Armageddon???? - Part Eighty One Up

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Darth Ruinus
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Post by Darth Ruinus » 2008-07-09 04:55pm

The natives are orcs I think.
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Post by Phillip Hone » 2008-07-09 05:25pm

dragon wrote:Better yet do we round all the dead Nazis that were never tried and try them for war crimes even though they've been dead for decades. After all do we really want a bunch of Nazis having free reign in hell after the war, or are we going to have massive prisons for people like Jeffery Dahmer.
How many of the Nazis would be in Heaven in this story? I think that Yahweh would admire their fanatical devotion at least, even if a lot of it was directed towards the wrong person. When you consider the fact that most of the Nazis believed in some version of the Christian religion, and that they seem to be the kind of people this Yahweh would want to associate himself with, it wouldn't surprise me if it turned out that the bulk of them got into Yahweh's realm rather than hell.

edit: Nevermind; apparently I can't remember things that I've read more than a couple months ago. :oops:
Last edited by Phillip Hone on 2008-07-09 05:31pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by Darmalus » 2008-07-09 05:28pm

Mongoose wrote:
dragon wrote:Better yet do we round all the dead Nazis that were never tried and try them for war crimes even though they've been dead for decades. After all do we really want a bunch of Nazis having free reign in hell after the war, or are we going to have massive prisons for people like Jeffery Dahmer.
How many of the Nazis would be in Heaven in this story? I think that Yahweh would admire their fanatical devotion at least, even if a lot of it was directly towards the wrong person. When you consider the fact that most of them were Christian, and that they seem to be the kind of people this Yahweh would want to associate himself with, it wouldn't surprise me if it turned out that the bulk of them got into Yahweh's realm rather than hell.
None. The gates have been closed for over a thousand years. We only just now got the memo.

Edit: typo

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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-07-09 05:39pm

I think if you got the death penalty (rightly) for a crime, and you get found in hell, they probably put you 'on notice' with a command to shape up and fly right. If you keep committing crimes once you're freed, well, they'll probably put you in prison for 1000 years or execute you a second time.

Footnote: Assuming there's nothing of value there, wouldn't heaven make a great toxic waste dump?
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Post by Morilore » 2008-07-09 07:31pm

Darmalus wrote:None. The gates have been closed for over a thousand years. We only just now got the memo.

Edit: typo
That's a common assumption, but I don't recall it ever explicitly stated in this story.
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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-07-10 12:34am

Morilore wrote:
Darmalus wrote:None. The gates have been closed for over a thousand years. We only just now got the memo.

Edit: typo
That's a common assumption, but I don't recall it ever explicitly stated in this story.
It was indirectly stated with confidence in dialogue between characters, which implies that it was stated in The Message (the actual wording of which we never heard).
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Post by K. A. Pital » 2008-07-10 01:49am

I would presume revived WWII soldiers, the bulk of dead coming from China, E.Europe and Russia, would not look keen on revived Nazis/Imperial Japanese at all. There will be huge reservations in Free Hell once those kind of soldiers will start pouring in.

Also, there'll be a lot of great scenes where Hell liberated people find their deceased relatives.

Imagine, a dead World War II veteran finds his relatives who were massacred say in Belorussia by the Germans, and they are still there! Or a Jew from Warsaw Ghetto discovers all the people who were mass-murdered.

That could make for great moments of emotional depth and make this story not just a fun-fic, but something more serious.

The inevitability of Hell erupting into local wars between various factions of the dead is probably certain, unless Earth does not make some sort of Greater Command for all the deceased people and install a strong dictatorial rule.

Oh, and you could also have a Hitler-hunt episode.. that's unbelievable!
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Post by dragon » 2008-07-10 03:06am

Stas Bush wrote:I would presume revived WWII soldiers, the bulk of dead coming from China, E.Europe and Russia, would not look keen on revived Nazis/Imperial Japanese at all. There will be huge reservations in Free Hell once those kind of soldiers will start pouring in.

Also, there'll be a lot of great scenes where Hell liberated people find their deceased relatives.

Imagine, a dead World War II veteran finds his relatives who were massacred say in Belorussia by the Germans, and they are still there! Or a Jew from Warsaw Ghetto discovers all the people who were mass-murdered.

