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Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006
Jinat Ulukaï, hâ oagé.

Grimey Drawer

Trouble on the Rim, Book 2, Chapter 3
The City of Whale, Eastern Outskirts

Part Fifteen: Ambushed
Current Region: Huddik




As your head aches and stomach rumbles, you call your companions to stand down and regroup for an impromptu mountainside picnic, confident that your siege arbalest should be enough force to dissuade any curiouser than average bear, and that your vantage should let you see and Niddlers long before they could hope to threaten you. You set up camp by some convenient boulder and dig a small pit for keeping your fire responsibly and set to the lively task of the consumption of your meagre rations with some gusto, all the while the creeping mist sets in around you. It is a subtle thing, at first no more than a shift in the wind, but soon the embers of your fire are the only things besides yourselves that can be seen.



The mountain? Gone, though you can feel the dirt beneath your feet and indeed can see gravel should you bring a clump up to your face. You estimate your vision thus be at most ten centimetres. A peasoup fog, so sudden?
You know big cities to be polluted to some degree from the waste of factories, but the air feels pure inside your lungs and soft against your skin.

"Tis not natural in origin, this heavy mist before us." offers Khami somewhat sarcastically.
"In my homeland, we would call it a Mirage, a herald of troubles to come, for wicked things are said to dwell within. Djinn, Vortessei and Daemons of dust. In some cases, swarms of lesser beasts driven on by Dire version of their kind. "

"Yeti are said to travel in mist. " offers your own mouth unbidden in a voice only half your own, but no further coaxing can reveal more.

Skvababt offers her own insight: "When the trail of prey grows cold and you no longer feel the warmth of your own breath upon your hand, when moist skin shivers through no lovers touch, 'ware then your surroundings and keep your senses sharp."

None of this bodes well. You think for a moment back to your own training, your own youth spent in the mountainhall of Tukatt Hold. Beside stories of Yetis that were only ever stories, the occasional Troll incursion or Kobold blight, seasonal rocs, uncovered trogg nest, giant river carp, weithur, harpies, mountain lions and at least six different variations of living rock, the caves of your birth saw little of the problems of the world at large. Not surprising, as it was one of the reasons for living there, after all. A veritable Elysium when compared to places not literally carved into mountain for protection.

"We might have to do some pruning of alternatives." you suggest to a general murmur of agreement.

"Aye, before yon fire dims an' the beast grows bolder. " Again that voice.

You huddle closer to the fire and throw what branches you can find within arms reach into its maw, and quickly try to sort through it all.
Quickly dismissing creatures of rock and sand, as well as most dire animals, taking into consideration the apparent dislike for fire you conclude that you are most likely stalked by either a Vortessi (a living wind - Khami),
some sort of Wraith (a monster more common in colder climes, essentially a floating swarm piranha bees according to Skvababt), a Gast (fog dwelling strangler-kin,) or a Yeti.

Strategies for dealing with these monsters greatly vary, though all are said to have some apprehension to fire that does not mean that it would also hurt them.
You recall your cousin thinking Yetis friendly, and this isn't really their climate, so they also seen safe to rule out.

--

Vortessi are said to be playful, but they can just as easily push you off a cliff as tear the skin from your bones.
Curiously you fight them off with nets, according to Khami, or capture then in bags that you then throw in a river where it will sink to the bottom. Unfortunately you are, if not lost, then at least unsure how far away the river is at the moment.



--

Wraiths you fight with fire, or alchemical explosives or large, blunt instruments. Attacking them with a slashing or piercing weapon is pointless at best. A shield bash might do the trick, but only if you catch it against something else.
You suppose the bag trick might work as well, but you haven't heard of it tried.



--

Ghasts are said to be very strong but they should at least be susceptible to common arms. They operate alone, unlike the other suspects, and take great joy in sowing terror.
They kill by separating their prey from its comrades and then slowly strangling them.



--

1: Any one of these could be your adversary, and you don't really have any idea how many of them there are. Or it could all just be a fluke of the weather?
What do you do?


A: Write-in.

--

[Battlefield Condition]



You are surrounded by a deep fog. Visibility is essentially nil. There is a mountain? You suspect that south is downhill and north is uphill. You suspect the Niddlers fled North-North-east-ish.
Movement unaided by fire will be very difficult.

--

[ISTEC Pre-Battle Summary]
You are well-enough. You are unhurt, physically. You are somewhat rested. You have a headache. You should really go to Rim. Why aren't you going? You wear leather armour, wield waspable gauntlets and a custom-built, heirloom, Masterwork Waraxe.
Skvababt is unhurt. She is rested. She wields a Longbow and wears "leather" armour.
Khami is unhurt. He is rested. He wears chainmail and wields a length of chain.
Kvelar is... ??? Not here. Or is he? No, he isn't. Maybe.
##Nåzom Stëgeth## is.. nearby? You feel it nearby. In this fog, it would be all but useless.

--

Party Thoughts:
Skvababt: "I fear my bow will be of little use, Mr. Ironscript."
Khami: "Feed the fire, or feed the monster."

--

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Cornuto
Jun 26, 2012

For the pack!


Link up... join hands or use rope. Maybe go back to back.

With 10cm of visibility we're in for some Scooby-Doo shenanigans. Let's not lose each other.

Ok Cow-puter, analyze and enhance.

Cornuto fucked around with this message at Jun 7, 2018 around 14:52

WereGoat
Apr 28, 2017



Cornuto posted:

Link up... join hands or use rope. Maybe go back to back.

Yeah! Rope together, have Kami swing the chain into the mist to snag any creatures, if the chain wraps something Skvababt can sight down it to try and shoot whatever, while you stand ready with the axe of it comes closer.

Shuffle rotate around the fire, repeat.

Have a sack ready incase it's a spooky wind.

Outrail
Jan 4, 2009

www.sapphicrobotica.com


Swedish Thaumocracy posted:

"In my homeland, we would call it a Mirage, a herald of troubles to come, for wicked things are said to dwell within.

[b]We're mist dwellers now are we?

Stick together, build more fires in a rough ring against the rock. STICK TOGETHER.


Also, I told you we should have gotten more foof.

CourValant
Feb 25, 2016

Do You Remember Love?

Outrail posted:

Stick together, build more fires in a rough ring against the rock. STICK TOGETHER. [/b]

This. Can we build a ring of fire extending from the rock and sit within the flames for protection?

Under no circumstances leave the fire or each other.

Do not rope up, you're just going get each other tangled and immobile in a fight.

Also, have Frog-Archer cover the rear arc, in case the monster decides to drop down from the rocks.

Outrail posted:

Also, I told you we should have gotten more foof.

I kinda have to agree with you there.

alpaca diseases
May 19, 2009



Outrail posted:

Stick together, build more fires in a rough ring against the rock. STICK TOGETHER. [/b]

+1

Khami spotting for Skvababt with his chain is a good idea, however there’s also the danger it gets grabbed at the other end and he gets pulled into the mist by it

Outrail
Jan 4, 2009

www.sapphicrobotica.com


alpaca diseases posted:

+1

Khami spotting for Skvababt with his chain is a good idea, however there’s also the danger it gets grabbed at the other end and he gets pulled into the mist by it

He can always just let go of his beloved chains.

AbysmalPeptoBismol
Feb 4, 2016

Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea!


Outrail posted:

He can always just let go of his beloved chains.

But then the company will have to spend a couple months of income to rearm him. Deeper in debt with every mission!

Outrail
Jan 4, 2009

www.sapphicrobotica.com


AbysmalPeptoBismol posted:

But then the company will have to spend a couple months of income to rearm him. Deeper in debt with every mission!

Hey, it's worked out for us so far!


Oh wait no it hasn't. Not at all!

RandomPauI
Nov 24, 2006

Can I say "shit" around the baby?


Grimey Drawer

I lost track of the story, I can only assume this is the quest to find the demon horse so we can have an old tyme prospector join the team.

alpaca diseases
May 19, 2009



I’m just worried if something reasonably more stronger than him catches it and yanks the chain, he’ll be flying into the mist before he even has the chance to let it go

AbysmalPeptoBismol
Feb 4, 2016

Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea!


Outrail posted:

Hey, it's worked out for us so far!


Oh wait no it hasn't. Not at all!

My head canon name for this thread is "The Going Deeper Into Debt CYOA"

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006
Jinat Ulukaï, hâ oagé.

Grimey Drawer

Trouble on the Rim, Book 2, Chapter 3
The City of Whale, Eastern Outskirts

Part Sixteen: A shape in the Fog
Current Region: Huddik


With visibility low in the extreme, you huddle together by the fire and dig through your packs for rope to tie yourselves together, to make sure no one is lost.
You instruct your companions to ready up for anything and take a torch into your offhand, lightning it on the campfire whilst keeping your axe-hand free (for axing).

Back to back to back, you stand near the fire, peering shallowly into mist as thick as walls.
You concentrate on your business card and on the cow that resides within you, urging it out to help you make sense of the situation. You feel it out of the corner of your eye, and it informs you in its regular, monotone fashion, that it has nothing to add beyond what has already been deduced.

Minutes pass as you pace, waving your torch about.



And then you see it, human-shaped, but with hollow eyes and arms at least twice as long as is normal, stalking your group a mere meter out into the sea of fog. You yell for the others to engage and they turn to face the monster. Swish! An arrow is loosened! You have no idea where it went, the meleé too sudden. Khami whips his chains to were you and your torch are pointing, but from the sound of metal on rock he must have hit the mountain.

The creature is gone, only mist remaining.



What happens next you can only describe as sickening, as spindly claws wrap themselves around your shoulder and pull, at once dragging you of your feet and squeezing the breath out of you, even though only your shoulder was touched. You drop your torch, but the rope dominoes your companions into the fray, felling them as well. Khami tumbles but between the rope and his robes, his chain and his chainmail he is dragged helplessly along. Skvababt only barley manages to land on her feet after a rather impressive somersault whereupon she knocks another arrow and fires it almost-blindly in your direction.



Purple-ish blood splatters your face and you feel the pressure leave your shoulder - and your chest - allowing you to once more breath freely, you scurry to grasp your axe in two hands and swing with all your might, but hit nothing but fog.



Five seconds pass. Ten. You help Khami to his feet and edge back towards your torch which mercifully did not go out.
You think you can see the camp-fire in the distance, or at least there is a spot where the fog is brighter, how far did it drag you?

"Don't let it touch you." You wheeze, as if your companions needed any convincing in that department.
You give your shoulder a quick once-over. The bones still feel alright in their sockets and there is only superficial scaring to your clothing.
One-Zero to the hunters, you reckon. "I'm fine, looks like it only scratched me, keep your eyes open. Look for tracks of blood." They nod.



The fog recedes, if only just a bit, but enough that you can see its in the distance. Again you call out.
Another arrow, nowhere near its target. Khami readies his chains but the monster is to far out.
You stand with torch and shield at the ready, but once more the fog thickens and you lose track of it.

"How is it so fast?" You mutter in frustration. "As with the Mirages of my homeland, it is tied to the wind." Khami proffers. "Or the fog, perhaps, in this case."

"Well, how do we defeat fog?" You half-shout back; "it's not as if we brought an extra sun!" "With patience Mr. Ironscript. And a great deal of luck."

1; You are lost on the mountain with only one torch in hand and your comrades at your side. You are mostly unhurt but a little shaken and are breathing sightly harder than normal. You think you know where your campfire is, but you are not one hundred percent certain. How do you proceed?

A: Head towards the light.
If you lose your torch you are done for. You need that fire.

B: Stay calm and carry on.

C: Something else?
Write-in.

Swedish Thaumocracy fucked around with this message at Jun 14, 2018 around 11:30

Toughy
Nov 29, 2004

KAVODEL! KAVODEL!


Where we last saw the thing was it towards the light or away?

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006
Jinat Ulukaï, hâ oagé.

Grimey Drawer

Toughy posted:

Where we last saw the thing was it towards the light or away?

You think it was about somewhere between 70-130° to the clockwise of the light.
But seeing as it has appeared directly behind you after you saw it in front of you, you aren't sure how much that helps.

Cornuto
Jun 26, 2012

For the pack!


Do we have any superbright torches? If so pop out one of those.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006
Jinat Ulukaï, hâ oagé.

Grimey Drawer

Cornuto posted:

Do we have any superbright torches? If so pop out one of those.

[ISTEC Inventory]
##Nåzom Stegëth## - A Masterwork Siege Arbalest - You've managed to scrounge up four wooden javelins for it.
The nigh indestructible right and left Waspable Gauntlets
A custom-built, heirloom, Masterwork Waraxe.
A set of medium quality light leather armour.
A shield, dented, wood with metal trimmings.
A box of delectable Ethereal RimRose Cupcakes that do not appear to spoil. There are [04] left.
A priceless, if blank, parchment, in actual fact a mysterious Artifact that makes people think you have a valid ID. Don't lose it.
An ITEC Business-card.
The clothes on your body.
A small collection of maps of the Empire.
You have [zero wealth] to your name.
[01] x Pouch of Coins - Speding money, rapidly dwindling.

--

The rest of your assets were seized and frozen upon returning from the zBat caves, awaiting the outcome of your trial.

Cornuto
Jun 26, 2012

For the pack!


C:
Open our Third-Eye.



Grant ourselves sight-beyond-sight.



Pray it goes better than the last time we tried to do metaphysical stuff.


Well... maybe just A for now. If we drop the torch and get in deep trouble we can try this as a hail mary.

Cornuto fucked around with this message at Jun 14, 2018 around 15:16

Toughy
Nov 29, 2004

KAVODEL! KAVODEL!


A, I guess.

Captainicus
Feb 22, 2013


A, hopefully we actually DO remember where the campfire is...

dont be mean to me
May 2, 2007

I'm interplanetary, bitch
Let's go to Mars




Cornuto posted:

C:
Open our Third-Eye.



Grant ourselves sight-beyond-sight.



Pray it goes better than the last time we tried to do metaphysical stuff.


Well... maybe just A for now. If we drop the torch and get in deep trouble we can try this as a hail mary.

CourValant
Feb 25, 2016

Do You Remember Love?

Swedish Thaumocracy posted:

A: Head towards the light.

And maintain a 360 overwatch while moving, if possible.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006
Jinat Ulukaï, hâ oagé.

Grimey Drawer

Trouble on the Rim, Book 2, Chapter 3
The City of Whale, Eastern Outskirts

Part Seventeen: A Light at the End of The Fog
Current Region: Huddik

You try to get your bearings and slowly start making your way towards the light, back to back with your crew. Step by step, you move at a snails pace towards the beacon, knowing full well it to be your only hope should the light of your torch be snuffed.



One step followed by another, each sound however minuscule sending shivers up your spine, adrenaline surging through your body in anticipation of another brutal rush by the Gast that stalks you.
Two steps, three steps, five. You take a moment to observe the ground beneath your feet, but the terrain just registers as mountainous. You still feel ##Nåzom Stegëth## nearby, somewhere, though in your state you can't really tell how far.

Ten steps, twelve. You feel as if you should be there by now, but the light remains as far away as ever. You turn to your companions to verify your suspicions...



And the gast lashes out at you from the fog. Your raise your arm reflexively and catch the monster on your gauntlet, stunning it as if it just ran into a tree.
Without a moments hesitation you bring your axe up in an akward underhand ark and score a glancing blow on its flank as it tumbles of off you and onto the ground. From your right comes the telltale whip of iron chains, snapping at the gasts prone form and flaying a piece of hard, leathery skin in the process. Seconds later an arrow finds its mark in the beast, though the fog intensifies to the point where you cant see what damage it did in retaliation.

"Did we get it? Where did it go?" "I don't know, keep your wits about it."

Your axe drips purple ichor, staining the ground with a convenient marker for where you stand, even though you are still clueless as to where exactly that is.



Two steps. Ten. Your pace a veritable crawl, you creep ever distance non-changingly lightwards. "This is useless. The fog has us all turned about."

Six steps. >Crackle.< You step on something wooden. A branch. You hunch over, keeping your eyes on the horizon and feel the ground. Warm.



The campfire, sans fire. One you still see in the fog further afield. Almost floating in the sea of mist.

"Uh. I don't mean to alarm you..." you say alarmingly, holstering your axe for a moment and handing your torch over to Khami. You pick up one of the half-burnt branches used to stoke the embers that until recently lived in your heart, and try to fan it into into flames once more. Though your technique is superb, you fail to coax even smouldering ashes from its copsey-corpse. "... but something has stolen our fire."

They sure didn't teach you about this in general accountancy...

A harsh wind blows through the mountain range, as the mist grows thick and chill. You clutter around your lonesome torch, facing who knows what, from who knows where.

--

1: Your campfire is gone. It cannot be relit, no matter how you try. As if the gast wasn't enough, you suspect this to be the result of another type of monster entirely, as fire-stealing isn't amongst the traits most commonly listed for gast-activity, an event you would believe otherwise important enough to warrant inclusion in any stories or guild published reports of said monster. The question is, how do you deal with it?

A: If the camp-fire is off-limits, you'll just have to improvise more torches somehow.
Perhaps by ripping some cloth and strapping it around your shield, or scavenging for non-burnt wood in the immediate area.
Of course, this would leave you vulnerable to gast-rushes, as it seems to be wired to take advantage of any and all lapse in concentration.

B: Attempt Trickery!
Fake it out by feinting fainting, or some other clever method? Write-in encouraged.

C: Wait it out.
It's bleeding and you know roughly where you are now. Just stay put and hope it either dies from exhaustion, retreats or attacks you from a position of weakness.

D: Go towards the light!
Nobody steals your camp-fire and gets away with it. Charge!

E: Something else?
Write-in.

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002


C, play this one smart.

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

No need to sign, we'll take care of that.


Lipstick Apathy

D

CourValant
Feb 25, 2016

Do You Remember Love?

Volmarias posted:

C, play this one smart.

Vote: C

Can we also try to start another fire?

If these branches won't like, perhaps other branches?

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Outrail
Jan 4, 2009

www.sapphicrobotica.com



B/D
Yeah, these things probably operate on ambush and trickery, wearing at their victims minds and instilling fear. They don't seem to set traps so let's charge around and look dumb.

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