From HollowWiki

Part of the What You Leave Behind Arc

Part of the The Day I Tried To Live Arc

Summary: Kahran's latest attack is a better deed than intended. Mrs. Mallard's goose is cooked.

Cenril: Mrs. Mallard's Bakery and Tearoom

Khitti :: The restaurant had long since closed for the evening and its proprietor was still about, barking orders to the last few wage slaves that remained to clean up the shop, tearoom, and the kitchen. She was a cruel woman, that Mallard. “How many times must I tell you to replace the spices when they’re gone?! Why are there still dirty dishes?! Get those cakes in the ice box before they spoil! Why am I paying any of you anything if you’re not going to do as you should?!” Well, to be fair, she was barely paying them anything. It was certainly not enough to deal with the verbal abuse they dealt with day in and day out. That ‘Red’ woman had the right of it the day she quit: get out while you still can or else Mallard’ll own you forever. Unfortunately, most of the people still working there had been working there years before Khitti ever showed up, even as an occasional customer. They knew what sort of dictator the old woman was and kept their mouths shut when the redhead had been hired out of the kindness of Mrs. Mallard’s heart. Hah. Yeah. Kindness.

Khitti :: After her nightly screamfest and subsequent freakout on her employees’ part, the old woman retired to her office for the time being. Ever the Ebenezer Scrooge of the baking world, Mallard set to counting the day’s earnings, stacks of coins littering her desk near a scale. With several clinks into one side of the scale, the various coins were weighed out to ten pounds before being shoved into separate cloth bags to be given to the incredibly intimidating guards that show up every morning to take Mallard’s money to the bank for her. Clinking of coins would continue to fill the office’s air and nothing else, as Mallard basked in the sound of her money.

Lionel | In the Shadow Plane, emotional intensity is occasionally amplified and manifests in exaggerated ways. Emotions like greed can become colossal golden spires jutting out jaggedly toward a dull grey sky, a kind of statuesque testament to obscene wealth and privilege. At the Plane’s Cenrili coordinates, and at the precise location of Mrs. Mallard’s Bakery and Tearoom, a collection of intertwined golden spires pass through one-another on their radical path to the clouds. They’re ever-reaching, but they’ll never find what they’re looking for. They’ll never climb high enough to touch the grey sky, and if even if they did there’d be nothing of value to be found. Strange humanoid shapes, stretched out to disturbing levels with arms and legs as thrice long as their torsos, are birthed from the golden spires and shamble down to the ground. Some of them are gold like their creators, some are silver, and some are a finely-polished bronze. They have no facial features whatsoever; their heads are like blank metallic canvases. A screeching sound echoes from them, one being to the next and on to the next one. It helps them coordinate, and it prepares them for the journey to the other side. A portal opens above the shapes, green magical tendrils drifting through the area in its wake, and the shapes step inside one after the other, emerging inside Mrs. Mallard’s shop as she counts her coins. In a mad haste, the shapes flail their spindly limbs about, shattering glasses and springing pies and cakes about with reckless abandon. Some of the shapes trip on tables and cheers, and then the screeching happens all over again, and they slap the furniture so much and so rapidly that the wood splinters and tears. One of the silver shapes hops up on a kitchen countertop and bashes its faceless head into the ovens repeatedly, and on the fifth bash, it activates the furnace and a roaring fire erupts. A bronze shape runs streaking through the room knocking plants over and smashing vases and sending papers flipping everywhere the eye can see.

Khitti :: The bakery’s owner first heard the commotion going on throughout her shop as glasses and cake cases and everything else in the restaurant was flung about to find its new home on the floor in pieces. “What in the hell are you people doing out there?” Then noise moved into the kitchen as well and the screams of the last remaining remnants of Mallard’s employees only adds to the din. Those few workers would flee out the backdoor of the shop, crying of an attack by strange metal monsters, and of a fire that soon began to consume the kitchen, filling it with thick black smoke and flames that would not be deterred.

Khitti :: Mallard herself finally stepped out of her office, quite the rage painted across her elderly features, “What’s the meaning of this?! Who--” Her thoughts are stopped and derailed off the tracks as she spies the building in ruins and those metal creatures who sought to destroy the baking empire she built. If her greed was an aura, it shone ever brighter as she did her best to avoid the monsters and go straight to the kitchen in hopes of saving it with a few pails of water from the sink. She -needed- this place. How else was she going to continue to fill her vault at the bank?

Lionel | If Mrs. Mallard had a snowball’s chance in hell of escaping this place alive, she’s went and sacrificed it recklessly in her march to the kitchen. The shapes increase their ear-popping screeches when she arrives, and they fling their arms to and fro as their long legs carry them all toward her. They surround her, thirteen of them in all -- a baker’s dozen. And once she’s surrounded, with the flames of the fire spreadingly only further thanks to her thoughtless watering, they each twirl themselves toward her like practicing ballerinas. In their twirling, gold coins and silver coins and copper coins come hurling, a few at first and then a hundred, but they hurl too quickly and what is at first a pool of coinage for Mrs. Mallard's pleasure soon becomes a pelting hailstorm, a kind of metalocalypse. The coins sprung from the shapes' shapely twirl strike her, assail her, wound her and give her blisters. She's cut, struck, gobsmacked, blasted by a certain financial forecast. And once the shapes are fresh out of spending, their twirling only brings them closer, and their arms clobber her head and shoulders and torso.

Khitti :: Mrs. Mallard doesn’t like snow. It makes her joints hurt. One day she thought of retiring and moving to Rynvale, so that she might live out the rest of her days in warm, sunny bliss, but… that was not to be. She screamed as the thirteen metal behemoths surrounded her, blocking her path to the fire, allowing it to spread further throughout the restaurant. Coins rain down on her, and the fire grows. Where there had been bruises and blisters from the metal were now searings burns as the coins melt against her flesh. Her cries rang out again, but were cut off sharply as long arms bash and brutalize her into a pulp, leaving her to fall to the floor with the money she so loved dearly. Things were no longer ducky in Mrs. Mallard’s world. In fact, her goose was quite cooked.

Lionel | In the morning, hungry customers will find a smoldering ruin and a considerable number of gold, silver and copper coins. Many of these coins have been ruined in the blaze, and many more seem strangely-shaped and covered in faceless heads, but perhaps these can be melted-down into liquid metals and repurposed. Yet some of these coins are in flawless condition, the last of Mrs. Mallard’s collection, her one and only charitable work in a long life of crooked ways. While some of the would-be patrons mourn the loss of their favorite establishment, and many of them naïvely mourn this loss of life, others look on the bright side, swooping in among the rubble and lining their pockets happily. It’s a new dawn. A world without a tyrant like Mallard. For all the dreadful crimes Kahran’s minions have recently committed, this one was an inadvertent good deed; it was a woeful miscalculation to perceive the old hag as a friend of Khitti’s, and the world is a better place thanks to their planar intervention.