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Senior Scarybagels
Jan 6, 2011

nom nom


Grimey Drawer


The Carnival of Life


It was called Major Chumleigh's Amazing Traveling Carnival and Combined Pandemonium Shadow Show, though no one really remembers the name outside of the carnival owner. Major Chumleigh long since passed; but the carnival still survives under the current owner, the protoge of Chumleigh, known simply as Ajax; whether its a combination of his full name or his first name no one knows. Either way he managed to get this small time carnival at the major winter extreme games being held in Colorado Springs in 3 months. While everyone is really excited about it, the fact is that it is unlikely the rides that the extreme sports show wants and its the freak show that this carnival still runs. The contortionists, the human blockhead, the sword swallower and fire breather couple, the snake chamer and their collection of cobras and all the others. The sideshows are all a family and are generally what people really want to see since they are so rare in this day and age.

The small city of Scottsbuff, home of fifteen thousand is your current destination. It resets on the west side of nebraska with the remains of the Hiram Scott College located north of the city. The city was small enough that getting around was no problem and everyone seemingly knew each other and lived near each other. That was no issue. Around the same time that the carnival came in to set up last night a group of strangers came in as well in a series of SUVS wearing all black hoodies, cargo pants and meat carver aprons. They didn't seem to care about you or the carnival - however the distinct smell of formaldehyde could be whiffed as their caravan drove by you - osbtinately towards the old Hiram Scott College. It is heavily overcast today and seems to be for the next week.

You all sit in the van on the outskirts of the carnival, the smell, or what you assume is the smell, of food fills your nostrils. A small camp stove made from a canned fuel under a metal grate and a small pot boiling ontop. As you sit inside the van; a group of voices, a bunch of high schoolers from the local school whho were skipping class to come here and waste time it sounds like, talk about an old farmhouse in the outskirts of town that was overgrown with weeds, where strange things were happening. Apparently rumor had it that a boy no one liked here that seemed to constantly cause trouble for everyone, constantly chased, and generally hated by the community ran into last night - right after the firehouse caught on fire. There is a knock on the door; Jake, the tilt-a-whirl guy, knocked on the door to the van. "Oy Arizona! Strong Guy Baron Von Dipshit needs your help carrying all the weights quickly; and Talulah your Tent is set up for whatever it is you do" he leaves after giving the message. He walks away with both hand in his pocket. Louie Blue-Eye can be seen running around trying to get everything set up - but something seems off - his jacket's left arm was completely ripped off and his arm was covered in a bandage. It's really weird.

Ajax walks up and knocks "Okay, you five, this is just a friendly reminder, I don't want a repeat of last time where you had to wait out of town for us to move - It wasn't your fault I know, but even then, I can't have you in the caravan if you constantly get chased out." with that he walks away. As you all get out of the van eventually you notice on a stone on an old building nearby some pilgrimage marks:


Arizona - What is the strong man's real name; why did Jake call him such a name? Do you know?

Toby - It seems like no one needs you today! That's great isn't it? What do you want to do today? Why did Cleo quit the night they got here?

Talulah - The world is your oyster to get people to come in what do you do for your tent? Or do you even go to your tent right now?

Dolly - When you leave the van it seems that Louie Blue-Eye is always following you around, criticizing your appearance, why is he doing that?

Marx - Do you feel afraid like the creator of those pilgrimage marks?

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Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


Arizona Killer
WP: 5/5 | Pyros: 6/11 | Health: [][][][][][][][][][]
Beats: 0/5 | Vitriol: 0/5 | Conditions: -


It's yet another day in the wasteland. Arizona is sprawled out over the back seat, half-dressed, reading a newspaper, and very glad of an excuse to give up wrestling with the editorial page and throw it away.

She doesn't respond to Jake or Ajax beyond a grunt. The Killer ain't much of a conversationalist, especially with humans. But she chews things over while she puts on a wifebeater and some faded cowboy boots from her rucksack, stashed under the back seat. Strong Guy Baron von Dipshit. Isn't that one's name just 'Barry'? Barry kinda sounds like Baron. But Dipshit is an insult. She doesn't know what 'von' signifies. Baron von Dipshit isn't really a name, it's more like a...description? Like saying the role someone plays, not their real identity. Like 'Arizona Killer,' as opposed to 'Toby' or 'Talulah.' Those descriptions make someone smaller. Strong Guy Baron von Dipshit isn't an individual, he's- it's- an object.

Arizona Killer calls Talulah 'Lula' because Talulah calls Arizona Killer 'Zona.' She figured that shortening words was just a thing Lula does. But, thinking about it now, maybe Lula is trying to do a bit of alchemy by transmuting the awkward and wordy phrase/title 'Arizona Killer' into something that sounds more like just a regular name.

"That devil toad Pandoran's still around," she observes to the others, slowly so she doesn't stammer too much. "Bet it's gonna bite today, it's gotta be hongry. Watch your back, dipshits."

She picks up Li'l Slugger, just in case, and clambers out of the side door. Lifting sounds like more fun than reading or puzzling out linguistics.

As she's walking by with the rest, she pauses by the old cornerstone. "Hey. Run away...don't talk...the gently caress?"

She elbows local Originist and Pilgrimage scholar Marx. "You seeing this, nerd?"

((Current Aspirations just for reference: Get my rear end kicked by Texas Red, Meet someone who knows me through Repute, Throw down some lightning in combat; (Elpis) Witness something I believed impossible.))

