A Crowd of Arguing Elves

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A Crowd of Arguing Elves appeared in Crimbo Town during Crimbo 2020.

December 16

  • On first visit
Crimbo Town square is full of elves bickering with each other -- well, perhaps 'bickering' is a strong word, as none of them seem angry exactly, but there certainly is a lot of emotional gesturing going on.
You push through to the middle of the crowd, where three elves in particular seem to be the main focus of the debate. Would you be surprised to find out one of them is Tammy, the tambourine elf? (Unless you're pretty new around here, you shouldn't be.)
"Hey, Tammy!" you say, waving to her.
"<Player Name>!" she squeals in delight, and gives you a big (for an elf) hug. "It's so nice to see you again! Welcome back!"
"You too! What's going on?" you ask.
"Abuela Crimbo has a lot on her plate this year, so she left us in charge of running things for the Kingdom," she explains. "But we're having trouble agreeing on what sort of Crimbo it should be. How best to spread the Crimbo spirit, you know?"
She turns and gestures to the other two elves with her tambourine. "Here, let me introduce you! This is Mirth," she says, indicating an elf with long blonde hair and big shining eyes, who waves at you happily, "and this is Penny." Penny is dressed in a sober gray suit, albeit with a festive red and green necktie. She nods politely and makes a note on her digital tablet.
"Please to meet you both," you say. "What's the situation? Maybe I can help."
Mirth clasps her hands to her chest beatifically. "Crimbo is the season of love, and togetherness, and caring!" she says, in a lilting, chirpy voice. "We should go out to all the people, and spread these messages of joy and harmony, and entreat them to join us in celebrating the spirit of Crimbo!"
"And I basically agree," Tammy says, "except I don't think people are gonna be interested in, y'know, speeches and stuff, no matter how heartfelt they are. I think what people want is music and singing!" She jingles her tambourine to demonstrate. "Traditional Crimbo carols! And wassailing! That's how you get people into the Crimbo spirit!"
Penny sniffs. "While both of these undertakings are charming, and they certainly have their place in the season, we must not neglect the realities of modern life," she says. "The economy relies on the Crimbo gift-purchasing surge, and we Crimbo elves are not immune. Regardless of our fantastical natures, we cannot live on Crimbo cheer alone. Encouraging people to spend money -- Meat, in this case -- should be our overriding concern in promoting holiday spirit."
"Okay, well, I don't think these ideas are mutually-exclusive," you say. "We've got a lot of adventurers in the Kingdom. Some of us can go out proselytizing, and some can go caroling, and some can, um..."
"I have taking the liberty of constructing a financial invigoration program, which I call 'multi-level economic encouragement'," Penny says. "Basically, if each member donates Meat to the next member up the ladder, then..."
"Right, sure. That. There's enough of us that we can do all three of these things," you say.
"That's a great idea!" Tammy says excitedly. "Let's get started right away!"
Unlocks Spread Crimbo Spirit in Seaside Town
  • On subsequent visits
The elves are all scampering around the place, busy with their various tasks. Maybe try again later (meaning tomorrow).

December 17

  • On first visit
You head back to the town square, where the three "faction leaders" are sending elves out on various tasks. You find Tammy handing out lyrics sheets and knitted scarves. "Oh! Hi <Player Name>!" she calls out to you, waving.
"Hiya, Tammy," you say. "How's it going?"
"Really great! Gosh, it's nice to be back doing regular Crimbo stuff. How long has it been since that happened?"
"Umm... fifteen years."
"Jeez! No wonder nobody here can remember all the lyrics to 'Deck the Halls'."
"Is that your favorite Crimbo carol?"
"It's pretty good, but my favorites are the ones with jingle bells!" She starts hopping up and down and shaking her tambourine. "Jingle jingle jingle jingle jingle jingle jingle!"
"Ha ha, well, I'm not surprised." Noticing Mirth standing nearby, you turn to her. "What about you, Mirth? What are your favorite carols?"
"Ooooh," she ponders dreamily, "I like all the lovely spiritual ones. I'm not very familiar with the different religions around here, but the songs about joy and silence and harmony are all so pretty!"
"How about you, Penny?" you ask.
Penny looks up from her tablet. "Hmm, well, I suppose if I'm obligated to choose, I'd say the one where someone buys their true love three hundred and sixty-four presents, most of them expensive livestock or the services of contract laborers. That one's pretty good."
"Yeah, that tracks."
  • On subsequent visits
The elves are all scampering around the place, busy with their various tasks. Maybe try again later (meaning tomorrow).

