," Kagami said.

    Tsukasa kept silent.

    "Well, the two of them can try to save you," Konata said.  "Now..."

    Kagami had another idea, thinking about her spells.  She grabbed one of
the books, flipped, and read something once she found it.  Which took
forever, as the book was badly organized in her opinion.  "Aha!  I summon a
celestial orca.  We can throw a rope to it and it can pull us to safe
harbor."

    "Orcs are evil," Konata said.  "They can't be celestial."

    Kagami shoved the book in her face.

    "An orc is too small to pull a boat," Konata said.

    "ORCA.  ORCA."

    "Trying to say it with a bad italian accent won't change my mind,"
Konata said.

    "It's a kind of whale!" Kagami said.

    Miyuki nodded.  "It is."

    Konata flipped through her monster books.  "Huh.  Okay, I guess you can
summon a heavenly whale."

    "Okay, Miyuki, you can swim.  You're going to need to swim out to the
whale with one end of the rope while Tsukasa and I tie the rope to the
boat," Kagami said.

    "This isn't how it's supposed to go," Konata mumbled.

    "Too bad," Kagami said.  "Did we insure this boat?"

    "No," Konata said.

    "Even more reason we can't let it wreck," Kagami said.  She crossed her
fingers, hoping everything would work.

***************

    "What does Mind Fog do?" Kagami asked, looking over her spells.

    "It saps the wills of people, makes them stupid," Konata said.

    "Renders them too lazy to study?" Kagami asked.

    "Yes," Konata said.

    Kagami scribbled down the note 'turns subjects into Konata' by the
spell's name.

**************

    "Okay, you've set up your tent near the ruins," Konata said.  "And
Tsukasa made everyone dinner and you cleaned up and washed the dishes, then
carefully threw dirt on your fire so it can't spread and light the jungle on
fire.  What's next?"

    "We go to bed, so we can emerge rested in the morning and I can refresh
my spells," Kagami said.

    "I guess I sleep on my back so I don't deform my spine due to my
breasts," Tsukasa said, studying the picture of her character.  "Or could I
turn my belt on and phase my breasts into the ground so that I can sleep on
my stomach?"

    Konata said "..."

    Miyuki said, "It sounds reasonable to me.  Rei is slender, though, so
she just curls up with a good book to read until she falls asleep."

    "Okay, I phase my breasts so I can sleep on my stomach," Tsukasa said.

    "Okay," Konata said.

    "I lay down with my staff ready to grab by my bedroll, then take off my
glasses and put them inside my book-chest so no one can roll on them and
break them while I'm sleeping," Kagami said.

    Konata frowned and vigorously scratched something out.  "Then everyone
falls asleep?"

    "I cast my alarm spell to wake us if there are any intruders," Kagami
said.

    Konata frowned again.  More scratching.

    "Okay, then you go to sleep?" Konata asked.

    "Yes."

    Roll, roll, roll, roll.  Finally, Konata consulted a chart.

    "Okay, everyone roll Listen."

    "Five," Miyuki said.

    "I don't even have listen...I'm not deaf, am I?" Kagami asked.

    "No, it defaults to your Wisdom bonus," Konata said.

    Roll.  "Twelve."

    "Thirty-two," Tsukasa said.

    "Okay, Miyuki sleeps through the Alarm spell going off," Konata said.

    "Oh no, I shouldn't have stayed up late reading," Miyuki said worriedly.

    "I grab my staff!," Kagami said.

    "I phase through my sheets and leap up and cling to the roof of the tent
with my steel-toed boots of Spider-Climbing," Tsukasa said.  "And I draw my
Wand of Lead-Hurling."

    "I sleep, I guess.  Am I dreaming?" Miyuki asked.

    "You dream of your true love Yoshino," Konata said.  "Her gentle kisses
and her berserker frenzies."

    "How sweet," Miyuki said, smiling.

    "Isn't her character a woman?" Kagami asked.

    "Yes," Konata said.

    "But..."

    Konata smiled in her usual impish way.

    "..."

    "Don't worry, your girlfriends all have shouta complexes but they're
straight," Konata said.  "Well, some of them are straight."