Pilgrimage markers are on page 86, FYI

Kellsterik fucked around with this message at Sep 5, 2016 around 04:33

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Marx

Marx stumbles slightly from where she's leaning over to look at the marks, elbowed away. She looks up to Arizona, blinking in slight confusion. "Is that name supposed to hurt?", she says gently, as if more curious than troubled. "You know it doesn't." Focusing on the message again, she reaches out to run her finger along the lines. How were they cut? In a hurry or deliberately? Maybe there'll be something in the feeling of the grooves that clues her in. She looks up and around, confused. And why write it here? What stands out?

Wits + Investigation to have a closer look is 3 successes.

Green Bean
May 3, 2009


Toby

Toby accepted his apparent lack of responsibilities with a similar lack of surprise. His knowledge of humanity was still brief and hard-won, but by now he had learned that human children generally received less important and physically less demanding tasks from adults, when they received them at all. This was a sign that he was being accepted as a human child, which was a positive sign on his Pilgrimage, was it not? Today he wanted to watch Jake set up the tilt-a-whirl; last time it wasn't set up correctly and Toby hadn't noticed either, and Louie had been hurt. Toby couldn't put his finger on exactly why, but it almost felt like a failure on his part - he was supposed to be observing, right?

Cleo's booth had been set up, but there was no sign of Cleo, since she'd quit the night before. Toby hadn't heard anything about why, but he'd been asked to take trash cans to the dumpster yesterday, and in Cleo's garbage he found a weird plastic stick he'd never seen before. Toby had decided to keep it and maybe ask the others later to see if they knew what it was.

Soonmot
Dec 19, 2002

"I am the crime that will not be forgiven!"



Grimey Drawer

Tallulah
WP: 4/4 | Pyros: 6/11 | Health: [][][][][][][]
Beats: 0/5 | Vitriol: 0/5 | Conditions: -


With everyone inside the van, things can get a little cramped. Violet should be able to hold twice the people currently resting inside her, but the back wall on the driver's side, opposite the sliding door was taken up by a bulky cabinet that stretched the length and height of the full sized van. Only, instead of drawers, there were clear, plexiglass windows showing rocks and branches resting in wood shavings.

Most of the tanks seemed empty, maybe a glimmer or something deep inside a rock cave caught the eye, but others had their residents on full display, they're impressive or colorful, but only one is actually venomous and Tallulah had a vetranarian friend remove it's venom sacs, Shakes, the rattlesnake watches the throng with unblinking eyes while curled up on top his rock, soaking up the heat of the cabinet's built in lamp. One of her many cornsnakes, this one a bold white on black pattern, pokes its head out from it's cave and quickly retracts again when it detects movement. But the prize of Tallulah's collection, the snake that always draws a crowd, was the six foot long Mr. Wiggles, a Brazillian rainbow boa. Wiggles' tank stretched the entire bottom shelf of the cabinet, giving the snake only a couple more feet than it's length to stretch out. That was Mr. Wiggles spent most of his time coiled around the coat rack Tallulah had bolted to the inside of van, right behind the driver's seat. Whoever rode on the first of the two bench seats of the van, usually had the boa for a riding buddy.



The rest of the space was taken up by boxes. Cardboard, plastic, even a few metal buckets just overfilled with... junk. Well, not junk, Tallulah only saved important things, things with value. But value was in the eye of the beholder sometimes. A google eyed plastic spider crammed into a plastic bin had meant something to someone at some point, but to the others, all these things do was make the rides in the van stradle the line between comfortable and tolerable. Usually depending on how much of an aversion to snakes they had.

Coaxing Wiggles off his perch and onto her slim shoulders, Tallulah gathered up her hair, twisting into a knot around the gaudy "gem" encrusted crucifix she was rarely without.

"I don't think your froggy friend was responsible for those marks," she sighs dreamily, one hand stroking the reptile as the light glints off its scales. Her eyes follow Marx, watching the other woman rub her fingers over the carving. It was good to watch people, make sure they did things correctly.

She cocks her head, causing Wiggles to shift his weight a bit, "What do you think, Marx. It seems very bleak, very dire. Should we worry?"

Rather Watch Them
Mar 28, 2012

Don't worry loves! NEED A CAVALRY HERE!


Dolly

Dolly was calmly petting the boa while listening to Ajax's instructions. Her words are sweet. "Don't make people upset. Got it." Of course, there's no telling what makes people upset as they are, for the most part, unpredictable in their reactions to Dolly and company, but using the words she said as a mantra seems to keep the other thoughts at bay.

After looking at the marks for a little (to lock them into her head), Dolly seems satisfied with this turn of events and lets her mind wander off to the topic of Louie Blue-Eyes. She's been trying new things with her make-up to keep up with his criticisms, and his arm being bandaged seems to have caused a change in his usual words. She needs to look perfect, so she can be perfect. That's why Louie is doing what he does; to help Dolly attain perfection. It's kind of how the adage goes: You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.

But one night is hardly payment for what Louie is offering. Maybe he can get the prize Dolly is certainly going to win at the water-gun game. Yes, that would suffice, right?

"It's probably just..." Before she finishes her thought, she closes her mouth, because what if it's not?

Soonmot
Dec 19, 2002

"I am the crime that will not be forgiven!"



Grimey Drawer

Tallulah

"Just what?" The snake charmer asks.

Rather Watch Them
Mar 28, 2012

Don't worry loves! NEED A CAVALRY HERE!


Dolly

She keeps her mouth shut and gestures to the symbols with her hands. Eventually she gives up and whispers, "It might not be... I mean, who's afraid? If it's humans, then... Exaggeration. That's what I was looking for. I mean, they're always a little afraid, aren't they? But if 'afraid' is the one who wrote it, then..." She stops talking again.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Marx

"No.", Marx says to Tallulah softly. "Worrying doesn't do anything. But, um... we should be careful. It could be a warning because somebody's afraid, or just to keep other people away for other reasons, too. We should always be two or three or five, but not one, I think. We shouldn't be alone, floating off... ah... where's Toby?" She looks around as if that might reveal him, and shrugs. "Well, let's keep together once we find him."

