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slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

You loop the rope around Odessa, hold the rest yourselves, and boost her towards the ceiling. The upward lift doesn't stop when she reaches your shoulders though, it accelerates, pulling her upwards. The rope goes taut in an instant, and you, Odessa, feel the loop of rope around your abdomen start riding up your torso, your body drawn towards the light that burst through the crack in the wall and indirectly blinded Agerios.

It is as though gravity has reversed itself, perhaps when above the crypts meridian, and the light from existing holes in the ceiling suck all past that point towards them like the mythical Kraken, who opened whirlpools and swallowed ships whole. When you pass through the point where gravity flips, for a split second you see the dais, flooding light as if both were water and smoke across here the floor and there the ceiling. It flows into and fills the cracks between each stone, then they all beginning with those closest to the dais start to sink, crumble and disintegrate into the lakes of light.

From where you end up, you notice that the point where you all entered the crypt: a peculiar spiral sword, point stabbed deep into the ground: has a twin directly above it, on as yet whole ceiling bricks. The pale light is crawling towards you and the rest of the party through the crevices between the bricks, high and low. What do you all do?

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Jan 27, 2016 around 17:29

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StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 20/22 Luck 11/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 0(10) Flask: 4/5 Spice: 2/2

To Ser Dominik, I mentioned, "Our belongings, I think, were tied to our bodies. We arrived as spirits. Bringing them here couldn't have been easy... if I didn't mention it, I drowned in the open ocean. As for our purpose in being here, there's nothing I'd like to know more." I paused, and added, "But I suppose that's always been the case."

First, I make some noises like 'ack,' and 'whoa,' cling to the rope to keep from 'falling,' and spend a few heartbeats dealing with a sudden dizziness. I announce, "Good news - we also can't vomit."

If the ceiling isn't too much of a drop, I'll ask Mikaela to lower - raise? - me to the ceiling and walk around up there, keeping the rope around me to give everyone else a way up, if it soon seems like a good idea. When the light begins dissolving stone, I start to worry, and say to Ser Dominik, "I like that idea. The way we came."

And I'll run off to the spiral-sword's twin on the ceiling, trailing a rope. If we arrived there, maybe we can propel ourselves back through some similar mystical shenanigans. Whatever spirits guided us to seize the vessels, hopefully, won't leave us hanging on that account. If I reach the spiral-sword, and no urges come to mind, and poking at it or tugging it doesn't do anything, I will resort to prayer.

StringOfLetters fucked around with this message at Jan 27, 2016 around 21:45

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013


Agerios Lapheusix
HP: 30/30 Armor: 3 Souls: 7 Bag of Obols: 5/5 Luck: 7/7


slydingdoor posted:

Just as the Souls glow brighter and sprout a tail that seeks out your hands, this item seeks you out to be absorbed, leaving the dais and chasing you if it has to. What form does each of yours take? What do you think of it?

Moirai shears. When I hold them, I see faint threads of life around me, sprouting forth from my heart, as if it were a ball of yarn. I feel like I could cut one of them with these shears and transfer the power, but I'm not going to try that. The thought it macabre, and I put the shears away.


slydingdoor posted:

From where you end up, you notice that the point where you all entered the crypt: a peculiar spiral sword, point stabbed deep into the ground: has a twin directly above it, on as yet whole ceiling bricks. The pale light is crawling towards you and the rest of the party through the crevices between the bricks, high and low. What do you all do?

I see Odessa's unreal movements above me and say: "Huh, I get the feeling I have witnessed such an effect before."

And as I see the light crawl towards me, I let go of the rope and do a sprint towards the sword. No problem, I've done marathons in armor before! I'm sure I can grab the thing and be back before the light even threatens the bricks the sword is in.

DD + DEX = 8

Bacon In A Wok
Jan 27, 2014


Mikaela
HP: 20/20 Luck: 17/17 Armor: 0 (1 with equipment) Souls: 0 Verses: 5/5 Stirge 2/2)

StringOfLetters posted:

To Ser Dominik, I mentioned, "Our belongings, I think, were tied to our bodies. We arrived as spirits. Bringing them here couldn't have been easy... if I didn't mention it, I drowned in the open ocean. As for our purpose in being here, there's nothing I'd like to know more." I paused, and added, "But I suppose that's always been the case."
"My body should have been assumed into the Heavens, once given the least moment of attention by God. The notion that my flesh might have been hidden away here for so long says something most unsettling, about either our whereabouts or our hosts. Or else --" and Mikaela breaks off abruptly with a sudden gritting of teeth, and refuses to say anything more.

quote:

And I'll run off to the spiral-sword's twin on the ceiling, trailing a rope. If we arrived there, maybe we can propel ourselves back through some similar mystical shenanigans. Whatever spirits guided us to seize the vessels, hopefully, won't leave us hanging on that account. If I reach the spiral-sword, and no urges come to mind, and poking at it or tugging it doesn't do anything, I will resort to prayer.
Mikaela seems at a loss for how to proceed, but snatches up the other end of the rope and digs in her heels. With any luck, the only use for her grip will be to pull herself towards Odessa once whatever power within the sword has been unleashed. If things go poorly -- and truth be told, she's basically resigned to things going poorly at this point -- she intends to pull Odessa away from whatever might try to impale or melt or smother or eat her.

mistaya
Oct 18, 2006

Cat of Wealth and Taste


Dom
HP: 32/32 Armor: 3 Souls: 0 LCK: 11/11 Beads: 5/5 Salts: 2/2

As the light nears I give Mikaela a shove to get her onto the ceiling quicker and then hand-over-hand myself up the rope. A moment of vertigo as the world readjusts and I'm after the others, though weighted down by my armor I am a bit slower than they. "Keep going, hurry!"

Defy Danger, STR to pull myself up off the floor. 2d6+1 = 10!

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Agerios, you are the first to escape. As soon as you touch the spiral sword you disintegrate into motes of dust and finds yourself back at the Nexus, standing before the door to the Crypt Below.

Dominik, you are able to lift yourself and Mikaela onto the ceiling, then push the both of you against the vacuum to the sword. You both join Agerios together.

Odessa, you shed the loop of rope around your torso that, without anyone else holding the end, flies into the ceiling hole and tugs you back. The loop catches your foot for a second before you disengage it, perhaps stumbling, perhaps not--no one else is there to see--and the rope slithers into the bright abyss without you.

You are all in the Nexus again, and see a new face. A man sits on the stairs, slouched forward with both forearms resting on his knees, in exhaustion, or prayer.

He looks up at you and scoffs. "Back from the Crypt Below, and not a moment too soon judging by all the 'excitement' on your faces. Not to worry, you'll get over that soon, when you get a few more deaths under your belt...

"There's no right answer, by the way. To 'where should I go 'first'-- or 'next,' for that matter. The lands are just too. far. gone. May as well take what memories you've pillaged, liquidate them, and spend them all on whatever blue thing you just 'found' in there--" He points to the Crypt Below with his chin-- "Here, I'll show you how..."

Liquidating Memories: you can choose to lose any equipment to gain half its market value in Liquid Souls, which cannot be used to Level Up, only in trade for equipment. What is lost cannot be manifest again, nor can you teach others how to manifest it. Liquid Souls are not 'dropped' on death... perhaps this is why some seek to become merchants, even tycoons. Unlike in the living world, their capital and most goods are freely insured from murder-robbers.

The Pessimist drinks often from a manifested wineskin, only rarely taking a sip of Estus to sober himself up. His good will is apparently at an end though, for he refuses to tell you how he refined his Spell Recovery item. "Go pay for as I have, heh. No use coddling you."

Decide as a group which land's grave to walk through.

StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 20/22 Luck 11/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 0(10) Flask: 4/5 Spice: 2/2

I breathe a sigh of relief, and don't spare another thought for my lost rope. I have more, anyways. I say, "Well! That was exciting. And not even the strangest thing to happen to us today. Do you suppose that consuming light would have hurt?"

I greet the Pessimist, introducing myself, calling him 'sir,' asking who he is and where he's from, the niceties. For a few moments, I'm tempted to think that he's the worldly avatar of Nasar the Cynic. I soon realize that he's just a bitter, tired man, and does't want for much conversation. I thank him for the words of advice and leave him to his drink.

The idea of returning home to find everyone I knew long dead is more than I want to face. The place meant nothing to me. I'm a little curious to see what might have come of the place... but not eager. Also, I'm not remotely optimistic about sailing out to face that drowned woman and her waves again. I'd hate to waste this group's time. ...Even though it seems we have plenty of time to waste now.

"If I might make a suggestion, I'm intensely curious to see Lady Mikaela's homeland. Above else, I want answers about why any of this has happened. Being closest to the heavens, I imagine we may find some sort of insight there."

mistaya
Oct 18, 2006

Cat of Wealth and Taste


Dom
HP: 32/32 Armor: 3 Souls: 0 LCK: 11/11 Beads: 5/5 Salts: 2/2

I too am less than eager to see the remains of Laitram laid bare before me. "You do speak as though you know God personally, Mikaela. It would be... enlightening, to see what has become of a place where He held the people so closely. Though if this is the grave of worlds, as I imagine it to be, then we will only find ruin in them..."

I sigh, feeling troubled once more.

"Still, if we were chosen to be witnesses, then witness we must. And perhaps there is a way to change what has become of our worlds, if we look hard enough. I will not give up hope as quickly as that man over there has."

