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Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT

01
HP: 18/25 | Armor 3/3 | XP 5/10 | -1WIS

With the battle ended, I minimally acknowledge Serenity and begin a thorough search of the area for any other dangers. I no longer have need to interact with the greasy meat-creatures, and so maintain silence.

Are we planning to rest up a bit now? are we Making Camp?

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Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Making Camp and End of Session to follow shortly! I've been holding off on writing it pending any posts InfiniteOregano and Teonis might make before the 28th. Sorry for the delay, guys.

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT

Alumnus Post posted:

Making Camp and End of Session to follow shortly! I've been holding off on writing it pending any posts InfiniteOregano and Teonis might make before the 28th. Sorry for the delay, guys.

No worries, just saying I'm p much done unless something else happens.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


PADRE AND SERENITY
It’s touch and go for a while there. Jaime’s so wound up with tension that he has to be led out of the room while you two labor together to save Nori’s life. It’s bad -- her throat’s practically pulped all along one side of her neck. Internal bleeding everywhere. Jaime’s horrible life-threatening injury was clean compared to this mess.

But save her you do, in time. Serenity keeps her spirit anchored to her body while Padre’s steady hands cut her open, stitch together the carotid and windpipe, and close it all back up again. Mote, exhausted, can hardly do more than sit in his gourd and shine: but, truly, that’s all you really needed. A little light to see your work by. Who needs an operating room?

Surgery without anesthesia is a terrible thing to go through, though: and she writhes and bucks as the Lantern cuts into her flesh and sears a broken vein shut with a red-hot iron. Nashira is merciful. To Nori. Serenity, on the other hand, must fight to keep her singing voice smooth and even-keel as her healing song takes Nori's pain away, and visits it upon you in full measure. Raw agony lashes through you, and by the time the Padre's last stitch is done the your throat is raw with swallowed screams.
Take the two damage you healed Nori of out of your own HP, ignoring armor. You've paid Nashira's price for your blasphemy in full: so you no longer have -1 ongoing to Arcane Art.

After those few moments of raw panic, triage and treatment proceeds without hardly a hitch. Padre's hands are deft and sure without the pressures of emergency and riot to weigh on you, and Mote seems content to lounge around and shine encouragingly. The patients, in turn, respond more favorably to his gentle light now that the ghost-ship's aura is a long way away. Donnie and Jaime make serviceable nurses, bringing you fresh-boiled rags, cut pieces of metal for splints, and such medical supplies as remained unvandalized by the poltergeists.

01 AND THRASH
The broken corpses rise no more, evidently too mutilated or too far from their mothership to re-reanimate in the time it takes for Jaime, Zebley, and Garlov to finish their feverish repairs to the broken engine. It coughs, judders, and roars to a clanking, smoke-spewing approximation of life -- and with that, full navigational control is yours once more. The ship may move like a lamed tortoise, but it moves - and that’s all you needed to leave the ghost-ship in your wake for good. With its ambushers dead, scattered, or subverted, it seems unlikely this undead menace will be able to threaten anyone else ever again. Let the sunlight take it.

01, you and these softskins may be out of any immediate danger (as long as the engines keep working, anyway) but that doesn’t mean there’s not a ton to do. So much mess to clean up: shattered dishes, ruined tools and furniture, lots and lots of blood. And the great greasy bird-stain all over the poop deck. And all the (very salty) melting ice and slush that’s now dripping riiight into the nice new stress crack in the stern hull plating. Your ship’s not looking too threatening right now, either -- but at least she’s got more legs than your foe.
Serious consequences will very likely ensue if your ship suffers any more damage.

Thrash, it turns out Maw-Meow was only whining because he lost his ‘bone’ and couldn’t find it again. The zombies were too busy eating everyone else to try and take a bite out of him. Lucky stiff. Everybody else may be busy cleaning up the rest of the ship, but you’ve got one heck of a trashed kitchen to deal with -- and something else besides. On the way back to your kitchen that frogman Garlov comes up to you with a hungry look in his eyes. It looks like he wants a whole lot more of that lobstery whatsit dish you fed him before, and he won’t take no for an answer!
What do you do?

TUTRESIEL
While the bard and Lantern labor over the life of one, you tend to the life of another: Quartermaster Mills, a Blessed Listener of your holy cult, whose secret name is AVTOTAR, now revealed openly to you and to your peers. A strange thing in these days of secrecy and silence. Heavy lifting and exposure to deleterious energies has aggravated an already serious wound -- a rib-cracking blow to his side with some heavy blunt-edged object like a cabinet or door -- and his condition is grave, yet he will accept care from no other hand but yours. He slips into a fever dream after the first hectic night of your escape, muttering and whispering uneasily in his sleep.
What is he hiding from Padre and Serenity that reception of medical care would reveal to them?

RAMONA
With this ship as slow as it is, even Donnie has no problem handling the wheel after he’s done playing nurse to the rest of your new crew. You retire to your quarters and give your gear a much-needed teardown until you find the fault. It’s just like you thought: the inversion lens assembly in your vibroglove’s all cracked and iced over. It’ll need a new housing and at least one or two new lenses - and good luck grinding those at sea without a good stabilized platform to do it on. You’ll have to hope you can find someone who’ll sell you lenses out on the Raft, or down below.

EVERYBODY
You’ve come a very long way...but you’re not quite through yet. The last known surface location of Aqualantis -- your destination -- is still some nine days out, and with your ship and crew both crippled, travel to some other port seems a hopeless endeavor. Ships from all over the Sea of Crescents have clustered thickly there. Many have come to prey on the desperate and the refugee, or to find what opportunities they can in the drowned ruins far below. You must now undertake a perilous journey to this place, the Raft, and there seek out your way to Aqualantis amid that tangle of intermoored ships and unsalvageable hulks.


END OF SESSION

That means it's time to Make Camp and choose who fills the jobs for your upcoming Perilous Journey...which will conclude right after all the jobs are filled!
When you take a job, roll +WIS right away. We'll deal with what happens during your journey according to who picks what role and who posts first.

The next session will start after all three roles are taken and dealt with, and the party's just about to arrive at the Raft.


quote:

When you reach the end of a session, choose one of your bonds that you feel is resolved (completely explored, no longer relevant, or otherwise). Ask the player of the character you have the bond with if they agree. If they do, mark XP and write a new bond with whomever you wish.

Once bonds have been updated look at your alignment. If you fulfilled that alignment at least once this session, mark XP. Then answer these three questions as a group:

Did we learn something new and important about the world?
Did we overcome a notable monster or enemy?
Did we loot a memorable treasure?

For each “yes” answer everyone marks XP.

Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Tutresiel

HP: 17/17 | Armor: 1/1 | Load: 3/7 | XP: 7/10

As Tutresiel spent a long time in silence tending to the quartermaster, they became keenly aware of why he might refuse the treatment of others. The brand of Lor-Mansyr, favoured scion of the last Merevonite dynasty is made over his heart, controversial to some but Tutresiel knew its true power, it would ward his heart against certain influences - the maddened (or some would say disquietingly lucid) mutterings of the Head of Il-Chacham included. Tutresiel surmises that AVTOTAR may have planned this, and he may have greater insights than Tutresiel would have expected (or someone else was pulling the strings and arranged all this, another distinct possibility). Nonetheless it is natural that he would want it hidden, for to some this is a sign of a true enemy, and neither the bard nor the sun-child can yet be trusted in that capacity.

Alumnus Post posted:

Did we learn something new and important about the world?
Not sure, will have to think on this. There's been a lot of exposition amongst the players in general that might count!

Alumnus Post posted:

Did we overcome a notable monster or enemy?
The ghost captain!

Alumnus Post posted:

Did we loot a memorable treasure?
The ice beam? The coin/pearl (again)?

Will need to discuss with the others about these choices for End of Session questions.

Drive: "Keep dangerous things away from those who would abuse them", the test of the coin that Tutresiel forced upon the captain proved that he would (in the future) abuse his station, and by showing the cracks through his mask of suitability, Tutresiel engineered him being removed from his station. Marking XP!

Bonds: Tutresiel's bond with Ramona is no longer applicable due to her... uptake of a greater understanding of the cosmos, even if it was not a manner that Tutresiel would have preferred, such insights cannot be taken back easily. Due to bond being inapplicable now, Tutresiel marks XP.

Creating a new bond: Serenity's brush with the divine (both heterodox and conventional) has started to change her, but she needs to be put upon the correct path.

Tutresiel volunteers to cast their strange senses outwards in order to assist the navigation (and above all, safety) of the ship throughout the journey.

Volunteering for Scout.

Undertake A Perilous Journey (Scout) (WIS): 2d6+3 8

Edit: Editing in 3 XP from the questions, since it seems to be fine for everyone else.

Infinite Oregano fucked around with this message at Mar 25, 2016 around 02:19

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 12/18 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 9/10

With remarkable aplomb, Serenity silently gathered her things up and donned them. Nori lived, thanks primarily to the Lantern. She knew she had been right about them; they were miracle workers in truth. With a curt nod to Clavo was left and made her way to her own quarters. It was difficult to keep her steps steady, but she bit down on the last reservoirs of strength she had remaining and slipped quietly inside. She set her blade carefully at the foot of the bed. Her jacket and gloves were hung. Her clothes were carefully folded and put away and boots tucked under the cot as she put on a simple gown. At last, she allowed herself to sit down, hug a pillow to her face, and weep bitterly. She had no qualms about wearing her heart on her sleeve in most matters, but some things belonged solely to the individual. Pain like she had just experienced...that did not need to be shared. She had asked for and earned it, and it was hers to keep, alone.

