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Coast to Coast


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Slagar the Cruel: Coast to Coast
Episode 4: Comeback


SLAGAR: Greetings, lesser beings, and welcome to Slagar the Cruel Coast to Coast. I'm your host, Slagar the Cruel. You may know me from the "Redwall" series, in which I was a pretty great antagonist. And this here is called a "talk show". In this show, I interview creatures from all corners of the Redwall universe. And this object I'm sitting on is called a "chair". It supports my weight while I sit. It is quite likely that you are sitting in a chair as well.

TREEROSE: Don't you think you're taking this "introduction" thing a bit too far?

SLAGAR: It's called sarcasm, Tree. Honestly, the whole introduction idea is complete rubbish. I mean, who's going to get this far without figuring out who I am? Even my audience's stupidity knows some bounds.

GERUL: Ah, Slagar, ye ol' barrel o' bilge water. Ye know what me ould mother always said about sarcasm?

SLAGAR: [He sighs.] No, Gerul. Why don't you let us in on this no doubt enthralling nugget of stupidity?

GERUL: An apple a day keeps th' doctor away!

[The studio's occupants fall silent.]

GERUL: Er, wait, what were we discussin'?

SLAGAR: I've got to hand it to you, owl, that was more insightful than the bulk of those maxims you incessantly recite. By which I mean to insult the rest of your mother's advice by comparison.

TREEROSE: So... what, you're just over explaining things in general tonight?

SLAGAR: Normally I would launch a stinging retort in response to that statement! And, um... I will! Your skill as a musician is at about the same level - or should I say, sublevel - of Halfchop's skill with semantics!

HALFCHOP: ...kachunk?

[Everyone has a good laugh. Except Treerose.]

TREEROSE: Grr... one of these days, Slagar! One of these days, you'll receive your comeuppance!

SLAGAR: Receive my... Let's review, Treerose: I got riddled with spears in a ditch after being treacherous in the Laterose war, I got my face ripped off by a snake after I committed theft and murder at Redwall, I was hurled down a well and killed after exacting revenge upon Redwall, and now that I'm dead the Dark Forest's managerial staff has it rigged so that I'm stricken with misfortune and annoyance at every turn. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that THE COMEUPPANCE HAS COME AND GONE.

[Treerose reflects upon this for a moment, before leading the band in a rousing performance of the "Slagar actually has a point" theme.]

SLAGAR: [Icily] Thank you. Anyhow, we've got a great show tonight.

THREECLAWS: Oh boy!

SLAGAR: We'll be hearing from Ex-Emperor Ublaz Madeyes about his plan to make a... "comeback", of some type. Ublaz is a fairly good friend of mine, so I'm sure things will work out just fine this time, and be completely different from all my other failed shows.

CLECKY: Heh, I'm surprised that ol' rotface could stand anybeast long enough t' make friendly-like with 'em! Seems a bit too irate for that sorta thing, wot?

SLAGAR: Bah, that's merely a stereotype. Which I actively promote through my actions and demeanor. Anyways, we can relate with each other on a lot of levels.

CLECKY: Only in that you're both arrogant an' treacherous vermin with twisted minds, who I've oft been engaged in conflict with!

SLAGAR: Obviously. Well, without further delay, please welcome Ublaz Madeyes!

[Ublaz marches onto the stage, sporting a regal green cape and a... rather garish and rusty looking crown. He is met with mild applause.]

UBLAZ: Thank you, peons. It's nice to be here.

SLAGAR: I see that you finally got your crown back. But why does it look... rather garish and rusty?

UBLAZ: This isn't my real crown, of course. My original was taken away from me along with all items of wealth which I had possessed. And with my mysterious hypnotic stare.

SLAGAR: That's some rough luck.

UBLAZ: You don't know the half of it. My entire image got shot straight to hellgates. I had to craft this daft little thing out of rusty sardine containers. Which, as you can see, is just not the same.

SLAGAR: Yeah, that's... that's pretty rusty-looking. I'm kind of glad that I'm dead, because otherwise I'd worry about catching tetanus from just looking at that monstrosity. But on the other hand, being dead is no picnic either. Which segues nicely into my next question: what sort of grating, mind-numbing position do you fill in Dark Forest society?

UBLAZ: Well, it was tough to find work at first. I had rejected most of the offerings I had received to endure relentless pain and suffering, you see, and I was never all that keen on taking on a full-time career in ironic personality-based punishment...