Soonmot
Dec 19, 2002

"I am the crime that will not be forgiven!"



Grimey Drawer

Tallulah

If only her cards really could tell the future, Tallulah looks around for Toby, but the boy had gone. He was a sneaky one when he wished to be.

"Hmmm, yes, I think.... I think that you make a lot of sense Marx. We can't all stay together, Dolly and I perform at opposite ends of the lot but, we can make this work."

She firms her shoulders, settling into her chosen role, Tallulah's voice loses some of its dreamy tone, "'Zona, as soon as you finish your work, stick to Dolly. With luck one of you two will find Toby. Keep him near. Marx and I should stay together, with Cleo gone, I'll be doing fortunes as well as snakes tonight. That silver tongue of yours will make sure there are plenty of people waiting to get inside my tent. We'll be safe in a crowd."

With a pause, the snake charmer looks around, craning her head to see whatever it is that lurks just the other side of reality, "If there is trouble, we should meet back here at Violet. I don't think it's paranoid to say that none of us should leave the show alone, tonight. Even without those markings, 'Zona's froggo has to be getting ready to strike."

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


Arizona Killer

Is that name supposed to hurt? Arizona, not knowing what to make of Marx gently calling her on her bullshit, grunts and postures. "No, nerd, it's like...uh...look, if I wanted to hurt you, you'd know, got that?"

Weirdo smoke monster asking weirdo questions.

She tested the weight of her bat while the others chattered. Until Lula stood up and put that hard strong earth in her voice, the way she did when she wanted to be a Leader.

The Tammuz growled, bat slung over her shoulders. "Hate when you get like this." Fraud. Tellin' me what to do. Stop trying to do better.

Being around Dolly, though. And a chance to protect (where'd that come from?) her and scrap alongside Toby. Hmm. "Whatever. I'll wrangle Astro Boy when I'm done. Dolly can...I dunno...tag along if she wants."

Intelligence + Occult (Flux), 5 dice: 2 successes, Is Tallulah correct that we'll be safe(r) from a Pandoran in a crowd of humans? Do I know any other useful information to protect ourselves from the frog, like where we'll be most or least vulnerable to attack?

Senior Scarybagels
Jan 6, 2011

nom nom


Grimey Drawer

Toby you stare at the plastic item for a bit until a soft elderly voice is heard behind you.



"Hello there little man; what is it you are holding there?" she asks dotingly, with a warm smile. She seems to be holding a first place award from what you can tell. "Are you lost? Why don't you follow me to the tent over there" she points to the pie contest tent "And I will get someone to look for your parents while you enjoy my prize winning apple pie" She seems old and doesn't have anyone with her from what you can tell and she didn't seem to be looking for anyone in particular, she offers you her hand to take so she can lead you to the tent.

Arizona Killer; you can be reasonably sure that a lone pandoran would not seek to interact with people unless the people had what they wanted. While they probably know you are there; as long as you are around people you can be reasonably sure that you are safe

Marx The Writing you know is Promethean Carving; as for why, its probably where the prometheans were passing by and needed to write it as its a very visible spot for other prometheans. However these pilgramage signs are filled with pyros - meaning that they are not actually carved and only you and perhaps pandorans can see, when a normal person stares at the wall it is just a normal looking wall. As for what stands out - the only thing you can think of that stands out the most is the wreckage of the fire station.

Near the van the four remaining are togehter when they see something strange; it looks like Louie is getting drawn to what appears to be a rickety old build, almost mesmerized. He ignores anyone's requests or calls to him, but they all just seem to think he has something to do - however the four in the van know differently; he wouldn't go to some strangers house while at work. Instead he would hit up the bars and then to other peoples houses. As far as you know, he has never gone yet to any bar. A few minutes after he enters the house you hear it - a loud scream of terror; oddly enough it is a scream that only you four seem to witness.

There is rumor that Louie went to the house of the old woman named Mina; who would never interact with people except when it came to any sort of pie cook off; which only happened when a carnival came to town.

Green Bean
May 3, 2009


Toby

Toby put the plastic stick away, and quirked his head at the lady as he listened, a little confused but no more so than any of his other social interaction with humans. "I'm not lost, ma'am. I live here." Still, he took a moment to consider her offer. As an animate machine, he did not start with much in the way of a sense of taste. He had a basic sensor in his mouth that gave him the chemical composition of what he consumed, but it was vague, giving little more than a proportion of sugars, proteins, and lipids. As part of his Pilgrimage, he'd been trying to understand 'taste'. Things high in sugar were "sweet". High protein content meant "savory". Acidity was also a factor, though he was still working on determining the interactions there. Apples were acidic, but also high in sugars. Perhaps an apple pie would help further his understanding of flavour.

He reached up to take the woman's hand, but paused before gripping. "Even if I'm not lost, may I still try your pie, please?" Manners were important for children, he'd overheard.

Soonmot
Dec 19, 2002

"I am the crime that will not be forgiven!"



Grimey Drawer

Tallulah

Arizona is on the receiving end of one of Tallulah's most beatific smiles, "Be as gruff as you like, 'Zona. I'm glad you'll be there for the others, you keep us all safer, you know."

The tammuz didn't believe in herself, but it was okay. Tallulah would believe enough for the both of them. She opens her mouth again, no doubt to impart more orders when a strange scene plays out. Louie walks to a rundown building and vanishes inside. She watches, unsure, silent.