---

An hour later there came a soft knock on Ramona's door. A ruddy-eyed elf behind it, composed but weary.


quote:

Did we learn something new and important about the world?
Elves are immortal, and this immortality can be shared with another.

quote:

Did we overcome a notable monster or enemy?
The ghost captain and a giant undead bird are pretty notable.

quote:

Did we loot a memorable treasure?
Technically we kind of looted the boat itself. Sort of? The coin/pearl whatsit is definitely memorable, even if only a few people are aware.

quote:

Alignment: Spur others to significant and unplanned decisive action.
Slydingdoor agreed that getting Serenity to offer up a piece of her soul counts.

quote:

Bonds: I sang stories of Ramona long before I ever met her in person. I dearly wish to know who the real woman is behind the tales.
Yeah, I'd say Serenity knows the real woman pretty drat well now. Slydingdoor agreed with this as well.

New bond: My soul is promised to Ramona. She must live to see that day.

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT

01
HP: 25/25 | Armor 3/3 | XP 9/10

I seek out relative peace and quiet in a darkened hold. The solitude aids me in a defragmenting my operant conditions. (removing the -WIS debility)


@noetic: ~$
//subdir-query -- $sudo -memcache:

quote:

When you reach the end of a session, choose one of your bonds that you feel is resolved

NEGATIVE RESOLUTION OF EXTERNAL DIRECTIVES

quote:

If you fulfilled that alignment at least once this session, mark XP.
AFFIRMATIVE: Jaime stood in my way +xp

quote:

Did we learn something new and important about the world?
Non-corporeal anomalous entities are difficult to track and fight. +xp

quote:

Did we overcome a notable monster or enemy?
Non-Corporeal anomalous entities in several variant forms: ELIMINATED +xp

quote:

Did we loot a memorable treasure?
The Ship. broken and bereft, but functional. Ours now since The Ramona killed the captain. +xp

END $memcache -sudo

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Before Serenity arrives, if she even deigns to do so, Ramona gets halfway in her power suit, just enough that she can walk it to her quarters. There would be a lot to fix, some of which she lacked the parts to do so, but her mind is elsewhere.

Despite taking a cleansing dip in the sea, she still feels a layer of invisible filth clinging to her, and changes out of her high-necked, throat-covering, chest-zipped bodysuit. It was probably just phantom sensations from the nerve damage under the burn scars that she had gotten courtesy of the combined efforts of an ally and enemy the last time she was in Aqualantis. They covered her back, neck, and shoulders, and in some places discolored her tan skin with splotches of stark, albino white. That psychosomatic gross feeling was just temporary: the scars just needed to air out. The giant abdominal bruise, though--reminiscent of the one she got to acquire the sub she had named The Priceless--hurts just fine, and for real. Without the abdominal muscles between her shorts and sleeveless crop, the impact could have ruptured organs. She takes a seat on her bed to rest those muscles and ices the area.

Speaking of damage from allies, drat that Tutresiel. She was never backing one of their plays ever again. loving aliens never saw people as anything other than means to an end, and had no reservations or regrets for putting her in the line of fire. As allies they were worse than useless--they were counterproductive, dangerous. No one threatened her life and lived, not even an ally, she thinks, discarding her deflecting glove--just useless for the time being--but keeping her gun and whip ever strapped to either side of her waist in case Serenity came to kill her. She wouldn't care either way if the extraterrestrial lived or died, and she would be the first person to loot that little star he almost killed her with. Only seemed fair.

But according to the ghost of that man standing guard over Serenity, Ramona had begun to change the way she thought about fairness. After she rebuked him for trying to convince her that a human life wasn't worth extending, he stayed to haunt her, and was repulsed by the company he found himself keeping--the hundreds of vile ghosts attached to her, constantly taking turns harrying her with what fate would befall her once she joined their ranks and they could carry out their revenge. They taunted her that their power over her was all thanks to the curse that had befallen her by pure bad luck, that she had never been and would never be in control of her life or afterlife. She was born a slave, she'd die a slave, and she'd stay a slave, their slave, forever after.

When he could hear no more the paladin evoked a Holy Word, banishing them for a time, that he not be interrupted. He delivered to Ramona a lyrical message for his Serenity:

the song posted:

My stance on your undertaking immortality ritual has changed, for I am now convinced that this woman you have chosen does not lust for a life of endless drunken decadence and shameless killing as I feared. Instead she flees from an afterlife of endless torture and degradation, at the hands of the ghosts of men she was forced to kill in self defense or those whose domain she unknowingly traversed. She had no choice in the matter, it was made for her by a curse that corrupts men, tempting them to sin by her and take her life. It fell upon her through no fault of her own.

I was lucky enough to choose my own path in life, and walk it with you to its rightful end, and also my afterlife: to follow you and protect you, my love, for all eternity. I chose to set you free: not only because I lived long and well enough, but also so the world would not be deprived of the happiness you bring wherever you go. I knew then and know now that it is your destiny to do great things. Saving a doomed, piteous wretch whose life was stolen from her might be one of them.
Ramona wishes she could have just recorded the message, played it back for the bard and never need to hear it again, but no machine could record the voices of ghosts, even though anyone could hear them if they listened closely to the soft static of a radio. Even if it were possible, he explained that this message was blessed so that upon its delivery verbatim there would be a sign of Nashira and Serenity would know they were true--for she was not a medium that he might speak to himself, and his power to manifest waned. Until then the song would also magically echo in her mind, that she would not forget the words. Lastly, he vowed that whether or not the ritual was undertaken or successful, he would stand by her against the horde when the time came.

That, and the message before it, and the sound of silence that Ramona had long forgotten before that, they together made her guard lower for one crucial moment. For two heartbeats she let herself imagine that the words echoing in her mind were meant not for Serenity but for her. That she was so loved, so valued. It struck deeper than what gave her that bruise, enough to take her breath away. but she regained composure as soon as the elf had run through the spectral ship. When she followed her through the cold--which always brought with it a sense of loneliness, same as the ice she she was pressing to herself now--she realized that she might lose her balance again when she recited the words to the elf who would be her savior. Even only by proxy. She wasn't trained to do it, and didn't know the regiment: Ramona only ever professed her love for another--always a man--in songs others wrote about her--also always men. The least damning of them always portrayed her as a violent, frustrated tomboy, ashamed of her inherent soft femininity, always reaching beyond her grasp for the power possessed by a strong man. She would find happiness or death depending on whether she fought to the end or submitted to the truth.

In other words, the songs were bullshit, on every level. She didn't give a poo poo about them, but would prove them all wrong anyway.

What she does give a poo poo about though, is making sure Serenity didn't back out on her deal. The thought of it weighs heavily on her, especially considering the elf's reaction to her nipping Price's inevitable betrayal in the bud. At first, Ramona thought that as usual she had only moved the effects of the curse from Price, in whom it was in the later stages, to Serenity, who beat on her armor. Others had been convinced she needed to die by their sense of justice, the elf was no different. Back then she thought then that the bard's offer of her soul, and what seemed like a pass afterwards, were both just bluffs, the kind all bards make to exploit people and inevitably break their hearts. But now she knew the reaction wasn't the work of the curse, it was sincere: Serenity was a fundamentally good person. Why was her gun out? At any rate, it was no wonder the spirit of Maximilian had assumed someone with such a murderous mind would be a scourge on the world if given immortality, he and his late wife shared the same morals. The paladin thought differently now, and hopefully Serenity would too, but Ramona knew that she could still tip the scales for better or worse. The consequences of the latter were so unthinkable that she had to err toward the former. She could not lose this chance. She'd have to think back to the kind of stuff she thought she'd be doing as a naive child dreaming of buying her way out of slavery and setting them all free and being a hero. She'd have to be merciful, to sit by and watch people be corrupted by the curse and until they acted on it, and to only react in self defense, in the seconds before it would be too late. And she'd probably have to risk her life to save others without reward.

Not all the time, just enough to stay in the elf's good graces, she thinks to herself desperately, trying not to imagine it backfiring, her losing everything just trying to increase her odds. The voices become audible as she loses her focus, now with new ammunition to fire at her. It hurts. She curls up and wraps her arms around her knees, but it makes the pain from her bruise worse. She can't afford to lengthen the time it took to heal, so she reverses her stance, leaning back and looking straight up at the ceiling, finding a point to focus on until the voices ceased to be audible.

In their place is a knock at the door. She leans forward, elbows on knees, turning her head against her hands to wipe one side of her face, "Come in, lock it behind you please."

quote:

Mechanics/tl;dr

Resolved bond
I sure don't miss Hamon compared to the better space alien, Tootsie. They're a good spotter, and we can set up some devastating lines of fire with the portal shenanigans. Very useful. Unlike the other one who crowded my shots with a bunch of useless goons.
Now I'm sure Tutresiel is worse than useless. They can go to hell.

New Bond
I had to tell Serenity how much Maximilian loved her. If he can be believed, she's a fundamentally good person. I am terrified that she will leave me to die or that I'll die myself trying to keep that from happening.

Resolved alignment
Kill a defenseless or surrendered enemy. Everyone's been trying to kill me for a looong time. Trust no one. Show no mercy.
Killed Captain Price, and a ghost that was nagging me I guess.

New Alignment
Don't kill what I know from the beginning is an enemy until my life is in imminent danger.

Questions Three
Did we learn something new and important about the world?
Ghosts haunt places and people forever, bad ones suck souls in order to manifest on the mortal plane again, where they can be destroyed.

