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Meylon Moosk, a perfectly average Huppermage druid, isn't done showing off the full dragoturkeypower of his mikrosmowave oven. After the Shushus, now the Demons of the Hours will be going in the frying pan. (Get it? It's a cooking joke.) It's time for the second episode of 30 Seconds in the Mikrosmowave!

Peace and joy to you, young oddball.

I'm Meylon Moosk, a Huppermage druid who flunked out just before graduation.

Yep! I was a few tenths short of a diploma… "Cheh!" as they – all right, no one really says that.

Since then, I've been doing some DIY in my area and in… a state of indifference. (rain and violin music)

I won't complain, though – after all, I managed to perfect the invention of tomorrow: the mikrosmowave oven!

An oven that, when it beeps… (mysteriously creepy) opens a portal to a demon dimension! MUAHAHAHA! (Silence)

Okay, just kidding.

(Quickly) My device examines any object placed on its turntable and gradually transcribes its analysis in a popular, occasionally exaggerated, language, which I'll share with you shortly.

Good thing I've got some talent as a narrator ("Ding!" like a wink).

Hey, would ya pass me that? … (opens the door of the mikrosmowave oven)

Looks like an ordinary pocket watch, right? (places it inside the oven)

Well, it is. (Silence) (He closes the door again.)

But if I configure my oven to the clock hands (beeps from the mikrosmowave) and apply the "demonic activity" filter – or just "demonic" – my mikrosmowave oven will list everything there is to know about Xelor's minions known as Demons of the Hours! (epic musical crescendo, followed by silence)

What do you mean, "how"…?!

Why… using magic, of course!

… Haha! "How?"…

What world are you from, pal?

Come on…

(sing-song voice) *It's gettin' hot in here…*

(Beep! Then the sound of the mikrosmowave oven running.)

To keep time in the World of Twelve, the god Xelor created: Xelor's Clock.

Yes, inventors name their inventions after themselves every chance they get. Notice I haven't done that… I'll have to consider it next time, though…

As Xelor is, shall we say, "a bit fussy," if not "a total control freak," he started off overseeing each hour, but then quickly realized that, in fact, he didn't have the time.

Haha! Can you imagine the irony? Xelor… not having the time?

(Silence)

Tough crowd today, I see…

Demons of the Hours were then elected by the god Xelor to watch over each passing hour.

You may ask, "Where did he manage to find 24 demons?"

Wouldn't ya know, in the Shustuft Crust! Which is ruled by…? Rushu! That's right. Isn't it?

(Soberly) You didn't listen to the previous episode. All right.

Well, let's just say that living in the Shustuft Crust under Rushu's authority is undesirable, even for a demon. So when Xelor offered them a way out, let me tell you, the 24 demons jumped at the chance faster than a squirrel would jump on a sack of nuts.

No, that isn't dirty.

Xelor gave them sweet-sounding, lyrical names like III, IV, VI, XIII, XVI, XIX…

I'm not sure if I'm pronouncing those right. Maybe it's some demonic tongue or something Xelor came up with… It's rough on the throat, anyway! Can you imagine if the Karmashian family had given all their daughters similar names? I dunno if the siblings would've been as successful!

(Aside) You know the Karmashians, don't you? That super-rich Iop family from Bonta that funds a newspaper detailing every boring second of their very Karmashian lives?

Anyhow…

Prisoners of the Outerworld, a dimension cut off from everything, including time, the Demons of the Hours are nevertheless free to do whatever they want during the hour assigned to them.

Yep, you can sense there's a catch coming… Xelor may be rigid in his own thinking, but he's no expert in demonic thinking… Why you chuckling? Must've been the word "rigid"…

One day, X – demon of the 10th hour, for those who don't speak Xelor – decided to relieve his boredom by twirling his weapon curse in the air, and he ended up tearing the fabric of time.

This was what's sometimes referred to as… a whoopsie.

However, this little blunder was just the beginning. The rift he created sucked an adventurer from the World of Twelve into the Outerworld, which gave Midnight some ideas: What if the Demons of the Hours started abducting a bunch of Twelvians? To make them duke it out in arenas? Indeed, things quickly went awry.

(Enthusiastically) Boredom no more! Plus, it was a good way for the Demons of the Hours to settle their differences! Nothing beats having your slaves fight to find out who's right and who's wrong!

What…? Don't judge them! They'd been dying of boredom… I bet you would've done the same.

Or even worse. I know you… You would've dressed 'em up, changed their names, their colors, their gender, as if they were YOUR characters! Hmmm? You monster!

No sooner said than done, the Demons of the Hours got organized, creating an honest-to-goodness bash in the Outerworld. They even stole plots from the World of Twelve to turn their dimension into a cozy little nest!

Pretty soon, the Demons of the Hours had employed Demons of the Minutes and Demons of the Seconds, and even coaches, former Twelvians who had proven themselves in the arena and then renounced their gods to serve the Demons of the Hours.

Some even say the Demons of the Hours got their nails done, but I can't imagine it went that far.

They were becoming a real organized gang. No one could contain them. While the coaches trained teams of gladiators, certain Demons of the Hours had networks of bandits in the World of Twelve who would steer adventurers toward the Outerworld to make them into combatants in the arenas.

Naturally, this came to be discovered. When Xelor arrived, he very politely asked:

(guttural roar) "WHAT IN THE ACTUAL LIVING F…?!"

Unexpectedly, just as he was about to give the demons a nasty beating, the god of time was blown away by the spectacle before his eyes.

He was so impressed that he decided not to punish them, so long as they quickly repaired the fabric of time. However, he also ordered them to offer anyone access to their arenas, thus allowing adventurers from the World of Twelve to carry on the spirit of chivalry in special arenas.

 

(Ding!)

So? Isn't my mikrosmowave oven impressive?

Wh-What are you doing...?

Please keep your dirty mitts off of it. Quit it, that's not okay!

All right, get out of here! You'll be back when you've got more questions…

(flat tone) Whaddya mean, you never asked me in the first place?



Listen to the audio version of this story (in French) below: