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slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Alumnus Post posted:

“Take the pearl from your person and show me it, Ramona,” Scrimshaw says quietly, settling back on his triple hips -- his high-pitched, level voice somehow penetrates the sound of Branwen fighting through his ghouls, slithering into your ears like a mollusk out of its shell. He levels his crab-claw down the passageway like the point of a couched lance and opens the joint of it wide, shifting his bulk into an attitude of bracing for a charge. “He̶ do̸ęsń't de͟se̶r̷v͘ȩ yòu̵.͠ But I do.”

“I can come and take it from you.” A shudder of anticipatory pleasure runs across his smooth face and down along his arms. “Or I can make it hurt first. It's your pleasure.”
What do you do?

Ramona
25/25 HP; 9/13 XP; 4 Armor; 11/11 Load
While the dust settles I pick out a nice boulder-sized chunk of debris, lasso my chain around it and start spinning up the hammer throw. I'll knock the fool's trio of asses directly above the bomb-propellant–he won't be a bullet, he's going to be turned into shrapnel. The payload scrapes the walls of the corridor, but I maintain control and keep building momentum. For a split second I imagine I'm dancing with Serenity, the center of her orbit, but I snap out of it in time to throw my concrete haymaker right into Scrimshaw's solar plexus, where elf and crab meet.

The positioning's perfect. Soon all he'll be is elf and crab meat. I re-coil my chain, preparing to dodge any dismembered leg or claw that might get blasted at me.

"Uh huh, pleasure's all mine."

@slydingdoor: 2d6+4 hns = (6+4)+4 = 14 [Smash! foe's positioning]
@slydingdoor: 2d6+5 [dd str] bless and on the move = (1+5)+5 = 11 [controlled attack in narrow space]
@slydingdoor: 1d10+1 MF damage = (6)+1 = 7 e; +2 from challenge = 9 total

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Feb 17, 2018 around 02:43

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Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 15/20 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 19/13

Defy Danger...by getting out of the way: 2d6+1 9

As Scrimshaw bore down on her, Serenity dove aside and tucked into a roll. She felt something seize in her leg and she sprawled out onto the floor gracelessly. As she raised her head, she saw Branwen being swarmed and cursed. She could do nothing to fight either the formavit or the ghouls and it was infuriating.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


R&S&B
It’s dark as hell in these tunnels but for the carmine glow of Scrimshaw’s aura of power. That’s the problem with magic users. All that flashy lightshow makes them just impossible to miss. The formavit barely has time to see Ramona’s cinderblock suckerpunch coming. In the bloody glare you all see his eyes widen, then narrow, as her missile hurtles at him - a snarl of anger crosses his face and he leans backwards to embrace the blow as it strikes home, punching hard through his spellwards and shoving his six-legged bulk back into the passageway!

Scrimshaw nevertheless moves with the blow, rather than let it spill him completely - but he trips on a rock while backing up and falls all over his tangled feet, straight into the knot of melee behind him. His ghouls are barely holding the struggling, smouldering Branwen away from their master when he slams right into them from behind, crushing all three beneath his smothering crustacean weight!

Branwen, maybe one-on-one you could’ve bulled your way past, but two ghouls is just two too many. You slam a shoulder-charge square into one of them, meeting him rush for rush and stopping each other cold; you strain against each other, neither able to win leverage, the ghoul’s teeth snarling at your neck -- until the one who went high, having leapt right over you and turned around for another go, leaps right back in and pounds the first note in a symphony of pain into your back with its jagged hunk of rock.

Involuntarily, your spine bows; staggered, you lurch off-balance -- then suddenly a horrible, crushing weight bulls into you, smashing you, ghoul, and all your gear to the ground. You hear a ghoul scream in pain, and a line of fire burns across your hip as your ammo box erupts in a fusillade of wild, crackling cookoff shots. The back of your head crashes against the tunnel floor, stars erupt in your eyes, and then everything goes black…
Branwen, you take 1d8 damage. The ghouls soak most of the explosion, but you're still badly hurt, and out of action for now. Someone better come for you soon...