Then the screams start. It takes her a few moments to realize that the only ones reacting to them are the four prometheans.

"I... um.... Yes. I feel as if we should go and find out what that is, instead. I feel as if we are about to find out the reason for those markings."

Sliding her van open, Tallulah coaxes Mr Wiggles back into his tank. She could set up her act later.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Marx

Looking over at the screams, Marx says in her soft tones, "One of ours. We should do something, but..." She bows her head slightly, looking over to Arizona as if asking permission. "... will we?" She doesn't perhaps eerily calm given the circumstances, as if waiting for the lead of another.

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


Arizona Killer

Weird old lady Mina is an Outcast too, isn't she? Maybe there's something to be learned from her.

Feels nice to have Marx looking to her. Arizona grins and swings Li'l Slugger off her shoulders, points the bat straight at the house. "Hell yeah, we will! Work's boring, Strong Guy Baron von Dipshit can lift his own crap. Let's go..."
kill Louie? No, that doesn't sound right. "...save him?"

To the rickety old building! She's going, at least.

Soonmot
Dec 19, 2002

"I am the crime that will not be forgiven!"



Grimey Drawer

Tallulah

"Of course we save him," that pause of Arizona's was all the hint Tallulah needed to guess what the woman had been thinking. She had been thinking the same herself. It was so much easier to sit and watch, this is why she chose to lead.

Gently, deftly, she plucked the bejeweled cross from her hair, sending the unruly scarlet locks cascading down her back like wildfire. Her hands gripped the haft of the dagger tightly, but she didn't draw it from the sheath. Something about seeing the naked blade made her uneasy. Was it used on First Daughter? Why was it left when Mother fled? Why... but no, these were thoughts for another time. Now she had to marshal the others and protect the carnival. "Let's move out, troops," that was very authoritative, she had heard that line in a movie about war.

"Keep your eyes open and fingers on the trig- hmmmm.... Keep your eyes open, follow 'Zona."

Well, maybe other movies had more lines for her to use.

Rather Watch Them
Mar 28, 2012

Don't worry loves! NEED A CAVALRY HERE!


Dolly

Dolly stretches her right leg behind her head and grunts a little. "Whatever's going on in there, we'll figure it out. And probably stop it too." She plants her foot down and does the same for the other. "I need to warm up anyway. Heh heh." She takes a second, left foot by her ear, to think. "Heheheh."

She stands firmly on both legs. "Never mind, let's go." She stands near the back of the group, putting one side of her hair into a ponytail.

Rather Watch Them fucked around with this message at Sep 18, 2016 around 05:31

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Marx

"Mmm. It seems kind of..." Marx trails off, not really having the worlds to express her feelings as she walks after the others, but finally settling on: "... simple." It felt like a story, but there were always more to things than stories told. She knew that much.

Still, she followed.

Senior Scarybagels
Jan 6, 2011

nom nom


Grimey Drawer


Toby: The pie is sustenance; can you even taste the pie? Or does your robotic brain synthasize what you think it should taste like? And how would you describe the taste? She come back shortly while you are eating the pie and with a sigh says "No one here has seen your parents young man, however the people that someone that works in the carnival says you live with went up to the old house on the hill over there" she says and points "You should probably hurry along and join them; I bet they are worried about you" There is more pie to taste; do you let your friends go off or do you eat more pie?


As you ponder this question, something sends a chill up your circuits - you can see it what first appears like a shadow moving through the crowd - moving towards the fortune teller's wagon that she uses as a set piece even though she is not as far as you know, in fact, a romani at all.


Marx, Dolly, Tallulah, 'Zona The path towards is old, unkempt, muddy, and worst of all: deserted. The cracking of the twigs announce your presence as you head down the path. As you walk this reminds each of you of something you learned along your travels alone - what is it? Eventually you reach the old, dilapidated house...


It looks as if it could fall over with just a soft breeze...but yet it stands. Outside of the house a lady, who appears to be carved with the woes of the world upon her face; the fragility of her smile is obvious; she has a white handkerchief upon her lap, with stains of red dribbled throughout the blanket. It's very apparent that she is not very social...and she never strays from this house as the footpath here has been over grown. She doesn't look at you straight in the eye, she does however, tighten her grip upon her afghan and her handkerchief...the book Death be not proud falls from her lap as she looks a bit afraid of you all.

"I..." she begins before coughing into her handkerchief violently, laying it back down on her lap "Do not get much in the way of visitors these days...how can I help you? I am afraid I don't have much in the way of food to offer...but I am sure I can find something in my house if needed"

She looks frail...like she could turn to dust at any moment. How does she make you feel?

Green Bean
May 3, 2009


Toby

Toby couldn't taste the pie the way humans could - it would require far more sensitive equipment, or perhaps further alchemical modification, to come close to the level of sensory information ten thousand taste buds could provide. The information his senses provided boiled down to 'high in sugar and lipids, low in protein, slightly acidic', and a general sense of how much additional operating time each bite provided. By comparing it to similarly balanced foods he had eaten before, alongside the comments he'd heard humans, he could describe it as 'sweet', but little more than that. "Thank you for the pie, ma'am. I should go see the others." He left the lady behind and headed for the house.

When he sees the shadow, Toby paused and tried to get a closer look.

Wits + Composure: 5d10o10h8 1 success

Green Bean fucked around with this message at Sep 26, 2016 around 00:47

Soonmot
Dec 19, 2002

"I am the crime that will not be forgiven!"