Did we overcome a notable monster or enemy?
The Ghost Ship itself didn't kill everyone, we disarmed it and destroyed its Captain and crew. Who knows how many other ships fell prey to it before it ran into us.

Did we loot a memorable treasure?
The cursed pearl returned. It will always return to me, but I still have to keep it from falling into anyone else's possession. Only those with steel will or pure hearts aren't subject to its influence.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Mar 25, 2016 around 02:08

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 12/18 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 9/10

Serenity stepped inside and closed the door behind her. The door locked with a loud click, as asked. A part of her wanted to ask if she should have worn something nicer and put her makeup and jewelry back on, as a sardonic joke. That part was distant and as tired as the rest, however. That Ramona might try to kill her never crossed her mind. It wasn't that she had something the bounty hunter wanted. She simply did not believe Ramona was ruthless enough to murder her of all people, for no reason. She took a few short strides to stand in the center of the room and faced the figure on the bed, hands loose at her sides. She cut a strange figure out of her makeup and jewelry and fancy clothes. Without them Serenity was just a wisp, apt to blow away in a stiff breeze.

"Good evening Ramona. You may be glad to hear that Nori lived. The Padre is very good at what he does." Her voice sounded raw and thick as she spoke. "I wish to apologize in advance if anything I say comes across as curt. I do not intend it, but I am very very tired. So. What may I do for you? What do you want me to do for you?" It was a simple question. And the elf made it complicated by coloring it with a hundred shades of meaning. Typical of someone who made their living with words.

Serenity is using Charming and Open to inquire "What do you wish I would do?". You get a question of your own, Slydingdoor.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
26/26 HP; 0/12 XP; 0 Armor
"That's good news. I knew he could do it. I don't mind it if your tone goes the way of your makeup. You don't have to say anything anyway, just listen."

Ramona wipes the other side of her face and tells Serenity everything. Sings the lyrical message verbatim to summon Nashira's sign, tells her about the curse, shows her the pearl, tells her what she thought and what she now knows about her, how she's willing to change and that is scares her and why--everything.

"What do you wish I would do?"
Listen, hopefully don't give up on her.

What are you really feeling right now?

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Mar 25, 2016 around 02:09

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 12/18 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 9/10

Serenity listened as Ramona laid it all down. It was disconcerting to hear her husband's words coming from this woman. Words of love that were not her own...it played merry havoc with the heart. And her history, and the curse that followed her. It was all Serenity could do to maintain her respectful silence. Nobody ever said life was fair, but to have the blunt fact of it thrown in your face still hurt. And through it all, the basic fact that there was no lie spoken here. The echoes in that song...it was a true divine revelation, no doubt. And echoes persisted. To speak a lie within their bounds was to invite retribution far harsher than Serenity's own punishment for blasphemy. Even the irreligious would not tempt fate so.

As Ramona finished, Serenity nodded. She was tempted to sit and reassure the bounty hunter, but it seemed likely that anything she said would ring hollow. Ramona had her own pain to carry, and she at least had not called it upon herself. And that she had the strength to speak openly like this suggested her limit for allowing someone to see her this vulnerable would be rapidly approaching. "I understand. I wish to make one thing clear, though. I am doing this because I chose too. It is gratifying to hear that I am supported in that choice, but even should circumstances change...I have made my decision and given my word. You will have what is yours, come what may."

She turned towards the door and took a step before pausing. She cast a glance over her shoulder. "A Lantern is called to bring light to world. I'm a little more selfish. I prefer to bring light to just one person. So long as you find it well, I will stand by your side. Lend what comfort I may, should you need it. You only have to ask."

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
26/26 HP; 0/12 XP; 0 Armor
Ramona stands up too, reaching out with one hand, covering her feverish forehead with the other and wincing. Not from her injuries, from her migraine. The channeling enervated her, now the voices are loud and clear. She rubs her temple with her thumb and forces one bloodshot eye open to meet the elf's, in profile, "Wait. First ghosts, then a cursed artifact, a goddess, and now you. Choosing me. It's really happened, it's not a dream--I know that deep down. But I don't believe it. They keep telling me it's all just a sick joke. I need you to tell me how--why did you choose me at first, before all this?"

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Everybody: if you need to eat, mark off two rations. If you need to eat and can't mark rations, take -1 ongoing until you get a substantial and nourishing meal into you.

Up to two people:
When you spend a day listening to the fevered whispers of AVTOTAR, roll +WIS.
On a 10+, you hear fragments of a prophecy with grave and certain significance concerning the events to come.
On a 7-9, his words are vague, cryptic, and shrouded in esoteric symbolism and delusional haze.

TUTRESIEL
The more subtle of your senses detect little of great threat; no (more) malicious beings of the realms of spirit, nor entities beyond the planes these others know, have cast their attentions (again) on your vessel and companions with malice aforethought. That doesn't mean the ship doesn't need a scout, of course -- and one such as you makes a perfect tactical officer, especially since Domhnall's busy running the ship and his last tac officer had a fatally close encounter with his skull and a pipe wrench.

The ways and means of the physical world are often new and strange to you, but Jaime and Nori give patient instruction on the operation (and sometimes maintenance) of the Shrieking Harpy's cantankerous and fiddly radar, sonar and radio equipment. The late Cap'n Price -- that cheapskate -- couldn't or wouldn't shell out for anything newer.

Two days pass slowly and silently, with, thankfully, little but cleanup and deck-swabbing to excite anybody. AVTOTAR remains locked in his fever-dream, occasionally stirring long enough to gulp down a few mouthfuls of thin broth and ship's biscuit before lapsing back into unconsciousness. Radio traffic is intermittent and sporadic, and what does come through is heavily distorted and full of static.

In the chill clear morning of the third day, you pick up something at the edge of reliable detection on the ship's sonar. It's still too far away to say with certainty just what exactly it is, except that it's probably too small to be a ship and probably too solid and compact to be a school of fish. As the sun rises, you become increasingly certain that this thing, whatever it is, is following you.

You decide to:
- Try and outrun it: more power to the engines!
- Engage it!
- Just keep steaming ahead and hope it goes away.

- Hail it on the radio.
- Broadcast a distress call.
- Ping it with the ship's active sonar.
- Something else.

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Mar 26, 2016 around 18:28

Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Tutresiel

HP: 17/17 | Armor: 1/1 | Load: 3/7 | XP: 7/10

Tutresiel took breaks between manning the radar and whatnot to meditate beside the unconscious body of AVTOTAR, a prime candidate for the realm of prophecy.

Tuning Into Crazy FM (WIS): 2d6+3 14

Besides that Tutresiel made decisions where they were necessary. In deciding this, Tutresiel considered many things, amongst them was the fact that the Silent God before they became silent was a god of language, and tongues, and words, and laws, etc. with that it became clear to Tutresiel's strange mind that contact would be the first choice before any others. Hailing it by the radio would be the initial choice, which would also ascertain whether or not it was an actual vessel and not say, something far baser.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 18/18 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 9/10

"Three hundred years I've walked this earth. I've seen all kinds of things and met all sorts of people. In all that time, I have never seen anybody with eyes as lonely as yours." Serenity ran a hand through her hair and returned the bloodshot glance. "Get some rest, Ramona. We've a lot of work ahead of us."

---

The elf sat perched on the mast, back to her normal self. She gazed out across the expanse of water, singing a quiet song to herself. It was a sad truism that inspiration always seemed to come to her in the face of tragedy. The events of days past still bothered her, and the leeching cold from the ghost ship had left its mark on her mind.

Oh that I had, the wings of a dove, to rest on me.

This is not new to me
As I sit in this boat
But I'm so cold my bones, will freeze
And there's nought through the haze
I've been waiting so long
But my hour has gone, away


She stopped, leaned forward, and squinted. Yeah, the angel had called it right. Leaning over, she hollered down to the deck. "Shoals ahead! Turn left! ...Uh, port? That way!" She pointed. It had been decades since she'd had to help pilot a boat, and even then she hadn't been great at it. Even a virtuoso like herself had gaps in her skill base. "And tell those lazy bums in the engine room to put some fire in this cow's belly. I could jump off and swim faster than this!"

Undertake A Perilous Journey (Trailblazer) (WIS): 2d6 9
Edited: forgot to note the -1 ongoing. Serenity forgot to bring food, and I'm claiming she's on a diet.

Shardix fucked around with this message at Mar 26, 2016 around 18:45

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Tutresiel posted:

Tuning Into Crazy FM (WIS): 2d6+3 14


- Hail it on the radio.

In between watches, you take time to care for AVTOTAR: changing bandages and dressings, feeding him what little nourishment he’ll take, meditating on his dry-throated whispers. The man drifts in and out of lucidity like one who drifts aimlessly down a great river, occasionally bumping into a brief snag and clinging on for a time before floating on again. Much is simple delusion: repetitions of old conversations, dreams or childhood memories -- until the night of the second day, when the hour is small and the moons are like dim chips of pale ice in the sky.

“ʏᴏᴜ ᴡɪʟʟ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʙᴇᴇɴ ᴛʜᴇʀᴇ,” he says that night, in a cold and distant tone entirely unlike his vague, disjointed mutterings of the day and evening before. “ᴀɴᴅ ɪᴛ ᴡɪʟʟ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʙᴇᴇɴ ᴋɴᴏᴡɴ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴏsᴇ ᴅᴀʏs ʏᴏᴜ ᴡɪʟʟ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴄᴏᴍᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴇɴᴅs ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ɪᴠᴏʀʏ ʀᴏᴀᴅ, ᴡʜᴇʀᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ʟɪɢʜᴛ ᴏғ sᴜɴs ᴡɪʟʟ ғᴇᴀʀ ᴛᴏ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴅ.”

