Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«3 »
  • Locked thread
slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

OOC

You talk for what could be hours, days, or even weeks. There is no way of knowing in the Nexus, for the candles that light it never shrink. Only your breath or fingers could extinguish them, as the one near the gravestone of Ephecalis was blown out when you, Agerios, stepped into it. Or perhaps when you stepped back from it. Determine your bonds based on your conversations with your peers. They represent how you feel about an individual, so you needn't ask them for permission to establish, but resolving them will be less satisfying for both of you if you do not work together to play them out.

During a lull, you notice an open lamp atop a large staff moving like a shark's fin behind the many shattered or otherwise unreadable gravestones between you and the center of the Nexus. It heads towards the unlit candle, and its wielder walks into view--a strange woman with silent, barefoot steps and eyes sealed by still pools of dried wax.

She relights the candle and greets you all in a strained voice whose accent is foreign to everyone. "Welcome to the Nexus, chosen ones. A gift awaits you atop the tower. I will lead you there." She points to a platform at the final convergence of two wall-spanning, crisscrossing stone spiral staircases, and you all see a brighter light, the source of which is occluded by the dais it tops from your low vantage point. It is a long climb but goes by in an instant due to the strange nature of time here.

Atop the dias sits a vessel, heavy but portable, everflowing, overflowing, and shining with warm, bright light. Think about what yours looks like and tell us. If you come up blank and want some inspiration, read the spoiler or use others' forms as inspiration, or steal them outright! : The Hunters of Yharnam had wide syringes with T-shaped plungers, each full of tainted blood that knit the wounds of those transfused with it. The Cursed Chosen Undead found a stone bottle full of liquid flame that stoked the ersatz-life giving embers within them. The Bound Souls found a heavy braid of grass that smoldered when crushed, the thick smoke of which restored mass to fading, damaged manifested spirits. Are you like any of them? The vessels float to each of you, appearing to split into many forms, perhaps each different from the other.

"Another gift awaits you in the Crypt Below." She points to a gravestone lying flat on the ground, but built that way, not fallen. It's bas-relief meant nothing to you before, but from your new vantage point you now see that its pattern of gouges matches exactly that of the candles on the ground floor of the Nexus. Not only that, but now that all the candles are lit again, it glows like the graves of each of your lands does to you who recognize them.

"From now on I can only point your way, my... preference is never to leave the safety of the Nexus. You too are bound to this place, it is the furthest death can take you. If you trust me, jump and see," She pauses, then turns to Agerios. "--but not you. The souls you pillaged would escape you and make their new home where you fell, til you collected them again." Everyone else, do you jump? If so, how is death different than your last, if at all? And rebirth?

When you all pass through the gate to the Crypt Below, you find yourselves all in Spectral form, and still lacking any arms or armor you brought on your journey to this place. Corpses line the walls, some of which house motes of white light that you feel drawn to as you were to the Mist. On the floor at the foot of each of them are dried pools of blood. At the far end of the Crypt, some twenty feet away, there is another dais, and another vessel, the only source of light in this room. This time, the light the cast is pale and cold, and the arrangement is different from before. These vessels are suspended in the air above the dais, inverted, and sucking the contents of the dais upward. What do you do?

At the bottom of your first post, reproduce your character sheet, and link to it in future posts. Strikethrough all your starting equipment except your recovery item for now, you lost them when you died and must find them. Your portrait or other useful images can be included in any post. Beneath your name in superscript write your current/maximum HP, souls, and other relevant and oft changing resources--for now, just your recovery item.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Agerios Lapheusix posted:

I tell my companions: "Watch my back," and walk up to a nearby corpse. Perhaps I would get another vision similar to that of Philkronos. I kneel next to a puddle of dried blood, and place my hands in the middle of it, palms down.
As soon as your body touches the pool of blood, a shaft of blinding blue light comes from the ceiling. The glare in the blood stings your eyes--what do you do?

The rest of you see two horizontal rows of holes open, one on the floor of the corpseless lower recession, the other on the ceiling of the higher recession, which houses a corpse and a mote of white light. What do you do?


Like this but no sarcophagi, just corpses or nothing in each of the two-tiered recessions. Also the size is such that a 6' tall person could look down on a corpse that lied in the higher recession. One would have to kneel to inspect the lower one.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Jan 25, 2016 around 05:55

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Dominik posted:

"Watch it we shall, but aught else may be difficult, unarmed," I tell Agrius, as he approaches the stain on the floor. As the holes open I step forward in case he needs help.

