This book introduces one of Elf Life's more controversial villians: Evil Baughb , the antithesis of everything Baughb is, despite being the same person. Which makes the attempt on Baughb's life rather interesting.

But first, let us correct a misunderstanding. Evil Baughb is two-hundred and fifty years old; he is from Baughb's past. Which makes his attempt on Baughb's life even more interesting!

The next day, or perhaps several days, after Airek, Filis and Baughb escaped from the goblins and the faerie gate in Crisis, Baughb starts instructing her in the arts of swordsmanship. Filis, however, isn't impressed with learning that furious charges are a very good method of getting tripped up.

What neither of them know is that they are being watched, and not by the Lake Froth mob. Somewhere in the twentieth century, E. McMillan, historian, possessor of the Book of Baughb , is watching everything on video links.

Mr McMillan is the reluctant guest of Baughb – Evil Baughb, to be precise – owing to the fact that he has access to the Book of Baughb, which is sequestered in a government facility. This tome is desired by Evil Baughb; he assumes it holds a key clue to control of the Faerie Gates , and thus to his plans of world domination.

But while Mr McMillan is being threatened by Evil Baughb, Filis finds herself in a different dilemma. Her relatives have descended on her home with the intent of educating her in the arts of motherhood, as Baughb finds out the next day. (While they were away, Filis' sister-in-law has had triplets.)

In doing so, he makes an ass of himself (again) and gets ejected. Apparently Baughb's speculation on his own child-rearing skills didn't sit too well with Filis' relatives.

Moping along, Baughb comes across a baby troll. Deciding this is an excellent chance to demonstrate his abilities with children, Baughb takes on the task of caring for it. Given that the baby is about three times his size and was trying to swallow Airek, this is truly a task of heroic proportions.

Then the baby swallows him.

Inside the baby, Baughb finds himself not in a stomach, but a machine: the baby is in fact a robot. And the gentleman behind the construction and deployment of this device isn't very pleased about events either.

Evil Baughb, you see, was after Airek, believing him to have either a means of controlling the faerie gates or the Book of Baughb. Airek was to have been offered a choice between knuckling under or being killed once ingested.

Baughb's attempts to place this familiar face send him off on a flashback, to where Evil Baughb was revealed to him and Filis in the Pool of Falhalderal . Not that such was their intent; Filis had come across evidence that suggested something unspeakable about her father's nature, and wanted Baughb to corroborate it. (She needn't have worried. The reality is even worse.) But they got sidetracked.

Speaking of sidetracks, at this point in time the comic starts being "interrupted" a number of times by other things that Carson was working on, namely Sprite Life and an collection of mini-stories (or backstories) called Universe . The reason for this occurring seems to be the way Keenspot handles archiving on a strict chronological basis, and Carson was working on several things in parallel at the time. (Addendum: The only remaining "sidetrack" is several crossover strips starting from [20000330] to [20000404]. The story gets back into gear in [20000406] and is promptly derailed again from [20000619] to [20000625], which is about the time the Sprite fell for Chelsea from Clan of the Cats .)

Outside the baby, the villagers are having a discussion about what to do while Filis is having hysterics. Unfortunately, said hysteria gets her stuck with an all-night vigil. Even if it's involuntary, laughing at someone's being swallowed is considered very bad taste.

nside the baby, Baughb's soliloquy finally drives Evil Baughb to decide to kill what he wrongly assumes is an unwanted torment from his past. However, Baughb manages to break enough innards to prevent most of the machinery from offing him. Unfortunately for Baughb, the self-destruct mechanism was controlled separately and worked fine (There appears to be a cameo of Wally from Dilbert in the third panel.)

Unfortunately for Evil Baughb, Baughb survived. And Filis is none too pleased either, seeing as he overheard her yelling at Evil Baughb.

And here, as a shaken Baughb starts into a confession, Filis interrupts Baughb with a confession of her own. Just when things seem to be going... well... Baughb does it again. A fight ensues, but the results this time are rather different. It appears Filis makes her peace with Baughb...

Note: This was about the time of Elf Life's first anniversary; the fight starts on [20000614], then on the "Click to continue" link. Basically, a marathon was done with a week of it in one day. Using the normal toolbar skips it.)

r McMillan manages to persuade Evil Baughb to desist from marching troops in and levelling Hollowwood. Which would have been a lot more exciting than watching (or, as the camera was on the blink, hearing) Baughb and Filis smooching (although some might disagree.)

Which is more or less cut short by an approaching funeral procession.

Fortunately Great Grandfather manages to save elven face by halting the procession and going on ahead to find out what actually happened. Namely, that Baughb was sent home by Filis (also to save face), and that Filis did something that gets her out of caring for her sister-in-law's children.

After everyone else departs, Filis is hailed by McMillan, who tries to warn her that Evil Baughb is still around and up to mischief. However, the revelation of Evil Baughb's age is too much for her to bear, and she runs to Baughb's bedside, just to be sure he's still the Baughb she knows.

And, it seems, loves.

Filis gets in the last word


Next Book: Return of Glynhial


The strip for [20000701] has caused some confusion and still does so. The original broken version is still available if you trawl the "devildestiny" subdirectory on the EL site. This story has a number of interesting danglies associated with it. For example:

  1. The faerie gate is referred to as "the South American gate". Such phrasing makes it sound like Evil Baughb had access to more than one.
  2. The videoconferencing equipment, the surveillance cameras, the control of the robot all suggest that wherever the Alfheim end of the gate is, it's not only stable, it's on the surface. Where is it? Will Baughb ever find out?
  3. What government facility did McMillan place the Book of Baughb in, and/or work for?
  4. What will Evil Baughb do next?

And yes, Filis has a brother. Sort of. It'll all be explained later.