Tuesday, December 23, 2008

100. What's What

Back in TMQ #50, we reviewed the plot lines of the “first season” of The Magic Quill. That time has come again – though perhaps belatedly. So let us pick up where No. 50 left off, and take a nostalgic look at “What’s What” in TMQ Nos. 51 to 100...

51. “Tricycle Treadmarks” – We find out what happened to Mr. Weasley’s Anglia and Sirius Black’s motorcycle.

52. “Smart Food” – Miles O’Roughage invents a food that always tastes like what you want to eat...but it has a gruesome side effect.

53. “Locating Ilona, Part One” – Spanky witnesses the birth of Harry Potter...just as the Death Eaters have Godric’s Hollow surrounded.

54. “Locating Ilona, Part Two” – In the middle of a Death Eater siege on Godric’s Hollow, Spanky finds his missing fiancee.

55. “The Cloak of Visibility” – Sadie questions Spanky’s loyalty to the storytelling circle...and Merlin and Rigel find a flicker of hope in the darkest Pit of Gringotts.

56. “The Breath-Ants” – Merlin and Rigel try the first of seven tunnels out of the Pit – and find nothing but a swarm of life-stealing bugs.

57. “The Boatman and the Dragon” – Rigel decides to give up and die, but Merlin forces him to march on...into the clutches of a madman and a sleeping dragon’s lair.

58. “Locking and Loading” – Rigel and Merlin arm themselves to fight the dragon, using products of other fantasy worlds courtesy of “Out of This World Surplus Outfitters.”

59. “The Attack of the Nifflers” – What could be more dangerous: an angry dragon, or 100 playful, cuddly nifflers?

60. “In Memoriam A.P.W.B.D.” – First known to many of you as “[Spoiler Warning]” – The Phoenix Lament interrupts Merlin’s tale, and everyone goes home to mourn a great man’s passing.

61. “A Chat with Ed, Ned, and Tip” – Bo Dwyer kicks off his new WWN program with an interview of Nasal Drip, Britain’s most obnoxious “cauldron punk” trio.

62. “Waiting to Disapparate” – Spanky and Ilona worry about their half-invisible children...Merlin and Rigel find out what happened to skydiving robber D.B. Cooper.

63. “The Tunnel of Boggarts” – After rescuing the Durmstrang lads from a goblin snack bar, Merlin and Rigel encounter a boggart breeding ground.

64. “Boggart In My Pocket” – Merlin and Rigel face their worst fears before falling into the claws of the goblins again.

65. “Hiking, Birdwatching and Wandmaking, Part One” – Another trip to the Pit leads Merlin & Co. to an underground wand tree preserve and bird sanctuary.

66. “Hiking, Birdwatching and Wandmaking, Part Two” – The Merlin Party ekes a living from a nature preserve in the depths of Gringotts, while trying to make their own wands – only what will they ever use for wand cores?

67. “Under the Sic-’em-more” – Encounters with a feisty leprechaun, an augurey and a relative of the Whomping Willow bring Merlin and Rigel closer to escaping from Gringotts.

68. “A Wet Spell” – Side effects of using an augurey feather as a wand core spill over a gruesome monument to a vampire.

69. “Concept Brooms” – Bo Dwyer prolongs the suspense of #68’s cliff-hanger by prattling on about novelty broomsticks.

70. “The Rescue” – The rescuers become the rescued after Rigel falls into a fountain of blood.

71. “The Time Vault” – Rigel’s Hand of Glory leads the party to a mysteriously unlocked vault where time is saved...but can they steal it?

72. “The Yesterday Pill” – Rigel’s impulsive attempt to go back in time to escape Gringotts backfires, relegating him to a second childhood.

73. “Wine, Clowns and Song” – Merlin & Co. receive a shock when the goblins put them back in Il Comte’s vault, and the clowns reveal that they have all jumped FORWARD in time. [By the way, this is where the first Double Challenge appeared.]

74. “Il Comte di Bestemmia” – A deal with a genie sweeps Merlin and his party into a dangerous confrontation with the self-adoring Comte di Bestemmia.

75. “Mammali Enemectus” – Il Comte gets the first of many unpleasant lessons from Merlin and friends, when a horde of chipmunks attacks! Will he ever learn?

76. “The Stupid Stick” – Il Comte and Merlin face each other in a duel, armed with branches of the fabled ugly tree and, yes, the stupid tree.

