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Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

RAMONA
If that's not a hunting call, you're sharkbait. Serenity and Branwen have come up with a hell of a distraction - all that shouting, banging and flashing really has a way of drawing a dumb beast's eye - and now gunshots too. You're crouching in ambush around the back end of a derelict three story lodging-house, where the werehyenas bedeviling you have set up their gunnery emplacement. You've made it this far without issue, but now you'll have to find a way to deal with the rest of these before your team can cross the black lakes safely and keep driving on to the drydocks.

You heard them up there, snarling and arguing with each other, as they took idle potshots into the fog of fungal spores. One voice - deeper and harsher than the others - cut across their bickering with a snap of teeth and a cry of pain. The gun slowly whirred to a halt as the argument spiraled into a frenzy of biting, yelping, and growling. Now would be a perfect time to go in --

-- but suddenly, from the shopping center a ways behind you, there comes a flashbulb of blazing light and an echoing, bestial howl - your heart knifes with pain and Savior leaps in your hand, tugging you sharply towards the northwest - then there's only silence. Something must have happened to Serenity.

The guns have fallen silent. The beasts' argument has stopped - faintly you hear their fearful whispering - then, loud and strong, a clarion call rings out that fills your heart with strength. It's the Bodhi shell, the gift the tritons gave Serenity, blown in the open air in a time of desperate need - and in answer to that need, it takes the sound she gives it and makes this entire neighborhood into her and Branwen's church-bell. Your chest swells with shouting joy at the sound of it, and your limbs all surge with whipcord energy - you feel like you could take a troll in single combat and walk away without a scratch.

Everything rings to that one incredible note, not merely your own body - the lakes, the buildings, even the very dome above. The gunners on the roof howl in answer to it and swarm back to their firing position; but in perfect synchrony to the horncall, a tattoo of sharp gunshots cracks out and you hear a wet thump as one of the gunners falls dead.

The survivors come pelting pell-mell down the stairs as the horn-call spurs their heels to flight, bursting through the open front door and into clear view, clearly panicked. They left their gun behind; all they've got with them is claws and truncheons. You watch their nervously darting eyes carefully, safe in ambush for the time being. Now could be the perfect time to finish them off...
The two surviving werehyenas are at reach, and you've got the drop on them. What do you do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Jan 13, 2019 around 18:40

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slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
16/26-1 HP; 9/14 XP; 1 Armor; 11/11 Load
I execute the hyenas, note the location of their machine gun, and head back to Bran and Serenity. Something's gone wrong.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

EVERYBODY
With the gun silenced and its operators dealt with, the neighborhood is silent but for the slapping of water and the imperceptible snowflake-drift of the settling cloud of spores. Quickly you board the cargo sled and goose its motors, ferrying yourselves and all your goods across the black lakes, now stripped of their burden of bodies by Ramona's cunning use of biochemistry. In no time at all your party has reached the edge of this part of Panakteia, unmolested by further foes.

Nothing seems to have gone wrong, but still...you can't quite shake that growing sense of quiet malice, of something rousing itself from sleep, awakening to sniff the air. After his little soirée with Serenity, Savior has gone quiet, brooding in his captivity like a sulking child, but at least he isn't doing anything dangerous anymore.

She seems to have come off no worse for the endeavor - already Nashira's sigil is showing a crack of light on her brow again, like the first faint glimmerings of the crescent moon - but you quickly find Serenity simply cannot talk. Hand signals, whistles, gestures, the Bodhi shell, these all work; but at every try at the spoken word there's just nothing that comes out. This is what comes, you suppose, of dabbling with powers beyond your ken, and not knowing where the boundaries of safety lie. One can only hope the problem will go away in time.

A few pieces of flashy gear for a few new battle scars may have been a worthy trade - but after that spectacular annunciation from the throat of Dame Greymist, this neighborhood is certain to attract the wrong kind of attention very soon. The tritons will certainly come to investigate (if any remain alive); Scrimshaw, well, hopefully you'll just not ever see that blind mad fucker again, and whatever the hell Karthas Murgo is up to, you can be sure you don't want to be found by him.

Take heart, at least - the Bombardan sabotage team was certain to hear that call as well. They should be in position by now, waiting only for a signal (like the one she gave just now) to strike. If all goes well there, the reserve forces they've scouted at the drydocks will be drawn out to investigate the explosion, leaving your party enough time to make a dash for the ship, and enough cover from the downed tidal generator to get there without getting caught out.

The next set of locks is right in front of you, a heavy pair of steel doors that look like they were built for freight traffic. This can only be a good sign: you must be near the main commercial docks, where freighters, barges, and garbage scows once choked the waters with their close-packed bulk, crammed full with the wealth and commerce due a city as great as Aqualantis. Now, of course, all that traffic lies shattered on the seafloor. You'll find no dome out there where the ships fell - only an obstacle course you'll have to cross, a desolate waste of ruined and broken ships - until you can reach some new island of open air.

A set of pumps and oxygen tanks is set into the airlock wall, pressure telltales still blinking green and yellow, waiting for a maintenance team that will never come. It's only shallow-water gas - the maintenance teams would never need to go down this far - but it's air nonetheless.
Ramona, you can fill up your tanks (with ordinary air) here.

Approaching, your hearts sink - the doors are jammed! A red light glares fitfully from the control panel, under an error message reading "MECHANICAL FAILURE IN STARBOARD GEARTRAIN". Maybe you can get it open somehow? If not, you'll have to find another way out...

What does everybody do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Jan 13, 2019 around 20:27

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
16/26-1 HP; 9/14 XP; 1 Armor; 11/11 Load
"Sorry doesn't get to be the last thing you say to me, elf" I mutter at her, pulling both ends of a wax paper wrapper to free a honey lozenge. "Be patient, don't bite down."

I lead us to the starboard geartrain and have a look with that stupid helmet I don't get yet.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.


Serenity
HP 21/21 | Armor 2 | Load 3/9 | XP 7/15

Serenity stared at Ramona for a long moment before taking the lozenge and pointing to her own eyes and then back behind them. She'd keep watch, and remain silently grateful that she was silent. No, Ramona probably did not mean to be so carelessly hateful and possessive. It just came about as an unfortunate scar of her past. That didn't make the needles in the mind that the bounty hunter's words aroused go away - it simply made them bearable.

As she kept watch, her thoughts strayed back to the vision she had seen. The promise Savior had made. It was no doubt a foolish thing, to trust the pearl. It would bring her to ruin as it had everyone else it became entangled with. And yet...