“ᴀɴᴅ ɪɴ ᴛʜɪs ᴄʟᴏᴠᴇɴ ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇ ᴏɴᴇ ᴡʜᴏ ᴡɪʟʟ ʟᴏɴɢ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʟɪɴɢᴇʀᴇᴅ ɪɴ ᴄʀᴜᴇʟ ʙᴏɴᴅᴀɢᴇ ᴡɪʟʟ ᴀᴡᴀᴋᴇɴ. ᴛʜᴇ ᴀᴡғᴜʟ ʟɪɢʜᴛ ᴏғ ᴛʀᴜᴛʜ ᴡɪʟʟ ᴘɪᴇʀᴄᴇ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ's ʙᴏɴᴅs ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴀɴ ɪʀʀᴇsɪsᴛɪʙʟᴇ sᴘᴇᴀʀ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ᴠᴇʀʏ ғᴏᴜɴᴅᴀᴛɪᴏɴs ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ᴇᴀʀᴛʜ ᴡɪʟʟ ǫᴜᴀᴋᴇ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴅ.”

“ᴀɴᴅ ɪɴ ᴛʜɪs sʜᴀᴛᴛᴇʀᴇᴅ ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇ ɢʀᴇᴀᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ᴍɪɢʜᴛʏ ʟɪɢʜᴛs ᴡɪʟʟ ʀɪsᴇ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴅɪsᴀsᴛᴇʀ. ᴛʜᴇ ɢᴜɪʟᴅs ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ʟɪᴠɪɴɢ ᴡɪʟʟ sᴘʀᴏᴜᴛ ᴀɢᴀɪɴ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴇ sᴘʟɪɴᴛᴇʀᴇᴅ sᴛᴏɴᴇs ᴏғ ᴍᴏʀᴛᴀʟ ᴀᴍʙɪᴛɪᴏɴ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴡʜᴀᴛ ɪs ᴅᴀʀᴋ ᴀɴᴅ ʜɪᴅᴅᴇɴ ᴡɪʟʟ ʙᴇ ʀᴏᴜᴛᴇᴅ ᴏᴜᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ᴍᴀᴅᴇ ᴛᴏ sᴛᴀɴᴅ ʙᴀʀᴇ ʙᴇғᴏʀᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ʟɪɢʜᴛ ᴏғ sᴛᴀʀs.”

“ᴀɴᴅ ɪɴ ᴛʜɪs ʙᴜʀɪᴇᴅ ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇ, ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴍᴀʏ ʙᴇ sᴘᴏᴋᴇɴ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴍᴜsᴛ ɴᴏᴛ ʙᴇ sᴘᴏᴋᴇɴ, ᴛᴏ ᴏɴᴇ ᴏғ ᴡʜᴏᴍ sᴘᴇᴇᴄʜ ᴡɪʟʟ ɴᴏᴛ ʙᴇ ᴘᴇʀᴍɪᴛᴛᴇᴅ ᴜɴᴛɪʟ ᴛʜᴇ sᴜɴs ᴡɪʟʟ ᴅɪᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛɪᴍᴇ ᴡɪʟʟ ᴇɴᴅ. sᴜᴄʜ ᴡɪʟʟ ʙᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ᴍᴀɢɴɪᴛᴜᴅᴇ ᴏғ ʜɪs ғᴀᴍɪʟʏ's ᴄʀɪᴍᴇ.”

“ᴀɴᴅ ᴡʜᴇɴ ᴛʜᴇ ғɪɴᴀʟ ɢᴀsᴘ ɪs ʜᴇᴀʀᴅ, ʏᴏᴜ ᴡɪʟʟ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴋɴᴏᴡɴ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇsᴇ ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴡɪʟʟ ᴄᴏᴍᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴘᴀss.”

Huh.
Somebody else can still listen to AVTOTAR later on in this Perilous Journey, if they so desire.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The next morning, you hail the blip on your sonar time and time again, but there’s no response on any frequency. Not civilian, not military or emergency, not even on any of the nine finitely-expressible Qemian numbers. It doesn’t acknowledge your hail in any way. As the day wears on, the whatever-it-is keeps pace with you steadily, slipping in and out of sonar range, always in your wake as you steam onwards. It doesn’t go away, but it doesn’t get any closer either. You’re able to gather enough sonar images of it over the next few hours to have a good idea of its shape.


You decide to:
- Fire a warning shot.
- Ping it with the ship's active sonar.
- Consult the Cube of Araboth.
- Step through a portal and inspect it from closer up.
- Ask one of the crew for advice.
- Just keep on going.
- Something else.

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Mar 27, 2016 around 22:52

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
26/26 HP; 0/12 XP; 3 Armor
"Yeah, rest." It didn't come easy. After Serenity leaves Ramona locks the door behind her and walks to her suit, clutching her head by the temple. A hidden compartment is opened, and eyeglasses come out. Then she works at mending the rupture in the suit, cursing aliens to lessen the headache.

Once it's finally done she wastes no time jumping in, getting on deck, and jumping in the sea, where the voices were muted and bubbly, and couldn't touch her dreams. She grapples the bottom of the boat and curls up into a ball. All those hours spent developing gills for the thing paid off.

But just because ghosts weren't there to give her nightmares doesn't mean she still doesn't have them. She dreams of the alien using the ritual to experiment on her and Serenity to whatever end, and the android interpreting its inherent risk as an attack on his master's life. Both of these inclinations were the work of the conflict curse--there's no reason that it'd only affected the terrestrial and the organic. The elf could do something stupid and romantic like taking a blow for her from her nominal guardian, who Ramona had seen use lethal force while blind. It was in their programming to see people as meatbags with no inherent value--it made calculations easy for them. Anything that got in the way, just gently caress it up. There was no pity, like the elf, or remorse, like herself.

The worst nightmare is of the pearl trying to absorb her, and pulling her into a hellgate filled with eager haunters, rubbing their hands together and sharpening their blades. She's clawing at the ground, stabbing it with a knife and leaving a great gash in the earth, grappling onto stalagmites and stone columns and the bottoms of ships, but they all break and barely slow the speed she's being dragged. She reaches a continental shelf, and the bard grabs her hand in the right on the edge, but it's too much for the waif. "You're too heavy, and I'm not strong enough. I tried," are the last words she hears before she loses her grip, dies, wakes up, and climbs back onto the ship.

The elf said there was a lot of work ahead of them, and the first of it seems to be making sure these idiots ate and drank enough to work and no more. It was easy enough to calculate their necessary caloric intake, but no doubt the men had hidden food and nasty homebrewed wine and spirits in their bunks. Some went the other way. Workaholics or those who were bullied out of their rations. Their usefulness took a dive unless she made sure they had enough in spite of it all. Juan and Tootsie get the cold shoulder, she's pretty sure they don't eat people food anyway--they can do whatever the gently caress they do themselves.

So bad-luck Ramona isn't even surprised when she sees another hungry person on the boat, the elf. Ever the conversationalist in public, she keeps it to, "Eat, or I will feed you."

QM: 2d6+1 7

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Mar 27, 2016 around 16:52

Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Tutresiel

HP: 17/17 | Armor: 1/1 | Load: 3/7 | XP: 7/10

As Tutresiel became aware that words of prophecy were being spoken, they held aloft the Cube of Araboth, having it listen and record, keeping these words safe and bound within the hyperspatial structure of the cube, for future reference if need be.

- - - -

Hmm. The lack of response was disconcerting, but what this implied could mean many things. Given that it seemed to be following the ship, and there did not seem to be any forces of nature that could be propelling it so synchronously with artificial movements of this ship, it was likely moving under its own power - whatever that was. Tutresiel's curiosity did not amount nearly enough to even consider personally trying to visit the pursuer, and the Cube of Araboth was better saved in its Insight for things more pertaining to the task at hand. Initiating hostilities here and now could prove more of a concern than would be necessary too, so it was the strange figure would ping it with the ship's active sonar. More information regarding what was being dealt with would be necessary before an appropriate response can be determine, assumption is not something to do if possible, after all.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


TUTRESIEL
You trigger the Harpy's active sonar units. Focused sound peals off your pursuer and returns to you, rapidly building a precise and accurate picture -- and incidentally letting the whatever-it-is know, clearly and certainly, that you're watching it with great care.

The image resolves, bit by bit, on your sonar screens as the sonar pings return. A bulbous, bulging forequarters, many short stubby protrusions from its rear, two longer such protrusions trailing out in its wake...



Ohhhhh boy. Looks like the zombie bird from your last fight -- and what remains of the mingled stenches of death and orcish haute cuisine aboard -- have attracted the attentions of a juvenile kraken. It must have the Harpy pegged as a source of food. The radar scan didn't do a darn thing to it, but the sonar certainly does. After the first couple pings bounce off it, the beast immediately begins descending into the sea. Its eardrums (or however that thing actually hears) must feel like they're being pounded on with a bunch of icepicks about now.

SERENITY
Deadline: 84/90 days
Now the Shrieking Harpy is come to the shallow bright waters of the Rimewash. Aqualantis would once drop anchor at this place's edge for weeks on end, hunting for fish to fill the city's many mouths and shedding pleasure-vessels like dandelion seeds. The many reefs, lagoons, and atolls in these waters provide ample habitat for all sorts of sea life, and a few of the nubby islands poking above the waves are known to harbor that greatest of bounties at sea: fresh, potable water from pond, stream, or spring.