SLAGAR: Uh, since when was there an option for vermin such as ourselves besides those two?

UBLAZ: I don't know, you tell me. You're hosting a talkshow right now.

SLAGAR: True, but there's a sort of contractual technicality I've utilized with the DFBC (Dark Forest Broadcasting Corporation) that allows me to hold a job here, and just have a bit of the "eternal annoyance and suffering" stuff on the side, in the form of a stupid advice column gig that I can't seem to worm my way out of.

UBLAZ: Precisely. I've utilized the same loophole, in conjunction with my obvious punishments (eye-wise and crown-wise, I mean) to score a job in the broadcasting industry!

SLAGAR: Ha, exceptional news! What field have you ended up in?

UBLAZ: As soon as the DFBC learned of the experience I have with warping the minds of others to suit my needs, they put me in charge of their children's television programming.

[The Roaringburn Four plays a rimshot.]

SLAGAR: Is this where the whole "comeback" you were talking about comes into play?

UBLAZ: In fact it is! You see, I have engineered a very special animated series, which will indoctrinate learning children with the most important type of education: the information of how great I am.

SLAGAR: I like your style!

UBLAZ: The production of this cartoon is almost complete, and I've brought a rather lengthy clip of it with me today so that I might show it to your audience. So! Are you all ready to experience - the comeback? [The audience responds in the positive.] Good, because I am going to play the clip right... now!

GARTAR: WELL B RITE BACCK AFTER DESE MASAGGES


[Romsca is standing in front of what appears to be an endless white void. Bizarre pizzicato string music plays as she speaks.]

ROMSCA: When I was the ruthless captain of a corsair ship, it was just, like... a total hassle. All the time.

[The camera arbitrarily switches to another perspective.]

ROMSCA: I would end up riding with, like, monitor lizards or something?

[The camera angle switches again, this time coming extremely close to Romsca's face.]

ROMSCA: And then they were all, "ROMZZZCAAA, ROMZZZZZCA", you know? So annoying...

[Another camera angle change.]

ROMSCA: What's great about the Apple is that it's good for you and I think it keeps doctors away.

[Yet another disconcerting camera angle change.]

ROMSCA: Of course, the lizards ended up mortally wounding me, and that was just, y'know, it for me, right there.

[Another camera angle change.]

ROMSCA: I needed a moral affiliation that fitted my kind of lifestyle, right? So I switched.

[Oh why are you even bothering reading what's in the brackets at this point]

ROMSCA: Now that I'm a good vermin, everything's so much easier. I mean, I still ended up dying, but... yeah, it was great while it lasted.

[A mysterious picture of a piece of fruit is shown, with the subtitle "Switch".]

ROMSCA: My name is Romsca, and I'm a morally aberrant vermin.


SLAGAR: Thanks for letting us see that spectacular clip of... that thing you said that you're working on, Ublaz! It looks really spectacular. In fact, anyone who for some reason missed out on that preview should seriously consider ending their own existence!

UBLAZ: I didn't show anything yet, you spaz.

SLAGAR: Hmph. Thanks for ruining my anticlimactic vibe. Anyways, hasn't there already been a cartoon based on the "chronicles of Redwall" and such? In which I was expertly portrayed by famed cross dresser Tim Curry?

UBLAZ: Yes, that's true. But what makes our series stand out from that other one is our incorporation of anime influences.

SLAGAR: Anime influences...? Such a combination of cultural expression would be disastrous. Why would you think it wise to do this?

UBLAZ: Well, for one thing? So that kids would actually watch this one.

[The Roaringburn Four plays a short jingle.]

TREEROSE: That's our "Ex-emperor Ublaz has a point" theme.

SLAGAR: Okay, now I know that you fools are making these things up off the cuff.

UBLAZ: I'm tired of waiting for a cue, so I'm going to play the clip now. Direct your attention to the screen on the wall of the studio!

GARTAR: FOR TOHSE OF U REEDING @ HOMME NAD NOT ACSHUALY WASHING TEH SHOW OR DA SCREEN ON TO WALL PLZ DIRECT UR ATTENSHON 2 THE BLUE TEXT 4 A TRAN-SCRIPT OF TIHS VARY IMPROTNAT CLIP OF A NEW SHOLW SO OK HERES THA CLip

[The clip opens in Redwall Abbey. Tansy and Arven are holding the Pearls of Lutra, which are now huge and glowing. The eyes of both characters occupy roughly 80% of their faces.]