That could make for great moments of emotional depth and make this story not just a fun-fic, but something more serious.

The inevitability of Hell erupting into local wars between various factions of the dead is probably certain, unless Earth does not make some sort of Greater Command for all the deceased people and install a strong dictatorial rule.

Oh, and you could also have a Hitler-hunt episode.. that's unbelievable!
Even better a Hitler - Hun hunt as in let Atila the Hun hunt Hitler
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Post by K. A. Pital » 2008-07-10 03:20am

Even better a Hitler - Hun hunt as in let Atila the Hun hunt Hitler
:lol: Win.

Technically, Hell would have a large majority of people coming from XVII-to-XX centuries, but a small minority of old-centuries people. Caesar and his Roman Empire would be an insignificant pebble compared to the dead from hugely populated XX century nations.

I would presume the Reich Nazis would have around 60-70.000.000 people in total, a miniscule fraction of Hell's population and one that is dwarfed by the amount of people from other nations.

The Chinese and Indians would be the most numerous inhabitants of Hell as I figure per the demographics. USSR/Russia has around ~300,000,000 people in Hell, and China has several billion, or at least over a billion (their smaller population in early XX century is offset by a higher death rates), same applies to India probably. The USA should have around 200-300 million humans there as well.
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Post by Peptuck » 2008-07-10 04:51am

dragon wrote:
Even better a Hitler - Hun hunt as in let Atila the Hun hunt Hitler
This has "hit reality TV show" written ALL over it.
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Post by dragon » 2008-07-10 05:16am

Peptuck wrote:
dragon wrote:
Even better a Hitler - Hun hunt as in let Atila the Hun hunt Hitler
This has "hit reality TV show" written ALL over it.
"Coming up next on CBS Survivor Hell." This week the undead cast aways will be trying to negoiate their way across the river of molten lava while being pursued by the raging hord of Atila the Hun.
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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-07-10 10:26am

Complicating any discussion of the demographics of Hell would be their loyalties. Would former citizens of a particular geography on Earth still band together and be loyal to it in Hell, even though they can't go home?
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Post by Starglider » 2008-07-10 12:14pm

Darth Wong wrote:Complicating any discussion of the demographics of Hell would be their loyalties. Would former citizens of a particular geography on Earth still band together and be loyal to it in Hell, even though they can't go home?
Judging by the way expat societies and cultural minorities behave on earth, yes, at least at first. A lot of people will be groping around for any kind of social support and frame of reference. Ceaser seems to be capitalising on that.

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Post by Stuart » 2008-07-10 02:37pm

Recreational Hall, Camp Hell-Alpha, Hell
“Aces and Eights with a Queen on the side. Read’em and weep.” Sergeant (deceased) Tucker McElroy reached out and scooped the pool off the table with a flourish.

Corporal Gerry Links looked miserably at the empty table and his depleted stake. “I guess you had to come up with the Dead Man’s Hand didn’t you? That a common deal down here?”

“Depends on the dealer.” McElroy leaned back and tried to make his mind up what to do with his winnings. That was the trouble with Hell, there just wasn’t that much to spend money on. No economy as yet, not for humans anyway. His reverie was interrupted by a whack on his back.

“Hey Tucker dude, Good to see you. I heard you got killed up at Hit.” Elmer Carleton was an old acquaintance of McElroy’s, now part of 1st Brigade.

“I was.” McElroy eyed him to see the effect. Living humans hadn’t quite got used to the idea of speaking with the dead yet. Not in social circumstances anyway. Carleton didn’t disappoint him, the corporal’s eyes started to bulge.

“So you’re dead, dude.” The words were interspaced with disbelief and confusion.

“Sure am. You sitting in on the game? Got a stake?”

“No, unless you want to stake me.”

“You know the rules down here Elmer. I give you a stake, you got to sign your soul over to me as security. Now, if you’ll just sign here, in blood of course….” McElroy looked at the retreating back of the Corporal with great satisfaction, then turned to Links. “Never fails. Too many Hollywood movies. Looks like the game’s over Gerry, want to go for a burger?”

“I didn’t think you dead ones ate?”