But be wary: the Rimewash may brim with natural bounty, but there's a reason few, if any, seek to make a life here. Outside the known and mapped routes, these waters are treacherous. Spars of rock, ironhide coral, or the wrecks of ships less lucky than yours all wait to snare the hull of an unwary or incautious captain; and, since Aqualantis' fall, pleasure yacht and fishing boat have been replaced by less...salubrious sorts. Pirate, thief, and scavenger have all been known to stalk these shallow seas. Be wary.



You decide to:
- drat the kraken! Moor somewhere safe-looking for a day or two, to stock up on supplies and do some repairs.
- Steam on without stopping. Stick to the safe, mapped, well-known routes. Aqualantis waits.
- (Bardic Lore) Recall tales you've heard (and told) about the unusual sea-life to be found in this place.
- (+INT) Risk a quicker route through the shoals, in hopes of outrunning or outmanuvering the kraken.
- Lead the kraken into the shoals and engage it there. The shallow, treacherous waters here will limit where it -- and you -- can safely go.
- Something else.

What do you do?


01@noetic: /$ weave -rsp /proc/mem*/**/* | xargs skime -t >&2 && tail -f /dev/NULL | grep NULL
In the dim silence of one of the Harpy's empty cargo holds, you ease your chassis down to the deck and prepare to enter Debug Mode. Awareness of the exterior world vanishes; motor control and nonessential cognitive threads are shut down or handed off to lesser, subsentient task runners while the entirety of your thoughtshard's capabilities are brought to bear on one task: hunting down and coming to terms with the NULL in your memories that so utterly undid you.

What is this NULL? What are its qualities, its attributes, its classification? NULL is not NULL. NULL is not NOT NULL. NULL is not true. NULL is not false. It admits no comparison; no logical structure can contain it nor quantity describe it. It is a thing of the Neither-Neither, definable only by negation: not what it is, but what it is not.

NULL is not living. NULL is not dead. But then again...neither are you. Yet you and NULL alike are not dumb matter, not simply thaumium or seawater or empty air. You both can walk and talk and fight and cease to be. What, then, must you and NULL have in common? What must you and NULL fail not to have in common?

But no answer comes forth. In time, consciousness retreats, that other, simpler routines may do their work without interfering with your delicate cognitive threads. Millenia of memories sleet through your dreaming mind as automated debugging routines process, index, sort, and check a store of accumulated experience deeper than most civilizations. It seems the NULL in your memories may never truly be purged, not without deleting that event and all its associative links from your working and long-term datastores: a task that becomes exponentially harder with each passing microsecond, and one that would leave you with yet another blankness in your history. Too many such void places exist already to make another purge an unpleasant thought to contemplate.
You return to consciousness right around when Tutresiel pings off the sonar. Your SIGFPE debility is definitely gone. When you wake up, what do you do?

THRASH
That frogman Garlov just plain isn't leaving you alone! Day and night, he clamors for more -- it's starting to get so you can hardly get any cooking done! Maw-Meow's developed a taste for bones too, after that fight in the engine room. Human bones. It's a real pain in the behind keeping him out of the medical ward, especially since nobody's had the good sense to drop off the twig and give your pet a nice new rack of ribs to gnaw or anything. And what's worse, that juvenile kraken in the distance has been following your ship all through these days and nights, and now it's finally grown bold (or hungry) enough to show itself openly...
Everybody seems to want a piece of you! You have twenty-four hours to post before I do as I please with you and all your delicious poison food. What do you do?

RAMONA
Quartermastery stuff to be dealt with during, or soon after, the party's departure from the Rimewash. If you want to act during this scene, you can start in the kitchens with Thrash, or underwater in your suit, grappled to the hull. What do you do?