Bacon In A Wok
Jan 27, 2014


Mikaela
HP: 20/20 Luck: 17/17 Armor: 1 Souls: 0 Verses: 5/5 Stirge 2/2)

Mikaela pays the Pessimist only the barest minimum of attention, after taking a moment to size him up. All may have the chance to follow God, but those who blatantly scorn to do so need not be coddled. The notion of rendering down the spiritstuff-gear she is carrying into some other rawer form is not even worth a dismissal, at the moment.

StringOfLetters posted:

"If I might make a suggestion, I'm intensely curious to see Lady Mikaela's homeland. Above else, I want answers about why any of this has happened. Being closest to the heavens, I imagine we may find some sort of insight there."
Mikaela bites her lip. "If all of you wish to travel to the lands I was summoned to and fought within, I... will not oppose. But I fear it is less than Odessa might hope for, even if it remains unchanged by whatever time has passed. Some of the Faithful dwell -- or dwelt -- there, but many less righteous, as well. Many holy places had been claimed by the barbaric, or ignorant, or those who claimed the prophets to be hollow and false."

"For myself, I would prefer to see the city of ibn Agerios, to begin with. Faith of any kind is perhaps unlikely to offer satisfactory answers to where we find ourselves and what has been done to us. A city that is ruled by philosophers might be a better place to start."

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Agerios, if you vote for any land other than your own, you will go to Mikaela's. What do you choose?

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013


Agerios Lapheusix
HP: 30/30 Armor: 3 Souls: 7 Bag of Obols: 5/5 Luck: 7/7

I rub my chin in thought, and then say: "I would not wish to impose my own land upon the rest, but Mikaela is right. The chances of meeting Mikaela's deity in person are... slim. I somehow fear the gods have rather forsaken this world." I then shrug. "I don't know how many Philosopher-Kings are in this twisted caricature of the Polis, but at least it's the Polis, with its buildings and libraries more or less intact. We will have to make our way from the groove outside the city to the gates, and then up the Acropolis through the streets. The journey might take a while. I have caught a brief glance of my land and it is overrun with the beasts of legend. If, during our time there, any of you wish to return to the Nexus, let me know and we will break off our attempt."

And with that, I walk back to my own gravestone. I ask Odessa: "Would you like to rest a bit before we go?'"

StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 20/22 Luck 11/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 0(10) Flask: 4/5 Spice: 2/2

My heart drops ever so slightly as Mikaela describes her homeland. I was willing to embrace the idea that she was actually of the Divine, whatever its true nature, because of her actual, literal wings. If she and her people had to seriously contend with mundane tribes of men, then maybe she's not so far elevated above the rest of us. I say, "That's unfortunate to hear. Later, then, I'd still love to see it."

I visibly perk up when Agerios mentions another library. The once-legendary library of Rajayat was sacked when I was an infant, and over the years I combed through all that was left of it. I say, "I have no objection - to Polis, then!"

Agerios is concerned for me. How kind of him. Ugh. I was actually about to suggest a short break, but I can't let his opinion of me solidify as someone who needs coddling. I stretch my arms and crack my knuckles - if they can even still crack - and say, "No, ser, I'm ready and quite eager to visit a world outside this place now."

And then, to the gravestone of the Polis, and to *~adventure~*!

StringOfLetters fucked around with this message at Jan 29, 2016 around 17:03

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Agerios posted:

I ask Odessa: "Would you like to rest a bit before we go?'"
The Pessimist scoffs at this, "There's no such thing as time in this Nexus, what meaning does "rest" have? Go find one of those spiral swords out in the wild, light it, then you'll have your "rest." Perhaps you will better understand the what chance you have as well. Or lack thereof."

Typing up long notes for land description

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

You enter the Pestilential Gulch, and the stench of rot assaults you all immediately. Not only is the ground covered in a layer of rotten olives, the ubiquitous trees that bore them have become tumorous, and ghoulish.



In the sky above horizon-blocking trees, you see an inverted vortex of stormclouds surrounding a temple on a distant hill. Stone-carved steps lead up to the foot of its row of marble pillars. It lies ahead. You can see no other landmarks.



Agerios, you are prepared to hear the crowing of hungry harpies ahead of you, and the maniacal fiddling of ever-reveling satyrs behind you, but to your companions the loudest noise is the low-pitched buzzing of unseen flies and the crunching of what appear to be boulder sized olive-like beetles' feeding on tree, fruit, and bones. These sounds surround you, and swell, signaling their approach of their source.



You are also familiar with the besmirched tree where you found the bloodstain your fallen comrade Philkronos, but now, without the distraction of the mote of light you pillaged for your first twenty two souls, you all can see that this tree is unlike the others. Its form is that of a man, arms raised to the heavens, crying out in agony, for salvation.

http://i.imgur.com/1vRMX4g.jpg
Might be considered inappropriate for work.

What do you do?

StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 20/22 Luck 11/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 0(10) Flask: 4/5 Spice: 2/2

I make a gagging sound. Ick. I turn to Agerios to say something sarcastic about the smells of home, but when I see the look on his face, I feel like a prick and realize that this is certainly not how he remembers it. I frown, with a horrified curl on my upper lip, and say, "Gods... is this what the mist leaves in its wake?"

I'm most taken with the ghoulish tree, shaped like a man in agony. My assumption is that this was actually a man, and something horrible happened to him. Carefully, I'm going to approach it, examine it's face, see if there's any life left in his eyes. Or, indeed, if he has eyes. And what unholy fruit would this man-tree bear?

Discern Reality: Tree!?: 2d6+2 5 ...
What did I just step in?

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

You touch the bloodstain and become someone else. Your name is Philkronos, a bronze caste warrior of Ephecalis. As the mists pushed back your soldiers, they also moved the war front closer and closer to the Polis. Your caste were sent out to buy time for the Philosopher-Kings to appease the Gods or do whatever it took to save your people. It was a massacre. Your formation is useless against the airborne harpies' flanking maneuver, and the satyrs' barbarian berserking song bolsters the enemy and drives your comrades insane. A harpy attacks you from behind, lifts you into the air and drops you, laughing like a Producer of fine art at one struggling to comprehend their poem.

Your legs are broken, and all you can do is lean on your spear and shield for support and hope to stave off one more attacker... from the front of you. The mocking laughter of the one harpy multiplies as its sisters join in, covering their mouths with one hand as if you had just made a typical bronzeblood gaffe. None of them move to finish you off. You shout at them to do so and give you an honorable death, they laugh louder. So you shout at the sky for the Philosopher-Kings to rain down vengeance on your overconfident foes. Some satyrs join in the reveling, dancing in a ring around you and singing a satirical song about how practically worthless precious metals were. Your strength and voice begin to fail you, and before you collapse you raise your hands to the heavens instead, beseeching the old gods themselves to save you, or take you away. A new kind of electric pain rises through your body, starting with your legs. It forces you to stand, knocks the wind out of you, chokes you--

You return to yourself. No time has passed since you approached the face of the tree. You cannot get the lucid dream out of your head: take -1 to all WIS, INT, and CHA based rolls until you die or Recover. What do you do?
Soul Bank: 10

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Jan 30, 2016 around 00:44

Bacon In A Wok
Jan 27, 2014


Mikaela
HP: 20/20 Luck: 17/17 Armor: 1 Souls: 0 Verses: 5/5 Stirge 2/2

StringOfLetters posted:

I make a gagging sound. Ick. I turn to Agerios to say something sarcastic about the smells of home, but when I see the look on his face, I feel like a prick and realize that this is certainly not how he remembers it. I frown, with a horrified curl on my upper lip, and say, "Gods... is this what the mist leaves in its wake?"

"I doubt that any mere... mist... could do something this completely vile simply out of pure nature. Corruption is the work of the denier and the deceiver, not something that simply comes about for no purpose. Find whichever monstrosity wanted this place to be this way, and we will find a way to undo it. Or, at the least, claim vengeance."

Mikaela is inclined to strike out towards the temple, but stays at Agerios's side for now, willing to follow the warrior's lead and aid him in whatever way she is able.

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013


Agerios Lapheusix
HP: 30/30 Armor: 3 Souls: 7 Bag of Obols: 5/5 Luck: 7/7

Looking at the tree, I shudder a bit and sigh. "This is depressing, really. It was such a beautiful grove, too."

I take in the environment, and take a few steps towards the stairs leading to the temple. I say: "I am not exactly an expert on the matters of the gods, but I know this temple at least. It's devoted to Thassalothio, the God of the Sea and Fish. You can't see it from here, but it's built on the edge of a cliff overlooking the water." I know the way to the Polis from here, but it's a short walk to the Temple, and we might as well start there. I dread to see the current state of the sea, though.

I pause as I see Odessa zone out at Philokronos' bloodstain. When she seems to have regained her senses, I say: "A terrible fate, is it not? I wonder why I was not there with him. I wonder... Why I was chosen. And by whom." I look down to the bloodied grass and can't help but think that there were many better canditates, many virtuous men and skilled fighters who would have been better champions than me. "I simply cannot help but wonder."

I try to shake off these ill thoughts. What has happened, has happened. I will try to make the best of it.

"Onwards?"

mistaya
Oct 18, 2006

Cat of Wealth and Taste


Dom
HP: 32/32 Armor: 3 Souls: 0 LCK: 11/11 Beads: 5/5 Salts: 2/2

I can see what this place could have been once, before it rotted, and it makes me sad to think of it. "Is there nothing we can do for this poor soul?" I ask, motioning to the tree. "Could we not burn it, or behead it... give it rest in some manner? Unless you think there is a way to undo whatever curse holds it prisoner... Just leaving it here is wrong."

Discern Realities, studying the tree to see if there's something we can do. 2d6= 6. Anyone want to Aid?