Grimey Drawer

Talulah

The overgrown, abandoned tangle of a path smelled of regret and bad decisions, Talulah had to close her eyes for a second, forcefully recentering herself as her memory began to tumble in upon itself. It was a month since Mother had left her and the house had begun to take on a sinister air. Talulah had some innate sense that this was her fault, but she didn't know why or what she could do to stop it. The stairway up to the second floor, to the bedroom of First Daughter, the place Talulah still slept, beckoned to her, she had spent the entire day peeking out from between the curtains, watching people walk by.

So she climbed.

And climbed.

And kept climbing for far more than the fourteen stairs that made up the staircase, but there she was, in the middle of the stair case, seven steps below her, seven steps above. She took the next step and the next and the one after that but that upper landing never drew closer. Panic started to rise and as the fear swelled within her, she saw something move on the wall. A wisp of shadow with red eyes and white teeth, reached out and pulled... something from her, cramming it into its gnashing maw. A thought occurred.

It was eating her fear. She knew there were things out there, the stuff that flowed through her veins and out of her scars was the same stuff these things were made of. Spirits. And this one was eating her fear, because she had summoned it, created it. The solution seemed obvious, if it fed on fear, she needed to not be afraid.

Talulah climbed those stairs for a very long time before she mastered her fear. Every time she had to go up or down she faced the same trial and each time it became easier. This path, long disused evoked the same twinge of fear, but she would not give into the emotion. Maybe there was a spirit here, maybe there wasn't but the fear did nothing and she needed to be strong for her throng.

When they finally pass through and find the old woman in her run down shack all Talulah could feel was pity. Well, disgust too. This woman obviously had no money and so was a bad person. Maybe not even a person? But mostly pity, until she remembered why the created had come here. Louie and his screaming.

“I'm sorry... we're sorry, but a business associate of ours just came through here. We were worried. Did you see him?”

She bends forward and smiles gently, almost but not quite reaching for the spattered handkerchief, "Are you alright, I'm a good listener if you need to talk."


Attempting to win over this lady's trust
man+emp: 6d10o10h8 4
I get exceptional success at 3 for manipulation

Rather Watch Them
Mar 28, 2012

Don't worry loves! NEED A CAVALRY HERE!


Dolly

The covered path reminds Dolly of her first steps outside, in the darkness of the night. Each wayward branch is a finger stroking her skin, the wind whistles her name from tinted cars, and each snapping twig is a bond broken when the Disquiet sets into her acquaintances. Nobody loves a Promethean like they love humans. Talent means nothing to them.

People only associate with Dolly because she's pretty.

Dolly thinks twice about the old lady, because she is not pretty. Dolly looks at the old lady with a softened brow, in something resembling pity. She looks closest at the cover of Death Be Not Proud and wonders if that's correct.

Death Don't Be Proud, Death Be Humble, Death Be Ashamed, Are You Proud Death? Death Isn't Proud, Death Is... Sad, Death Is Bad...

When Tallulah suddenly speaks, Dolly backs away from the woman's book, leaving it on the ground. "Um, yeah, an associate. He's already injured, so we want to make sure he's safe." Dolly understands she mostly repeated what Lulu said, but it seemed to work for her, so...

Manipulate + Empathy: 2d10o10h8 0

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


Arizona Killer

She's here too! But she doesn't have anything to say right now, because she's lost in memories. She just slings her bat over her shoulders and stares at the forest around her, muttering "red tree," over and over.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Marx

Marx looks to the woman, and... ash? Dissolving? Drifting away on light currents of wind? She still burns, but the woman in her chair just looks extinguished.

After a moment, she asks, "Not hungry. Didn't you hear that...?", confused, and then starts to walk around the room, looking at various things. "There was a scream... is this a crime scene?" Like on the television. "Have you seen anything strange recently? Like a man suffering?" Her tone is more curious than concerned as she looks around the room.

Just going to have a simple look around the room and place for 2 successes on Wits + Investigation.

Senior Scarybagels
Jan 6, 2011

nom nom


Grimey Drawer

The sky is overcast - a sense of foreboding fills the air, the house heaves a bit almost like a deep breath. How does it make you feel? As it settles a bit more of the roof falls off. The house is old...very...very old. It seems like its been around the late nineteenth century. The old lady doesn't seem to move from the chair though, she simply sits there, rocking on the chair.

Talulah: She smiles, most of her teeth seem to be missing, and she seems to not get out of the seat. However you hear her say to your question "Oh dear, yes, I saw him. He went into the house after I told him not too and he hasn't come out since. And yes deary I am fine...I just got a bit of the chills you know?" she smiles "As long as I am near my home though I am fine"

Dolly How does it make you feel that she is basically ignoring you for Talulah and giving her information?

Zona Tell us about a memory that you had. In the trees however you see nothing, except the trees begin to bleed, dripping down onto the ground below, bodies hanging from each and every tree. The scene disappears when you blink. What do you think it represents and why only you can see it?

Marx With your roll you see that there was coagulated blood around the door, only one set of foot prints and the door itself looks broken. "I saw a man walk into the house a little while ago" she said with a pleasent voice, not really knowing about any sound that was produced.

Toby:
The shadow disappears as soon as you get near but you feel the presense of Flux nearby. It feels like it might be getting closer.

Senior Scarybagels fucked around with this message at Oct 2, 2016 around 14:48

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Marx

Crouching near the door, Marx reaches out to touch the blood, and then looks up to the broken door and the old woman. "What are you?", she asks plainly after a moment. Rising to her feet, she holds up the bloody fingertips up in the air as she asks more bluntly, an edge of anger in her her voice, "What are you?"

Got 3 successes on a Manipulation + Empathy attempt to press her for answers.

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


Arizona Killer

"red tree."