“We don’t have to but we still like food. Don’t have to sleep either but its still good to. Demons eat, don’t ask me why we don’t and they do. Leave them questions to the egg-heads. Let’s go get that burger.”

Field Trials Unit, Left Flank, Phlegethon River Front, Hell

It didn’t quite look like any vehicle Edovin had seen before. A bit like an American Bradley but it had eight roadwheels and a lower, sleeker superstructure topped with a bulky turret. For all the vehicle’s size, the gun mounted in that turret seemed remarkably small. At the back of the gun mount was a drum-like radar.

“Lieutenant Edovin, Georgii Aleksandrovich reporting for duty Tovarish Lieutenant.”

The American officer turned around and looked quickly at the Russian. “Ah, you’re our liaison officer. I’m Mickey Marston. Good to have you on board. The ole’ bus will be a bit cramped until we’ve shot off some of the ammunition but it’ll be OK afterwards. Make yourself at home. Got any kit with you? That’ll have to go inside, new rules, nothing flammable outside the armor. Too many vehicles lost to harpy-fire already.”

“Yes bratischka, my Shilka was one of them. What is this vehicle.”

The American laughed. “A bit of everything. It’s basically an M-2 Bradley, believe it or not. We had a thing called the Future Combat System, a crackpot scheme to have a new standard vehicle for the Army that would do anything. Well, the contractor had to produce something to show where the money went so they built this stretched Bradley. Fooled the Congresscritters into thinking something was happening. Then, The Message came and the war started. FCS was cancelled and the production of Abrams and Bradleys got restarted. This was shoved into a shed somewhere until we realized how dangerous the harpies were and it got dug out. Now, the Navy had just adopted a Swedish 57mm gun for a couple of its programs, they’ve been cancelled as well of course, so GD Land Systems stuck the gun in a new turret, fitted a radar stripped out of old F-18s for fire control and kludged the whole thing together. So here we are, four prototype vehicles each with a radar-controlled 57mm gun and 1,200 rounds of ammunition.

“Rate of fire?” Edovin looked at the vehicle, for a hastily-thrown together improvision it looked remarkably capable if ungainly.

“240 rounds per minute. Three round burst-limiter on the gun. Throws a six pound shell.”

“Sir, we got the mount up order.” One of the vehicle crew, presumably who had been on radio watch, yelled out the message.

“Right, Georgy, mount up, we got to go shooting.”

The American Lieutenant had been right, the vehicle was cramped inside despite its size. Ammunition everywhere, some in ready-to-use racks, the rest stowed around wherever space could be found. That was something humans were learning fast, combat vehicles needed ammunition stowage above pretty much everything else. There were information screens as well, but they were mostly turned off, the Russian Army just didn’t have the combat information systems the Americans had, but then few did. Once screen was lighted and it showed the dots that represented the airborne harpies over the remains of the attacking baldrick formation. The baldricks were perilously close to breaking through. Marston flipped some more switches and additional screens lit up. The were fuzzy for a second and then cleared, showing the array of tanks that were waiting. Over a thousand after the latest reinforcements had arrived, mostly Russian by a division of Germans, a brigade of Indian T-72s, even some Turkish M48s. The old M48s were more useful than might be suspected, their 90mm guns could kill a baldrick just as well as a 125 but the M48s had twice as much ammunition as the more modern vehicles.

“Roll.” Marston’s voice snapped out the order and the anti-harpy vehicle started forward, it’s three companions keeping alongside it, spaced out to cover the maximum amount of front. Edovin looked at one of the displays, it showed the long barrel of the 57mm gun, it was probably the electro-optical sight. Without warning he was thrown off his feet as the turret swung fast to a new bearing and the gun cracked out three rounds, so fast the bursts seemed to blend into each other. On the electro-optical screen, a harpy exploded as the rounds tore into it. Edovin had barely time to register the score when the turret lurched again and another burst cracked out.

“Sorry about the turret.” Marston yelled over the noise of the diesel and the sound of the 57mm ammunition sliding around. “Navy thing, swinging it so fast.”