Serenity realized in a cold sharp instant she was not actually afraid of such a thing. So long as she could keep safe those she loved. How angry would Ramona be if she were to try and filch the pearl? Livid beyond measure perhaps, but again. Serenity would accept all the fury Ramona had in her if it meant Anastasia's life.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Branwen McAlister
HP 12/20 | Armor 2 | XP 14/12 | Load 7/12
Spells: Light[ ] Sanctify[ ] Guidance[ ] CLW[ ]
Bless[ ] Cause Fear[ ] Magic Weapon[ ] Sanctuary[X]
Boom[ ]


Branwen looks over the geartrain, poking and pulling as she moves along it before finally sighing. "Don't think we have time to do everything it'd take to repair this thing if we want to deal with Scrimsaw, let alone anyone else." Pulling a wrapped block from her kit she shows it to Ramona. "We use this 'Skeleton Key' to pop the outer door after we seal in the inner door. 'Less we want to flood this dome and risk getting swept away by the sea." Bran starts moving towards the airlock proper. "Gonna set the charges, I'll holler when it's ready."

SidekickBOT @ArkInBlack: 2d6+2 Discern Reality = (1+2)+2 = 5 It's a large, metal door with a hosed up wheel track, got it
Using some Adventuring Gear to get some C4.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

RAMONA
7-9 Discern Realities, complicated by your appetite for power over others: What should I be on the lookout for?



You flip the helmet's visor down and take a good hard look at that "manual" icon pulsing patiently in the corner of your visual field. Immediately a comprehensive table of contents springs into view - everything from basic interface use to (way down at the bottom) some no-doubt-deeply-esoteric chapters on the helmet's operating principles and constituent magitechnological architecture. Fascinating. It'll make great bedtime reading, assuming you can ever find the time to sleep again.

Since you don't have a lot of time right now, you just skim the précis. The interface is adaptive and semisentient - it maps its owner's unconscious facial mannerisms and uses some hypercomplicated magical nonsense to hook those into the deep-perceptual sentimental interface it uses to sense your aura. After a brief entrainment period (on its part), and some good hard study (on your part), you'll have enough understanding of the tool's capabilities and available sensory modalities to use it like a natural extension of your own ordinary senses.

In effect, you'll be able to sense more, just by thinking about it. Look further into the spectrum of light, or percieve sounds deeper or higher than you could otherwise hear. Taste the flow of radio waves, or look into a body or machine with an ultrasonic imager. If you're really clever, you could watch the rhythms of Serenity's arcane arts echo through the hyperspheres, or crack open your third eye and lay your sensorium open to the raw power of a ley-line. To use the vulgate, it's kind of a lot. Aqualantean magitech does not gently caress around.

(And it even knows your eyeglass prescription too.)

* * *

There's...honestly nothing too surprising to you about the gear train? Branwen's probably right - it's just not worth it to deal with this right now. Some of the gears even look melted, so there's definitely no time to waste trying to repair or replace them. For once the demolitions expert is right, it's better just to blow it up and keep moving before anyone can stop you.

On the other hand, the helmet really starts to light up as you hand Serenity her little cough drop. All sorts of abstruse little annotations are popping up around the glowing sigil of divine script on her forehead - some fragments of religious scripture, poetry, cult symbology from the various parts of the lunar pantheon, even what looks like some complicated mathematical equations written in elvish. Or maybe it's just more poetry. It's hard to tell the two apart in elvish sometimes.

Think what you might of the gods, but it's clear their power's real - there it sits upon her brow - and now that power's part of the woman who pledged to trade half her soul for half of yours. It kind of begs the question...what is she now? Can anyone take in a power like that and not lose themselves; not be changed by it? (Well, obviously not, considering the snake-tail; but that's besides the point.) More importantly, bind your soul with hers and you'd bind that power to you as well - what will happen to you, should you take that power in as she did; make it a part of you and you a part of it?

Something flickers on the readouts. The scrolling lines of text jitter and resettle. Now it's showing some of the things you remember her saying to you. The kinds of things that made you smile.
You should be on the lookout for the Greymist family.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

EVERYONE



Ramona spends a few minutes staring off into space - presumably working out how to use her weird new tactical HUD or something - while Serenity keeps watch over the deserted streets and Branwen rigs the airlock door to blow. As befits such sacrifice to the Matron of Detonation, it takes some time to get all the paraphernalia set up - plastique, sacred bells, detcord, incense, blasting caps, psalm book...by the time she's done, it turns out a watchful elf was a very good thing to have.

A subsonic rumble shakes the city streets, scraping and tortured, terminating in a sickening crack. A white thunderbolt slashes across the great dome above, the mighty supermaterial pushed past its limit at last - boulder-sized chunks of clear resin hurtle into the air and land crashing on the ruined buildings! There, out in the far distance, right where you first entered this part of Panakteia...Aqualantis' great front door has opened...



A flood of scaled, wormlike horrors pours from the breach - monsters from a delirious opera singer's nightmares, pushing and squirming against each other, each one an armorplated voracity with an eyeless, many-tongued mouthspan wider than your outstretched hands can reach. Their massive front paws stamp deep craters into the walls of buildings and crack the very streets with their tread - their lunatic howling shivers the still air as they rampage through the streets, for all the world like the air-raid siren that goes off just before the bombs are about to fall. There's three at least - at least, that's the number of mouths you can clearly make out right now; and there's nothing at all that stands in their way except a few measly blocks of shopping mall...



Branwen, the charges are ready. Take note: you have no way to breathe underwater without either sharing from Ramona's scuba tank or by using the air bubble projector.

Everyone, the air bubble projector needs at least one person riding on the cargo sled to operate it. The sled is more maneuverable underwater, but still can't move much faster than a human at a good breast-stroke.

The gibberwocks will be along shortly. What do you do before then?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Jan 20, 2019 around 16:42

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.


Serenity
HP 21/21 | Armor 2 | Load 3/9 | XP 7/15

Serenity narrowed her eyes in distaste. These things again. She and 01 had been forced into a fight with one some months back, before they had ever booked passage aboard The Shrieking Harpy. Well, more like they had entered into the vicinity of one and the machine admitted it had been far to long since he had killed anything and if the bard did not wish to be that anything, she had better do as he said. She had never gotten the chance to inquire how he knew the thing was susceptible to certain rhythmic motions but it proven true - much to the beasts short-lived regret. She suspected it had something to do with how they "saw". Lacking eyes, they appeared to be able to sense vibrations in the air, and the way a humanoid form moved while dancing affected them on an instinctual level. It caused Gibberwocks to act more akin to a cat curiously stalking a mouse, rather than the much more commonplace mad scramble to rend their victim asunder as swiftly and violently as possible.