EVERYBODY
Feel free to peruse this satisfying and delicious map:
code:
!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~################```````````````````````````````
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~#~&~~~~##+#####````````````**``````````````````````
~~~~~~~~~@~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~####~#####`````````````````*``````````````````````
~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~#######*```````````````***``````````````````````
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*~~~*~~~~~##~~*~~~*~~````````````**####`````````````````
##~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~```````````````###``````````````````
#####~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`````````***#~~~***``````````````
######~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**~*~***`````````````#####`````````````````
#+####~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*******~~`````````````````````````````````````````
######~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**~~~~~**~~~~~***````````````````````````````````````
#####~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**~~~~~~`````````````````````````````````````````
####~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**~~&~~~~~~~~~~~~***``````````````````````````````````
####~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~#*##~~~**###**```````````````````````````````````
##~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**~~~####~~~&&*##*#*#**``````````````````````````````
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~**~~~~#****#````````````````````````````````
~~**~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**~~~*~~~~~~~~~~*~~~#```````````````````````````````````
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~***~~~*#~~~~~~~~~~**~~``````````````````````````````````````
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~&*~~*~~#####~**~~~~~##***~~*```````````````````````````$`````
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**~~~~**~~~~##~~~####+######*#```````````````````````````````````
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**~~~~~~~~~~###########```````````````````````````````````````

Legend:                                                        N
  @ The Harpy   $ Way Out   ! Kraken                           ^
  # Land        ~ Sea       * Known reef                    W <+> E
  & Known wreck + Spring    ` Uncharted                        v
                                                               S

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Mar 28, 2016 around 22:59

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
26/26 HP; 0/12 XP; 3 Armor
Ramona is awakened by an alarm. You have been pinged by sonar, in or out the thing didn't say. Time to get above decks. Kraken, but just a juvenile. "Someone ask the alien about it. They're one to know about tentacled monstrosities. I guess if it were up to me I'd fire a warning shot to scare it away from us, and ships in general."

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 18/18 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 9/10


Bardic Lore



On especially clear days like this one, one could glance over the side of a ship and if you were sharp-eyed enough, make out the distant forms of ancient obelisks and statues. They depicted unknowable things, things it was likely for the best remained unknowable. They were the markers delineating the demense of the Abyss Wyrms. So named not due to any demonic associations, but from the fact that they lived in the far reaches of the ocean where light never shines. While beastly in appearance, they were wickedly intelligent beings with their own society and culture, albeit one surface dwellers would find alien and frightening. The eternal darkness of their habitat has made them...strange, to say the least. Serenity herself had never met one, but the stories she had heard painted them as aesthetes par excellence. Collectors of rare and valuable works of art. Jewels and statuary, mostly. Paintings and books obviously would never survive below the waves. Darker tales tell that they collect people as well, warping them with occult rituals to survive the depths. Men and women of rare beauty or particularly talented voices. It is said those taken are treated quite well, but a slave is a slave regardless, and a world like that is no place for someone born to the light.

On very rare occasions, an Abyss Wyrm might contact surfacers, offering their skills in return for things. Never something as crass as money. A brand new song performed for them alone, maybe. A precious memory. Your faith in the gods. In short, they are to be respected and kept at a polite distance. But if you are in dire need, and willing to sacrifice, the sea serpents may have just what you require.

---

Grasping hold of a rope, Serenity rappelled quickly down to the deck. "Keep her steady! If that beast gets our scent, I'll see if I can calm it. For now, keep an eye out for somewhere we can weigh anchor and patch this tub up." Striding to the front of the ship, she kept a wary eye on the colossal cephalopod. She was reasonably confident if it did try to take a bite out of them, she could soothe it into docility with her harp. Man or beast, she could bring them all to heel if need be.

Serenity will turn to page 58: drat the kraken! Moor somewhere safe-looking for a day or two, to stock up on supplies and do some repairs.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
26/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 3 Armor
The helmet opens up so Ramona can lower her voice, "Ahem, it's 'drop' anchor."

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Mar 30, 2016 around 04:44

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT

01
HP: 26/26 | Armor 3/3 | XP 0/11

...
>SIGINT PING: $LOCAL<
DesRef?
BOOT SUBROM\\LastknownPHYS-emplatebackup
>>Combat routines
>>Biological/Anatomical profiles
>>Sub-Noetic Magitechnical Mechanical Readouts
>>Memcache>RAM CurrentProfile settings-$m0d
...Y/N>Y

I can 'feel' the dying echoes of the Sonar vibrate through the hull and my own body as my subprocessors regain control. A sonar query indicates $UnknownObject, $Unknown indicates danger with a probablility 73% likelihood +/-2.0235%
I rise from my rest position, and make my swiftly through the nearly crippled ship to the command console from which Tutresiel is working. I process the readout on the Kraken.
"This ship is badly damaged, according to my directive I cannot allow us to enter another protracted fight. We should find solid land. Now."

I don't wait for a response, already exiting the cabin and taking a stand on the main deck, weapons free, standing ready to engage anything trying to climb onto the ship.




E: Since Padre left, I'm gonna go ahead and resolve his Bond and take +xp from it, which brings me to a level up:
+1 CON
New Move - Search and Destroy
When you are given the order to kill something, take +1d4 forward to
damage against it.

Error 404 fucked around with this message at Mar 29, 2016 around 22:31

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


01
Fine by me! I like the new move, too. Hope everything's cool; hop back in IRC any time you've got the time.

EVERYBODY
If you had a bond with Padre or Thrash, you can resolve it and mark XP, but don't write a new bond.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 18/18 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 9/10

"Some thoughts have a certain sound, that being the equivalent to a form. Through sound and motion, one is able to paralyze nerves, shatter bones, set fires, suffocate an enemy or burst his organs. Alternatively, one may speed the mending of wounds, entrance a foe or shatter deceptions laid upon an ally. An understanding of magic and the pattern it weaves across creation is necessary to effect a change, but the critical aspect in all things is a mastery of the self and a cultivation of one's talents."

- The First Lesson


"Elven anatomy is a complex thing. Unlike most species, it defies easy modeling. In a human, the heart may be generally expected to reside behind the breastbone and a vivisectionist can reasonably proceed under that assumption. Among the Fair Folk that is a dangerous mistake to make. The heart may be far to the left or the right, or centered as is natural. Older specimens may lack any heart whatsoever, which understandably complicates matters. The reason behind these...anatomical incongruities is poorly understood. Many theories exist, none of which have been proven. My own is that they are not a proper species at all, but a kind of self-aware teratoma that has managed to find a way to propagate itself absent a host. Likely through forming polyps which grow and eventually drop off, maturing into a larval form. What this larval stage may look like I could not say. These larva that survive predation eventually grow into the adult stage that we call Elves. Regardless, it would explain why physiologically speaking -

[...]

- One curious trait of note is how they heal. Similar to most proper species, wounds and injury require time and energy to mend. Yet unlike most species, it sometimes (very very rarely) happens that the injury attempts to adapt to the circumstances that caused it to an excessive degree. If you slice open the palm of a man, the skin might grow back thicker and tougher. Slice open the palm of an elf, and it may sprout a hard, chitinous growth. Repeated corneal abrasion might result in the forming of a nictating lid, and so on.

Not all of these mutations are directly preventative of the initial trauma. It is an inexact thing, as so much about how a body functions and why ultimately proves to be. As an example. Damage to an elf's vocal chords might not result in them simply becoming tougher and harder to damage in the future. Instead, it is possible the voice might now be heard on a completely different register. Think of the dog whistle, which is too high pitched for us to hear, but certainly attracts the attention of any nearby canines. More exotic effects might also manifest, some of which are concerning to contemplate. Imagine an elf that speaks with two voices simultaneously. Or one able to bend someone's mind with a word, simply because their voice registers on a level that the subconscious mind finds irresistible? Again, mere theory, but one we cannot entirely discount."

-from Prof. Gabriel Marcell's lectures on elven anatomy at the Imperial Medical Academy of Raselhague

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


SERENITY
You keep a sharp eye on the kraken's surface wake as it sheers off into deeper waters and dives to escape the hammering sonar. The Harpy steams steadily on, unmolested. The heavy odor of unmentionable sea-lumps frying drifts out from the galley to vex your delicate nose. To the east, a sheltered cove beckons. The shattered spar of some unlucky ship’s mizzenmast breaks the waterline nearby. Should be a good place to drop anchor for a time, and see to fixing up this battered old sow before she sails on again.

Nori and Jaime stand beside you at the prow, watching the sea slide past and keeping a lookout for hidden snags. Domhnall up in the wheelhouse gingerly guides the ship through a narrow gap in the cove’s fringing reefs, and drops anchor as soon as is practical. Nori breathes a sigh of relief. “Risky business, Greymist,” she comments. A hoarse rasp still shadows her voice. “But at least we can get some fishing done. I’ll send out the dinghy. You're welcome to come along.” She claps Jaime on the back gently. “Go get Reynolds, big guy. Coldwater and Zeb, too. I’ll be back before dusk.”
You didn't ask me a question as permitted by your Bardic Lore! You can do that now if you like.


01
It's not solid land, but a good defensible bay will serve just as well for a place to patch up this ship's many bruises. You stand guard, weapons cocked and ready, for much of the morning, but no danger comes. Evidently the beast is too pained and frightened by the ship's sonar to approach. In the meantime...the softskins have permitted their machine to suffer far too many insults, and it's high time they give it the care and attention it deserves. One of the softskins departs the Harpy in a smaller boat, seeking more biomatter to fuel their woefully inefficient metabolisms; the rest busy themselves with repairs and maintenance.

You, of course, have forgotten more about machinery over your long lifespan than anyone aboard, ghosts included, could possibly have had the time to learn. Your crystalline intellect and powerful servomotors are an indispensable aid to the softskins' repair efforts. By the time the afternoon is turning into evening, the ship's looking, if not entirely in perfect repair, certainly a lot more ship-shape than it used to be. Engines re-greased and re-oiled; the crack in the hull papered over with a quick weld; electrical and hydraulics given a quick once-over...another day of this and all you'll need is a couple months in dry-dock to make the Harpy good as new again!
Gonna go out on a limb here and say that you're helping with repairs. Hope that's okay! Post about what you did if you like. If you want, you can also consult your databanks and Spout Lore about the ancient statutary of the Rimewash.


TUTRESIEL
AVTOTAR improves a little over the course of the day. Perhaps the speaking of words of prophecy burnt out some of the sickness within him; perhaps it's just that he's sheltered from wind and wave here. Regardless of cause, his color has improved and his fever is beginning to abate. By midday he's actually sitting up and sipping from a mug of "soup", care of Thrash's galley slop. The other wounded sailors have been slowly recovering, and those not suffering from any serious broken limbs or other internal injuries are starting to get up and hobble carefully around the sickbay. You and the padre make a serviceable medical team -- some of the men have, tentatively, tried to speak to you, asking for a change of bandages or the blessings of your strange and unnamable God.