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Dominik, you are beset by the same persistent visions, to the same effect. Take -1 ongoing to INT, WIS, and CHA based rolls until you die or Recover.

Odessa and Dominik, you find when you perform object reading, you receive the visions apparently instantaneously, no matter how long they may be to you. With enough mental fortitude, a clever one could conceal doing so to perhaps gain an advantage.

The flies' low pitched buzzing becomes deafening as they arrive through the trees. Their eyes are each as big as a fist and their wingspan that of an eagle. They regard you all as harmless, upright corpses, landing on you and tasting you. Searching for flesh. The larger of them, including one that lands on you, Agerios, also have two sharp mandibles flanking their proboscises.

Following the flies on land are the ponderous armored beetles: upturned cast iron kettles that crawl over the putrefied olives and leave nothing but a syrupy trail in their wake. When they collide with a tree, what appears to be black soot rains down around it.

What do you do?

StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 20/22 Luck 11/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 0(10) Flask: 4/5 Spice: 2/2

I stagger back from the tree and its grim vision. I think I whimper a little. As Ser Dominik approaches the tree, I put a hand in front of his chest. "Wait. No. Gods, no.. Ser Lapheusix, be glad you weren't there with him. He died..." I trail off, realizing that I probably sound nuts.

I lick my lips and resume, "That is, it seems that in our new state, we have some ability to review the last living moments of fellow dead. This, um, blood-stain. You see it too, right? I touched it and I felt what happened to this man, Philkronos by name. I strongly recommend not doing it yourself. He died slowly, beset by a horde of goat-legged men, and winged bitches, crippled and tormented until he begged the gods to end his pain. And it seems they did.. by turning him into a tree. Which was also intensely painful. Gods, I feel like it happened to me."

Aid: Ser Dom: Hopefully by warning him what's in store, he can either avoid the bloodstain, or brace himself for its trauma.
2d6+1 5
Or I can flip out and shove his face into it, screaming, "DO YOU SEE? DO YOU SEE?"

Edit: Whups too late.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Your outstreched arm exposes your wrist to a jawless fly's proboscis, which flays your skin as if it were a rasp drawn across it. Worse, the insect vomits a corrosive slick on the injury.
AP damage of fly: 1d6 2

What do you do?
Soul Bank: 30

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Jan 30, 2016 around 08:08

mistaya
Oct 18, 2006

Cat of Wealth and Taste


Dom
HP: 32/32 Armor: 3 Souls: 0 LCK: 11/11 Beads: 5/5 Salts: 2/2
Ongoing: -1 INT/WIS/CHA


"That was bloody awful!" I blurt out, as Odessa tries to warn me not to approach the stain to no avail and I'm forced to live through the legionnaires' last moments. I peer up at the tree and resolve to do something about it when I'm able.

Kneeling before the tree I rest both hands on my sword and pray, even as the insects descend on us. "Oh God, though you have forsaken this land, do not forsake me. Help me to protect my brother Agerios as we travel to the great city he calls the Polis, and help me to stand strong in the face of the evils that we will surely face. Amen."

Dom sets up his Quest, which is Protect Agerios since we're in his world. Boons: Sense Lies and Know the Direction of the Spiral Sword. Oaths: Honor, Piety, and Truth.

That being done, I reach into my bag for a torch and light it, waving it at the bugs that have settled on my armor until they decide to find a less threatening resting place. "Ah, Odessa, that is foul, come here-" I do my best to get them off her and the others as well. "We'd best get out of here. To the temple then?"

Adventuring Gear -1, 4 uses remain. Torch get!

mistaya fucked around with this message at Jan 30, 2016 around 08:28

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

The fly explodes with a wet plop and falls to the ground, sinking into the olives. Other jawless flies descend upon it to feed--at least until the beetles rush at it as well. They all know that what sinks is their domain, and scatter accordingly, then a new swarm begins to orbit Odessa, having caught the scent of her injury. You all notice she draws only the larger flies with mandibles, and that are not already crawling on any of you. What do you do?

Soul Bank: 30

StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 18/22 Luck 11/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 0 Flask: 4/5 Spice: 2/2

"Ow!" I try to rub the corrosive gunk off on my clothes. Gotta keep my mace in the other hand. I shout, "gently caress you!" at the fly.

I brought a mosquito net along in the skiff when I sailed off to die, but I don't think it'll hold up to these things.

I say, "Good thinking, Ser," to Dominik, and manifest a torch of my own, (-1 adventuring supply) light its oil with a strike of flint, and keep it held in my wounded hand. If fire works that well, let's see if any dare swoop in for a taste of more blood.

"Agerios, please lead the way. To the pillars on the hill, I guess? I think we ought to stay close together and keep moving."

I'll put my back to whoever's closest, and stay ready to swat at anything that gets close.