TANSY: Oh Arven, the prophecy of Fermald is true, and now Ublaz Madeyes, the most terrible and powerful villain ever to exist, is poised to rule the cursed lost island of Sampetra, and Martin II and Clecky and Viola and Grath require our assistance, and if they only had the mystic power of the Pearls they may have a chance to defeat him but they do not so I do not know what we are to do!

ARVEN: Hey, when's lunch?!

[Arven's comic underestimation of the seriousness of their situation causes Tansy to instantly fall over, apparently with such speed that it cannot be shown via animation. A bead of sweat the size of a small moon hovers over Arven's head.]

ARVEN: Gomen nasi Tansy-chaaaaaan~!/a>

SLAGAR: Did he just... arbitrarily change what language he was speaking?

UBLAZ: Just... bear with me, okay? It's going to get better.

[Rollo and Gerul enter the scene.]

ROLLO: Remember Fermald's prophecy, Tansy! With love... inner-strength... devotion... peace... Ublaz Madeye's licensed trading cards... and friendship, we will attain victory! We must join hands and wings, and only then can we transfer the power of the pearls to Martin and Clecky!

GERUL: Confucius says, he who will not economize will have to agonize!

[They join hands and wings, causing the pearls to glow and disappear.]

GERUL: Ach, Clecky! We're both in this animation-type carton of Ublaz's! Well, I am, at least, and your name is! And as me ould mother said, if they've got your name, you've got fame, because that's what the press will call you!

VITCH: I don't get it. Confucius was a Chinese philosopher. Why are you making reference to him in a cartoon that's informed by Japanese culture?

SLAGAR: Didn't you quit during the last episode?

VITCH: Oh, yeah! [Vitch leaves.]

UBLAZ: To answer his question... I don't even know what these "China" and "Japan" things he speaks of are, so I can't actually answer it. Keep watching the clip!

[The setting is now Sampetra, where Martin II, Clecky, and Grath are all battling throngs of vermin. Martin II keeps using samurai-type moves which slice through armor like butter.]

MARTIN II: All this death and destruction... is it part of the life of a soldier? Is the Abbot right? Are we... are we nothing more than dancing puppets in the never-ending rain? [Pause.] Clecky, are you listening to me? Hello? Can you even hear me over there?!

CLECKY: I'm sorry, Martin. [Cryptically] But one of my ears hears the past... and the other hears the future. [A vermin cuts off one of Clecky's ears.] Well, now I can only hear the past. Great. Thanks for watching my back, Martin. What.

MARTIN II: Grath! We need you to blast an entrance into Ublaz's fortress for us!

[Grath grimaces, nods, and aims her bow.]

GRATH: SHINING SPECIAL PERFECT PRETTY ARROW OF HAPPY KAWAII ^_~ LAWL!!!!!

[Grath's arrow bursts forward, leaving a pink trail of mysterious energy. It crashes into a wall of Ublaz's fortress, creating a gigantic gaping hole. The trio rushes inside.]

MARTIN II: Show yourself, Emperor Ublaz, so that the burning justice of peaceful humility may be exacted upon your throne!

[A Pine Marten of impressive stature, decked out in some type of nifty black samurai/ninja armor, and wearing a tall spiked crown, leaps down from the rafters laughing maniacally.]

UBLAZ: Foolish warrior! You do not yet appreciate my power! Let me show you why I am known as... MADEYES!

[The ninja-king Ublaz fires lasers from his eyes towards Clecky, vaporizing him where he stands.]

MARTIN II: OOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO that's a pretty good reason! We're just lucky that Ublaz just attacked Clecky who is everyone's least favorite character!

CLECKY: Now wait just a minute here...!

UBLAZ: Shh, we're coming to the best part!

MARTIN II: Now I will fuse with the souls of my ancestors to reach my ultimate transformation level, and then I will defeat you in one-on-one combat!

[He does.]

MARTIN II: Now let's DO THIS!

[Before they can fight, however, the Pearls of Lutra appear.]

MARTIN II: The pearls! Tansy... she must have solved the secret of Lutra and delivered the power of the pearls to us!

UBLAZ: Haha! But I will use them for my own evil purposes! [He grabs the pearls.] At last! I shall summon the Great Snake of Lutra and force him to grant me the power to conquer... the UNIVERSE! Arise, Great Snake of Sampetra!!!