AVTOTAR has recovered from his fever, and the chance for anyone else to listen to him has passed.

That afternoon...
Nori returns from her fishing trip atop a dinghy laden with an astonishing variety of seafood of every shape and size -- more than everyone could possibly eat before it starts to rot! "I didn't know what was good to eat," she says apologetically. "...So I just caught everything I could get into the net!" Fortunately for everybody's nose, Cap'n Price had the Shrieking Harpy fit out for this contingency: the galley's kit out with a great massive walk-in freezer, perfectly suited to accept just such a cornucopia of marine delights. These should sell very nicely out on the Raft.
Hey presto! Add a hold full of fresh-frozen seafood to the party's inventory. Anyone who had -1 ongoing from hunger no longer does, and nobody needs to mark rations anymore for as long as you have access to all this fish. Ramona, which of these fish, mollusks, etc. do you know to be poisonous? Which are safe to eat?


RAMONA
What a lovely time for a day at the beach. Or, in your case, a day spent shoulder-deep in fish guts and terms-of-employment negotiations. As soon as the Harpy bumps to a stop, the ghosts keeping half your engines running ooze out of the machinery and cower away from the bright sunlight in any dark corner they can find. Jaime, Zeb, 01, and Ensign Coldwater busy themselves with a full teardown and reassembly of the Harpy's much-abused engines -- and from the sound of it, it comes not a moment too soon. Your radio crackles with status reports and staticky complaints all day long.

“aahahAAHAhAAAAhaahaaaeeyaaaaawwwnnnnnn”
“-timing belt torn,*zzkkzrvz* gears stripped, bearings are shot-”
“It’s Z-Zebley. Bad news: the number two drive shaft’s got a fatigue crack starting. S-should be okay for a while, but...say, you’re s-s-s-sure that kraken’s gone, right? Right? Ahaha. I'lljustgetbacktowork.”
“Crazy lady work us to the bones! HUNGRY we!”
“the light the LIGHT no light NO light no light the LIGHT sssssss no no no no”
“-oil sump clogged, seawater seepage, rust everywhere-”
“HAH! GEDDIT!? BONES!! HOOAHAHAHAAahahahaaaaaah...”


Once Nori comes in with that huge load of fish, you make darn certain everybody onboard gets a good and filling meal in them: no more, no less. Especially the sick. Gods only know what Thrash would do if you left him alone to feed everybody. Nori and Jaime come out that evening with what may just be the biggest fish fry afloat, having left the offal and bones (and dishes) to an eager Thrash and his bizarre pet.

But while everyone's comfortably seated in the mess hall tucking into the night's feast, a solitary ping goes unheard in the communications room. Then another. And another. Deep below the Shrieking Harpy, a hungry beast is brooding...

Without warning, the ship heels abruptly over to one side. Shouts of confusion from the crew at your side, frenzied splashing, shattering glass, an orcish scream of pain and rage. You sprint for the galley as fast as you can -- and it's that drat kraken again! A storm of tentacles tears through the galley, snatching up chunks of fish waste, a bubbling pot of orcish "stew", and -- oh God -- even the orc himself and his Maw-Meow, carving great gashes into the tentacle holding him...but it's not enough to cut free in time. The beast drags them both out the porthole and shoves them into its gaping beak.

Snap. Crunch.
What do you do?

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
26/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 3 Armor
She always had a way of knowing when something bad was going to happen, and getting it before it got her. Maybe it had something to do with her spiritual sensitivity. Maybe it was combat training and her life being a never ending fight for her life. Probably both. But the why doesn't matter, what matters is what she can do.

The visor comes down at the first ping, and her whip comes out. On the second--faster than before--she snatches away Juan's sound wave blaster. She'd been eyeing it for some time, ready to do this earlier should she inherit it upon its owner's destruction, so she's quick to disassemble it. On the third she jams the part she needs onto her blaster arm. Turning and taking aim, she braces herself and shouts out on the fourth ping's cue, "Ears closed, eyes away!"

The kraken didn't like sonar pings, did it? Nothing likes being disintegrated by a laser either. This weapon was the best of both worlds. For her enemy, this beam was the opening of the gates of hell.



Volley; messy, forceful damage: 2d6+1 5 1d10+1 9

It's getting away from her, wrenching her blaster arm up to the sky and scraping her metal boots backwards against the deck. Her bracing arm strains trying to keep the drat thing steady, but it's not enough...

Ramona doesn't panic, she just reminisces, whispering to herself, "Shooting the star was a gamble, so is this. I am prepared to face whatever happens. I am ready. I am ready."

So long, everybody!

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT

01
HP: 26/26 | Armor 3/3 | XP 0/11

Point of order: My blaster isn't really sound, it's more like condensed kinetic energy. I just thought the visual of a ball of wobbly air as a projectile seemed cool.
Also, yeah helping with repairs is totally cool.


Then:
I finish punching the last replacement rivet by hand. The engines should hold for now. At least long enough to reach the raft. I leave the softskins to reprime and turn the engine on. It makes an agreeable hum as I make my way back up to the main deck. From here I idly scan the ruins and statuary on shore...
Spout Lore 9


Now:
I remained on deck as the softskins attended to refueling, I was planning my attack just as Ramona stole my blaster. Irritating human. Once the last glows of her blast died down, I snatch up the ruined pieces of my weapon, and reclaim the component she'd taken from it, not especially caring if I broke her own weapon in doing so. I shove the broken blaster parts into a storage compartment. With a flourish of my sword, I leap from the boat into the water of the bay to take on the Kraken directly.

I grasp one of it's flailing tentacles as I sink, ready to drive my blade deep into it's flesh.
Hack & Slash 12
trading blows for +1d6 dmg
damage 5

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


01, SERENITY, TUTRESIEL
If anybody wants to roll to Aid, Arcane Art, or otherwise assist Ramona's H&S, now's your chance.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 19/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/14

My question: How is Serenity's great-great-great-something granddaughter Gretchen doing? Last Serenity heard, she went looking for the Abyss Wyrms, but wouldn't say why...

---

Serenity jumped from the table and followed after Ramona, glad that wariness had prompted her to keep her blade on handy. The scene was...ugly to say the least. The elf gritted her teeth in anger as she saw the orc and his pet vanish into the kraken's gaping maw. Had it been a mistake to evade it and not slay the thing when it had been first spotted? Whatever the case, it was too late for regrets now. There was also no time for regrets. The thing was still hungry.

Diving to the side, Serenity evaded a thrashing tentacle while Ramona went about her own business. It was not nearly as blind as one would expect, and the sucker-laden arm hunted for her relentlessly. She ducked under a quick swipe and came up in a twirl, moving to a beat in her own mind. 1-2-sidestep left, 3-4-parry right, 5-6-riposte. She would almost be enjoying this if the thing hadn't just devoured a companion of hers.

"Ramona! I remembered my steps this time." As she continued, she wove the old magics into the display, attempting to bolster her partner.

Unsure of how to proceed, the point was quickly rendered moot when she heard Ramona shout. The elf allowed her momentum to carry her into another spin and dove away, covering her ears.

Arcane Art: 2d6+3 8
+1d4 damage: 1d4 4
Serenity can dance, too. The next time someone successfully assists Ramona with aid, she gets +2 instead of +1.
She also inflicts 4 extra damage.

Shardix fucked around with this message at Apr 1, 2016 around 11:25

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


That's one half of the 6- dealt with...now somebody just needs to roll to Aid.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
26/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 3 Armor
Her voice was straining, even running it through an amp couldn't hide that, "I'm glad...catch me."

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 19/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/14

The blast was nearly deafening, even with the forewarning. Still, she was made of sterner stuff than that. As soon as the light began to dim through her eyelids, Serenity was back on her feet and rounding on the fracas. Ramona looked to be reeling badly from the force of her own attack. The elf darted forward, wrapping one arm around the woman's waist and putting her shoulder under her arm as support, blade ready to ward off any encroaching tentacles.

"You might be ready, but I'm not." She stared ahead at their foe, eyes narrow as she tried to keep all the avenues of attack in mind to cover the bounty hunter.

Aid Ramona: 2d6+1 8
Ramona gets +2 forward. Serenity gets trouble.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
26/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 3 Armor
Neither of them could die. "Two lives of infinite value to me..." it's unthinkable. She takes what shot she can get without putting either of them at risk, and it's not a bad one.

negative damage: 1d6 3, 10 total, messy forceful and all that.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


01
These strange basalt statues seem disquietingly familiar to your ancient mind. The bulk of them appear to be laid out along a vast, tumbledown ring, describing the borders of a zone of especially dark and deep-blue water. As the Harpy steams past a particularly large and well-preserved specimen on its way to the cove, something about the weather-worn carvings along its sides shakes loose buried memories from a long-disused archive. This isn’t just art, it’s script -- one that you remember having read while it was still in common use. The inscription is still legible, albeit with many lacunae and uncertainties in translation. And on the pillar, these words appear...

code:
{
    Sibhaini-sudhislith-b’cchradl comman [ … ] nes be raised.
    [ … ]oever reads [ ]hese words, [ …]w you [ pass? drift? ] o[ ]er the [ ... ] B’SHKTSH SH’BAOT.
    # ( These last two words are deeply incised and intricately decorated. )
    [ ]raverse this [ skin? ] in pea [ ... ], 
    p[  ]mitting no [ ... ] your [ insipid? uncouth? ] des[  ]ns [ infect? defile? ] our holy [ … ] 
                [ -- several lines missing or fragmentary -- ]
    [ … ] we are watching.
}
SERENITY
My answer: You have absolutely no idea what happened to Gretchen. It’s been eighty years or more since anyone last heard from her...and you and that side of the family are, to put it gently, a bit estranged after all those accusations of treason and sedition from that royal family a while back. It’s been a long time since you had a reliable way to get in touch with them without risking arrest or worse.

And since I can ask you a question too: what tale, song, or legend did you first hear about Abyss Worms in?



---


That young kraken may have just eaten an orc, his pet, and half the kitchen wholesale, but it looks like orcish cuisine is far more well-appreciated among the monstrous than it is among men and elves. Such a meal is but a mere appetizer to a beast this size! It snaps everything up and comes back hungry for more -- but instead, it meets only the flashing blades and guns of Ramona, Serenity, and Zero-One.

It's strong, even for a juvenile; and it's got an entire ship to brace against for leverage. Not even Ramona's servo-enhanced strength can keep her gun aimed true as the kraken snatches her up bodily and slams her with crushing force against the ceiling, deck, and bulkheads like a stubborn coconut that just won't crack. But before it can yank her out the porthole and make a meal of her too, 01 flings himself off the side of the deck and straight into the fray! He grabs hold of the kraken's other grappling tentacle and with a single terrific stroke, severs the appendage at its base!

The kraken looses a whistling, ear-splitting howl of surprised fury. The tentacle holding Ramona spasms and jerks, flinging the bounty-killer away to crash into another bulkhead. As 01 sinks, a clutch of the kraken's shorter feeding tentacles truss him up and shove him headfirst right into the beast's mouth! Its iron-hard chitinous beak snaps shut, crushing 01's torso with the force of a ravenous hydraulic press. Armor plate buckles and splits. Damage-control sensors wail their agonies into your central thoughtshard. Oil and lubricant cloud the churning water -- but the kraken's beak chips and shatters under the tremendous strain of cracking that ancient steel! It screams again -- this time with a raw edge of fear in its bestial voice -- and spits 01 right back out into the water. Your crushed form sinks slowly to the Rimewash's shallow seafloor, trailing a plume of dark liquid behind it...
01, you take ten seven damage. (Ignore the weirdness with what Orokos is reporting; the roll in the description is what I actually wanted it to do. Also tell us how (or if you even can) control your buoyancy when fully immersed in water. You're just too dense to swim like the softskins can.