    "Anyway, what set off my alarm?"

    "Without your glasses, it's all a big old blur."

    "I put them on!," Kagami said frantically.

    "What do I see?" Tsukasa asked.

    "You see the snout first, chocolate in color, with a black nose at the
end and deep crimson inside the nostrils.  There are hints of yellowed teeth
behind its heavy lips," Konata began.

    "It's been chewing tobacco?" Miyuki asked.

    Konata paused.  "No."

    "Doesn't it brush daily?" Miyuki asked.

    "No."

    "Oh dear, it'll lose its teeth young," Miyuki said.  "Am I still kissing
my dear Yoshino?"

    "Yes," Konata said.

    "Glasses?"

    "Negi fumbles in the box for his glasses.  Roll Search at –10 as you
don't have your glasses on," Konata said.

    "Okay, five plus..."  Roll.  "Six minus ten equals...One."

    "Well, you can't find them," Konata said.

    "I know where I put them!"

    "Where they would be hard to hit, yes, inside the box.  With a 1, you're
trying to find them in folds of the tent."  Konata said.  "Resuming my boxed
text...  The snout pushes forwards and now you can see its huge brown eyes,
staring glassily at you all and..."

    "I yell loudly, trying to wake up Rei," Tsukasa said.

    "Roll Listen," Konata said to Miyuki.

    Roll.  "Four."

    "She sleeps through it," Konata said.

    "When do I get to roll again to find my glasses?" Kagami asked.

    "When you stop interrupting my precious box text," Konata said.  "Now,
let me finish monologuing to build tension.  "Chocolate covered ears, oval
in shape, stick out parallel to the ground, and above the eyes is a long
ridge from which two horns stick up," she continued.

    "I SHOOT IT WITH MY WAND!  It's a demon!", Tsukasa said, panicking.  She
rolled.  "Natural twenty!  That could be a critical, right?"

    Konata blinked slowly.  "Yes."

    Tsukasa rolled again.  "Does a total of thirty-three hit?"

    "Yes."

    "Critical!"  Roll, roll, roll.  "Wow, eighty-four damage!," she said.

    "The creature takes the shot between the eyes and dies in agony,
reverting to its true form as a hideous demon," Konata said.  "How did you
guess it was a demon?"

    "It had horns," Tsukasa said.

    "I take my dear Yoshino out on a dream date," Miyuki said to Konata.
"Maybe a nice Elvish restaurant, then we can go see a movie."  Pause.  "Do
they have movies in this universe?"

    "I suppose you could take her to an illusionist's show.  He could do it
with illusions," Konata said thoughtfully.  She turned to Tsukasa.  "But I
was describing a cow."

    "A cow?  You made it sound like a horned hell-beast!," Tsukasa said. "Oh
no, I killed Bessie!"

    "Cows don't have horns," Kagami said.  "BULLS have horns."

    "This is a time of equal rights," Konata said.  "Cows can have horns too
if they want to.  They don't have to dress all feminine unless they want
to."

    Tsukasa said.  "Well, we'd better not waste it.  I wake up Miyuki so she
can help me carve it into roasts and salt it so it will keep."

    "It's not a real cow, it's a demon," Konata said.

    "But you said you were describing a cow," Tsukasa said.

    "Do I ever find my glasses?" Kagami asked.

    "Elven cuisine is like french, right?  I warn my date away from the
marrow jelly," Miyuki said.

    "It was a demon disguised as a cow," Konata said.

    "If I ever wake up, I'll use my Knowledge (Culinary Arts) and Profession
(Cook) to see how you preserve dead demons," Miyuki said.

    "Thanks."

    "What about my glasses???"

**************

    "Okay, so Nancy shoots off the head of the last of the trolls and Negi
burns it," Konata said, summing up.

    "And Rei then uses the cooked troll meat as a component for breakfast,
since the sun is coming up, you said," Miyuki said.

    "We've been attacked twenty times in 6 hours," Kagami said.  "How does
anything survive here?"

    "Maybe we're desecrating an ancient Ainu burial ground," Tsukasa
speculated.