A quick series of signed gestures indicating her intent and she slithered forward, eyeing her foes as their haunting cries echoed through the city. Raising herself up high, she closed her eyes and began to sway, falling into an internal rhythm while she tried to block out the horrible screaming.

Just pretend you are dancing for Anastasia and trust that Bran and Ramona can deal with them. The thought did help, a little.

DD+Cha to distract the Gibberwocks and provide an opening
@Shardix: 2d6+3 = (2+4)+3 = 9

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

SERENITY
Oh, you brave fool. The dance you'll have to make for these beasts is old indeed, but your body's never lost it - your cells would never forget what it's like to be as you must be, the prey before its predator - the dance that ends in death. You close your outer eyes and open that inner awareness Nashira and Savior together have unlocked in you. The sigil on your forehead blooms full, as lavish with its radiance as morning on a full clear day - and the shadows just fall away from you as you begin your swaying dance.

The gibberwocks leave off their frenzied scramble and slowly come to their...not hands or feet, but limbs at least...something like stumpy fish's fins tipped with rigid pulpy pads of horn. Their horrible screaming dulls and softens, modulating into a quavering wail like a big cat's growl put through a pipe organ made of living whalebone. They're aware of you now, padding closer, far too silent than any beast this size has any right to be. The fear starts to grow in you; but the fear only spurs you on, puts wings around your arms and a current of power twining against your supple coils, makes you ready to run.

But you don't run fast enough.

One comes too close, and your swaying dance entrances it - just like a cat, it bends closer to the distraction and bats. Only to you it's no playful love-tap - it's a concrete-crushing concussion that puts a dent into the pavement and slams your awareness straight out of the inner realm and crashing back to reality! Every single nerve and sinew blazes mortal terror up into your helpless brain, and you barely fling yourself away in time, an instinctive all-muscle spasm you didn't even know you had - but it's not enough, the next crash of paws takes you before you've gone another dozen feet --

Cacophony. Disintegration. Falling rubble everywhere, heavy impacts of stone on stone. A sound like a ripsaw purring. You're lying at the edge of a crater in the decking, the rear third of your coils already dangling over the side. The gibberwock is coming closer, feeling out with its feeding tentacles for the vibrations of warm soft prey, and it sounds pissed - it wants dancing and it's not getting any!

You can hear the other two approaching too, cautious and confused, making the same querulous whining the one stalking you is making...you can't help but vividly recall that one passage in the poem-cycle you wrote about these creatures the last time you encountered them, specifically about their "mad scramble to rend their victims asunder..."
Take 1d8+5 forceful damage, and you've been flung to near range from Branwen and Ramona.

* * *

RAMONA
Update your character sheet inventory with your new treasure and swapped-out gear, please and thank you. The ancient thaumium blade is 2 weight, magical, close, messy, +1 damage.

The immediate threat (and Serenity) are near to you; the other two gibberwocks are at far. None are aware of you yet.
Serenity bought you an opening. What do you do with it?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Jan 21, 2019 around 13:00

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.


Serenity
HP 14/21 | Armor 2 | Load 3/9 | XP 7/15

@Shardix: 1d8+5 = (4)+5 = 9
-2 armor for 7


As the Gibberwock slowly stalked towards her, Serenity tried to quell the shrieking agony coursing up and down her body. She had mastery over herself, and she did not serve her instincts. Her instincts served her. Remaining still, she waited for the beast to approach and braced herself. Sensing it's bulk looming above, she whipped herself around and brought the conch to her lips and let loose a mighty blast.

Metal Hurlant: 2d6+1 12
Damage: 1d10 1
It is also deafened for a few minutes


She wasted no time in seeing how it affected the creature. She simply turned and dug her nails into the ground and hauled herself away as quickly as possible, her lower half thrashing wildly before gaining purchase and propelling her to whatever safety she could find.

Shardix fucked around with this message at Jan 27, 2019 around 02:37

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

BRANWEN
You're all finished, and not a moment too soon. Whatever those awful things are, it looks and sounds like they've issued forth from the very throat of Hell. Serenity's voice, however, is even louder still - she raises that massive conch-horn to her lips and blows a shattering tone right into the crouching beast's eyeless snout!

It goes berserk. Loosing a skull-splitting howl of agony, the enormous beast rears back on its hind limbs, thrashing and jerking, and topples over on its back, crushing a nearby boardwalk to stones and kindling! The other two gibberwocks pounce on it instantly, rending its flesh with their rows of razor teeth, utterly berserk with the need to feed. That should keep the creatures distracted while you get Serenity back in here, blow the door and...wait, but what's this?



You did not put that rune there.

You've seen it used, certainly - one of the sister orders to your sect of the Bombardan Church uses it in certain rituals of blasting - but you did not put that there. You only looked away from the airlock door for a few seconds as the gibberwocks pounced on Serenity -- it must have been placed there earlier, primed to trigger when the door was set to open.

Your mind flashes back to the "gear-train malfunction" you looked at earlier. Why would some ordinary failure of rust and rot melt steel gears? No, this is worse than you feared; this is sabotage. Someone else rigged this door to blow, and you have a good idea whose hands are probably on the trigger-sigil...

The outer airlock door has been booby-trapped with an explosive rune.
Tampering with it or attempting to disarm it could make it go off: Defy Danger if you want to try.
If you leave it alone, it's just become much more dangerous to be inside the airlock when you blow the door.

What is the name of this rune? What do you do?

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Branwen McAlister
HP 12/20 | Armor 2 | XP 14/12 | Load 7/12
Spells: Light[ ] Sanctify[ ] Guidance[ ] CLW[ ]
Bless[ ] Cause Fear[ ] Magic Weapon[ ] Sanctuary[X]
Boom[ ]


"Hell, that's tonkor... Anything in that lock when that door shifts is salsa. That's plan A out the window..." Bran glances back to the ruckus outside the airlock before turning back to the rune. "Well, no reason not to use this fine gift someone gave us. Get the sled tied down, should be some freight hooks out there. Now we pop the lock and let the ocean handle the critters, and drag ourselves out when the flow abates."

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

RAMONA
She's got to be mad. Tether yourself to the deck and blow the ocean down around you? It's outrageous. Utterly suicidal. But then again, it's exactly crazy enough to work..if you can get this bubble projector working first.

You've been carting this thing around for days - a piece of purloined superscience from Aqualantis' most secretive research labs, kitbashed into practical application by the ever-resourceful Nori. It's a stout pillar of twisted steel alloys, flaring like tree-roots at its base and coming to a hollow cagelike shape at the far end. The whole contraption must weigh eighty pounds at least.