Defend: Rear Guard: Flyswatter Formation: 2d6 5

Also, I think the running soul bank count hasn't included the first 10 from my initial failure in the crypt, getting filled full of trap arrows.

StringOfLetters fucked around with this message at Jan 30, 2016 around 19:46

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

The larger flies cease their swarming and strike, making seemingly no attempt to find exposed skin. They stuff their mouths with chainmail, attempting to dig through the strange hide of this vulnerable, living creature. One even lands on the wooden dowel of the torch and bites it in half. The flaming tip drops into the olives, sinks, is snuffed out, and a beetle charges toward it with no regard for any of you--Agerios, Dominik, or Odessa--who stand in its path.
3 flies with jaws: 2d6k1+ 2 3 -1armor =5

Odessa, you take 5 damage from their bites, which sting and swell. The 3 flies that crawl on each of the rest of you start to gnaw as well, whipped into a feeding frenzy by some signal none of you can sense. They prefer living prey and are liable to give chase. There 4 groups of 3 flies, Agerios has 2 larger stinging flies, Odessa, 3, and the rest of you, 1. The remaining flies lack mandibles and can only strike bare flesh [2 Agerios, 1 Odessa, 3 Dominik, 3 Mikaela].

Everyone besides Odessa will soon have their armor penetrated as hers was. What do you do?

Soul Bank: 50

mistaya
Oct 18, 2006

Cat of Wealth and Taste


Dom
HP: 32/32 Armor: 3 Souls: 0 LCK: 11/11 Beads: 5/5 Salts: 2/2
Ongoing: -1 INT/WIS/CHA


"OK that is enough of that," I announce, drawing my sword. Not that swords are terribly great weapons against giant flies, but if the torch didn't work I'm out of clever ideas.

The idea here is to beat a fighting retreat out of the rancid olive grove, hopefully we can manage it with minimal casualties..

Hack and Slash, 2d6+1 = 6. Welp. Someone can possibly Aid, or I can stab myself in the foot, either/or. 10 souls for the bank in any case.

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013


Agerios Lapheusix
HP: 30/30 Armor: 3 Souls: 7 Luck: 7/7 Bag of Obols: 5/5 Shears: 2/2

I grimace as some of the revolting creatures land on me, and grab them with my bare hands. I then give them a good squeeze* until they pop, and let the crushed carcasses fall beside me. I am not in a good mood right now.

I materialize my spear and shield, and pound my foot into the dusty plain, as if to plant it firmly into the earth and stand my ground. I let out a fierce shout as I slam my cuirass with my wristbands, and yell to my companions: "Move, towards the Temple! Now!"
If we are inside a building, then we won't have as much difficulty defending against numerically superior foes. We might even funnel them into a doorway.

Defending my companions as we run towards the Temple: 8. I have 1 Hold.

*Defied Danger with StrengthSeems this was a hack and slash move, one that did 8 damage.

Deltasquid fucked around with this message at Jan 31, 2016 around 00:06

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

You crush two flies before their mandibles can close on your hands, killing them in an instant. You get a brief vision from their perspective of attacking and devouring hares and birds and people, who called them Dire Gadflies. These were females, the smaller ones without mandibles, the males.

The two smaller flies descend on their dead and try to gorge themselves as much as they can before another beetle comes for what has fallen on the ground. You are right in its path, and it is gathering speed.

You still only in the middle of the Pestilential Gulch. The Temple lies about a double-stadion away, and you heard harpies in that direction earlier. What do you do?

StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 13/22 Luck 11/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 0 Flask: 4/5 Spice: 2/2

I'm going to take Agerios's cue and make haste towards the temple. I will not stop flailing, thrashing, or slapping at the biting things around me.

Ser Dominik starts putting forth a more well-considered, more skilled, dare I admit it, better retaliation than my own. I'll lend my mace and my furious fists - okay, I'm no warrior, but I can at least beat a goddamned dire mosquito in a one-on-one brawl - to Ser Dominik's efforts, perhaps using myself as bait to draw them to where he can strike.

Aid: Ser Dom: Fly Fights:

I can only pray that I am more of a help than a hindrance to him.

2d6+1 4

I'd hate to embarrass myself further, or draw even more attention to the group.

4

Must make a good early impression, after all. We may have quite a lot longer in each others' company.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Dominik posted:

Dom
HP: 32/32 Armor: 3 Souls: 0 LCK: 11/11 Beads: 5/5 Salts: 2/2
Ongoing: -1 INT/WIS/CHA


"OK that is enough of that," I announce, drawing my sword. Not that swords are terribly great weapons against giant flies, but if the torch didn't work I'm out of clever ideas.

The idea here is to beat a fighting retreat out of the rancid olive grove, hopefully we can manage it with minimal casualties..

Hack and Slash, 2d6+1 = 6. Welp. Someone can possibly Aid, or I can stab myself in the foot, either/or. 10 souls for the bank in any case.