    "Maybe everything here likes to eat human and the word's getting
around.  Humans don't normally live here, right?"  Miyuki asked.

    "Only crazy tattooed spear-chucking maniacs," Konata said.

    "Well, I guess we can try following our map," Kagami said.  "We've got
enough meat from dead things to last us for days."

    Finally, Konata thought.  We've finally reached the point I wanted to be
at hours ago...I need better wandering monsters.

****************

    Kagami studied the picture, impressed.  It really did look like an
ancient temple, even if she'd never heard of any culture that had
iconography of cute anime girls turning into jaguars.  Which was kind of
disturbing, really.  But leave it to Konata to know where to find such
things.

    "Hmm, I begin knocking on the left wall," Miyuki said, studying the map.

    "What?" Konata asked.

    "There's a five foot gap between this room's wall and the next room; it
could have a hidden tunnel."

    "Here, let me find it, I think this is the sort of thing my character
does, right?" Tsukasa asked.

    She rolled and said, "Twenty eight total."

    Konata scribbled frantically, then said, "Good job.  But there's a
deadly trap on it!"

    "Okay, I remove it," Tsukasa said.  "With my disarming abilities."
Roll.  "Thirty!"

    Konata's eyes crossed, then she said, "Wow, I didn't think anyone could
do that well.  Okay, you defeat it."

    "This is great," Tsukasa said.  "I wish school was this easy."

    Your character is more competent than you are, Kagami thought, then
regretted it.  I shouldn't be mean to my sister, she told herself.  Save it
for Konata.

    "I start looking for any nice figurines I can take home to
Yoshino-chan," Miyuki said.

    "There's lots of jade figurines in the niches on the right wall.  Some
of them look like babies with jaguar faces."

    "Does she like cats?" Miyuki asked.

    "Umm..."  Roll.  "Yes."

    "While she's shopping, I open the secret door," Tsukasa said.

    "Wait, let me see if there's any magic traps.  Remember how you nearly
turned to stone at the front door?"

    "Ooh, I know, while she checks that, I stick my phased head through the
wall," Tsukasa said.  "In fact, I can scout every room in advance like
that.  Yeah."

    Konata felt her careful plans turning to dust.  But she'd salvage them
somehow.

    "Suddenly, the secret door breaks open!  HORDES OF ZOMBIE YURI FANS POUR
OUT," Konata said.  "Everyone is caught by surprise."

    "Don't we get some kind of...," Kagami began.

    "No."

    "I stuck my head through the wall to check, though," Tsukasa said.

    "Too slow," Konata said.  "You look just in time to be caught halfway
through the wall, unable to act, while they rush through your phased form."

    "Initiative time?" Kagami asked.

    "First the surprise round..."

    Said Surprise round ended with everyone beat to hell, but not actually
dead.  It wasn't looking too pretty, though, and there were crazed yuri fans
in just about every square of the room.  (The map was divided into 5'
squares.  They'd already had the argument over why only one person could
stand in a five foot square hours ago.)

    "I cast Summon Monster V and summon..."  Flip, flip, flip... "1d3
Emerald Dragons," Kagami said.

    "Dragons?  How can you..."

    "CR 4, so I can get 1d3 Very Young Emerald Dragons," Kagami said.

    "Holy...moly," Konata said, studying the book.  "Okay, you start
summoning.  Next round they can act."  She checked her notes.  "Okay, and on
12...a noble looking woman with short blue hair sweeps in on horseback,
trampling yuri fanboys beneath her winged mount's hooves.  She uses her
fly-by attack to sweep Rei up into the saddle and ride off with her,
rescuing her from danger!"

    "But I'm the only person with most of my hit points left," Miyuki said.
"Negi really needs saving, he's down to only 15 HP."

    "The noble knight on a white steed always rescues the good looking women
first.  It's natural law," Konata said.

    "Well, I don't need rescuing.  I can just dive through the floor or
something," Tsukasa said.  "But I am the prettiest one."

    "Most top-heavy, anyway," Kagami grumbled.