Your helmet's interface seems to get how to work it, anyway, even if you might not. It's starting to paint a virtual control surface for you, mapping your kinesthetic intent onto something you can move through as unthinkingly as a fish in water. The screen flashes with odd dots of color and scraps of gridlines, then settles on a simple control panel sitting next to a fat torus rendered in pale blue light: a model of the machinery's immediate hydrodynamical surroundings, constrained by a bunch of arcane math to produce a region of extremely low humidity.

Turn it on in atmosphere and you get a ten-foot dome of mist -- humidity condensed out of the air and shoved elsewhere. Turn it on underwater, and it should make a stable bubble. Emphasis should. It looks like there's a lot more you could do with it if you can figure out how to manipulate the way it affects the local currents...but you might need a little downtime to bone up on your fluid dynamics before you really get the math it's trying to show you. It looks like there aren't a lot of safety interlocks on what you can do with it.

* * *

The others are frantically hammering freight hooks into the boardwalk and roping the cargo sled down with them when the deafened gibberwock finally falls to the teeth of its brothers, wailing its death agonies as it goes -- it won't distract them much longer. It's time to go, now. Branwen pushes the detonation button --

* * *

-- and damned if it doesn't work perfectly.

There's a bright flash and a single sub-bass hammer of infrasound. The cracks propagate impossibly fast, flashing across the dome face like frozen lightning, captured in the instant it cracks across a thunderhead, and picked out in the light of the blast is a solid wall of freezing seawater three hundred fathoms deep. At the last instant your hand flashes to the actuator switch - and with a noise like a dragon sneezing, the weight of all that water just washes over you.

The bubble's perimeter flexes alarmingly as the machinery starts to bear against the pressure, but it holds, and soon stabilizes into a dome of cold dry air about eight feet in radius. You feel your ears pop and a strange tingle in your joints. There are vast crashing and thrashing noises all around you - buildings crumbling, the gibberwocks rampaging, both at once? - but no ravening tentacles burst out of the darkness to drag your friends away. You escape their jaws for now, and the open ocean bottom stretches out before you.

Behind you, Murgo's impossible sun still glares out into the inky dark, the color of a cloudy sky seen through smoked glass. Ahead, there's only a vast desolation of wrecked ships and splintered dockyards - the biggest commercial shipyard in the city, torn to wrack and ruin when the Sink took it. Beyond that you can see two other domes, one smaller and closer to you, the other much larger and farther away.

The Visible Hand is out there somewhere on the other side of that debris field. You've come this far. Maybe you can come a little farther.
What do you do?

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
16/26-1 HP; 9/14 XP; 1 Armor; 11/11 Load
"Let's not drop anything on the sea floor and wake up anything burrowed that has to sense by touch. With any luck, all that noise and the dead monsters that just got flushed out of here will scare things away and distract them with carrion instead of bringing anything curious or alerting any guards..."

Leading the way low and slow but right above the sea floor if it's possible to drag the sled like a flying reindeer instead of a regular one.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Branwen McAlister
HP 12/20 | Armor 2 | XP 14/12 | Load 7/12
Spells: Light[ ] Sanctify[ ] Guidance[ ] CLW[ ]
Bless[ ] Cause Fear[ ] Magic Weapon[ ] Sanctuary[X]
Boom[ ]


Bran leans against the sled for a moment, enjoying the stillness of the world before Ramona's words refocuses her attention. "Right, but first, Serenity, let's see to that blow..." Branwen reaches out her armored hand, the still-dripping metal taking a golden luster as Branwen asks Bombarda for Her mercy and healing, before touching Serenity's brow. At first, there is nothing, before suddenly wellness bursts forth, undoing pain and aches in moments followed by a surge of adrenaline. "Better?"

SidekickBOT @ArkInBlack: 2d6+2 Cast A Spell:Cure Light Wounds = (3+4)+2 = 9 the spell is revoked
SidekickBOT @ArkInBlack: 1d8 = (8) = 8

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

SERENITY
You've got your voice back now. You can talk and sing again.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

RAMONA
You set a course as careful as it gets, straight through the debris field and just a fathom above the bottom - low enough that you won't show up well on sonar, and just high enough to keep the bubble field's wake from leaving any tracks in the seabed. You'll still be wide open to line-of-sight from the open sea above, but up ahead where the wreck-reef looms, that says safety to you. Hide there like a fish in poisoned coral, wait until the danger's past then move on...and as long as you can find a clear straight course through the wreckage of the entire Aqualantean merchant marine, it looks like you could avoid going out into the open at all until you're right on top of that smaller dome in the distance.

But first, you'll have to get the sled across this one bit of open sea before any watchers twig to your presence and sound the alarm. Better hope Serenity can swim like a draft-horse in that new body of hers....


SERENITY
It's easy going at first. Murgo's sun lights your way as you strap on the reins and start to swim, dragging the sled behind you like a ten foot ball-and-chain made of fog. Branwen's blessing lends fresh strength and suppleness to your muscles, and before you know it you're eeling away like you've been doing this all your life. Huge chunks of dome-resin crash to the seafloor behind you - but through some caprice of fate, none of the ones falling nearby come within a dozen feet of endangering you or your precious cargo.

Your new gills open cautiously at first, the twin scarves of flesh reluctant to spread their frills. You feel a gristly pop in your throat as your trachea closes up, and a strange headachy tingle in your sinuses as your body starts to adapt to the pressure of the seafloor. It feels a little like you grew a pair of protruding tongues all down your flanks, like your sense of taste is all mixed up with breath and speech - you can taste the currents and their composition...cold and metallic, stale, with an unnerving tang of something sweet and musty-oily.

The prevailing current hits you as soon as you clear the protection of the district's basement decks, a steady pressure at right angles to your direction of travel, insistent but gentle...for now.

Ramona's caution soon proves prescient. Just before you reach the wreck-reef, you spy something up ahead - a curving spear of scarlet light with a huge fantail wake of bubbles, arrowing towards the destroyed dome behind you with monstrous speed.

The light winks out as soon as it reaches the broken dome, and a moment later you and Ramona both feel a tug towards its last location, like someone put a ring in your nose and gave it a single, sharp pull. Savior. Whatever that was, he wants to go there. Toward it. But the wrecks are just ahead...
What do you do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Feb 6, 2019 around 04:53

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.