[As the pearls of Lutra work their magic, the screen flashes different colors at an insanely high speeds. Soon the rest of the show fades away, and only these flashing colors are left on the screen.]

[The entire audience, the show's staff, and even Slagar, all fall into a trance. The kind that leaves you open to hypnotic suggestion.]

UBLAZ: Ahahahaha! You wanted to know what kind of "comeback" I was talking about, Slagar? Does this answer your question? That right there is a rhetorical question, by the way, since I know it does already, and since you are currently under the power of the trance-inducing signal I planted in my cartoon show! Yes, through my limitless guile I have regained the very type of abilities that were stripped from me by the Dark Forest! Unlike that insufferable whining know-nothing Slagar, I have taken matters into my own hand, and now I will brainwash everyone who watches this abomination of a show I have created, slowly installing orders into the populace until, at the appointed time, my minions shall strike as one! And I, Emperor Ublaz, shall retake my throne as King of the Dead! AHAHAHA-

SOMEONE OFF-CAMERA: Think agin', marten!

[Halfchop springs into action, delivering a left hook to Ublaz's jaw.]

UBLAZ: Oww! Y-you! But, how can you be...? Aren't you the one who -

[Halfchop cuts Ublaz off with a kick to the stomach.]

UBLAZ: Agghhh! My... my hypnotic signal... may have reversed his dementia somehow, but-

[This time Halfchop executes a roundhouse kick, which knocks Ublaz off of his feet.]

UBLAZ: [Getting up.] Would you quit interrupting my expositionary dialogue?!

[Ublaz is struck by Halfchop's fist right between his eyes. He slumps to the floor, unconscious. Halfchop picks up a small device and begins speaking into it.]

HALFCHOP: Th' target's bin subdued, sir.

[A voice speaks back from the device.]

???: Excellent work! I'm glad now that we had you wearing those special protective shades. Anyhow, I've already sent other agents out to reverse the hypnotic signal's effect on the DFBC officials who screened Ublaz's cartoon.

HALFCHOP: I, uh, kinda need help over here...

???: I'll send two more agents over to the studio now. One agent can use this trance that Slagar, his staff, and the audience are in to our advantage by making sure they remember nothing of this encounter, and he can also tamper with the transmission so that nobody watching at home will be any the wiser while hes at it. We can leave the digital transcripts as they are; nobody reads those. They get sent straight to that obscure Slagar website, anyways. What I want you to do is bring Ublaz outside of the studio, so that the other agent can bring him back to headquarters.

HALFCHOP: Right. But, ah, Ublaz didn't watch any o' his own show. 'E'll remember the whole thing, an' start over when 'e comes to.

???: We have ways of tampering with minds as well, Agent Halfchop. Just in case, though, we'll be assigning him to an especially out-of-the-way ironic occupation. He can be, like, an optometrist or something.

HALFCHOP: Right. ...one o' those. Oh yeah, there's also Vitch! 'E was in the studio early on, but skipped out before th' trance.

???: Don't worry, I'll deal with Vitch personally in good time. For now, just get cracking on the delivery of Ublaz. Garcin out. *click*

[Halfchop drags Ublaz's limp body off the stage. For a few minutes, all is still as the audience remains transfixed upon the flashing screen. Eventually, a voice pipes up on the loudspeaker.]

??? (2): Attention, hypnotized audience and staff members! Nothing odd happened here today! Oh, and Ublaz was not a guest on the show! Slagar was interviewing, um, Crabeyes, the fairly unremarkable rat captain from Ferahgo's army. Today's episode was just the typical boring, long-winded, barely humorous fare you usually recieve from this show. Okay, you can snap out of your trances now.

[The screen on the wall which was displaying the flashing colors finally shuts off, and everyone awakens.]

SLAGAR: Hmph. Well, that was a boring, long-winded, barely-humorous episode. I don't know why I booked Crabeyes, the rat captain from Ferahgo's army in the first place, but I think it's safe to say that he was fairly unremarkable.

[The audience murmurs in agreement. Halfchop walks back into the studio and stands in his normal place next to Threeclaws.]

THREECLAWS: Where were ya, buddy? Y' missed a really typical show! I don' really know what typical means but I think it means great!

HALFCHOP: Kachunk! [Winks.]

SLAGAR: No winking on my set!





Redwall, Slagar, and all related properties (C) Brian Jacques and the Redwall Abbey Company. All rights reserved.


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