One time, when she was Centimani, she was up in Oregon with a pack of Pandorans and they blew through this small town called Crimson Grove. Spooky place. Used to be a lumber town, until the mill shut down after some awful accident. The humans said there weren't jobs anymore. But the humans who still lived there couldn't leave. They knew that something was wrong, but they couldn't say why, not out loud.

"red tree."

The whole town was dead, and it couldn't move on. The mill had a ghost. And it was anchored to the humans. And once a month, when the wind blew and the moon was new, all the humans went out and walked through the forest to the old mill in one big silent parade, and less humans came back than went in.

"red tree."

That's what this house reminds her of. Watching the humans walk up the old winding path in the woods with this funny look in their eyes, mommies and daddies and kiddos and cousins, not saying a word, not giving her misshapen body or snarling pack a second glance, because they were following something bigger. They'd put their Faith in the mill. The lumber mill that was eating them.

She lost her whole pack inside that mill. Would've lost her life, if it hadn't been for the local woman with the ghost inside her. What was her name- Firestarter. That's how she knows all about Marvolo talking to ghosts, she's met their kind before.

"red tree."

Here, now, there are bodies hanging from the trees, dripping blood, staining the wood red again. Just like Crimson Grove. The angels, or the Elpis, must be showing her something like they always do. She knows why: because she's killed in cold blood. And now she knows a fellow monster when she sees one.

Arizona grips her bat tight and stomps forward. She answers Marx's question for her: "She's a Killer. Just like me."

Spending 1 Pyros to charge Weaponize with its first Distillation, "Tension." I'll flare Disfigurements and show Mina my hideous countenance, silhouetted against the trees. Activating Tension, Presence+Intimidation+Azoth: 2 successes. If my successes exceeded her Resolve, she gets Disquieted (stage one) and takes a penalty on all rolls equal to her Disquieted level this scene. If they didn't...well, I probably triggered Disquiet anyway by being scary and showing disfigurements, so I'll roll Azoth: 3 successes on 2 dice, I'll make that an exceptional success for a Beat.

She swings Li'l Slugger and stops it just shy of frail old Mina's face, pointing in accusation. "Don't lie," she growls. "It's too late. I know. I can see all of them, hanging in the trees."

With her free hand, she snaps her fingers and conjures a bright sharp electric flare. "Spit Louie out, if you haven't eaten him yet. Swear to Chekhov I'll burn this house down if you don't."

Presence 3 + Intimidation 4. If it's okay, I'll add +1 and 9-again from Li'l Slugger, and +1 from showing off Arc. 9 dice: 1 success.

If I succeeded in inflicting Disquiet on her, Disquietism also gives me +2 to Intimidation rolls for the next 24 hours. 2 dice: no additional successes

Green Bean
May 3, 2009


Toby

Toby frowned. He didn't really understand what Flux was, exactly, but he'd been told it was dangerous, and whatever internal sensors he had that allowed him to detect it seemed in agreement. Since he'd lost sight of the source (if the shadow even was the source), he hurried along towards the house where he'd been told the others were. He should warn them about what was happening.

Soonmot
Dec 19, 2002

"I am the crime that will not be forgiven!"



Grimey Drawer

Talulah

This old woman feels wrong. Briefly, Talulah wonders if this is what real people feel around her. But before she can respond, 'Zona makes her play. Nervously, she plays with her crucifix, her thumb tracing the outlines of the glass jewels, the pressure almost enough to click the hidden blade out from the sheath.

Rather Watch Them
Mar 28, 2012

Don't worry loves! NEED A CAVALRY HERE!


Dolly

She doesn't exactly understand the situation, but she knows by how Zoey reacts that something is wrong with either of them. She watches the bat inch closer to the old woman's face and, as tactfully as she can manage, hisses "Zona!" under her breath through gritted teeth.

Is there something under the crone's skin, perhaps? Is this Flux or something different? Zoey knows Flux, right? And what about the house? Did Dolly just hear or see something?

And are these questions going to be answered? Lulu hasn't reacted to the information given, and Zoey is doing her best to scare the information out. What can Dolly do?

Chills... Chills... Yes, chills. Being outside too long would so that. Dolly knows as much.

"If you're chilly... why don't you go inside? Shouldn't it be warmer in there than out here? Why are you even out here? You'll catch your death of cold before long, won't you?"

Old people say that, right?

Man+Per to talk this woman(?) into moving.
Manipulate + Persuasion: 3d10o10h8 0

Taking a Beat and a dramatic failure!

Rather Watch Them fucked around with this message at Oct 13, 2016 around 06:28

Senior Scarybagels
Jan 6, 2011

nom nom


Grimey Drawer

Marx You question her...but you notice with your investigation that there is only one set of foot prints outside of your own in the area. Its as if she has never moved from that spot in years. You hear her speak though "I...I am Mary belle Sophia, my family has lived in this house for hundreds of years..." she begins before

Zona & Dolly: You both utterly terrify the woman - great job; you see her fall to the ground, struggling to get away with her hands. You notice as the skirt gets pulled and tattered by the ground that her legs...they've atrophied. They are black as the night sky...they are thin; almost mummified. She can't talk. She can't even really get away. The scare you put her in is so horrific that she can't even speak...

Dolly: For your dramatic failure, gain a beat and gain the condition Callous other than that you feel as though you have done nothing to help elleviate her fair in fact you feel as though you joined up with Zona in terrifying her. How does that make you feel?