Serenity
HP 21/21 | Armor 2 | Load 3/9 | XP 7/15

After a hug and words of heartfelt gratitude to her Morning Glory, Serenity took up the reins once again and got underway. She let her companions choose the course, her thoughts mostly taken up with the strange new sensation the gills provided. Whatever else might end up being said of this entire journey since boarding the Shrieking Harpy, she could not deny it had been full of fascinating new experiences.

Her attention was drawn back into the present when she spotted a bright light streak by in her peripheral vision and slam into the dome they had just left. Without even thinking, her tail's eel-like motion shifted and began to angle her to turn back towards it.

@Shardix: 2d6+2 spout lore = (1+6)+2 = 9
What the hell was that?

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

RAMONA
What the hell, indeed, was that? You can't see as well as Serenity can through the wavering white cloud of mist that makes up the bubble-field's edge, but there's no way you could miss that comet of scarlet light - you can guess exactly what who it is too, seeing as Serenity is doing the obviously clear and sensible thing of going towards whatever Savior wants to be near instead of going as fast as possible in the other direction.

Nobody would be dumb enough to light themselves off like that unless they don't give a drat about who sees them coming, and Serenity's thirsty idiot cousin certainly fits the bill. Guess dropping one dome on Scrimshaw's thick skull wasn't enough for him to get that no means no. You'll just have to kill him harder next time -- or does your b̴͕͇́ẹ̶̣̖͑t̶̰̊͂̀t̴͉̥̽̈̔e̶̮̰̥͊̀r̶̗̱̞̊ ̴̬̠̣̾͊̅h̸̖͍͛͐̌a̶͙̒l̷̩̈́̏̀f̸̨͖́͜ think she think she can just...make him go away, if she gives him what he wants?
What do you do?

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
16/26-1 HP; 9/14 XP; 1 Armor; 11/11 Load
I regret not killing him the last time we met, and life's too short for regrets. Time to stomp the vermin that would nip at our heels. Then deal with the fortifications he bought time for his employers to build with his distraction.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug



SERENITY, RAMONA, BRANWEN
Against all sense and reason, Serenity turns your cargo sled around, and Ramona doesn't bother to stop her. The sub you came for can wait - its captain has come a-calling. If Scrimshaw wants a fight, you'll give him one, and when you're done with him you'll rip the keys to the Visible Hand from his big meaty claws.

He's waiting for you when you arrive, resting calmly on a jutting spur of rubble, surveying the devastation of Panakteia. Shards of glassy resin the size of houses, buildings squished flat by the sudden shock of pressure...the corpses of the gibberwocks draped like gory scarves across the shattered streets.

His eyes are empty, milk-white and scarred with cataracts; between them and slightly above, something like a polished cabochon has been set. A hot white light burns within it, with a familiar tinge of blue. On his back is a quiver of barbed harpoons, one already resting casually in his hand; around his neck, a torc of bright gold gleams. He is utterly unconcerned by his submersion in the frigid, poisoned sea....or by the way he seems to have gone blind.

"Ahhhh," he sighs into the water, his high-pitched voice laden with smouldering power. "THERE YOU ARE."

Savior rattles and jerks in Ramona's pocket, craving the influence of the mad formavit and his sheer metaphysical gravity. Even without the balancía in his hand, even with the way he's still favoring his left side, even with the barely-healed wounds you can still see on him, the sheer presence of him still heats the nearby ocean like a furnace dropped into a bathtub. He smiles like a broadsword, and rests his weight on his many crab-legs, waiting for someone to make a move...

What do you do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Feb 10, 2019 around 22:24

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.


Serenity
HP 21/21 | Armor 2 | Load 3/9 | XP 7/15

Serenity hauled herself up, resigned to the fact that her cousin was not likely to be dissuaded from his madness. Yet she was obliged to try one last time to reach him.

"Ighirian, please. I know the man you once were still exists within you. This crusade of yours does not need to continue."

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

"SERENITY?"

He cocks his head quizzically at the sound of your voice. "Is that you? Ahh...t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t." You feel each click of his tongue like a pulse of sonar against your scales. Murgo's sun brightens and dims, brightens and dims, behind him. The pressure of the current swells against your flanks, as slow and inexorable as the turning of the tide.

His blind eyes fly wide with surprise, then narrow. He chuckles, half to himself, "And what of yourself, little niece? Look at you now, ha-ha. Made into the icon our children are taught to fear. Ahhhh, t-t-t-t, mistress of serpents, what secrets you've held in those coils of yours..."

"Did you think you could free yourself," he purrs, "by removing the legs on which you walk? By placing your life in the hands of your heathen goddess? No, Serenity. You'll not find it so easy to escape my master's prophecies. You know your fate....a̷̡̛̱͚̋s̷̡͈͓͛͂ ̶̗͍̊͂Î̸͔̰̉̓ ̷̭̮̮̆͑̐k̵̻̈͝n̷̮̹͗o̴̠̲̒w̶͔̻̺̔ ̶͎̄͊m̷̥̑̾̾i̵̳̿̆n̸̫͍̳̈́́ė̶̱̜̞."

"Leave now. Abandon the pearl and this city. Live a long and happy life beneath the waves, and be spared the catastrophes which are to come. Or stay....and know what it truly means to do Nashira's will."

If he sheds any tears for you, the ocean hides them.
What do you do?

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
16/26-1 HP; 9/14 XP; 1 Armor; 11/11 Load
I would roll my eyes at this stupid god talk, but I'm watching this idiot for the beginnings of his attacks. The master he can't stop mentioning probably gifted him with new powers.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Branwen McAlister
HP 12/20 | Armor 2 | XP 14/12 | Load 7/12
Spells: Light[ ] Sanctify[ ] Guidance[ ] CLW[ ]
Bless[ ] Cause Fear[ ] Magic Weapon[ ] Sanctuary[X]
Boom[ ]


Suddenly a radiant golden orb collides with Scrimshaw's chest, detonating and sending waves force and brilliant throughout the cold ocean water. "You talk too much!" Branwen shouts and she straightens up from her fastball pitch of her holy spell before pulling her staff from the sled.

SidekickBOT @ArkInBlack: 2d6+2 Cast A Spell: Boom = (6+3)+2 = 11
-SidekickBOT @ArkInBlack: 2d6 Boom Damage = (2+3) = 5
--Boon of Conquest Bonus Damage:SidekickBOT @ArkInBlack: 2d4k1 = (1+3) = 3 for 8 total damage, ignoring armor.

ArkInBlack fucked around with this message at Feb 11, 2019 around 13:50

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.


