Background noise

For in-universe game play. Journey through both familiar and foreign settings, explore lost ruins and forgotten cities, and try to bring light to the darkness of the world... or, you know, blow stuff up. Either way.

Re: Background noise

Postby Drannin » November 5th, 2011, 1:20 pm

With a loud *BANG* the door flew open. Arsoro Kurou walked into the darkened room. Actually, 'staggered' would probably be a better description. Kurou looked exhausted and bedraggled, as if dragged through a forced march. Or forced on a wild goose chase by an idiot elf, he thought to himself viciously.

Bauti was the second to enter, and she looked just as bad off as Kurou, with one slight exception: the elf looked humbled, defeated. Like, say, the little humans figured out that she's nowhere near the brilliant, noble elf she wanted to come across as? Kurou thought nastily. He practically punched the illumination control, and about half of the lights came on, casting the room into shadow. "What... the... FUCK HAPPENED?!" he yelled, looking at Bauti in disgust.

Bauti glared back coldly. "Watch your tongue," she hissed, but there was a quaver in her voice, uncertainty. Big surprise, after... that. "I made a mistake, alright? An error-"

"An error becomes a mistake when you refuse to correct it. You must have figured out that something was wrong early on. We suspected. But you kept dragging us along, because you couldn't admit that YOU. SCREWED. UP."

Bauti snarled and stepped forward menacingly. "I was alive long before."

"Shut up," Kurou rasped. "I don't give a shit." Not after that. Not after what they'd seen. "I used to think elves deserved respect by default. Ancient species, all that rot. You got the benefit of the doubt from us. But face it, PEREGRINE," the title became a curse in his throat. "In the end, you're nothing more than a dim-witted thug who happened to be born elf. Good for killing, useless for anything remotely cognitive." Bauti twitched. Clearly it had taken a second for her to understand Kurou's insult, which only infuriated her further. Slowly, she reached for her weapons. GOOD, Kurou thought savagely. A perfect opportunity to get rid of this-

"Enough."

Haniko Goto entered the room.

Kurou and Bauti turned to face her, paling. It isn't right. The two of us are damned near broken after all that, but she looks... stronger. Actually, if anything, Goto had lost weight, her skin sagging on her face. There were streaks of grey in her hair that hadn't been there before. But her eyes... blazed. And she was smiling in a way that scared Kurou, a foreign emotion to him. Judging from Bauti's expresiion, she felt the same way.

"I'll admit that our main objective was nowhere to be found," Goto said in a quiet voice that somehow carried across the shadowy room, "But so what? What we DID find down there was... fascinating." Terrifying, she means. What they had found after staggering through the southern jungles... deep in the darkness... it was impossible. But real. And now...

"Now we know what's happening. Or at least we have an idea that something IS happening. And now, we may benefit from it in some way. Isn't it grand?" Goto's smile, cast in shadow never slipped. Her eyes almost glowed. And suddenly Kurou understood what had happened. We're hers. We belong to her now. Her possessions.

Goto hefted a long object, wrapped in oily skins. "And think of the prize we gained from all that." Kurou didn't want to. Bauti wouldn't even look at it. "Now, let's find out where our friends have gotten to, mm? Things just got interesting." She chuckled, and Kurou wished, neither for the first or last time, that the elf bitch had succeeded in killing him.

(OOC: There. They're back.)
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Re: Background noise

Postby Graybeard » November 5th, 2011, 6:21 pm

"Report," the scary man ordered, without preamble as usual.

"It did not go well," the agent spoke into the crystal ball. "Not well at all." He explained the encounter with the candidate. "I felt a need to get out of there immediately."

A pause at the other end, which could be a very scary thing indeed. Then: "Very well. I believe you did the right thing. This candidate is unsatisfactory, and from the sound of it, studying him further could have called most unwelcome attention to yourself."

If a crystal ball could transmit a sigh of relief, the entire system would have been flooded with the one the agent produced. "Thank you, sir. I took steps to make pursuit -- difficult. I think they will be sufficient." He didn't know about the picture yet.