"Are you alright?" I ask, kneeling to peer into the empty hole in the lower-crypt recession. The upper is occupied, and though I find the lights fascinating, I'm going to wait until I have greater need to plunder the dead.

Though if I see one with a sword...
From your point of view, the light from above casts no glare in the pool of blood, but instead illuminates the inside each of the holes. They all house what you recognize as the square steel tips of deadly quarrels, aimed 45 degrees upward--straight at you--and twinkling. You also recognize the simultaneous clicks of a line of crossbows wound to their sticking points, and feel the vibration of another click on the ground somewhere. If weight moves from the floor in some fashion, you suspect the triggers of these bows will all be pulled. What do you do?

Odessa posted:

Later, in the Crypt, motes of white light hover near old bodies, and I feel drawn to them as I was to the mist. That's very weird and compelling, and I'm very curious. I'll approach one, perhaps the one that Agerios unveiled, and touch the mote of light.

"What in the world are these?"
The mote grows the closer you get to it, and a tail sprouts from the top of it, giving it a wispy teardrop shape. When you reach out to touch it, the tail flickers towards your hand like a torch in the wind--

You are marching shoulder to shoulder with a line of identical soldiers. Identical helmets, breastplates, circular shields, and spears. They are all thick and heavy, and you notice each soldier's shield does not protect them as much as the soldier to their left. Each of your lives is in the hand of one neighbor, and other's is in yours.

--you return to yourself in an instant, and the mote has vanished. The images hang in the forefront of your thoughts like a dream one never wants to forget. You swear you could feel the spear in your hand, shield on your arm, and the armor covering your chest and back... then they manifest there before your very eyes. The armor is just as heavy as you remember it, and the spear seems unwieldy in your unpracticed hands. Take -1 ongoing and Armor 2 while you are clad in this clumsy armor, if you push it into the back of your mind, it vanishes until you call it forth again. What do you do?

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Jan 25, 2016 around 07:03

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

The spear you manifest is always the same one. You can dismiss it even from a distance, and manifest it back in either hand. No one else can grasp it, but you can hit them with it. You find there is a way to dismiss the spear even farther from your mind, which makes a spear-shaped small mote of light appear at your feet, and for you to forget how to manifest it again until you absorbed it again. The same with the armor and helmet, and the shield. If you were quick thinking or lucky enough, you imagine you could manifest the armor in response to an attack.

When you, Agerios, hear her speak of the memories that allowed her to create these familiar items, they resonate with you on another level as well: the souls you pillaged before seem willing to be sculpted into a copy of those memories. Alas, you don't have enough. Had you 50, you might be able to spend them and be taught how to manifest the same armor and helm. The shield could be yours for 15 souls.

The spear, however, is unique.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

It takes but one memory relayed for you to realize the corpse--or at least the soul near it--is, or was, yours. What memory was it?

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

To clarify, if any of you walk away they fire. At all 3 of you.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

It seems that souls are absorbed by any touch, even with a kicking foot, and have no mass, and no inertia: it cannot be slid along the floor. However, you two are just able to reach a common spot such that you can exchange the shield.

The quarrels that hit the circle of bronze all embed themselves in it, puncturing all the way through but not in such a way as to injure anyone. Adding iron to bronze makes the shield even heavier: +1 weight, +clumsy. The rest of the quarrels crisscross, The upper row fires at a downward angle and the lower at an upward angle. They stick fast in the stone floor and ceiling, but the latter cracks from the impact. The gash travels in a jagged path from bolt to wall, and drops a clod of dirt near Agerios. It splashes in the blood, then an entire brick follows, sure to crush him. What do you do?

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

The soul you touch is all too familiar, for it is your own. The throwable items you remember in an instant are your throwing daggers, all three of which fly up into the brick and cause it to slowly rotate such that it falls on its end next to Agrius instead of flat on top of him. It tips away from him, towards Dominik in fact, but then wobbles, and tips toward him again. Who of the two do you each prefer it not to fall on? What do you do?

You can vote against yourself if you wish.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Many hands make light work. It is nothing for you all to hold steady the unstable slate until everyone is safely out of the way. Everyone's eyes adjusts to the light streaming down where it used to be, since it is no longer just a ray of white light in the pale dimness of these catacombs.