Serenity
HP 21/21 | Armor 2 | Load 3/9 | XP 7/15

"Do you think I fear serving the Mother Serpent? What she wishes me to witness and what she wishes me to accomplish hold no terror in my heart. You, too, could find a life of purpose, free of uncertainty, in her arms. If you so chose." Turning to her comrades, she gave them a firm nod. "All I will ask is that if he will not surrender, do not make him suffer."

At that, and at Branwen's loss of patience, Serenity quickly turned and swam away to avoid Ighirian's opening blows. Hauling the horn from her satchel again she let loose with a clarion call; a call to battle tempered by sorrow at the need.

Arcane Art: 2d6+3 13
Ramona takes +1d4 forward to damage and heals
Healing Song: 2d8 5 hp

Shardix fucked around with this message at Feb 11, 2019 around 13:29

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
21/26-1 HP; 9/14 XP; 1 Armor; ?/11 Load
Hmph, how much suffering do you think he's caused? I glare at the exploding monster, and growl, "The only pain I care to lessen is ours," loud enough for him to hear, if he can't feel my gaze. Know he can't see it, and won't see me coming.

1d8+1d6+3 waywfhercapp = (3)+(5)+3 = 11
On a 10+ they treat you as the most obvious threat to be dealt with and ignore your companions, take +2 damage ongoing against them.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

BRANWEN
Scrimshaw grunts with pain as your magical sucker-punch slams into his solar plexus and drives him back a couple paces. His lips peel apart in a bloodthirsty grin -- but it swiftly turns to a grimace of rage when, at long last, McKinnin's cunning plan comes to fruition!

Out there in the darkness, far from the lights of Panakteia where the sea is flat and featureless, Murgo and his legions of dead have emplaced a single small dome, erected by dint of limitless corpse-labor and a strategic reserve of structural resin. Within that dome's embrace, the impossible thaumomachinery of Wunderland's forges whirls and throbs -- one of many tidal generators on the urban perimeter, each one doing its part to coax the ocean's currents into the shape of an inescapable maelstrom.

At least, that's what was happening, until about right the hell now, when McKinnin and his merry men light off their charges and blow the whole thing to kingdom come!



The blast is big enough to be seen for miles - a coruscating, pyroclasmic cascade of color, light, and roaring sound that seems to go on and on and on. And, just as planned, it's noisy and distracting enough to capture absolutely everybody's attention...

* * *

RAMONA



He can't feel your gaze, but he hears you all right - yours are the last words that reach his ears before the Bombardan saboteur squad sets off an explosion that looks like an entire fireworks factory going off. It's less like a bomb-blast than it is like the birth of a new volcano or something - an immense geyser of white smoke erupting from the seabed, flinging chunks of stone and rubble all over the place, studded with multicolored flashes of lightning and smaller secondary eruptions as more of the machinery cooks off and destabilizes.

Luckily for you, you're a mile or more away from it, and so well out of the danger zone. Unluckily for you, so is Scrimshaw...and now that he's got you right in front of him, he's not about to let some little distraction tear him away from you and the Savior he craves!

With a roar of fury he gathers his power and leaps - but not at you - he turns and pounces for the corpse of a gibberwock, and he drives that massive crabhammer of his right through the ridge of bone on its skull! When he withdraws, the fresh trepan is gleaming with filthy green light - a fire that only spreads when he puts his mouth to the wound and screams.

Ghosts pour from his gaping mouth in a ghastly flood - hundreds, thousands of them, all the captured ghosts of Tian - and to your dawning horror, they do not dissolve here beneath the waves. It's that sun of Murgo's, that heretic sun - the light that shapes possibility, the radiance that tells reality what it's allowed to be.

In their multitudes the spectres pour into the gibberwock's corpse, spreading hellish fire into its many segments - and soon the monster's corpse is rising again, twitching and jerking, looming over you and Scrimshaw with an awful, bestial hunger. It's not together enough to fight for him yet, but it will be soon. You've got time for maybe one good shot before you have to deal with it and Scrimshaw too.



He spreads his arms wide in welcome as the abomination he rose begins to find its feet, staring straight at you even though you're sure he's blind.

"A NEW LAW SHINES HERE," he intones, "THE LAW OF THE DROWNED AND THE DAMNED. COME, HUNTRESS, BEARER OF THE BLACK PEARL. COME AND BE THOU JUDGED!"

Dear old cousin Scrimshaw is currently at reach from you. Defy Danger if you wish to close to melee with him. What do you do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Feb 18, 2019 around 19:38

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.


Serenity
HP 21/21 | Armor 2 | Load 3/9 | XP 8/15

@Shardix: 2d6+2 recall a special moment between Serenity and Ighirian she can use to try and talk him down = (6+6)+2 = 14
you tried to talk him out of going formavit once, and you almost got him to change his mind, but something came between you that kept the conversation unresolved


"I was scarcely more than a child when you disappeared, and I had not the words to save you. Even now I fear I have no words except that you are still my family and there is nothing I will not do for my family! Let go of this madness! Cast aside Scrimshaw and be my beloved Ighirian again!"

Serenity bared her heart while grimly readying herself against the abomination. Whatever hell it's soul had been dragged back from had done it no favors - when it came for them she would have to be ready.

@Shardix: 2d6+1 defending Ramona = (3+1)+1 = 5

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Branwen McAlister
HP 12/20 | Armor 2 | XP 14/12 | Load 7/12
Spells: Light[ ] Sanctify[ ] Guidance[ ] CLW[X]
Bless[ ] Cause Fear[ ] Magic Weapon[ ] Sanctuary[X]
Boom[ ]


Well, if she was going to be ignored, she may as well make them regret it, Bran thinks as once more she draws back and throws out her Goddess' explosive blessing at Scrimshaw. "Keep offering him the carrot, maybe a few more lumps will make it all the more appealing." she offers to Serenity after the second detonation shakes and reverberates through the water around the sled's bubble.

SidekickBOTLast @ArkInBlack: 2d6+2 Cast A Spell:Boom = (4+2)+2 = 8 Put In A Spot/Draw Attention as the cost
-SidekickBOTLast @ArkInBlack: 2d6+2 Boom Damage = (6+1) = 7 damage, ignoring Armor

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
21/26-1 HP; 9/14 XP; 1 Armor; ?/11 Load
I tell Fitzl to get hot on one end and cold on the other, then take the form of a certain type of crystal gradually from the center expanding. The pyroelectric effect should give me the charge I need to disrupt all the souls in the worm puppet. That will be my hook. Juan's then Nori's and now my sword will be the bait, because I know how much the ghosts hunger for its entropic energy, the same kind that allows them to manifest. According to their own wills, rather than that of their taskmaster in this case I bet. If Scrimshaw decides to get close enough for me to get revenge for his attempt to electrocute me before, all's the better.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

RAMONA
Your consciousness touches the conduit of energy running deep beneath the surface. Carefully, you reach out and open yourself to that conduit, and the raw power of a ley-line floods into your right hand. The balancia's pointed needle-tip glares forge-hot, yellow as molten wax - hot enough to melt the weapon's singular substance and extrude it into a crystalline, multi-pronged barb. The seawater around it bursts into an instant, furious boil. In your other hand, you crank the thanotic power flow as high as it will go. The pitted surface of your thaumium blade explodes into blue light; your hand goes numb all the way up to the elbow from the cold it radiates.