Serenity, your graceless sprawl is what saves you from a braining - you belly-flop onto the floor just before Ramona’s boulder-onna-chain goes hurtling through the space you used to occupy, as finely timed as though you’d choreographed it. Scrimshaw’s driven back, driven down onto his beasts and the cleric alike, outsmarted and outfought!

Nevertheless, however, you see that Scrimshaw’s wards have blunted that perfect strike, and though he’s clearly winded, he’s not anywhere as hurt as you’d like him to be right now. You pick yourself up off the floor, only to see him plant that massive crab-claw down into the pavement and use it like a pivot, levering himself up and off the crush and gaining his many legs afresh, reclaiming his space beneath the central junction. A wild and terrifying light blazes in his eyes, all flooded with black; feral joy and chill calculation at one within his heart...he thrusts his claw-tip up at the manhole cover above him, snarls a phrase in archaic elven, and looses all his marshaled force at once!

A shotgun-blast of force and fire explodes from his outspread claw, ripping through brick and concrete like it’s plywood and rice-paper, blasting a hole in the street above wide enough for him to jump through. As Branwen's gatling-gun ammo starts to cook off beneath her, he crouches down and crosses his arms in another protective X. Sheathing himself in an aura of repulsive force, he crouches down and thrusts hard off the pavement, right as the flame-curse he applied on Bran's ammo goes off, using the momentum of the blast to propel himself away!

A bloom of unnatural flame briefly blots out your vision; as it clears, you see the ghouls tottering to their feet, crook-limbed and reeking of cooked meat, but still somehow moving and hungry. As rubble starts to rain down into the chamber beneath, the smouldering ghouls totter to their feet, spy you still standing there in the tunnel, and charge full-tilt right for you! Only -- a split-second later you see their gaze isn’t fixated on you, it’s behind you - they’re coming for Ramona!
Serenity, you can Defend or not; the ghouls go for Ramona unless you spend hold to redirect their attack. Branwen is temporarily out of action, and threatened by the falling rubble.

What do you two do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Feb 17, 2018 around 02:45

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 15/20 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 19/13

Serenity's eyes narrowed as she watched the ghouls sprint towards her. They were a minor distraction - her focus was beyond them, staring at Branwen's prone body. Only her keen hearing catching the thin, nearly silent sound of the girl drawing a labored breath proved she wasn't dead. Dragging herself to her feet, Serenity reversed the grip on the knife and stalked forward to meet the ghouls, violence in her eyes. All thought of her own wounds vanished. These beasts could take what they wished from her, but you did not hurt her children. Ever.

As the first ghoul loped by, the bard's arm shot out and seized it by the throat. She hefted the foul thing into the air with hate-fueled strength and drove the blade into its sternum. She tore downwards until the weapon came free and cast the thing aside. The second ghoul tried to evade her to no avail. She shot out a boot and stomped down on its foot, relishing the sound of delicate bones breaking. As it stumbled she stepped behind it, threw an arm across its neck, and buried the knife repeatedly into it's chest. That one, too, she dropped before turning back to Branwen. Whether the ghouls were singlemindedly driven to attack Ramona or simply smart enough to fear the mad elf, they did not seize the chance to come after her. Whatever the case, Serenity was beyond caring. Once her path was clear, she sprinted to the cleric's prone form and knelt down, gently examining her injuries.

Spending 2 hold to deal 6 damage to the ghouls going after Ramona.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
25/25 HP; 9/13 XP; 4 Armor; 11/11 Load
I grab and throw, kick, deflect and slingshot with my chain the chunks of debris back up where I last saw Scrimshaw. "Nice knife-work. I'm gonna go finish off Scrimshaw." I tap the side of the elf's helmet where I left my seal then get climbing.

@slydingdoor: 2d6+5 dd str on the move blessed = (6+4)+5 = 15 When you defy danger, on a 12+ you turn the danger back on itself, the GM will describe how.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Feb 17, 2018 around 04:29

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 15/20 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 19/13

Serenity grabbed Ramona's wrist before she left, staring into the woman's eyes for a long moment.