December 18

  • On first visit
Your return to Crimbo Town square, and find Mirth supervising a crew of elves, who are running around with potted poinsettias and silver tinsel and other such decorations.
"You look like you're having a good time, Mirth," you say. "In fact, you look positively blissed out."
"Oh, it's just that this is my favorite time of year," she says, beaming. "When all the year's preparations are nearly finished, and it's time to really start sharing the miracle of Crimbo with everyone! When everyone comes together in the spirit of peace and love and joy, and all the arguments and fights of the rest of the year are put aside and everybody is nice and kind to one another!"
"Yeah, it's great!" Tammy pipes up. "Especially the parties! Lots of music and dancing, and all kinds of food! Fruitcake and mince pie and Crimbo cookies!"
"And let's not forget the shopping, and the exchange of presents," Penny adds.
"I mean... yes, that's all wonderful," Mirth says, "but the point is the magic and spirit of harmony and togetherness and giving!"
"Right! Togetherness!" Tammy says, shaking her tombourine excitedly. "Like at a party!"
"And 'giving' as regards the giving of presents, yes," Penny nods.
"But... I mean, you're not wrong, but..."
"Don't worry about it, Mirth," you say, giving her a pat on the head. "They're just specialists, is all."
  • On subsequent visits
The elves are all scampering around the place, busy with their various tasks. Maybe try again later (meaning tomorrow).

December 19

  • On first visit
You find Penny at work, tapping rapidly on her tablet. "Hey, Penny. How's it going?"
"I won't know for certain until the final receipts are tabulated, but so far I'd say things are progressing within expected budgetary parameters," she replies.
"I meant that in a more general 'hello' kind of sense, but that's good too. Say," you ask, "I don't remember seeing you around before. Are you new?"
"To this regional office, yes. Previously, I worked in the Crimbo Town for a small tropical kingdom in the Distant Lands."
"Tropical, huh? Like with beaches and palm trees?"
"Yes. Almost entirely so."
"That sounds really nice."
"Mm. It could have been worse, certainly. Decorating a palm tree is much easier in some ways, and much more difficult in others."
Mirth, who has wandered up to join the conversation, says "Tell them why you transferred!"
"Oh yeah, why did you transfer?" you ask. "It seems like a pretty cushy gig, apart from the palm trees."
Penny scowls at Mirth, then looks away and folds her arms. "...I didn't like their money."
"Huh? They didn't use Meat?"
"They used seashells!" Mirth says, her eyes wide. "All different ones! They were so pretty!"
"They were ridiculous," Penny grumbles. "All different colors, sizes, shapes, and values. No standardization at all! It was impossible to keep proper financial records! At least Meat uses a standard measurement of weight."
"Also she was allergic to them," Mirth whispers to you.
  • On subsequent visits
The elves are all scampering around the place, busy with their various tasks. Maybe try again later (meaning tomorrow).