The undead gibberwock hammers down on you like a freight train made of rotten meat, its enormous razor-maw gaping wide enough to take a humpback in two bites...and you without even noticing. Unbearable heat in your one hand, fatal cold in the other, you brace yourself and get ready to set your bait and hook in the biggest catch you could ever hope for. It's coming at you far too fast for you to avoid going along for the ride...but if you're lucky, you can at least set the hook on the outside.

It's taken the bait! Now, Defy Danger +CHA, applying your herculean appetite for power over others.
On a 7-9, the worm puppet's composite spirits are in control of what they do next.
On a 10+, you're in control of the worm puppet's composite spirits, and what they do next.
On a 6-, no one's in control. You, Savior, Fitzl, and the puppet's spirits are all fighting for dominance.
If the d6 is higher, it swallows you whole! Take 1d10+3 messy, forceful damage as you go down its gullet.
Then, what do you do next?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Feb 24, 2019 around 03:46

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

SERENITY
It came for her, and you weren't ready. The beast swallowed her whole. Wetsuit, weapons, Savior and all - still, if anyone could fight their way out it's got to be Ramona. But even so, while she's lost in the belly of the beast there'll be nothing you can do for her. She won't even be able to hear your song.

You kept your distance instead and tried to call out to Scrimshaw - and for a few moments, you're sure Ighirian was in there listening. There. must still be some a way to talk him out of this; some way that means no one has to leave today with their family's blood on their hands. Just maybe.

Then Branwen hits him in the face with a fireball while he's distracted.


BRANWEN
It's a perfect shot. Scrimshaw's not paying any attention to you at all. The shock of detonation catches him right in the face and blasts him twenty feet out into open water. You couldn't even really see him well through the bubble field, just directing your cast off of voice and general direction, and you still managed a perfect shot. The only way it could have been a more perfect shot is if you managed to get ground zero to manifest inside his head.

But it's going to take more than a few good slaps to the face to bring this mad old fucker down - and now you've really managed to piss him off.

He summons that weird crimson engine field thing he used to get here and arcs high, high up above, until you can barely see the light he's throwing off through the wavering, misty borderline of the bubble projector. Then he storms down on you like a stooping hawk, closer, brighter - oh poo poo here he comes--

He misses landing straight on your face too, which I suppose you have to concede it's an improvement, you aren't immediately turned into salsa -- but the shock of his landing is hard enough to punch a crater into the seafloor ooze and send your bubble sled -- and you -- wildly skidding across the ocean floor! You're thrown from the console and sent flying rear end-over-teakettle off the sled, onto the seafloor and then right out of the bubble field entirely!

You come to a manageable drift a few feet away from the perimeter, now on the outside of your precious bubble of air. You had the presence of mind to take a good deep breath before the crabelf comet struck, but you know it won't last long. You have to get back to air before Scrimshaw strands you out here to drown.
What do you do now?

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.


Serenity
HP 21/21 | Armor 2 | Load 3/9 | XP 8/15

Perhaps she could still get through to Ighirian, but she had to ensure he didn't kill Bran first. Cutting sinuously through the water, Serenity came around from his side and looped beneath him. He was too focused on her daughter to see what she was trying to do, and the time he thought to look behind him it was too late. Her coils suddenly clamped down around his many legs and she rose up behind him and wrenched his arms back into a full nelson.

She brought her head around next to his, her lips at his ear. "Be at peace! I beg you! This madness will not ease your pain, only drive you further from those that care about you. Please."

Constricting Scrimshaw so he cannot pursue Bran: +STR @Shardix: 2d6 = (5+4) = 9

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

SERENITY
Ighirian strains mightily against your full-nelson lock. Tendons bulge, muscles writhe, his chitinous crab-legs quiver with tension...but to no avail. Maybe he should have spent a little more time in the gymnasium instead of the mortuary or the sorceror's pit, because your grip is just too strong for him! All these weeks of combat and near-death trauma have strengthened and toned your muscles, honed your coils to whipcord strength...in fact, even though you've put on a few hundred new pounds of snakemeat, you may well in the best shape of your life, while mad old Scrimshaw has kept his massive bulk in motion mostly through magic and buoyancy. You've got him locked down cold!

He struggles and pants, snarls for breath through his filed teeth, his blind eyes starting from their sockets. "You think THIS....is madness, little niece?" He throws his head back and roars with laughter...but you can hear the undercurrent of despair beneath.

"THIS is HOW THINGS ARE! If you knew what I knew....if you could see as I have SEEN! Don't you get it?! Don't you SEE?! I KNOW YOU KNOW IT because I FOUND IT TOO!"

For a moment his voice drops back down to a saner volume -- and when next he speaks you can hear the fracture in his personality -- Ighirian-and-Scrimshaw together, two voices, one mouth.

"I found it, Serenity. What was missing from the histories. What my priesthood thought blasphemy for even thinking to question." He chuckles up and down the scale, the old wild energy starting to creep back into his voice. "Did you think our history BEGAN WHEN THE CHOIR FIRST RAISED THEIR VOICES IN SONG? Did you ever think to wonder WHY THE ELDEST AMONG US FLEE TO HIGH CLARITY AT THE ENDS OF THEIR LIVES?"

He grins like a bloody meat cleaver, staring at you over his shoulder, scrimshandered teeth all a-gleaming white and red. "I KNOW THE TRUTH BEHIND IT ALL...and soon, you will too..."

All of a sudden the hair you still have left on your arms stands rigidly on end, and the weird glowing gem thing imbedded into his forehead starts to throw off sparks and miniature lightning bolts. A stabbing pins-and-needles sensation erupts all over your body, your muscles ripple and twitch like somebody stuck an electrode into them; your nose fills with the stench of onions and crushed ginger. Scrimshaw opens his mouth and shouts a word of power -- you can't even hear it, really, you only process it as a shooting pain in your temples -- and vanishes out of your entangling grasp in an actinic flash of searing blue light.

