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Cyphoderus
Apr 21, 2010

I'll have you know, foxes have the finest call in nature



Amir, the Ram
Iron +2 Blood +2 Courage +1 Grace +1 Sense +0 Wisdom -1


Amir is more pensive than he usually is, conversing worriedly with his two bodyguards while sunbathing in the city square.

"It is not right! The heart of a city are the joyous cries of its children. This town has lost its heart, its liveliness. That should not happen."

At this point, Amir spots the party of Talthe, Raliin, and Darren going into the woods. "The woods, eh? Wait, friends! Let me accompany you! I have business of my own to attend in these woods; and if I can aid in removing the terrible curse that has befallen such a lovely village, the better."

As Amir stands up to go with them, his bodyguards, Ferric and Mauve, stir as well. "No! Stay here." As Ferric is about to protest, Amir cuts him off. "Stand down! I have... Kingly business. It is imperative that you do not aid me in any way." From the corner of his eye, Amir sees Hanna passing by, carrying a pile of heavy boxes to the inn. "You stay, and protect our little companion." He waves them off and happily goes after the others.

Out of a sudden, Hanna sees herself crowded by two very tall, very imposing Dwarves... Ferric goes laboriously down on one knee, his heavy armor groaning, and bows to her diligently. "Ms. Hanna, allow me to obey my duty to my lord! Allow me to be your shield!" Mauve, the huntress, stays a way back and smiles a cat's smile to Hanna. It isn't clear whether it's meant to be a reassuring smile... but the end result is, honestly, more intimidating than anything else.

Amir is going into the woods with the others, but while he will assist them in dealing with the town's curse, he will also keep an eye out for a suitable wild creature to hunt and prepare the banquet the dead Dwarf Kings requested of him. I don't think there is a specific move for this, as the Look Closely questions don't seem appropriate.

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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paradoxGentleman posted:

E: wait I am an idiot, I forgot that to mention that this is a Look Closely roll and that I get +1 for Sense. I will ask "what can I rely on to help me out here?"

Raliin heads out into the forest to scout. The landscape is relatively serene, and he notes particularly that there are hunting dogs in the village that are well-suited to moving through it. A good dog can be trusted to track any scent, in the right hands - and Raliin is more than capable of being the right hands. With a solid hunting dog at his side, he'll be able to track anything that's been in those woods, if he can just get ahold of its scent.


Error 404 posted:

[What here is not as it appears to be?
What here is a threat or danger to me?
What is going to happen next?


There's time enough on the ride to eat and heal another point, yes.

Karr's senses are more than physical - they look beyond what seems to be to gaze upon what is. And what is here is not a disease. It is a curse - an old curse, awakened here. This is not the kind of curse that could be laid today, nor that is laid by the hands of men - even men with the power of the Harbinger. This is a single Word, a Word long since lost to use. Rot - not the simple word that men use, but the truth of that Word, the original Word, one of the defining Words of the world.

This is a curse that was born of an older time, from those who first taught the power of the Word. Only they could lay a single Word so strongly, to curse every child. That power is a threat, long dormant, a threat that must have been awakened by the Betrayer's work. If the origin of the curse is not found, it might well grow in power, drawing on the decay it is causing. It could spread from the children to other things, until the land itself becomes barren and dead. But touching it without care would be just as dangerous - a Word touched without care can enter you, and then you would become as the children were...or worse, for it would use your power.

Comrade Gorbash posted:

Look Closely (+Sense): 2d6+2 12
 What's here that I can use to my advantage?
 Who or what looks like it is hiding something?
 Who or what can I rely on to help me out here?


Hanna walks among the people, finding a place to stay. She secures a room with one of the locals - a tanner named Lorna and her husband, who have a large home - inherited, it seems, from her parents, who had many children, but her siblings have generally moved away to become merchants. In Hanna's explorations of the home, she discovers a treasure - a compass, one of the few left in the world now that the knowledge of how to make them has been lost. It was a keepsake from Lorna's mother. She is more than willing to lend it to her adorable guest, though, while she's in town! In fact, Lorna seems to treat Hanna almost like a surrogate daughter while her own daughter is sick. The young girl is in bed constantly, sleeping fitfully and sweating all the time. She does vaguely resemble Hanna. Her father, Lobold, rarely leaves her side. Either can probably be trusted to help Hanna in whatever way they can, given how warmly she has been welcomed.

Write a bond with Lorna, please!

Hanna also notices that there is something odd going on underwater. She takes only a few trips there - there are some airy paths to visit the river merfolk shops - and notices that one of them seems to be much cheerier than everyone else in town. His name is Otter, and he is a peddler of potions and simple goods. Odd, though, that he should know even the rudiments of alchemy and herbalism - that knowledge is rare these days, with the Betrayer's forces around. His good cheer and his knowledge are both suspicious, though he doesn't seem overly malicious.