December 20

  • On first visit
You enter Crimbo Town square and find Tammy and Mirth peering over Penny's shoulders at her tablet and making appreciative sounds. "What's up, girls?" you ask. "New video game?"
"Ha ha, nope!" Tammy says. "We're just looking at the stats of all the adventurers going out and doing stuff!"
"Penny only plays incremental clickers," Mirth says, smiling. "They're incredibly dull!"
Penny gives her an a[sic] askance look. "I like how the numbers go up," she mutters. "Anyway, you only play dating sims, so don't--"
"Anyway," Tammy says, "things are really going well! You were right, we're getting the caroling and the evangelizing and the... the, um..."
"Multi-level economic encouragement."
"Yeah, that! All three of them are getting done wonderfully!" She rattles her tambourine in excitement.
"Well, that's great," you say. "I don't really get the economic thing--"
"It's very simple," Penny says. "By inserting additional nodes into the transactional flow, the money is spread wider and more evenly, which results in more financial activity, which further stimulates the economy. That results in more transactions, which results in more gains for us."
"The rest of my sentence was going to be 'but I don't really need an explanation,'" you say. "I'm not sure I understood it anyway, though."
"Instead of taking one slice of a large pie, we get lots of slices from lots of smaller pies, which adds up to more pie, in aggregate, than the one slice would have been," she says, patiently.
"Well, I'll take your word for it."
  • On subsequent visits
The elves are all scampering around the place, busy with their various tasks. Maybe try again later (meaning tomorrow).

December 21

  • On first visit
You find the three elves back at Crimbo Town Square, fussing around with their subordinates and generally working on Crimbo preparations. "How's it going, Tammy?" you ask.
"Pretty well!" she says cheerfully. "Although everyone's still just going 'fa la la la la' through 'Deck the Halls', instead of singing the real words."
"There's... there's real words?"
"Aw geez! You too?"
"Is everything all right, Penny?" Mirth asks, with a worried tone. "You don't look well."
"I'm fine," Penny says wearily. "Just tired. There's a lot of work to do."
"Your face is quite red!"
"We've just moved from the tropics to a snow-covered mountain. It's not unreasonable to expect that I'd be unaccustomed to the weather."
"That's true," you comment, "but in that case I'd expect you to be shivering, not sweating, right?"
"I'm wearing a sweater! That's what it does!"
Mirth takes Penny's hand and starts dragging her back to the dorms, despite her tired protests. "Come on, let's get you a candy tylenol and an old-timey ice bag for your head."
  • On subsequent visits
The elves are all scampering around the place, busy with their various tasks. Maybe try again later (meaning tomorrow).

December 22

  • On first visit
At Crimbo Town Square, you find Tammy and Mirth fussing over Penny. "Knock it off, I'm perfectly capable of performing my duties," Penny grumbles. "Our financial intake is outperforming expectations, and I have to manage the budgetary surplus!"
"You really don't look so hot, though," Tammy says, rattling her tambourine worriedly. Indeed, Penny's face is bright red, and puffy -- practically swollen.
"Yeah, jeez," you say. "We probably oughta get her to a doctor."
Mirth takes Penny's tablet away and puts an arm across her shoulders to steer her toward the medical cabin. "Yes indeed -- we can't have you getting sick, Penny! Especially not at this time of year! What would we do without you?"
"Don't worry, Mirth, the doctors here are really good," Tammy says. "Like, really unexpectedly good for a Crimbo Town!"
"Yeah," you agree. "They've had to be. They've seen some real... stuff over the years."
"Gimme m'tablet back," Penny mutters, waving feebly at Mirth's hand as the two of them shuffle away. "I got numbers t'go up."
  • On subsequent visits
The elves are all scampering around the place, busy with their various tasks. Maybe try again later (meaning tomorrow).

December 23

  • On first visit
You duck your head to enter the elves' medical cabin. "Hey, it's me," you say. "How's Penny do-- wow." Penny is lying on her back, thoroughly bloated -- as fat and round as a goblin, groaning slightly and tapping feebly at the tablet propped up on her stomach.
Mirth has found a little white nurse's cap somewhere, and is fussing over her. "Oh, honestly! This thermometer is made of candy! It just melts! Haven't we got a real one?"
"What's the prognosis?" you whisper to Tammy.
"I dunno what that is, but Penny's in a bad way!" she whispers back. "She's swelling up all weird! You don't think she's gonna... you know..."
"What?"
"Like... like turn into a horrible demonic blob boss monster or anything? Like as some kind of crazy dramatic twist, and we have to fight her to save Crimbo??"
"No, don't worry," you say. "She'll be fine, nothing like that is gonna happen."
"Oh no! That's just what someone would say before it does happen!" Tammy wails. "To make it more ironic!"
"Seriously, it's fine. There isn't gonna be a boss fight, I promise."
"Now you're just reinforcing it!"
"Look, Tammy. Although I, <Player Name>, am one adventurer among tens of thousands and have no reason to personally know what's going to happen, the guy writing the stuff I'm saying right now does know, and I assure you, there's no boss monster or other unexpected twist at the end of this. Everything turns out fine. I'm telling you this so you won't be disappointed when there isn't a boss fight at the end."
"Oh! Well, when you put it that way, that's a relief. Even if it is kind of a dumb postmodern goof."
  • On subsequent visits
The elves are all scampering around the place, busy with their various tasks. Maybe try again later (meaning tomorrow).