"...Don't die." It was a ragged whisper. "I'm not done singing songs about you."

She released Ramona's hand and nodded before turning back to Branwen. She was in bad shape but her heart still beat and that was something to be happy about.

Bombarda. I don't follow you, but I care about this girl of yours. Lend her your strength. She doesn't deserve to die in a place like this.

Cradling Branwen's head in her lap, Serenity leaned over her and sang quietly, willing the flesh to mend.

Arcane Art: 2d6+2 11
Branwen heals: 2d8 13 damage and her mind is shaken clear of one enchantment.[/i]

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


RAMONA
Some faint sound from above tweaks your ear as you climb a fallen foundation-stone and begin to mount up. You step neatly to the side as the manhole cover plummets from above and guillotines straight into the place where your collarbone would’ve been a moment ago. It’s been soaked in heat somehow in the seconds since the blast, spun out and molded into a lenticular shield-shape with an edge sharp enough to crack stone. A pair of holes have been punched into its center, the metal pinched and crimped into a knurled pillar thick enough to get your hand around comfortably. Scrimshaw’s handiwork, no doubt. Now it’s yours.
You may claim the manhole cover as weapon and shield before you enter the fight. It has the tags (near, thrown, +1 armor, 2 weight). Have you divested yourself of everything you don’t wish to carry into battle? If not, you have time to do so first.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
25/25 HP; 9/13 XP; 4 Armor; 11/11 Load
I see the old disc and get ideas. Out comes my bag of scavenged parts as I look for what I need. A beautiful auger bit and chuck, bearings and a shaft and spindle wheel. I secure them all to the shield, attach the grappler and wind the chain around the shaft, making it into a secret drill, minoring as a rotary saw and maybe even an enormous bandalore. "What manhole cover ever dreamed it would be used to make holes in men, eh? That it'd fall from the sky like starmetal and be forged by a goddess into a tool of justice. Write a line or two about that when we're done with all this."

Spending all my adventuring gear to make this shield into a gimmick weapon.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


NORI
Before you can come to a decision, the ghouls make one for you - they share a glance, break in separate directions, and charge in a pincer motion towards the knot of rescues and refugees! Zilch and his band of interdiction techs draw together and brace for the ghouls’ charge with nothing more than fists and feet. Sandbridge snarls a curse from her voxponder and slips from her perch on the highway roof, kicking herself out as she falls so that she spins in a wide arc, the better to get a clean shot onto a flanker...
What do you do?!

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


SERENITY AND BRANWEN
Ramona claims her gladiator’s weapon and climbs out of the pit to face the monstrous Scrimshaw alone. Perhaps she goes to her victory….perhaps defeat, death or worse. You two are left behind in the aftermath of his ambush, both of you kept from the Black Gates by little more than sheer stubbornness, Serenity’s magic, and the joined wills of several major and minor deities.

You’re both resting on a low mound of rubble in the center of a chamber in the Aqualantean undercity, a six-way intersection where several maintenance crawlways once met at a manhole up to the surface streets of Tian, Nori’s childhood home. Neither manhole cover nor the way you came in is now in evidence, the former having become a six-foot gash in the road above and all this rubble that’s all over the place; and the latter having become an impassable rockfall of brick, concrete, twisted rubble, and shattered, steaming ceramic pipes.

Neither of you have the slightest idea where you are in relation to Tian’s street grid, let alone how to reunite with Nori so you can all get the hell out of here before it’s too late. Sandbridge’s comms drone is quiescent in Serenity’s pack, shorted out by the sheer metaphysical pressure of the formavit’s Power.

While Serenity sings her adopted daughter back to (relative) wholeness, a faint pale blue shimmer emerges from a ways down one of the tunnels, rising slowly out of the floor, up into the ceiling, and away. Another one follows from another tunnel, and another, until they’re emerging up from the lower levels at a rate of one or two a second. The shimmers move with a drifting, languid grace, like sodden sailor’s rags drifting in a gentle surf, or slow steam rising from a sewer grate. It seems like they’re starting to emerge a little bit closer and closer to the central juncture each time a new one appears.
What do you two do?