"For your sake, I hope so."

Same observation about things not being transmitted over the ball, only this time, it would have been the sensation of pants being filled. "I -- I did everything I could, sir," the agent said. "Shall I go back under cover?"

"No," the scary man answered. "Another possibility has arisen -- a very interesting possibility." (Have I ever heard him raise his voice like that? the agent wondered.) "Continue on your present path. Arrangements will be made to bring you into contact with the new candidate. You will have to proceed with caution, though. The new candidate is traveling with a group -- a group that includes an elf."

"An elf?" the agent said, rather breaching protocol. "I thought we had decided to avoid elves at all costs. If we ran into one who was old enough to --"

"I am aware of the issues," the scary man interrupted, his voice frigid. "Do as you are told. You will receive more information on the candidate later. It may become necessary to dispose of this elf." Frighteningly, a laugh came across the crystal ball. "If I understand your people's religion and politics correctly, you may even find that ... strangely rewarding." The connection was broken.
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Re: Background noise

Postby Graybeard » November 6th, 2011, 1:21 pm

[OOC: The last installment in Sister Bree's diary. I'm going to jump the gun a little and post this now, before the party gets to the campsite beyond Umbertiel, in the expectation that Rose will be able to read it at the camp. If need be, a retcon will follow.]

There were only two more entries in the diary that Sister Rose could read by the combined light of the flickering fire, the light globes, and the moon. Curiously, one entry seemed to have been erased, physically rather than magically. What kind of entry might she have made that she felt it necessary to delete from a journal that no one except herself would ever read? (In principle, anyway.) Rose puzzled over that question as she read the last two entries, one before the erasure, one after.

18 June: Somebody in the Patriarch’s office is screwing around with our investigation. We were just getting ready to head south when Cardinal Crotchety came by to tell us there was a change of plans, and Gaetan wouldn’t be going. Instead I’m going to have to baby-sit some incredibly senior priest that the Patriarch’s office is insisting on inserting into the investigation. I mean that “baby-sit” literally – his name is Father Blaise and he’s supposed to be about 80 years old. (Confirming what we’d heard from Miguel and Ranulph, thought Rose.) I grit my teeth and agree, but I draw the line at cleaning up his drool and changing his diaper if he leaks. He’ll probably have conversational skills not quite on a par with Luci’s, too. Cosimo was apologetic, but he didn’t know why they’re pulling this on me. I wonder – is he along to make the investigation find a designated scapegoat rather than the truth? Might there be corruption somewhere in the Patriarch’s office that needs to be dug out? I need to find a way to document this so I can get another investigation going when I get back to civilization.

Then came the erasure. Whatever she’d written, it had been a long epistle, judging from the amount of empty space in the journal. Rose puzzled over it for a good while, trying to find any hint of what had been written there, but Bree had covered her tracks well. She resumed reading the last entry, dated the day the inquisitors arrived in Umbertiel [OOC: remember, calendar dates in this aren’t to be taken literally -- /OOC:].

20 June: I’m getting suspicious about this Father Blaise. All the way down to this benighted hole, he just said polite nothings whenever I tried to talk to him about the inquiry. He says it is a “highly sensitive” investigation (well, duh), that he has been briefed into everything, and he’ll handle all the questioning while I take notes and observe the subjects. Now how can that possibly work? He doesn’t know the Inquisitor’s tricks of the trade. In fact, I don’t even think he knows any neurostimulation magic, not that that matters because we were told to treat these people with kid gloves. I don’t understand that – if we can’t force their cooperation, why question them at all? (Rose’s blood ran cold at that last question; they’d found ways of getting cooperation from captives in the Albigenish Incident without resorting to torture – usually.)