December 24

  • On first visit
You return to the elves' medical cabin to find... well, it's quite a sight, but I guess I'll have to try to describe it to you with words. Basically, the entire cabin has collapsed, crushed under the bulk of a giant fleshy blob. The blob has two little arms and legs sticking out of it. Well, four little arms and legs. Two of each. You know what I mean. Basically, Penny has inflated to the point of exploding the entire building.
Mirth runs up to you and tugs on your sleeve, sobbing. "Don't kill her! She isn't a boss monster! I swear!"
"Aw jeez. Calm down, Mirth, I won't hurt her. I know she isn't a boss monster." You pat Mirth on the head, trying to console her. "What even is happening, though? This is nuts."
Mirth sniffles into a handkerchief. "She just... well, she gets kind of obsessive. About money."
With a groan, the huge Penny-blob rolls over, and her head comes into view. "Sooo... muuuuch... profiiit... cough cough, hruglk." Something flies out of her mouth and lands wetly at your feet. It's a meat stack.
"Gah!" you cringe. "What the hell, Penny? You've been eating the Meat? What were you thinking?"
"Gotta... gotta protect the budgetary surplus," she groans.
"You can't eat the Meat!"
"Why... not? It's meat!"
"Yeah, but not that kind of meat!"
"Well, what's... what's different about it?"
"Uh... We spend it on stuff!"
Mirth storms over to Penny and bops her on the head with a tiny fist. "Penny, you promised! After the seashells, you promised me you wouldn't do this anymore!"
"Ow, sorry. It seemed perfectly reasonable at the time."
You glance over at Tammy, who shrugs back at you. "Pretty gross, but at least we don't have to fight her," she says.
"Yeah. I'm just... gonna go finish up the last of my Crimbo turns," you say. "You got everything handled here?"
"Yeah, we'll figure something out," she says, and rattles her tambourine.
  • On subsequent visits
The elves are all scampering around the place, busy with their various tasks. Maybe try again later (meaning tomorrow).

December 25

  • On first visit
You find Tammy in the town square, happily jingling her tambourine and dancing with the other merry-making elves. "<Player Name>!" she squeals delightedly, and runs up to give you a big hug. "Merry Crimbo!"
"You too, Tammy," you say, returning the hug. "We finally got one to go off, like, ninety to ninety-five percent right, huh?"
"Ha ha, yeah! Best Crimbo ever!"
"Where are Mirth and Penny, anyway?"
"They're over behind that huge pile of Meat. We ended up getting a bunch of elves to hop up and down on Penny 'til all the Meat came out, and they're still going. Probably best to let them be."
"Yeah. Say," you ask, "are those two, like... together?"
Tammy puts a finger on her chin and thinks for a moment. "...I dunno! I totally ship them, though."
"Yeah, for reals."
And then you spend an undefined amount of time partying with Tammy and the rest of the Crimbo elves.
The end! No moral.
  • On subsequent visits
You go back and party with the Crimbo Elves for a while longer. (They eventually got all the Meat out of Penny, so she was able to join the party -- albeit sitting quietly to the side and sipping a mug of watered-down cocoa while Mirth fussed over her. Anyway you did get to say goodbye to them properly, so it's all good.)

Notes

  • If you have missed one or more visits, the "on first visit" messages from previous days will be shown first.
  • For December 25, "on subsequent visits" message was initially the same as the previous days. This was changed a few hours after rollover.