Odessa posted:

Odessa
HP: 13/22 Luck 11/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 0 Flask: 4/5 Spice: 2/2

I'm going to take Agerios's cue and make haste towards the temple. I will not stop flailing, thrashing, or slapping at the biting things around me.

Ser Dominik starts putting forth a more well-considered, more skilled, dare I admit it, better retaliation than my own. I'll lend my mace and my furious fists - okay, I'm no warrior, but I can at least beat a goddamned dire mosquito in a one-on-one brawl - to Ser Dominik's efforts, perhaps using myself as bait to draw them to where he can strike.

Aid: Ser Dom: Fly Fights:

I can only pray that I am more of a help than a hindrance to him.

2d6+1 4

I'd hate to embarrass myself further, or draw even more attention to the group.

4

Must make a good early impression, after all. We may have quite a lot longer in each others' company.
Between your mace, sword, torch, and hand, you are able to swat off all of Dominik's flies, but then both of you are knocked supine by one of the charging beetles, which Agerios manages to evade. The waist high insect sinks beneath the layer of rotten olives around the fallen torch, clamping onto the earth below, and you hear the muffled snapping of wood. Then it senses two more impacts onto the ground, and the mouth of the heavy kettle-like beetle rises back up above the olives, and the whole thing ponderously rotates towards whichever of you is closer to it. You both are equally (un)lucky, one of you volunteer to be the one. What do you do?

Bacon In A Wok
Jan 27, 2014


Mikaela
HP: 20/20 Luck: 17/17 Armor: 1 Souls: 0 Verses: 5/5 Stirge 2/2

Mikaela mutters something decidedly unangelic as the beetle plows its way towards her comrades, and sprints towards a rise near the side of the path. As she rushes up it, though, she abruptly kicks into a reverse-flip, shackled wings fluttering in sympathy, and attempts to leap onto the beetle's carapace. Even as her feet twist towards a stable purchase she's manifesting a rapier in her hand, looking ahead to gaps in the chitin where she can strike, to at least distract if not hopefully kill.

Defy Danger, 2d6+2 = 8

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Your wall kick unbalances the beetle, which begins to tip over, then rotates around its center axis like a dropped dinner plate. There are no seams in its chitin, but you can see its unprotected abdomen, antennae and six sucker-cupped legs flailing for purchase under the massive shell. Your strike is stopped by the sticky syrup coating the rim of the kettle, which then rolls over it, snapping off the tip of your weapon. It is now Hand range instead of Close, and deals -1 damage. Though your blow stops short of its target, the arrested thrust is enough to finish tipping the insect over. Its short legs flail uselessly in the air, and the female gadflies that were gnawing on your leather armor--which they seemed to find distasteful--fly off to attack it instead, biting off its legs and antennae. The males dine on its syrup. As the closest person to the dying foe, you are the one its soul flies to.

You used to be no more than a ladybug-sized black scale beetle, a pest of olive trees, but then you found a new, nearby tree to infest. The man shaped ones. whoever fed on those trees became immortal, in insect terms, and never stopped growing. Soon you and your family were too large and heavy to grip the trees, even with your prodigious strength, and you fell from them. Those that landed on their backs were hollowed out by the Gadflies, but the others discovered that the fruit of the olive trees was as nourishing as their bark, if not more. But something was missing, ever since you all ate from the immortalizing tree you hungered for something else. The white light that the Gadflies would steal from any quick living thing. But you got the white light in the end, whenever your enemies fell to the ground, too fat or injured to fly. You also learned how to kill men yourselves, by charging at them, breaking bones, then crushing them with the rim of your shell. They called you the Pig-Iron Cauldrons.

The vision ends, and you know the grisly death that awaits Dominik and Odessa. What do you do?

Soul Bank: 70

StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 13/22 Luck 11/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 0 Flask: 4/5 Spice: 2/2

Mikaela just saved our asses quite thoroughly. I'll take the time to express proper gratitude later, when our lives are in less danger.

The ecosystem, such as it is, of this horrible place is becoming more clear. Whatever falls is marked for death by the dire beetles. I wonder, can they smell life at a distance, or do they just run towards anything heavy?

I manifest that crappy, ruined shield, which was originally Agerios's, made of bronze (primitive) now filled with arrows, and chuck it off into the distance, somewhere behind that other beetle that's in Agerios's business. Hopefully it runs off towards the heavy shield. If not, we'll have learned something.

Defy Danger: Int: It Is A Plan: 2d6+0 5

Or perhaps I'll just make a fool of myself. I can already imagine Agerios's confused, frustrated look - 'Why did you do that? What are you even trying to do? Just... just get out of the way and let me handle this.'

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

The heavy shield strikes the beetle's shell, which unleashes a gong-like sound, and demanifests. The Gadfly swarm disperses for now, but the noise is definitely audible from a good distance away, and rings in everyone's ears. Everyone take -1 forward to Take Watch. What do you do?