On the opposite wall, two more souls lie by the corpses in two more sets of corpse shelves. With respect to the entrance, the far higher and near lower recessions hold the loot. At the far end of the room, the foreboding dais still sits. What do you do?

No roll necessary.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

The shield, even if forgotten and exchanged, still has the holes and bolts stuck in it. When you walk over to your corpse, a row of holes open just as before, no different. What do you do?

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

That would be Dex: getting out of the way best fits the description.

You duck, but the quarrels fire incredibly quickly at such short range, and your weight shifts such that they trigger long before you are out of the way. All four of the bolts slam into you at once, each between any bones that might have deflected them. Strangely enough, you do not bleed. But you do feel it. When is the last time you were shot, if ever?
damage of a row of crossbows: 1d10+4 14 -1 from armor is 13 total.

The memory of your tin canteen and its contents pushes its way into the forefront of your mind. What do you do?

Each use of a recovery item restores half of your maximum hitpoints, rounded up. Uses cannot be split.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

It is anodyne, and more: your pain leaves you, that much could be expected, but wounds and quarrels alike fade away, the latter leaving only holes in your chainmail as evidence they even existed. One soul and the dias's artifact await, What do you do?

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

A harder shield can deflect bolts much better, and can do nothing else against them when fired at such angles. Their simultaneous impact makes you slide back. You are forced to do a reverse lunge, because one of them pinned your dominant foot to the ground.

damage of single arrow to extremity: 1d6 3 no damage after armor.

Unlike with Odessa, it is pinned only through your footwear, not through your flesh.

Agerios, as you approach the dais, its artifact takes a unique form in the same manner as the one at the top of the Nexus. But this one's nature is far more sinister than its sibling: rather than give life, this one extracts it from its user as a price for granting them greater power. Truth be told, it reminds you all of the Mist itself: it tempts you and exhorts you to sacrifice your petty worldly concerns and to fulfill your destiny.

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? Examples are in the spoiler: The Hunters had a syringe with a ringed plunger that housed a catalyst. When their blood was donated to this ghastly thing, the catalyst turned it into a lethal quicksilver that allowed mundane weapons to challenge even the most vicious monster. The Chosen Undead had a blue estus flask that cooled their cinders but restored their tolerance but sharpened their minds. The Bound Souls snuffed a maddening, addictive spice that destabilized their forms but brought them closer to that of rarefied souls they channeled and shaped to cast their spells.

These are your Spell Recovery items. They extract half your maximum hitpoints, but never take you lower than 1, in exchange for restoring all of either all your spent spells, or all your poisons, ammo, and any broken equipment. Whenever you could upgrade your recovery item, you can instead upgrade your spell recovery item instead. It starts out at 2 uses.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Jan 27, 2016 around 02:16

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

You link the light coming from above the bloodstain Agerios checked to that of the dais. Considering how it punched through the crack in the ceiling, it seemed as though it had mass. Furthermore, you notice that the more spell recovery items that are absorbed by your fellows, the more the cold, pale light seems to flow elsewhere than the vessels. It starts to look unsustainable by the dais, which cracks under the strain. You think that when the last spell recovery item finds its mark, the dais might break like a drat, and overflow with the "hard" light that seems to want to crush the Crypt Below. What do you do?

edited my last post to make room.

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

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.

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?

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?

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

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?

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

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

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

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?

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?

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

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

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 Paladin’s 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

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Before the beetle can attach its feet to the earth, you intercept it with the branch and lever it on its side, the sticky sap pulling the branch out of your grasp. It takes all of your might to do so: the insect indeed has the weight of an iron cauldron filled with meat.

Without Gadflies around to devour it, the beetle has time to frantically attempt to right itself by swinging its heavy legs to and fro. This must be why the female Gadflies were quick to dismember their prey. Agerios's spear, stuck in its shell and flat against the earth, gives it a spring to aid in its efforts. If it does manage to roll back over, you can be sure its path will be a semicircle across your charge, Dominik--the Human.