77. “Lilly Grate” – Mime wizard Boccachiusa saves Merlin’s bacon with a handful of dream dust...before an ill-considered wish lands the party back in Gringotts.

78. “The Thestramule” – An unknown burglar steals a Dumbledore family heirloom from the Hog’s Head, and Merlin rushes off in pursuit.

79. “A Break for Bestsellers” – Cicero Pica reviews the Top 10 books on the Daily Prophet’s Nonfiction List.

80. “The Thief’s Tale” – While waiting in St. Mungo’s for word of Merlin’s condition, Harvey’s circle discovers that the item stolen from the Hog’s Head was a special timepiece.

81. “The Catfish Burglar” – Sadie describes the burglary job that made her first fortune.

82. “The Catfish Burglar, Part Two” – Merlin, selling a home security system, has a chance to stop Sadie stealing a rare herb.

83. “The Bogley Squint Ward” – Rigel and Merlin are reunited in a St. Mungo’s ward full of the victims of spell damage.

84. “The Godfather Clock” – Rigel hopes to cure Merlin’s fox pox by giving him a “food tasters’ friend.”

85. “Head Quidditch” – Orion Oldmanson tells some of his son’s backstory, including the invention of a lucrative sport played by ghosts.

86. “The Literalis Curse” – A disaster in the Bogley Squint Ward leads to the discovery that Il Comte is back and coming after Merlin and his friends.

87. “The Wall That Wasn’t There” – Merlin compresses the rest of his escape from Gringotts into a brief vignette, revealing the door the circle needs to enter Gringotts...and Harvey has the key.

88. “Mother Goosed” – Joe Albuquerque saves the clown wizards from Il Comte.

89. “The Eyedropper Banquet” – Endora warns Karl and his wife Heidi about Il Comte, and uses her gifts to obtain provisions for the bank heist.

90. “Grim Prospekt” – Sadie rescues the body art wizard Anatoly and his illustrated man Friday from Il Comte.

91. “The Wandwright” – Spanky and family warn Jaan the wand maker about Il Comte, and then collect some unusual wands for their upcoming bank heist.

92. “The Last Recruit” – Slavik takes a leave of absence from Durmstrang to tell Harvey his plan for breaking into Gringotts – but they have to do it NOW!

93. “The Rheosaurus Diversion” – Joe, Slavik, Rigel and the Spankison children distract the goblins while the real break-in goes on.

94. “How to Break Into Gringotts” – The goblins try to figure out who done it, but they obviously haven’t read Conan Doyle.

95. “Spoof and the Carpet” – Due to a small hitch in their diversionary plan, Joe and his young helpers are delayed in getting out of Gringotts.

96. “Britannin” – The real target of Harvey’s big heist turns out to be 28 barrels of dragon bogeys...but why?

97. “Bashmace and Ripsnarl” – Joe and Rigel make good their escape from Gringotts, by way of the biggest document-shredding operation in the wizarding world.

98. “Essence of Merlin” – Harvey’s mysterious purpose in planning the theft of wine, potions and dragon phlegm from a dead man’s vault begins to come clear when he proposes the toast: “To living backwards in time!”

99. “Who’s Who” – This is the chapter to bookmark if you have trouble telling one TMQ character from another, or if you want a quick guide for catching up on a character’s backstory.

100. “What’s What” – And that’s that.


Here are the answers to last week’s March of Galleons TMQ Trivia Challenge:


And now, the first DOUBLE CHALLENGE of season three!

To send Robbie your personal feedback or original ideas, visit the Feedback Form [EDIT: Rather, leave a Comment]. To vote in the Survey and Contest to determine what happens in the Chapter-After-Next, visit the Discussion Forum [EDIT: This discussion is closed].

SURVEY: Whoever drinks the Essence of Merlin potion will end up living backwards in time. Which character will it be? (A) Harvey. (B) our Merlin. (C) Tip. (D) Other: ____.

CONTEST: You’re at a Hogwarts Alumni Reunion and you run into your year’s Yule Ball king or queen. You’re surprised to find out that he or she has an unglamorous, rather sad, magic-related job. What is it?

The Survey answer that gets the most votes, and the Contest entry that Robbie likes the most, will be featured in Magic Quill #102. So be sure to visit our Discussion Thread – and if you aren’t a member of COS Forums, join today!

[Originally posted 8/27/06]

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