That made sense for a point-defense gun. Edovin thought and wondered if somewhere surplus Russian Navy point defense guns were being mounted in a chassis for this role. If not, it would be a good idea to report the idea. He bounced off the side of the turret again, the swings of the gun and the rapid cracks of its shots were almost continuous as the experimental gun started carving the surviving harpies out of the sky. Beside them, the waves of tanks accelerated towards the baldricks ahead,

140th Guards Tank Regiment, 5th Guards Tank Division “Don” Southern Flank, Phlegethon River

This was it, the great scything blow that would send the baldricks staggering back across the river in defeat. Just as Zhukov’s tanks had once advanced through the mud to send the fascists back across the Dneiper and the Dneister rivers. Major Evgenii Yakovlevich Galkin knew his history well, one German Army had been destroyed at Stalingrad but six had been wiped out in the great Mud Campaign in those first months of 1944, and three Panzer armies had been wrecked so badly they were never worth much afterwards. Today, it would be the start of an equal destruction, one that would be known to the world in a way the great Mud Campaign had never been.

The baldricks had forced their way through the Russian defenses at last, it had taken them time and they’d been bloodied terribly in doing so but they had made it through. Now, just when they thought they could see the clear ground beyond the killing fields, this mighty wave of tanks would sweep them away. Glakin looked quickly through the remote control on his turret top machine gun, the briefing had been very clear. The flying harpies were the main threat, they could hurt armor with their fire. Kill them first. The baldricks foot soldiers were less of a threat, they could be shot and crushed just as tanks had always crushed the infantry that had dared to oppose them. The briefing was being obeyed, the sky over the baldricks was black with anti-harpy fire. Every gun that could be found was here, there were even ancient ZSU-57s, twin 57mm guns in an open turret on an old T-54 tank chassis. Their crews had courage for their turret gave them no protection if the harpies got close.

Off to the right were the Americans with their experimental anti-harpy tank. They were struggling to keep up with the fast Russian tanks and their gun was swinging wildly, with short bursts at odd intervals. At first Galkin thought the American crew were panicking but then he realized those short bursts were tearing the closest harpies out of the sky. It was speed of reaction, not panic and Galkin was suddenly impressed. Around the tanks and anti-harpy vehicles were armoured personnel carriers. This time they were not carrying infantry to screen the tanks, they were the refuge for any crew that lost their vehicle. If a crew had to bail out, the nearest APC would hasten over to pick them up before the harpies could kill them.

Speaking of harpies, Galkin saw one staggering close to his tank. His machine gun spat out a burst and the creature flopped from the sky. It had probably been dying anyway but it never hurt to make sure. Then the tank lurched slightly as it ran over the body. Never hurt to make very sure. Galkin looked at the sky again, the anti-harpy fire was slackening off to a faint shadow of its previous self, the gunners running out of targets at last. As if to confirm his thoughts, the radio crackled briefly, orders for all guns to cease firing on airborne targets and concentrate on the ground. Then the message was suddenly reinforced, friendly aircraft were coming in. Galking grinned to himself, the baldricks were about to learn the joys of being on the receiving end of close air support.

He looked again, this time at the baldricks up ahead. Mostly just a battered, exhausted mass of foot soldiers but he could see one of the great rhinolobsters with a coiled naga on its back. The lightning was flickering out from the creature as it attacked one of the vehicles racing across the plain. Then, Galkin saw the aircraft coming in. he ran through the shape in his head, straight wings, twin tail, two engines, between the wings and the tail, an American A-10. This, he thought, should be good.

It was, the A-10s nose erupted into flame and the Rhinolobster and its burden vanished under a cloud of dirt and dust thrown up by the torrents of shells. When it faded, the creatures were lying on the ground, smashed and eviscerated. The A-10 turned slightly, climbed a little then changed course to unleash a hail of rockets on to another group of baldricks off to the left. The aircraft knew exactly where to go, Galkin guessed that they were being steered in by the Americans somehow, by an airborne command aircraft perhaps? Or even those new anti-harpy vehicles?