What do you do?
Soul Bank: 100

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Your hoplon cleaves the creature in half, but when you would raise it to strike again, you find that not only has it become lodged in the mouth of the cauldron and dipped in the sap, the force also tips the cauldron toward you. All you can do is stagger back into a seated position and be crushed under your own shield with all the weight of a boulder.

cauldron cover crush: 1d8+1 5 -2 armor (shield does not count) = 3 damage

Your helmet slides into the concave part of the shield and you are able to slouch enough to not take the full force of it, though it does put you headfirst into the insects innards. You have to remove the helmet to escape from underneath the shield. Afterwards, you are able to pull your spear from its carapace, but the shield is wedged tighter, and the adhesive nearly reaches its halfway point, and it pins the helmet that is similarly glued.

However, now that it is immobile and dead, you notice the seam that splits the carapace--like that of a ladybug. What do you do?
Soul Bank: 100

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Feb 3, 2016 around 14:44

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Mikaela posted:

What here is useful or valuable to me?
What should I be on the lookout for?
Who’s really in control here?
The trees are either mobile and leafless, or covered in soot and tumors, which are likely highly poisonous. A way to spread the disease to the trees that reach would be useful in getting past them, and valuable if you desired to do so quickly and without taking too many losses.

The harpies seem not to be circling far beyond the trees, they probably mean to eat the scraps after the branches would tear you apart. They also are clucking to one another and laughing at you, as if they have a plan to expedite your end. You should be on the lookout for an attack from the skies even through the canopy.

That means the trees must let the harpies pass through their branches, in fact, you see some fat ones even nesting in one tree. Their relationship is clearly symbiotic, but the harpy likely gets the better end of the deal: picking the trees clean of meat is hardly an imposition. The harpies are the ones really in control. Agerios likely has no such pact with either of them.

The harpies above are circling lower, and some smaller ones are darting through the branches to watch you closer. As the circling turns into swooping, you see just how large those adult harpies are: greater than the largest condor. Their talons could easily fit around a person's torso. The leafless trees seem to realiez that you are staying out of reach, so their branches instead move aside, leaving you completely exposed to a dive from above. What do you do?
Soul Bank: 100

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Dominik, you think two men could likely pull the insect apart. However, if the stickiness of the sap also speaks to its elasticity, one would have to be careful doing so.

Odessa, you see Mikaela standing in a growing shaft of light up ahead, throwing knife in hand, path blocked by two leafless trees peculiarly crossing their branches in front of her. You hear and see small human-bird hybrids perching in other bare trees, laughing like children around a busker.

What do you do?
Soul Bank: 100

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Agerios and Dominik, you see Odessa and Mikaela back to back, the former looking to the skies with mace drawn, the latter tensed to spring at a strange lattice of leafless olive tree branches, matte bladed throwing knife in hand. You hear the unmistakable sound of a clamor of harpies: their soft, mocking laughter. They are close, nested in the leafless trees and swooping from above, judging by the silhouettes swiftly crossing your companions. Without the canopy of sooty olive tree leaves dimming your vision you notice that the ground they stand on is also merely dry earth, unbesmirched by rotting fruit or the viscous trails of Pig-Iron Cauldrons. Furthermore, the faint buzzing of the Dire Gadflies sounds only at your back, no longer surrounding you.

What do you do?

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

The owl-eyed bird-people slow their descent when the rest of you circle up defensively, choosing to crow to one another before making another pass. Then they make their move: three of them dive each from a different direction. Two of them, seemingly content to distract or intimidate you, pull up out of reach before the clash, but one commits to its attack and extends it talons at you, unlucky Agerios, Human leader.

Spectres, you find the Harpies intention was not just to isolate the hoplite, but also to turn your backs to the fruitless trees, whose roots you hear unearth themselves. They pull their trunks toward you and lean, stretching their sharp, leafless branches your way, crossing one another with the motion and sound of the blades of rusty shears. What do you do?
Soul Bank: 100

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

The Harpy's soft laughter is replaced with the sickening crunch--the impact of your mace shattering its hollow bones. Its corpse flies over to the advancing trees and is crushed under their roots before its soul flies over to you.

You remember hatching in a cliffside aerie, shoving your siblings onto the rocks below to increase your own share of the food your parents brought. That covetous urge defines your existence, and you have a particular taste for the spoils of humankind. Their shiny trinkets, their rich food. Their flesh, their cries, and now their Souls. You always felt a certain kinship with them, but it is much like that you had with the siblings you murdered. The method you knew from birth is your favorite--to drop from on high. The sound of a human's cry, fading in pitch and volume, then abruptly silenced by the earth, is music to your ears.