Promethean 2e pg 307 posted:

The manipulation of another’s emotions has caused the
Promethean to become emotionally distant. He suffers a –2 to
Empathy rolls as he begins to see others as tools rather than people.
Possible Sources: Activating the Mesmerism Transmutation
without revealing Disfigurements.
Resolution: Opt to fail a Social roll involving a human being.
Beat: n/a

Zona You however with your exception success (gain a beat) find something responds to you...blood starts trickling out of the house's doorframe as you can hear it shutter...most likely from the wind. A trail of blood is moving inside.
Question: With seeing her like this, the fact that she is unable to even move now...or talk. Does Zona feel good about the fact she has basically scared a handicap person nearly to death with what she knows now?

Talulah - You see Zona and Dolly appear to be accosting this woman with Marx not far behind in joining them, what do you do in this case. The woman is obviously handicapped and she isn't in the best of health. You saw the book about death, do you find anything forming?

Toby It doesn't take you long to get to the scene where you find Zona and Dolly standing over an old woman, whose legs are completely black. How does this make you feel?

All: The wind is heavy, the trees are scratching against each other. The sky is overcast and dark. In the far distance you hear distorted music coming from the carnival; as if something is changing the pitch and speed at random. It is getting colder, but the area around you is getting tenser. What will you do?

Senior Scarybagels fucked around with this message at Oct 17, 2016 around 02:12

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Marx

"Don't let the wind move you, don't-", Marx starts before she falls quiet, as if running out of the words she needs. Taking a step back, she moves towards the front door, as if getting ready to bolt... or at least have something like an escape route. "- she's not right.", she finally mumbles out.

Tried to be Inspiring, but 0 successes isn't going to cut it, sadly.

Soonmot
Dec 19, 2002

"I am the crime that will not be forgiven!"



Grimey Drawer

Talulah

"'Zona!"

It's a harsh bark, totally unlike Talulah's normal dreamy voice. Her eyes are hard and very much focused on Arizona. At least, the gaping infinite voids that the Tammuz sees gives that impression. The whispy tendrils of ectoplasm leaking from Talulah's skull writhe like one of her snakes.

Slowly, after holding the other promethean's gaze longer than would normally be polite, her face softens and her voice regains some of it's normal lightness, "I don't think this woman is the problem. I feel as if it may be this... this house. Feel it, it's wrong. It's like us? This may have been the warning. Take the others, go look but be alert. We will need your ferocity, we will need your fire if this is as bad as I think. Save your anger for what waits inside, I think."

She punctuates the order with a smile.

Gently, Talulah kneels down and reaches for the book, giving it to the old woman.

"I'm so sorry, we're just upset over our friend missing. Here, this is yours. Would you like me to cover you up? Or out you back in your chair?

"Or... take you from here?"

She wonders at this house, the path to it. Everything is off and strange and she studies her surroundings. There are signs when spirits are near. Everything leaves tracks if you know what to look for.



Trying to get the old woman to calm down and trust me. Trust (man+emp): 6d10o10h8 1

Trying to look for signs of spirits, any clue as to what's going on with this house. signs of supernatural (wits+occ): 4d10o10h8 1

Green Bean
May 3, 2009


Toby

Toby took in the scene - the others gathered around an old woman who was sprawled on the floor. The causation seemed fairly clear. "That old woman is hurt." There was little affect in that statement, no judgement or condemnation. If there was anything in his voice, it was a hint of detached curiosity. He hadn't seen anyone, human or otherwise, harm an old woman before. It did not seem to be something that happened much in general, but such edge cases might prove to be educational in the long run.

"Are we helping her?"

Rather Watch Them
Mar 28, 2012

Don't worry loves! NEED A CAVALRY HERE!


Callous Dolly

When Totes arrives and asks for input, Dolly begins, "She..."

Dolly thinks.

"She wasn't cooperating." But then she realized that maybe the old lady wasn't lying. Louie went into the house, and didn't come out? When she realizes this, something is triggered in the air. Sounds of organs, and metal lurching over wood. It's unsettling, to say the least. Dolly forces herself to stay still when confronted by the prone and frail woman, even when Lulu briefly breaks her calm demeanor. What Dolly's done is done, and no amount of help can fix the moment before. "It's too late."

Her focus shifts to the house. Louie came in and didn't come out. Or someone did. What does Marx mean by the wind? And what does Lulu mean by it being like us? "I don't understand any of this." From her position near the chair, she peers toward the house? It's not breathing, it's not talking, it's just there.

Isn't it? "Houses can't... do that, can they?"

Trying to see what the house is really doing.
Wits+Composure: 6d10o8h8 0
Dolly continues being bad at dice.

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


Arizona Killer
WP: 5/5 | Pyros: 5/11 | Health: [][][][][][][][][][]
Beats: 1/5 | Vitriol: 0/5 | Conditions: Enraged (Refinement)


Seeing frail old Mina with her black legs (Flux?) sprawled out on the porch is confusing. On one hand, it feels good. People(?) who seemingly kill and eat the unwary should be afraid, especially of her. But this is also bewildering. She was expecting a stand-up fight with a foe worthy of her fury, but Mina is a paper tiger. She was expecting a denunciation and the powers of a cackling archfiend, not a heart attack. This doesn't parse.

She stands there and blinks and shrinks from Lula's void-eyes while she calls her out. Sputters to explain herself, like a dog that doesn't know why it's in trouble. "I'm- I didn't mean to break her! I thought she was stronger!"

Oh look, Astro Boy's here. Just in time! She runs over to him, trying to explain her case to him and her Leader and the others. "Toby! Louie disappeared into that house, and we heard screams. The human says she doesn't know anything about it. But I can see bodies hanging in all the trees, and blood on the branches, and," she points at the door with her bat, "blood drooling down the door and going into the house. That happened! All that stuff's true! I'm not crazy, I can see it, right now, like when I see the Elpis, but I stop seeing the blood and bodies when I blink."