Soul Bank: 80

edit: changed the penalty to the one intended.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Feb 1, 2016 around 00:51

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013


Agerios Lapheusix
HP: 30/30 Armor: 3 Souls: 7 Luck: 7/7 Bag of Obols: 5/5 Shears: 2/2

I see Odessa perform a direct hit on the beetle with the shield and.. That was rather impressive.

"Were you a discus thrower, Odessa?" I ask, as I scan around the group for likely targets. The Gadflies dispersed, for now. Time to go for the beetle, then!

I pick up speed as I get it in my sights. I'm starting to feel it. This is going to be a nice one. Run up to it, overhand thrust, spear the ugly thing. The weight and momentum will be enough to-

Hack & Slash: Rolled a 6

Oops.

Deltasquid fucked around with this message at Jan 31, 2016 around 22:29

StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 13/22 Luck 11/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 0 Flask: 4/5 Spice: 2/2

A what? "Yes!"

I see him move to strike at the bug thing - I'm not sure if he expects his spear to pierce that living pot, or if he has something else planned - but I've got to help! I've already struck it with a very noisy shield, and it didn't seem to care. Since that didn't work, I'm certain that I can distract it with something alive. I stomp and splash in the olive mush, drawing its attention away from Agerios towards me, hopefully giving him a clean window to spear it.

Aid: Agerios: By Distracting His Target: 2d6+1 5

Bacon In A Wok
Jan 27, 2014


Mikaela
HP: 20/20 Luck: 17/17 Armor: 1 Souls: 0 Verses: 5/5 Stirge 2/2

Mikaela winces as the other beetle bears down on Dom, but decides that another attempt to get in close is only likely to give the creature more victims. Instead, she tries to look for some sort of high ground further on to catch sight of what might be inside the temple, or else attracted to the fracas from elsewhere in the wilderness. She demanifests the damaged rapier as she goes, and instead switches to a throwing knife that might be used to either distract another well-armored adversary or seriously discomfit something lighter and more nimble.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Agerios, your spear has likely slid around shields, breastplates, and helmets to find flesh and arteries, as likely did many charges crash against you like pomegranates thrown against a stone wall. This time is different. Your spear sticks in the beetles carapace without slowing it down, and it runs through you, carrying you wrapped around it briefly before it slows and sends you rolling some paces away. Sensing a much larger meal than the dead flies has fallen, it alters its trajectory towards you... but then turns again.

Odessa, you are the one the beetle turns to. It must consider living, struggling prey such a delicacy compared to the dead and stunned that it charges a farther distance over you instead of Agerios, crushing you under its weight. You are drenched in sticky syrup, and its legs stick into the earth around you like a cage. It begins to pull itself down to crush you. Everyone else has fallen down or run away, you saved Agerios for now, but no one can save you. You are destroyed.

Dominik and Agerios, the beetle hisses and immediately rises again--Odessa is gone. Apparently Spectres yield no meal of souls or flesh when they die, which frustrates the insect. It turns for Agerios, the Human, next. You both have precious seconds to act.

Mikaela, you sprint ahead and find what lies in store: birds with human faces and voices circle you in the skies like buzzards, and leafless trees with branches that slowly lean and reach for you when you near them flank replace the thin, soot and tumor covered trees from before. You near the Temple, can see it through the leafless trees, but they cross their branches right in your path like the polearms of palace guards.

What do you do?
Soul Bank: 100

Last Breath posted:

When you are a Spectre and are destroyed, the Human leader of the party can use the Paladinís Lay on Hands move on you as if their Cha were 0 to reconstitute you at the number of HP restored, and recovery spells and moves do the same.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Feb 1, 2016 around 19:04

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mistaya
Oct 18, 2006

Cat of Wealth and Taste


Dom
HP: 32/32 Armor: 3 Souls: 0 LCK: 11/11 Beads: 5/5 Salts: 2/2
Ongoing: -1 INT/WIS/CHA


"Odessa, stop helping!" I yell, trying to get to her in time, but the olives are slick and I don't make it. She goes under the beetle and- and that's it. She's gone. "ODESSA!"

The shock of it stuns me for a few seconds as the beetle turns towards Agerios. There's no body... nothing at all where Odessa was last. The Candle-lighter's words are the only hope I have- that death cannot take us farther than the Nexus. But finding out will have to wait, unless we all end up joining her-

-where the hell did Mikaela go?

"Agerios, we need to flip it over, like Mikaela did the last one!" I sheathe my sword, because it's not long enough to act as a pry, and reach for a fallen branch, as thick as I can carry. Hopefully it's not too rotten to do the job. "Brace yourself!"

Dom chases after the beetle, waiting for it to stop running, then levers it over with the fallen branch. Defy Danger STR: 2d6+1 = 10!

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