Amir, meanwhile, goes out a-hunting, bagging himself some fine deer! No foals around, though. Odd, that. He also collects a fair number of fruits for the feast, though several have to be thrown away - overripe and disgusting. The rest are fine, though, and will make for a fine feast to the ancestors!

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT


Harbinger
DOOM: +2 [-], Blood: +2 [-], Courage: +0 [-]
Grace: +0 [X], Sense: +1 [-], Wisdom: -1 [X]


Interesting.
I focus even more of my attention on the patterns before me. This cursed Word appears in everything, even if the outer image shows no signs of corruption or weakness. The whole town might very well already be infected and simply not be aware of it. Sweat breaks out on my brow with the intensity of my concentration. My sense of magical perception leaves me 'floating' deeper into the patterns around me, seeking the source, the First Principle, and looking for breaking points in this...Rot. This may have been made by something older and stronger than any Harbinger was in our prime, and I am most definitely NOT a Harbinger in our prime, but just because something takes a lot of skill and power to make, doesn't mean you need near as much precision.
A master artisan can spend months teasing clay into a masterpiece. It only takes a child with a hammer a single moment to destroy it. I pray this too might have as simple a first cause and resolution.
Overcome (using magic) 12


BOOM Magic yo!

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Try to get posts in before Monday, when I return from vacation.

paradoxGentleman
Dec 10, 2013

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


(I kind of want to see the magic's effect before making my move.)

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



B-1 [ ] | C+2 [ ] | G+0 [ ] | S+2 [ ] | W+1 [ ]

Hanna is well pleased with Lorna's affectionate attentions, and happy to help in the kitchen. Even to share a few of her own secrets, especially the one for a making the best broth for stews.

Now, the little homonculus is no warrior, but she is part of the Fellowship. The littlest part, so well suited for the littlest problems. This Otters seems like one such. Rather than bother the others about him, she turns her own attention to the matter, trying to figure out what strikes her as so strange about the merfolk. She also asks Lorna and Lobold about the merfolk - inquiring whether they know anything, or perhaps know of someone who does.

She spends some time down below, ostensibly shopping and considering making a purchase from Otter for her own supplies, too. But in truth she is looking for clues. She strikes up conversation with him, and tries to steer it towards those matters.

Lorna and I shared some our recipes.

Speak Softly [Wisdom]: 2d6+1 5
Oh poop.

Cyphoderus
Apr 21, 2010

I'll have you know, foxes have the finest call in nature


paradoxGentleman posted:

(I kind of want to see the magic's effect before making my move.)

Same here.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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The Word is deeply entrenched. Countering it here - even with the power that Karr brings to bear - is not quite possible. But to shear it back...that is possible. Karr's tattoos pulse with power as he reaches out and grips the Word. A lesser Harbinger, one with less skill, would have died just doing this, rotted to the bone. Karr tears the threads, and across town, children's eyes begin to open. They will recover over the next few days, with food and rest. Their strength will return.

But the Rot is not gone. It has been forced to release the children, but this is only a manifestation of the Word. Karr notes with rising horror that the tendrils of Rot do not fully shatter. The word begins to reassert itself, casting about for something to latch onto. It will be slow - it will take days before it finds a new target. But the Word is elsewhere, in the forest. It will find a new way in, and the town will rot again and need to be saved again, unless the problem is dealt with at its source.


Meanwhile, Hanna asks around about the merfolk. They and the landbound people of the town work together to make the most of the area. The villagers hunt the woods and find meat and seeds, while the merfolk fish and raise the plants in the shallow-farms. Otter is an oddity, they say - a clever man who can make plants and animal parts into useful potions.

He is happy to talk to Hanna, and she comes away with the feeling that he is a man she can talk to any time, about anything. He is kind and listens well, so well that she perhaps says more than she ought. After all, he's got such a trustworthy face, and his voice is so warm and soothing!



What does Hanna tell Otter that she would be better off not telling him?

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



B-1 [ ] | C+2 [ ] | G+0 [ ] | S+2 [ ] | W+1 [ ]

Clearly Hanna was wrong about this Otter fellow. He might be a bit strange, but he's a good, honest merfolk after all. Very easy to talk to! Hanna is no apothecary, but a cook needs know herbs by necessity. She'd studied up a bit on healing poultices for the journey, so adding some real expert knowledge was useful. And Otter had been happy to listen to Hanna's concerns about her own journey. The homunculus had been careful not say what the Fellowship was for, nor who precisely was in it. But she had let slip that they would be journeying into the forest soon, to find some special stones.