Deep breath. "I think the house is killing, and she's part of the house. I think I'm seeing Elpis visions because I know all about monsters like that house. Like me. I've seen this before- buildings that eat people. You believe me, right?"

She basically never talks this much or this fast, and her corrupted lips and tongue are stumbling over her words. When language fails her, she closely studies the trees and the wind, trying to figure out whether there's something supernatural happening here or it's all in her head.

Intelligence+Survival to examine the trees and the trail and the cold wind. Is the weather just changing, or is something supernatural happening, like an imminent Firestorm? If this were a PbtA game, I'd be asking "What is about to happen?/What's really going on here?" 4 dice, +3 from willpower: 2 successes

If what we did to Mina counts as "you suffer a setback or put the throng at a disadvantage due to anger or cruelty," my Refinement condition Enraged grants a Beat.

Kellsterik fucked around with this message at Oct 28, 2016 around 04:58

Senior Scarybagels
Jan 6, 2011

nom nom


Grimey Drawer

Marx Your attempt to be inspiring has failed - no one seems to be paying attention to you. How does that make you feel? You do see however, that there is a heavy wind blowing through the house.

Talulah With one success in spirit hunting you see that this place has spirits in it, however you are unable to tell much more than that with the roll. The old woman calms down slightly, but instead of trusting you, she just lays there calmly. You can see now that the roof of the house has almost completely collapsed in on itself, the roof tinged with red.

Toby Everyone seems to be on edge, the woman on the ground seems the most pressing and at point - it seems that most are backing off of her after seeing that she can't do anything. If someone is in that much pain, do you think that their suffering should be ended?

Dolly The house's actions allude you, however, the door remains open and entering is certianly a possibility if you wish to do so.

Zona Oh boy, you know the black legs are not flux, its something you were taught by Texas Red that its a thing called necrosis - however this looks more akin to blackened skin due to frostbite with atrophied muscles. In other words she isn't going anywhere easily. The visions that danced in your head they weren't about an imminent firestorm, but maybe something bad is about to go down soon to the people. You may take a beat due to your condition.

Everyone
Episode 1 - Act III - Scene I (starting to do this now)

The sky is gloomy, a heavy overcast and drips of rain coming down from the sky. It is likely going to rain soon, and the sun is setting. You hear voices inside the house, nothing you cna make out, but the emotion you can easily tell - anger - or is it fear? It might be a mix of different negative emotions but either way it feels as if the house is about to attack you when it goes...silent. Completely silent and with the house going absolutely silent you see that the old lady is no longer breathing. With the silence comes a rainfall that has no sound as well. The cracking of light in the distance flashes a figure standing inside the house and the next flash the figure is gone. Arizona you can feel this sensation that screams in your mind. Flux - it is coming towards you right now, quickly. It thirsts, it desires, and wants to feed. You all turn to see three pandorans with fires burning in the distant town below.

With this everyone roll initiative, my next post will post you in order of who went first

Rather Watch Them
Mar 28, 2012

Don't worry loves! NEED A CAVALRY HERE!


Callous Dolly

"So houses... can eat people." She's looking too closely at the house to notice that the old woman appears to be dead.

Then she hears them. In their incoherent noise, the voices seem to urge her to enter, but still Dolly remains paralyzed. It's only when the silence hits that she starts to move with a sudden shiver. She waddles a tight circle to look from the outside of the clearing and inward. Yes, there's fire in the cold distance. "Uh...!" She looks at Zoey, and Lulu, and Totes, and Marx. "Go? Should we go?"

She takes a step toward the fire. "Should we go fix that? I think we should." Then she notices the Pandorans. She thinks about what she wants to say next, and doesn't say it. Instead, she finds an alternative. "Five against three, right?" It's better than trying to fight an Actual House. She does a quick cartwheel and hurries into the woods.

Initiative: 1d10+7 10

Dolly's action will be to hide in the woods without making much noise, taking care not to step on branches, etc. until an opportunity presents itself for counter-ambush.

Sneaking (Dex+Stealth): 6d10o10h8 3

Rather Watch Them fucked around with this message at Nov 18, 2016 around 01:42

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Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


Arizona Killer
WP: 4/5 | Pyros: 5/11 | Health: [][][][][][][][][][]
Beats: 2/5 | Vitriol: 0/5 | Conditions: Enraged (Refinement)


Dolly: "So houses... can eat people."

"It's a beautiful world," Arizona agrees. That is, if the silence doesn't extend to their voices.

Silence, stillness, stasis, not even the rain is making noise. Flux, heralded by three of its horsemen. Frogmen? Whatever, they're gonna be barbecue in a minute. She points Li'l Slugger at Toby: "You and me, powerhouse. Let's break some bones!"

She rubs the Azothic bat between her hands for good luck, or just to build up a charge, then holds it up to the stormy sky like a lightning rod. Electricity arcs along her skin and crackles in her tangled hair.

it's thursday nite in mom's basement and we're ROLLING INITIATIVE BABY: 1d10+4 9

I think Prometheans regain 1 Pyros the first time they hear thunder in a day, if that's on the horizon. Either way, spending 2 Pyros to charge Spark as a 2L weapon this scene.


Alive (sorta) with lightning, she cracks a grin at Talulah. "You need that fury now, boss?" Somewhere between taunting and camaraderie. It's better than nonverbal growling!

Then she swings the bat down and pitches a lightning bolt at the nearest Pandoran.

Special Beam Cannon [dex+ath+azoth]: 5d10h8 2, 4 Lethal damage

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