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 15/20 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 20/13

Serenity struggled to her feet as she watched the activity. Trouble apparently never ended down here. "Morning Glory, you need to get up." She offered Branwen a hand while she flipped open her mental encyclopedia. Will-o'-the-wisps? Some sort of elemental? Wait...

Spectres. Why was she not surprised. Every undying abomination in the world was finding a place down here, why not them?

Bardic Lore: Are these things intelligent, in the sense that they can be communicated and reasoned with?

As she pulled the relevant information, she watched their actions closely, trying to discern their intentions. That was the trouble with more esoteric entities. A zombie or a skeleton was easy to understand. Zombies mindlessly ate the living, and skeletons did as they were told. Spirits though? Not so simple.

Discern Realities: 2d6 6

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


RAMONA
Hand over hand, you climb. Scrimshaw awaits you at the summit. You and he are at opposite poles of the hole he blasted into the city streets - about six feet wide and six feet deep, roughly circular. The tips of his crab-claw are black and smoldering. The formavit’s acquired a weapon of his own: a longish rod of some dark-grey metal alloy, gnarled like a tree-limb. It’s sharpened to a wicked thorn-point at one end and smoothed down into a knoblike shape at the other. Some kind of sorcerous focus….not to mention an effective stabbing implement.

Scrimshaw spreads his arms in mocking welcome. Pale blue light pulses along the edges of his rod of power, waxing and then raggedly waning like the waterlogged breath of a man about to drown. A sardonic, half-appreciative grin spreads across his face as he sees how well you’ve shaped his murder-tool against him. Aside from a minute catch in his breathing and a spreading bruise blotched across his solar plexus, there’s little indication you’ve hurt him at all.

”You did us a great disservice, you know,” he says quietly, ”when you robbed the Abatement. You laid hands on some of our very best prototypes.”

He makes a negligent motion with his rod of power. A ghost-trail of fluorescent light passes in its wake. His skin ripples, quivers, and splits like an overstretched sheet of gum. Two paired racks of micromissiles emerge from the flesh of his shoulders, mounted on skeletal armatures of the same dark metal as his rod.

”We’ve really made great strides since then.”

He licks his lips and twitches his head at you. The missiles burst from their shoulder-racks and shriek towards you on wings of flame.
What do you do?

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Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


SERENITY
Spectres can barely be reasoned with at all. So narrow is the focus of their obsession that they often are unable even to clearly perceive anything but their ties to the living world...or anything, or anyone, that threatens that tie.

The shapeless mists gradually grow clearer, resolving one by one into the translucent, misty-edged remnants of living men and women. One after another, they ascend from Tian’s bowels and drift gradually up to the city streets. They're nothing more or less than the shades of ordinary people. Maintenance workers. Domestics. Grocers, priests, plumbers, and haruspices; fishermen, electricians, soothsayers, office-workers, welders, metrographers, architechs...all the fallen people of Tian, lost in the Sink or soon thereafter. They're unable to move on, unable to let go; each one nailed to the hard earth by the weight of their sunken city's story.

If the whole district’s dead are like this...this must only be the fraction of them you can see. There could be hundreds of them. Thousands. Unasked-for, Branwen’s harsh Bombardan light blooms again. The spectres don’t even seem to notice it. A few of the nearest drift away from that glaring light, as gently and naturally as smoke blown on the breeze. Nothing about their vacant, empty-eyed stare alters even the least little fraction. Men, women; half-elves, orcs, humen, frogmen, goblin and dwarf, they all pass one by one up into the war-shadowed Tian streets.

You’re missing something here. You’re not seeing it. Something important...perhaps of grave and fatal import. But what? Why all these spirits? Why would they be called up now? These spectres seem less threatening even than the meanest ghost or ghoul. They don’t even seem to notice you!
What do you do?

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