Hanna thinks she was vague, but anyone who knows about the menhirs would find it easy to figure out where the Fellowship is headed.

paradoxGentleman
Dec 10, 2013

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!



Blood: +2 Courage:+2 Grace:-1 Sense:+1 Wisdom:+0
This landscape reminded the orc chief of the hunting grounds he used to stalk through in his youth, first following and then leading the wolf hounds, always sniffing for their prey. It would be a fine thing, to lead a wolf (or even its more docile cousin that the other races bred, the dog) to track the soure of this plague! Too bad they did not have something with its smell; nor did they now if it was something that could be smelled, to tell the truth.

The electricity dancing in the air distracted the orc from his thoughts. He turned to see Karr, tattoos glowing with eldritch powers, as he casted his spell. They were already lightening down when the orc reached him. His tone was wary and irritated, but not overtly hostile.

"Sorcerer, what did you do just now?"

IPlayVideoGames
Nov 28, 2004

I unironically like Anders as a character.



Blood +0 | Courage +1 | Grace +2 | Sense +2 | Wisdom -1
Talthe

The elf rounds a tree to rejoin the others as well, though he's distracted. His attention is everywhere but the others of the Fellowship and Darren.

"Whatever you've done is disturbing. But more importantly, have you succeeded? Will the children still be plagued, Harbinger?"

He tightens the robe he wears, binding it closer to him.

"I'm going to look ahead."

And he's off.

--
7 on look closely.
What in the forest is hiding something?

Cyphoderus
Apr 21, 2010

I'll have you know, foxes have the finest call in nature



Amir, the Ram
Iron +2 Blood +2 Courage +1 Grace +1 Sense +0 Wisdom -1


Amir appears from between the trees to unexpectedly join the others. He has the huge carcass of a deer, a male with imposing antlers, in a fireman's carry, as well as a big canvas bag filled with fruit slung over his shoulder. The bulk barely manages to break his posture. He stares from the assembled fellowship to Karr, who's still crackling.

"Wizard! Don't you know better than to fight sorcery with sorcery? The creatures of the weird are certainly alert to our presence now. Arms yourselves, companions, for surely we have become the brightest of targets."

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT


Harbinger
DOOM: +2 [-], Blood: +2 [-], Courage: +0 [-]
Grace: +0 [X], Sense: +1 [-], Wisdom: -1 [X]


I step back and sit on a stump, breathing heavily for a moment before responding to Raliin and Amir.
"I think I know just a tiny bit more about magical workings and foes, comrade dwarf. As for the Rot, It is only a reprieve. I could not eradicate the blight, but I believe if we can find it's source in this forest, I can end it entirely. For now though, the town's children are safe.

I pull the stopper out of one of my never ending liquor flasks, and drink heartily. The warmth of the alcohol working to calm my nerves. "If you would like, we can head back to town for today and discuss our next move.
We have a decision to make; Do we stay and end the Rot once and for all, or do we move on and return once the Overlord has been stomped?

paradoxGentleman
Dec 10, 2013

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!



Blood: +2 Courage:+2 Grace:-1 Sense:+1 Wisdom:+0

Raliin was torn. On the one hand, putting an end to the Betrayer's work would have also put an end to dozens if not hundreds of situations like this; on the other hand, would this village even survive that long? Was he really willing to make that call?

"No." he said. "No, let's get rid of this wicked thing now. This is your place of expertise more than mine, sorcerer: what should we do?"

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT


Harbinger
DOOM: +2 [-], Blood: +2 [-], Courage: +0 [-]
Grace: +0 [X], Sense: +1 [-], Wisdom: -1 [X]


"An excellent question friend, orc." My breathing has steadied and I feel a bit better, though still quite fatigued.
"Allow me some minutes to examine the problem further, then I believe we should head back, inform the others and make any other preparations."
Having said my piece I settle myself on the stump, and Look Closely upon the scene.

AFAIK, I'm rolling with despair in this scene after using my magic, yeah?
Look Closely 6
WELP

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Otter cheerfully listens to Hanna and sends her on her way, advising her to keep an eye out for certain herbs that he uses as medicine. He even draws her nice little pictures of them. What a nice fellow! He certainly hasn't hidden anything and won't be revealing what he knows to people who shouldn't hear about it.

IPlayVideoGames posted:

7 on look closely.
What in the forest is hiding something?


Talthe, meanwhile, finds a hidden trail in the forest, covered over by brush which he finds was clearly broken. The trail leads deeper into the woods, to a dark cave of some kind. It would be dangerous to explore alone, without letting anyone know about it, but someone made their way to that cave in the relatively recent past, and not only that, they tried to cover their tracks.

