Working in the secrecy of my Combat Testing Facility, hidden deep on the first floor of the basement of my home in Stinging Tree Hollow, I poured over the intricate details of my stolen Kobold plans.

In a recent campaign to the heart of the Kobold city, I made a rather fantastic discovery. While sorting through the nitpicky and humdrum details of some life or death negotiations, I spied the schematics of a new type of armor the Kobolds had in development. Those wily, crooked-thumbed, cave dwellers had come up with something quite diabolical, yet genius.

Amidst the usual distractions of caustic insults and swordplay, I swept the plans into my hat for later perusal in private. If it contained what I hoped, it would advance my wolf smiting prowess by milestones!

In my mental absence, the dispute had been settled through the liberal use of bloodshed and some swift skewering with the lance. Since my work was done, and my aid was no longer desired, I quickly, but casually retreated with the nefarious plans.

By candlelight, I revealed that it was indeed a new type of armor, powered by powerful clockwork gears and driven by a mighty steam engine. When crafted from the right materials it would be brutally strong and nigh impossible to pierce. The wolves would be in for quite a surprise!

Trusting no one with what I had uncovered, I acquired the necessary materials to construct the suit through various underground channels. Away from prying eyes, I toiled at the smelting station through many candlelit nights casting special metal ingot molds, feverishly pounding the specialized metal sheets, and trying to follow the abhorrent handwriting of those Kobolds. How can a race with such abysmal quillmanship advance so far?

As I my secret work continued, I came to the shocking realization that while I had absconded with secret prototype parchments right under the noses of the Kobolds, I had absconded with secret prototype parchments that were incomplete with several fundamental elements missing. I was crestfallen. I was heartbroken. I was undaunted. Common sense had never stopped me before, and it would not be victorious this day.

Using my prodigious powers of deduction and my immense experience at the crafting stations, I formulated and calculated to fill in the missing steps and devised what I believed to be the proper missing parts. To my excitement and bewilderment, the pieces fit together perfectly. Except for the pieces that didn’t, which I merely threw away.

The final and crucial step was intact however, the dangerous, highly unstable, but ludicrously powerful steam engine to power my future suit of devastation. I raised a brow at  it’s placement, hanging at the backside within the leggings, but felt the Kobolds had done enough research to believe this the proper location for maximum power, effect and devastation. It also offered a shapely aspect, which did enhance the overall countenance of the armor.

Late one evening, after several blurry-eyed construction sessions, all my toils came to fruition. I hammered the last of the pieces in to place and stood back to take in the glory of my creation. It was indeed a spectacle to behold and the excitement to head out in to the forest and raise fury with those timber wolves that have taunted me for so long was nearly overwhelming. But I brought restraint to bear, and believed that it would be best to wait for the light of a new day to unveil my creation. The toil of the labor, the fumes of the smithing table and the multiple mugs of ale had gotten the better of me. Plus, I wanted the miserable miscreants to see me coming so their abject fear could wash over me.

However, I simply could not resist trying it on and the privacy of the basement afforded me the space of an initial test run. With eagerness, I donned the suit, stoked the boiler with coal, and made ready the practice dummy.

It was extraordinarily heavy and my first steps toward destruction were tentative and wobbly. It quickly became apparent the leggings would need a more robust heat protective shield, but I quickly became one with the suits movements and with my sword ablaze, reduced the practice dummy to splinters. The clockwork gears gave me amazing mobility and power. My strikes were brutal and effortless. And to prove my new found strength, I lifted the smithing stations with ease.

But alas, I ran into a downside. In my excitement and furor, I instinctively made ready the Immolation. This caused a chain reaction in the power plant of the suit and sent the steam pressure to critical levels.

Unable to dismiss the raging flames, the heat spiraled out of control and there was a mighty explosion in my backside. I was propelled at a frightening pace across the room, crashed violently into the wall, became woefully off balance and toppled over. The boiler gave another deafening explosion, obliterating my underground pumpkin patch.

My buttocks had suffered a catastrophic failure and to make matters worse, the suit’s mass was so great that I couldn’t right myself. I had fallen in the basement and couldn’t get up.

I struggled, thrashed and wrestled to no avail. After an exhausting hour, I came to the saddening conclusion that I would have to extricate myself from the twisted suit in order to rectify the situation. I had been completely immobilized on my first trial run.

My hope had been dashed! My spirit was crushed! In a fit of rage I grabbed the plans and stormed off to confront the Kobolds for their foolish design flaws and lack of attention to detail. I would demand satisfaction and restitution for the numerous salves that would need to be applied to soothe the scalding I had suffered.

But, then I realized confronting the Kobolds over this mishap and their stolen plans could lead to questions I couldn’t answer, even dire consequences and perhaps time in the Clink where they have no salve. Perhaps worse.

Who knows what manner of penal servitude the Kobolds subscribe to? Given their penchant for hostilities, I’m sure it’s quite severe.

As a combat ready weapon of destruction, the suit did not live up to expectations. However, I feel there is a silver lining. Before the great fire, the clockwork gears made me fantastically light on my feet and nimble as a cat. Plus, the metal coloration is quite fetching. Once I have healed, I believe I have found a way to improve the artistry in my dancing style at the next Harvest Festival.

But, salve first.

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I say, this is both devastating, and devastatingly handsome

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Well now, that boiler does heat things up a bit more than I expected. I could use a moist cloth at the moment

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It looks quite dashing from behind, but a few air vents wouldn’t hurt

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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