    "Top-heavy is overrated," Miyuki said.  "But I have a girlfriend, so she
shouldn't be trying to get fresh with me!"

    "When you say this, the yuri fanboys go crazy and chase you in a
frenzy!," Konata announces.  "That's why you had to be saved first, as you
have the most yuri in you."

    "My picture doesn't look all that feminine," Miyuki said.

    Konata finished moving fanboy miniatures across the map after the woman
on the pegasus and Rei.  "Okay, new round, Tsukasa is first."

    "Time to rescue Rei!  I run after Rei, using my belt to pass through the
fanboys and try to leap up, turn solid, grab her, then turn desolid and dive
into the floor to hide with her."

    "Okay, you start running through the mob; it's like swimming in tainted
water," Konata said.  "But you run out of movement before you catch up."

    "Aww, I'm trying, Miyuki," Tsukasa said.

    Miyuki patted her head.  "It's okay.  My turn, right?"

    "Yes."

    "I thank the woman, but I have to go help my friends.  I leap off the
back of the horse and attack the nearest fanboy," Miyuki said.

    "But she didn't get to do her monologue!," Konata said.

    "It'll have to wait," Miyuki said. She moved the miniature of her, then
rolled.  "Ahh!  Possible critical and..."  Roll.  "Yes!"  She rolled again.
"And I take off the nearest fanboy's head with 32 points of damage right?"

    "Yes," Konata said.  "And now..."

    "I go, right?" Kagami said.

    "Now the yuri fanboy boss villian appears!  Flouncing out of the secret
door is a woman with blue-black hair, wearing a very snazzy uniform.  She
carries twin wands with pearl handles," Konata said excitedly.  "She stares
at Nancy determinedly."

    Tsukasa froze up.  "At me?"

    "Oh wait, no, she stares at Rei in determination."

    "Hey, I have bigger breasts," Tsukasa protested.

    "Amane, I won't let you have her!  You'll fill her head with lies about
global warming!  THIS LAND HAS ALWAYS BEEN JUNGLE!," Konata said.  She
launched into a long and rambling rant about how there has been no climate
change in the Amedio.

    "Didn't the opening chamber of this place show the land as being
grassland, not rain forest?" Kagami asked.  "Sounds like climate change to
me."

    Miyuki nodded.  "Yes, Konata told us the area grew hotter and wetter
after the Great Rain of Fire."

    "Don't talk while I'm ranting!," Konata said.

    That really says it all, Kagami thought.  "I'm going to mount a
counter-argument using my Diplomacy skills and my Knowledge (History) and
Knowledge (Nature)."

    "You're supposed to..."

    "No," Kagami said firmly.  "I start arguing."  Roll, roll, roll.
"Thirty-two on Diplomacy, twenty-six on Knowledge History and twenty-two on
Knowledge Nature."

    "She remains invincible in her certainty that..." Konata began.

    "For a closing argument, I order my three dragons to open up on her with
her breath weapon."  She began rolling D6s.  "Roll their saves."

    One, one, one.  Konata stared mindlessly at the dice.  "She..."

    "Fails.  Fifty points of damage."

    "There goes half her hit points," Konata grumbled.

    "New round?" Miyuki asked.

    "No, Amane goes first.  She delivers a stirring speech on the reality of
global warming..."  Roll.  "And she charges in to deliver a finishing blow
and..."  One.  Konata stared.  "You're fired," she said, throwing the die
across the room. It went out a window and they heard a loud "OWW," from the
street.

    "Oh dear," Miyuki said.

    "I think you hit a cop," Tsukasa said, looking out the window.

    "Oh, it's just my cousin," Konata said.

    "Not unless she's now a big burly bald man," Tsukasa said.

    "Uhh..."

    BANG BANG BANG, went the fist on the door.

    "I didn't even get to unleash Yaya and her Bad Touch Attack!," Konata
said.  "I'm going to...umm...check this one reference book, I left in my
room..."

    She took off running.

    BANG BANG BANG!

    "I dive through the wall," Tsukasa said, jumping at the wall and
knocking herself out.

    Never going to Konata's house again, Kagami thought.  Never again!
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