this chapter is shorter, in comparison to last chapter's pad-a-riffic pages. You see, this book is starting to become something worse
than merely "bad": It's becoming dull.
And while a consistently bad book is hilarious, one that's intermittenly bad through long periods of unremarkable monotony is a slog. It's no fun to read, and it's no fun to liveblog. It gets better—well, "better"
—but right now, this is hard going.
Chapter Eight: Oracle
Alex is gleefully woken up by his alarm clock, I.E., Scald laughing like a hyena like he usually does. And—oh my sweet Lord on a tower of pancakes (emphasis mine):
Sitting up and looking around, he was surprised to see Skeld sitting on the floor on top of both Thrang and Andy.
"What's going on?" Alex asked, swinging his legs out of bed and reaching for his clothes.
"Just a bit of fun,"
Wut. I mean. No. Not even image macros can properly convey the amount of "WHAT THE CHRIST ON A POGO STICK" in my face right now. I mean. Just. What.
I cannot image a universe in which this isn't
immensely homoerotic. I mean, neither Shoulder Moodring Narrator nor the characters actually stop to explain what they're supposed
to be doing, so all we're left with is our own imaginations. My brain dwells in the gutter more often than a five-year-old's bowling ball, so where my imagination goes shouldn't be any surprise. It's like a big fat pile of slashfic dumped into the middle of an otherwise unassuming story, and I have no idea what to do with it.
At this point, all that's left is to resort to memes. So here goes nothing:
Arconn breaks up the threesome and reveals to Alex he knew that he spoke with Iownam over in the stables the night before, because "[he sees] many things others do not." But he decides it's water under the bridge.
Scald continues his trend of baffling behavior by randomly throwing oatmeal at Alex. Between his morning triple tryst and his penchant for madman's laughter, I'm going to guess that he's just plain lost it from spending all his time around a bunch of Paper Mario NPCs
and is now reverting to childhood in an attempt to stay sane.
Olaf tells everybody to STFU and reminds Alex to take his ring to the Oracle when they all go talk to her today, since she's the only person for miles around who bothered to put any points into Appraisal. The Oracle having a female
servant was apparently two X chromosones too many for this story, so Iownam's previous and unnamed female assistant has been replaced with her named male assistant Rothgar. His name is stupid, but bearably so, especially since he's going to disappear from the story after this.
Rothgar says they'll meet the Oracle—in her, uh, oracle-form—individually. He says you can either share your experiences with her with the others or keep them secret; up to you. (...Like you couldn't make that choice for your own, without being explicitly told to?)
And now we get the exciting standing in line scene!
Very little of import happens for several pages. Olaf Leaderson goes first, because both first and last are places of honor. And we talk about how prophecies tend to be all vague and stuff. Scald is a skeptic—a Skaldtic?—and doesn't really care one way or another. Soon it's down to only Alex and Arconn, and he tells Alex that last is usually reseved for wizards. OooooOOOOOOoooooooOOOOooo. I can't even muster the enthusiasm to be properly mocking of Mr. Special Snarkflake and his Black Hole Sue
Oh, and for good measure, a juicy quote from Arconn Mc Playboy
"You must remember that I am of the elder race and our fate is not the same as men or dwarfs."
Holy cow! I just gained a new respect for Arconn. I didn't know he was a relative of Cthulhu! I mean, I know he looks like an elf and all, but being magical—
—Wait, what do you mean,
not that Elder Race?
Rothgar comes and gets Alex and leads him up. Iownam is in Oracle Forme, so she's obviously not the same as she was yesterday—she has higher Special Attack today! Also, she's dispensing prophecies or sage advice or... something. You know, it's never actually explained what specifically oracles do
in this setting.
After exactly 360 steps (yes, he counts), he enters the room, and... Iownam just... speaks to him? Apparently nothing's all that special. Except for the generic "Oh it looks like her but it just isn't
Apparently, being in her presence brings out the wishy-washiest in him. I could honestly quote the entirety of his dialogue in this part, and it would be sufficient evidence for throwing this book in a blender with some protein powder just to try and toughen Alex up
some. You know how in The Room,
Lisa and Claudette have the exact same conversation
every time they talk to one another? Alex has his own conversations like this, only his Claudette changes each time. It goes like this, in the past and now (cue up some appropriate music
I'm so confused!
: Don't be. It all makes sense, we promise!
But I feel so lost and I don't know anything!
: You could be a wizard!
I don't think so. Also, I'm so confused
about what it means to be a wizard!
: But you have great powers! Remember, it's magic!
: I don't have powers, and also, I'm confused about magic!
: Just do some magic and it'll make sense!
But I'm confuuuused
because nobody explains this stuff to me!
: Uh... shut up and eat your plot; it's getting cold. ...Wizard!
This is pretty much exactly what happens here. As a bonus side-dish, we also get the Oracle telling Alex what we've all figured out back in Chapter 3: Alex's sword is almost as special as Horseyfuzzschnookumbutt. But, despite being an Oracle, she won't tell him how
—instead, she tells him to ask Arconn
instead, because... Well, because! I still see tropes where I should be seeing plate!
And the limp steamed broccoli on top of it all? She can't even identify his ring. Or rather, she cannot say.
Which maybe means that she does
know, but the same plot oath prevents her from revealing it to us.
Aside from Arconn telling us Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Elves (But Didn't Ask Because You Already Knew Because You're Not An Idiot And Arconn Is Pretty Blatantly Legolas), that's it for this chapter.
Yay! Or should I say... Ho Yay