The lines of baldricks were approaching fast and it was time for the Don Division to strike its own blows. The foot soldiers had lined up, forming ranks as the tanks had appeared, now those ranks vanished as the 125mm shells tore into them. Galking could almost sense the weariness and despair in their minds as they saw their lightning bolts bouncing off the tanks, realized that the tanks were not going to stop. The turret of his tank was filling with smoke as his gun swung from one group of baldricks to the next, firing their shots into the mass of infantry. They were close enough now so he could see individual features of the baldricks as they crumpled and died under the onslaught. He had his own commander’s gun firing, sweeping the tracer bullets across the enemy ranks, watching the baldricks fold as they were mown down. The tank’s main gun was silent, the last few rounds were being kept for emergencies and the gunner was using his co-axial machine gun in its place.

Still closer, the baldricks still there – and then they broke, broke and ran from the tanks that were already far too close for any retreat to bring safety. Galkin’s tank tore into the mass, its machine guns still firing, the driver spinning the T-80U on its tracks, grinding the baldricks underneath the vehicle as it plowed through their ranks. They were running, all around the tanks they were running, the machine gunners spraying them with fire, chasing them down and crushing them. Galking could hear the rattle as bullets bounced off his armor, the tanks were hitting each other in the wild frenzy of the slaughter but it didn’t matter. Machine gun bullets couldn’t hurt the tanks. Nor could the baldricks although they tried, breaking their tridents on the armor, trying to tear at the tanks with their hands. They fought, hopelessly, bravely, uselessly.

Off to his left, Galkin saw baldricks, a dozen or more of them in a ditch, behind a mound. Were they hiding? Or wounded and looking for a place to die? It didn’t matter, he gave his orders and the tank swung around, parallel with the ditch. Then he felt one side drop as the treads went into the ditch and he drove along it, crushing the baldricks sheltering within. Glakin heard screams, perhaps the baldricks, perhaps just the metal tracks as they ran over the suspension rollers. Then his tank levelled again and he made another turn back to his original route. The Phelgethon River lay ahead, the gains the baldrick army had fought for two days to secure and for which they had sacrificed so much had been wiped out by the tanks in less that twenty minutes.

South of the City of Dis
This time Belial had taken his wyvern low, down beneath the dusty brown overcast that was nearly ubiquitous in hell. With the human 'aircraft' still very evident, screaming and roaring somewhere over the Phlegethon river, Belial thought it best to stay inconspicuous. What he saw beneath him steadily drained away the elation from his sudden elevation. Countless demon warriors, streaming towards Dis, some still as ordered legions but many as individual squads or even disorganised crowds. The horrible wounds that marked many of the demons, the battered or missing equipment, the cries and wails both audible and telepathic, all made it clear that this was an army retreating in defeat. Belial had cast his mind out, trying to make contact with a commander to learn what manner of catastrophe had inflicted such ruin on the grand armies of hell. It was no use though, despite being leagues from the front lines his mind still rang from the impossibly powerful psychic emanations from the massed human mages. The din made it impossible to hold a coherent conversation from a thousand feet up and Belial couldn't risk stopping. 'But where are all the harpies?' he thought.

Belial soon reached the far edge of the ragged demon column and had resigned himself to remaining ignorant of the details until he next returned to Dis. As he looked up from the ground a flicker of movement caught his eye. Sure enough, at the far end of a low valley he could make out a group of tiny flapping shapes. He spurred his mount to greater effort and it surged ahead, making up the distance to the other flyers which quickly resolved themselves into six of his own wyvern riders. The beast were flying slowly; two had flanks marked with horrible gashes and burns and another had wing membranes so shredded that Belial was surprised it was still airborne. The riders didn't look much better.

Count Belial! Aaesurnarthuse's tone betrayed a strange mix of surprise, relief, fear and exhaustion. The humans... it was a slaughter. Great flocks of harpies, torn from the sky or poisoned on the ground. Fire lances and iron pellets everywhere. Ikaarithanjuur went down on our third strike, they hit him with two huge fire lances... Beelzebub's forces started to retreat... I took command and ordered a withdrawal. It sounded better than 'I ran away', but not much.