Because of loving course the idiot would be reckless enough to embed a teleportation device into his own thick skull.
What do you do now?



RAMONA
You manage to escape a one-way trip into the belly of the beast by the very slimmest of margins. Your sharp-edged shield is just big enough to stick at the back of the gibberwock's throat, and just sharp enough to make sure you can get yourself wedged in there good and tight. It doesn't do a drat thing about the dozens and dozens of gnashing razor teeth, though - you'll have a whole new dictionary of scars by the time all your new bite marks heal, and in the meantime all you can do is hold on and hope you don't lose too much blood in here. Not that there isn't plenty of blood to spare.



The gibberwock was only minutes dead, hardly done twitching, really, when Scrimshaw screamed a few thousand ghosts into its corpus - and the gallons of blood gushing from its soft palate are even hotter than yours, once it's done being flash-heated by the blazing power of an elemental ley-line. You've got the balancía-hook rammed in there good and hard, and it's busy doing its job shoving huge quantities of heat and electricity straight into the monster's body. The thaumium blade clenched in your teeth completes the circuit - fortunately you can't feel a thing, the cryonic backwash from its entropic generators has numbed your face and lips completely, and in any case the titanic currents you're channeling have softer tissues through which to travel than you.

The ghosts within the gibberwock start to die immediately, and with them, the great beast's mobility and coordination. They ooze out of the monster's gums and salivary glands; boil up from the throat like a drunkard's vomit or reach down through the brain and spinal cord to touch your channeled current, and so meet their well-deserved end. Hundreds and hundreds of flickering faces pass by your eyes - the citizens of Tian, before the Sink and Scrimshaw took them. Just ordinary people, fishermen or merchants or steamship hands...a steady, grateful flood of silent forms, glad to die at last.

At least, you soon realize...only most of them are glad. There are other, older shades mixed in with Scrimshaw's great harvest of the freshly dead, drawn to the scent of necrotic power like flies to a slab of carrion. They arrive like drifting clots in an old man's arteries...dead-eyed naval captains in a drowned man's rags, rotting buccaneers clutching their cutlasses and spectral matchlocks; nameless things with the shapes of children, or sharks, or greasy slicks of offal.

One by one they gather, while all your concentration is spent on maintaining the power flow from the balancía, until there's a round thirteen of these ancient shades a-gathered. They don't attack...yet; they don't make a move for Savior, either....yet. They just soak. They float there around you, amidst the monster's jaws, and just bask in the thanotic radiance from your sword. Slowly strength and definition seep back into their limbs, and their misty bodies start to evidence a pearly, solid-looking sheen.

If you let them get away with this for much longer, they'll be able to manifest, and then won't you have a pretty pickle on your hands?
What do you do?



BRANWEN
By the time you've regained the safety of the bubble, Scrimshaw's just...gone. Vanished into thin air water like he was never there at all. There's a bizarre afterstink of burned onions and crushed ginger in the air; maybe that has something to do with it. Pity. You weren't done exploding him yet.



At least Serenity is safe, and Ramona.....might, maybe....not be dead after all? The last time you saw her she was busy being swallowed whole by a titanic undead monstrosity, but (like things seem to go around Ramona) she actually seems like she's getting the upper hand here. Instead of trying to circle back and snap up you and Serenity, the gibberwock looks like it's really sick or something -- it's all clenched up in on itself, its body contorted like it's trying to turn itself inside out, and great gushing flows of blood and ectoplasm are pouring out of its gnashing mouth so that it thrashes in a cloud of spreading red and silver.

Did she manage to actually hurt it from in there, or...?
What do you do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Mar 4, 2019 around 04:41

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
17/26-1 HP; 10/14 XP; 1 Armor; ?/11 Load
I'd have time to finish my work if I could ever get some loving cooperation. Instead I have to stop shocking the cadaver and instead start sawing my way out of it with the sharp edge of my shield, spinning back and forth by pulling either side of the chain wound round its axle. Those ghosts will have to chase me back to the party to perfect their tan. Then they can get burnt to a crisp, nice and bunched up, following me through my escape route.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.


Serenity
HP 21/21 | Armor 2 | Load 3/9 | XP 8/15

What a pity. She had never thought of Ighirian as being so weak that the truth of their people could shatter him so. Go. Find somewhere far away and silent to put your mind back together. Perhaps then you will be ready to accept that you choose your own path, and that it may may changed at your will.

Casting Ighirian from her thoughts for now, Serenity whipped her gaze back to Bran and than to the Gibberwock. She motioned to the spasming beast as she brought the bodhi shell back to her lips and sounded a great victory call. Let her daughter be reinvigorated and strengthened, and let the tritons know another bastion of this city had fallen.

Arcane Art: 2d6+3 11
The next time someone successfully assists Bran with aid, she gets +2 instead of +1, and also heals
Healing Song: 2d8 12 hp

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
17/26-1 HP; 10/14 XP; 1 Armor; ?/11 Load
It's only a matter of time before Bran betrays me with her stupid magic same as the grey, then acts just as innocent when I have to suffer for our enemies to die. That's what people are like who trust in the plans of the gods.

New bond

I make it as easy as I can for her to do the right thing and blow up the ghosts following me. I free a circular cut of wormflesh, set the flat of my shield against it, my shoulder against that, then shove and spring outside, but not before setting the balancia in my shieldhand and using my new freehand to whip a handful of cooking salt 360 degrees around me, ending with a pinch over my left shoulder to blind the devils behind me and make the cutout ring also into a perfect binding circle without the fuss.

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ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Branwen McAlister
HP 20/20 | Armor 2 | XP 14/12 | Load 7/12
Spells: Light[ ] Sanctify[ ] Guidance[ ] CLW[X]
Bless[ ] Cause Fear[ ] Magic Weapon[ ] Sanctuary[X]
Boom[ ]


Bran see's Ramona's procession of damned souls and pulls her hand back. As the words start in her throat, she hesitates. The false sun couldn't perfectly replicate the genuine article, how would it affect the incorporeal spirits as Bombarda's Resounding Glory washed over them? And in the time it took these thoughts to enter her mind and be pushed aside, the perfect opening had passed, and now any explosion would catch Ramona if she wanted the bulk of the undead. Growling in frustration, Bran pushes towards Ramona, brandishing her Goddess' symbol as if it were aflame. "In Bombarda's name, back spirits!"

SidekickBOT @ArkInBlack: 2d6-1 Spout Ghost Lore = (2+5)-1 = 6
SidekickBOT @ArkInBlack: 2d6+2 Turn Undead = (1+2)+2 = 5

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