You aren't above using the rest of the deadly flora and fauna to weaken or finish off your favorite prey though, in fact, you quite enjoy a free meal, and fostering your relationship with what you've come to regard as pets: the trees, bugs and sometimes the Satyrs reveling in the other side of the grove.

The vision ends. The advance of the leafless trees does not. They appear as dry as the cracked earth, and creak when they move. The dried blood in their slicing branches is the only evidence of any liquid's coming into contact with them in recent time. What do you do?
Soul Bank: 100

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

While the other trees seem content to slowly crawl towards you all, one sinks in the ground instead. The reason why becomes readily apparent when cracks in the earth quickly travel from the foot of the tree to yours, Agerios and Odessa. Corkscrew-like roots spiral out of the ground and around your ankle, then begin to pull downward. Snared in the ground, even the slowly advancing leafless trees will soon be upon you. What do you do?

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Dominik, you are able to sever the roots ensnaring Odessa, but not unlucky Agerios. In mid swing against the nearest tree's branches, Odessa, your miracle takes place--the wood, in a rapidly expanding radius around you, begins to smolder, then orange, glowing cracks in a the pattern of lightning erupt from beneath the bark. Your sword, Dominik, only brings a shower of embers upon you that sting your eyes.
embers: 1d4 2

Odessa, your nickel bar glows red in sympathy with the trees: the miracle will require your unyielding faith to save you. It nearly slips from your hand at first so loose is your grip, and in that moment the trees' embers darken, but when you squeeze it harder in catching it, they become even brighter than before.
hot metal: 1d4 1

Agerios, your grip too falters when the roots burn your hands, but when you redouble your efforts you are rewarded. You pull a great root out of the ground, that then begins to crackle and snap like a log in a campfire before completely breaking away from its source. A fine oar it would make, and its splintered head glows with embers that ignite as you row it through the air in the motion of uprooting it. You have freed yourself.
embers: 1d4 2 as was done to Dominik.

Ysolde and Venner, you step into the gravestone that the Pessimist indicated was the last one he had seen anyone enter, and immediately smell the rot of the half-foot layer of spoiled olives on the ground, and a hint of smoke, the latter of which you can see above the trees, and its likely source--an orange cinder-glow-- through them not many paces away. You hear shouts coming from there. On the way, you see what look like two iron cauldrons full of insect stew, and a classical bronze shield and helmet, respectively. Then you come upon the scene above. What do you do?
Soul Bank: 140

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Odessa, you smell roasted flesh and steam comes from between your fingers, but when you clasp your holy symbol hard enough the trees and their branches not engaged by Agerios and Dominik part before you as they attempt to avoid the source of their suffering. You could run past them yourself, or perhaps force them all away if you could stop your allies from cutting a path through them. Either way your hand would likely be rendered unusable due to the symbol's sealing itself inside it, curative or no, but the latter would take longer than the former, and the heat of it is steadily increasing and spreading up your arm. Your hand or more could burst into divine flame.

Dominik, you blaze a trail through the branches of the trees as if you were clearing foliage, and reach the trunks, which bend away from you and Odessa. They have peculiar markings dividing their heights into thirds, like the creases on fingers. Fingers that close against each other in preparation for a slap, then fall upon you and flatten you against the ground before rising again for a second chance at crushing you in your shell.
4 trees fall in the woods: 1d10+1+3 9 -2 (shield does not apply)= 7

What do you do?
Soul Bank: 140

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Venner, the trees seem oblivious to your lightfooted sneaking, until the alarum is raised by the harpies that make their nests in the apparently immotile ones farther away. At this heretofore unheard noise, the trees engaged with you and Agerios twist one way with a creak, wrapping their branches around themselves, then violently twist the other way with a louder snap. Their whirling sharp fingers, glowing like branding irons, send you spinning into the dirt.
treefingers of 2 trees: 1d10+1+1 5 -1 armor= 4

Odessa, you make an opening in the line of trees as if one were gone, but because of their squeezing close together out of aversion to your fiery miracle. Agerios and Ysolde, you could fall in line behind her easily enough, but Dominik and Venner, you are beset upon by fledgling harpies descending from the immobile trees. The fatter harpies crinkle their eyes and cackle at the brave souls leaving a meal behind as the toll. It is likely not the first time such a price was paid. What do you do?
Soul Bank: 150

  • Locked thread
«3 »