Error 404 posted:


Harbinger
AFAIK, I'm rolling with despair in this scene after using my magic, yeah?
Look Closely 6
WELP

Karr, meanwhile, opens his eyes to the magic of the area. Talthe has headed off into the distance, and from that area, Karr can feel the Rot, the magic casting about like a loose line. It is deep - underground, perhaps? Karr needs to look further. Using all this power at once, though, it is risky. Before he can see anything further, the Rot lashes across his mind. He is forced back to the world of the physical, his mind reeling from the onslaught of power. In one thing, it seems, Amir is right: the Word is aware of him now, insofar as it is aware. It has laid its mark on Karr's mind, however lightly. Perhaps it would be best to gather everyone and deal with this with their help.

Karr, damage your Sense.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



B-1 [ ] | C+2 [ ] | G+0 [ ] | S+2 [ ] | W+1 [ ]

Hanna, having satisfied her curiosity in regards to Otter, heads back to the lodgings. Finding none of the others there, she waits for a while, growing increasingly anxious. Finally, she hurries back out, intent on finding her companions.

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT


Harbinger
DOOM: +2 [-], Blood: +2 [-], Courage: +0 [-]
Grace: +0 [X], Sense: +1 [X], Wisdom: -1 [X]


The sudden shock and pain sends me reeling.
"Argh! The source of the Rot is underground!, but I was unable to determine more before it- oh it's not important. What is important is that we must gather everyone else if we're going to defeat this thing!"
One eye clenched against the pain and the other squinty, I stagger forth towards town.

IPlayVideoGames
Nov 28, 2004

I unironically like Anders as a character.



Blood +0 | Courage +1 | Grace +2 | Sense +2 | Wisdom -1
Talthe

Talthe stares at the cave, struggling with the desire to charge in and investigate. Instead, he finally slips away into the brush and climbs a tree, hiding himself. His eyes slowly close, and he tilts his head back, muttering quietly.

"Orc. Gather the others. Take them southwest into the woods, find and follow the brook upstream until you reach the split oak. Cross the water there and find the deer trail. I'm waiting further down it. I suspect I found the source of the rot."

--
Using whisper on the wind to speak to Raliin. He can answer with 5 words.

Cyphoderus
Apr 21, 2010

I'll have you know, foxes have the finest call in nature



Amir, the Ram
Iron +2 Blood +2 Courage +1 Grace +1 Sense +0 Wisdom -1


Amir is on standby, still carrying the deer slung over his shoulder, ready to be shown to the cave with the others.

paradoxGentleman
Dec 10, 2013

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!



Blood: +2 Courage:+2 Grace:-1 Sense:+1 Wisdom:+0

Raliin freezes up, feeling a foreign presence into his mind, bypassing his ears altogether to speak into his brain. It lingers more than it is welcome, seemingly waiting for an answer. The orc scrounces up his face and tries to focus on a message to give it: "I will; go no further." He is relieved to feel it leave his mind.

"The elf has found what he believes is the source and gave me directions... somehow. Let's find our companions and see if he's right."

quote:

All in favor of skipping ahead until we are all at the cave?

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT

quote:

All in favor of skipping ahead until we are all at the cave?

Aye

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Aye!

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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2014-2018




The cave is dark, full of the drips of water as you make your way in. Your torches give it an eerie cast, and the light seems to be wan and pale compared to what it should be. The path winds downward in broad arcs, and it is ten minutes before it widens outward into a cavern. You are atop a high cliff, and beneath you are...well, they aren't living creatures. They couldn't be - nothing living is so still. And yet, some of them move. Pale, eyeless things, crawling across the floor below, mushrooms sprouting from where their eyes should be. They look like they might once have been men or elves, perhaps - they are tall and thin, not robust like a dwarf or orc.

The entire cavern stinks of rotten flesh and decay. The...things move about a central pit, too dark for you to see into. The visibility isn't helped by an almost palpable miasma emitting from the pit.

What do you do?

Cyphoderus
Apr 21, 2010

I'll have you know, foxes have the finest call in nature



Amir, the Ram
Iron +2 Blood +2 Courage +1 Grace +1 Sense +0 Wisdom -1


Amir steps forward to peer over the cliff, having completely forgotten the weight of the deer's carcass on his back. As soon as he sees the mushroom-eyed creatures, he steps back, with a frown that might be of either curiosity or concern.

"What foul creatures are these?" he whispers to the fellowship. "This place reeks of foul sorcery. Let's get this done with without delay."

quote:

All that glitters. When you enter a place and something doesn't feel right, you may ask the Overlord if there is a trap or ambush here. They will answer honestly, yes or no.

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Indeed, the place isn't safe. Something is amiss in the darkness, though Amir is unsure what. Without care, this place could be far more dangerous than any of the creatures within it.

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