It is Grand Duke Belial now. Are there any more of you? Did any others escape? These are all that are left? Belial couldn’t keep the shock out of his mind-voice. A niggling voice told him that Euryale would be furious when she found that her prized war-wyverns had been slaughtered. Furious and heartbroken, Belial thought and was surprised to realize that the thought of her grief saddened him

Belial's wyvern reached the formation and they automatically fell into a V behind him, the wounded beasts struggling to keep up. Mere hours ago he would have had the flight leader executed for cowardice, but after the events at Satan's palace he was beginning to understand what fighting the humans must be like. This wasn't war as demons understood it. It wasn't even the war he'd imagined, a decades-long conflict between dug-in formations that could be won by disrupting the human's supply of magic weapons. This was anhiliation, this was vengeance come swift and terrible to smash their strongest holdings and humble their greatest generals, this was... with rising horror Belial realized that this was exactly what the demons had done to hundreds of lower plane worlds, but with speed and efficiency the legions of hell could only dream of. If the humans could not be stopped, and after what he'd seen today that seemed like a very real danger, then the entire demon realm and every demon in it would be slaughtered.

I can't say my lord. I saw others flying away from the battle, but the sky chariots were on their tails. I fear only a handful made it.

Your two uninjured riders will fly a search pattern and round up any survivors. They are to return to Tartarus after four days at the latest. Your injured riders are to stay together and return at the best speed they can manage. Avoid the humans at all costs.
With most of his prized war wyverns destroyed, the count was in no position to write off injured troops. You will escort me and tell me everything you can of the battle. These humans must have weaknesses, and we must identify them. He nearly added 'before it's too late', but there was no point further demoralizing his troops. Quite the opposite, if this continued the demon armies would need hope that the humans could be defeated at all, and he was the only one who could give them that. The secret of Palelabor could be kept no longer.
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Post by Darth Ruinus » 2008-07-10 02:51pm

Nice.

I wonder what this Palelabor thing is.
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Post by FaxModem1 » 2008-07-10 02:57pm

Palelabor? Hmm, Belial's bringing out more big guns.

Belial and Euryale, awww, what a cute wittle couple of demons. :lol:

You know, I'm kind of curious about the standards the militaries are making, have they had to be lowered or changed at all for an increase in troops?

And I can only hope DADT is null and void by this time, seeing as how there really is no reason to keep it legit.

Great chapter as always.
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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-07-10 03:12pm

Palelabor? I am intrigued.
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Post by phongn » 2008-07-10 03:14pm

That experimental anti-Harpy gun system sounds disturbingly like Sgt. York DIVADs in how it was made.
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Zim
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Post by Zim » 2008-07-10 03:17pm

Since Belial has all of Asmodeus' holdings now, does it even matter if the humans flatten Tartarus? All Belial seems to need to carry out attacks is a sufficient number of naga and an active volcano.

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Darth Ruinus
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Post by Darth Ruinus » 2008-07-10 03:20pm

Zim wrote:Since Belial has all of Asmodeus' holdings now, does it even matter if the humans flatten Tartarus? All Belial seems to need to carry out attacks is a sufficient number of naga and an active volcano.
Are there active volcanoes in Asmodeus' lands?
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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-07-10 03:44pm

Darth Ruinus wrote:Nice.

I wonder what this Palelabor thing is.
Interestingly enough, a Google search on the term returns only hits from elsewhere on this very forum: some kind of dwarf fortress. I don't see what use that would be to Belial, though. Maybe it's something else.
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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-07-10 03:47pm

Cleaned-up version updated.

Poor Chiknathragothem. All his high hopes, dashed by a wave of Russian armour :twisted:
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Post by SCRawl » 2008-07-10 04:21pm

Darth Wong wrote:
Darth Ruinus wrote:Nice.

I wonder what this Palelabor thing is.
Interestingly enough, a Google search on the term returns only hits from elsewhere on this very forum: some kind of dwarf fortress. I don't see what use that would be to Belial, though. Maybe it's something else.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't know. I even did a search on this forum, and found a number of very similar instances of that term.
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Post by KlavoHunter » 2008-07-10 04:28pm

What d'ya know, I WAS right about the 57mm gun thing.
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Post by Eulogy » 2008-07-10 04:39pm

I'd think that Palelabor is supposed to be some kind of badass creature that even the demons would piss themselves at the thought of trying to fight it. That or it's some kind of mobile building.
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