In the galley, the beast's tentacles go absolutely bonkers, whipping and flailing everywhere, sending pots and pans and plates shattering all over the place. Ramona can't get off a good shot -- everything's moving too fast! Serenity dances aside from the first few tentacle swipes, weaving a web of bolstering magic with her steps and song -- and then the ship heels over even farther as the kraken, maddened by pain and frustration, hauls its entire bulk out of the water and starts trying to shove its beak through the porthole! Serenity and Ramona both stagger; a flailing tentacle smashes the elf aside and away. Stars erupt in your eyes as the back of your head slams against the corner of the doorframe, and your vision hazes with pain. Another tentacle wraps around the elf's legs and chest, squeezing with bone-crushing force...and as the ship teeters on the verge of capsizing, you both get a perfect view right down the kraken's gaping, shattered, blood-streaming maw. Charnel stink blows over you, mingled with the unmaskable scents of orcish cooking. It roars its hunger and pain, reaching out to devour you both...
Ouch. Serenity got hit drat hard as the price of her Aid and Arcane Art; she takes fourteen twelve! damage, counting the reverberation from her Arcane Art affecting the kraken too, and has a nasty concussion from smacking the back of her head into something hard. Ramona's luckier (and more heavily armored); she takes only eleven eight damage instead. Orokos clearly isn't too happy with my slowpostin' slowness.

...but finally, finally, Ramona has this monster right where she wants it. Nowhere to run, no way to miss, and an elvish song ringing in her mind, lending strength and steadiness to her limbs. Ears closed. Eyes away. FIRE IN THE HOLE!

A lance of pure kinetic force as thick around as Ramona's shoulders spears right down the kraken's vulnerable throat with a sound like an entire choir of angels blasting a half-second power chord in perfect harmony on their electric trumpets. The kraken doesn't get thrown back. It doesn't bellow in agony and flee for quieter waters. It simply comes apart. Detonates in a fifty-foot geyser of pinkish-white spray like you chucked a sack of hand grenades into its stomach. The Harpy almost rolls over and capsizes in the other direction, so great is the force of displaced water right next to its hull. Unmentionable rags of flesh and gristle patter gently into the sea and onto the Harpy's top deck. An anonymous mass of pulped meat drifts limply atop the waves, staining the ocean red.

Hardly ninety seconds have passed since the first sonar ping.



---


The ringing in everybody's ears slowly starts to subside. Jaime and Donnie burst into the room, weapons drawn. Jaime stumbles and almost falls all over himself as the ship bobbles in the blast's wake. "WHAT THE gently caress HAPPENED IN HERE?!" Donnie bellows. "Was that a KRAKEN?!" Jaime sputters. For the second time in as many weeks, your galley's been utterly trashed...and to make matters worse, the crew's once more bereft of a dedicated chef. Ramona's arm cannon sizzles and sparks, venting excess heat; the rectifier amp she liberated from 01's gun is blackened and smoldering. Total write-off. But you're all alive, the kraken's so thoroughly dead its parents probably suffered heart attacks too, and -- aside from one more broken porthole -- the Harpy's actually no worse off for what it just went through.
01's blaster now also needs repair; and it will no longer function until you can buy, beg, borrow, or steal some spare parts for it. The Raft may have what you need. Fortunately, the kraken didn't manage to open the freezer door, and you still have a hold fulla fish.

Now that the fight's over, Ramona's suit radio picks up a multitude of...are those cheers? They are. Cheers, whistling, catcalls and hooting -- it looks like your newest employees found the battle drat entertaining. Now that it's dark, you can see their pearly glow over the surface of the water, swirling like piranha over the spot where the kraken died...
The Black Gang have claimed the kraken's soul. Their cost has been met...for now.


---


Dark it may be, but nobody on board wants to stay cooped up in this cove a moment longer than necessary. A blast that loud is bound to draw attention, and there's only one way out...best get moving before something uglier comes to investigate. The rest of the night is spent in tense, cautious vigil as the Harpy creeps through the Rimewash's treacherous reefs under cover of darkness. It's desperately slow going -- Cap'n Price's charts of this place are up to date, thank Nashira and all her choir, but it's far too dark to spot the typical navigational landmarks. Instead you have to work by dead-reckoning and sextant, with spotlights above and below the waterline to be certain no secret reefs are waiting in your road. As the night wears on, you can faintly hear the steady chug of another ship's engines behind you in the far distance...

...but whether it's due to stealth and secrecy, lack of interest, or simple dumb luck, that other ship never picks up your trail. And as dawn breaks over the Rimewash, clear and open waters greet you once more. You've made it -- and now, barring another great misfortune or accident, it's only two day's easy sailing to the Raft, and from there...Aqualantis waits.

Hooray! Your Perilous Journey is over! Serenity, you can do up to three rolls for healing song along the way; but be advised that a failure when the singer's suffering from concussion, and probably a few cracked ribs or other bones, may have unpleasant consequences. You already Made Camp, and aren't making another camp along the way. If this seems too harsh, I'll be in IRC later and we can chat about it then.



ArkInBlack: we'll be getting to your introduction in the next post. I'll ask some questions in the OOC thread when I have time. Welcome aboard!

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
18/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 0 Armor
The fight happens. She survives. Her enemy does not. What a surprise. As they always do after cathartic victory, the ghosts begin to harry her as she cools off. This time it's, "Where's the elf? she's dead, your only hope, because of you, she'll haunt you too, like us, but with the music that you can't silence, that you won't silence, Max won't help you now, you'll be ours"

Ramona turns her mic off so she doesn't sound insane to anyone listening.

"Shut up, ghosts." she orders them all even the cheering ones on her radio. She wipes viscera off her visor and starts looking for Serenity, who had saved her rear end sixty seconds ago, but something weird happened. Like when she tapped her fingers or punched on the beat of the song earlier. She'd been magically dancing this time, and being held by the waist and touching shoulders made Ramona imagine moving her right hand, which was bracing her blaster to fight the recoil from the deadly marriage of light and sound at the time, instead down to her own waist, hooking the bard's fingers with hers, and being cradle dipped, head thrown back, raising a knee. It'd be back-led--initiated by the follow rather than the lead, a practice frowned upon in traditional partner dancing circles. It'd look ridiculous, with the height, bulk, dress, and race disparity. It'd be completely inappropriate considering the setting--dingy boat, disgusting monster, blood and guts. It'd distract her and probably get everyone killed. It was distracting. drat, if Serenity were hurt because she couldn't deal with whatever side effect that seemingly always came with being imbued with her magic she would never forgive herself--

"Shut up, brain." She couldn't afford to be distracted by that either.

She finds the elf, looking forward to hearing her whine about ruining her finery, or the "noxious odor" or something. Later she'll find some way to thank her for actually being strong enough to carry her, for proving the nightmare wrong. But she's supine. Immobile. Ramona's heart sinks, the whispers grow just short of intelligible again. She rushes to her, slips, falls, and crawls the rest of the way. They can't be right, the elf can't be dead. She checks her pulse, choking on her breath. Puts an ear to her heart. Hearts? Whatever, the elf is not dead, she's alive but unconscious and not to be moved until she wakes up and confirms she has no neck or spine injuries. Otherwise, lay her in the suit, it'll keep them from moving or having to support any weight.

"Okay." Ramona turns the visor opaque so she doesn't look weak to anyone watching. She weeps.


---


Out of the armor, bedside. "You won't be singing a word in your condition. If you try, I will restrain you." It might aggro Juan, but she doesn't care. She's a quicker draw and he didn't have a gun anymore.

quote:

Bond
Now it's personal. Screw the invoice, I'm Serenity's bodyguard now, and the best things in life are free. No more harm will come to you.

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT

01
HP: 19/26 | Armor 3/3 | XP 0/11

Having severed its limb, and shattered it's beak, I drift down deeper, leaking fluids until autonomous repair protocols reroute or plug the leaks. I get an up close view of the beast imploding, bits of its flesh cascade down toward me.
I'm in need of repair, but not incapacitated as I hit the bottom of the bay, sinking slightly into the silt there. No, I'm entirely too dense to swim, but not far from the ship's anchor, and I can walk. I start climbing the anchor chain, soon reaching the deck once more.

Error 404 fucked around with this message at Apr 6, 2016 around 01:08

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 7/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/14

Ramona's admonishment against activity wasn't really necessary. Serenity was only awake for brief moments, long enough to choke down something to eat and drink before the pain pulled her back under the waves of unconsciousness. Unless somebody found a miracle worker at port, the elf's trip to Aqualantis ended here. Even if she were lucky enough to escape any permanent brain damage, the ribs would take months of recuperation before she was doing anything more strenuous than sitting up or walking, and even that would require someone on hand to help.

In the haze of her dreams, she was a little girl again back in the homeland. A very precocious six, sitting next to a fire with the other children as the adults celebrated some festival or another. Probably the fall harvest, as the smell of cinnamon came strongly to mind. This was back when relations between human and elf were less strained, and she and the others gathered in this common room were listening to a weathered old Man as he recounted spooky old tales he had heard or claimed to have been part of. Even with all her friends and family nearby, the storyteller was very skilled at making her feel alone, surrounded by the myriad denizens of the dark he spoke of. He was regaling them now with a tale of the Abyss Wyrms and how his ship had encountered the doldrums, weeks from any port. The crew was slowly going mad, claiming voices whispering in their minds. One by one they vanished, hurling themselves into the sea. When at last the storyteller was the only man aboard his ship, the doldrums lifted and a swift breeze filled the sails.

Serenity dared to ask him how he alone had managed to escape his fate. The old man grew quiet, and leaned in close. "I didn't. The Wyrms always require payment for their services. My payment to escape that place and make it back to port? The lives of my friends and colleagues." She hadn't really understood what he meant at the time, and even when she grew old enough to, it had just been a scary story. She herself knew hundreds of similar tales that never happened, at least to her. It was just a story and the man had not sacrificed his shipmates to escape that endless ocean.

Right?

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
18/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 3 Armor
She's growing impatient, and the pisco is calling to her. It's bullshit: the anchor is dropped for the night, the ship will only slowly be making its way through the reefs tomorrow, and the bard's just getting worse. She can't be part of an immortality ritual in a coma. Probably.

On goes the suit. Dom is summoned and instructed that should she not come back, he's to find Josephine for payment as written in the contract. Understanding confirmed, she wastes no time diving off the boat and swimming. Enhanced by her suit and a lifetime of training, she will beat two days--she could with or without a head start. If all goes according to plan, the best doctors in the Raft will be waiting for Serenity when she arrives. If they are judged unfit, Ramona will send word for better ones and at worst they will already be on their way.

dd con long distance swimming: 2d6+2 11

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Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


SERENITY
“Right! Ha!” the old Man said, and he ruffled your hair and gave you a hot mug of cider to sip. “Them as live below tired of that old saw longer ago’n you can imagine. O’ course the captain was agin’ it but we knew it ‘ad to be done. No man aboard was willin’ to wait for famine to come ‘n take us, not even if meant such a price as them ask for...” And he smiled with his thick-veined lips and went on telling his story, as the dusk deepened and Eihaix and Jaira and Xvedon rose out of the glittering of the festival fires…



What did you do?
- When you listened to his story, you rolled +WIS. It was such a beautiful night, and you tried real hard to stay awake til the moons were all the way out...
- When you told him that’s not how it went, you rolled +INT. You've heard this one before, but how did it really go?
- When you went to bed instead, you slept warm and soundly, curled up next to the bonfire all through that warm windy spring night: recover 4 HP but you miss the rest of the story.
- Or did you do something else?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Apr 7, 2016 around 03:59

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