But there’s more. There was one time on the road when I started to move his bags around so I could get to mine, and he got all pissy about it, said never, ever, ever to touch his belongings. I tried to ask him why, but he just repeated himself. What’s in his bags that he wants to keep from a trusted co-Inquisitor? (Rose stifled a guffaw – hadn’t Bree just provided evidence that she shouldn’t be trusted? Not that trusting someone in the Inquisitor’s office was ever a good idea, of course.) A little later, while he was off tending the call of nature, I cast a quick detection spell, and there’s something magical in his bags that shouldn’t be there. I couldn’t follow up before he got back, but something just doesn’t seem right.

Now that was interesting, Rose thought. From the looks of it, it was the use of detection magic that had caused Bree to “just stop” – that phrase was getting worrisome – in the cloisters. But she’d been able to use it on Blaise’s belongings on the road. (And I used detection magic when I got to the scene too … Luminosita’s Nethers, was I taking a terrible risk there?) Had there been something magical in Blaise’s kit that could be turned on and off … and when it was on, it caused instant death? She made a mental note to keep that possibility in mind when they caught up to Blaise, as she read the last paragraph that Bree wrote in her life.

You know, when we get back home, I think I’ll report some of this to Cardinal Crotchety. He’ll also want to know about the ----------- (What’s this? Another erasure? thought Rose. Why had Bree thought it so important to conceal some sensitive subject that nobody, to her knowledge, would ever read except herself?) Yes, wouldn’t that be interesting – start up an inquiry on Blaise himself! And on the people at the Patriarch’s office who jammed an obvious ringer down our throats. Who knows, that might even be enough to cause some regime change, so that better-grounded followers of Our Lord Luminosita can get back into power. “I’ll tell you one thing sure,” I tell Luci, “that old Patriarch Buzzan would never have stood for some of the crap that’s happening in the church now. They didn’t call him Patriarch Buzzard for nothing, from the way I hear it. And that’s what we need today, isn’t it?” But Luci just purrs and rubs against my leg. Well, tomorrow the interviews start … and we will also find out just what this Father Blaise is all about, if I can make it happen.

Rose felt a need to wash her hands as she handed the journal over to Argus. “Read these last two pages,” she said. “We’re not the only ones wondering about Father Blaise, it seems. Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a Hygiene spell that needs casting …” And if it could rinse out my mind of this woman’s venom, I’d be all the happier.
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Re: Background noise

Postby Alberich » November 13th, 2011, 12:23 am

[OOC: This is the continuation of the fog-split scene with Tim and Desiree in the "Road to Getsemiel" thread, here.]

The touch of Desiree's hand doubled Tim's heartbeat and strangled all speech from his throat. His body reacted in other ways too. He really ought to shake her off or something, but then, they were going back into the fog to look for Lillith, and it probably was the only way to stick together...

And you've caught her scent again, and it's sweeter than the honeysuckle, and her hand is warm and really very pleasant and you don't really want to think of other ways, do you? You'd like it if the hunt took all day, and you got lost in the fog, and you had to keep warm for the night...

His mind struggled for anything to say to end these thoughts as they passed into the fog. All he managed was WAAAAGH!!! as the ground opened up at their feet.

Tim and Desiree found themselves tumbling down a steep, clayey dirt slope. Steep but not sheer. Reacting as best he could, he got an arm around Desiree, drew the sturdy tool-knife from his left sleeve, and plunged it into the dirt, trying to slow their fall. It didn't work perfectly but they did slow a bit.

His inner critical voice hadn't time to scold him for his choice of tactics. When they tumbled to the pit's dirt floor, their senses were swamped and not by each other.

The first thing that struck them was a smell, musky and monstrous. It brought to mind a thousand animals, fish, farm, and fowl, rutting at once; not in gentle pleasure, but unstoppable, mindless drive. (And how did she get that from a smell?) Looking up she saw the pit was small, not fifteen yards across. A large, grunting monster growled and squealed at their advent. "I smell your lust! NOW YOU FEED MINE!"

In a moment Tim was on his feet, between her and it, his sword out. (His tool-knife stayed stuck in the dirt behind her.) That gave her a moment to see what they faced.

A scuffed, dirty brown it was, a good eight feet high, with a wrinkled hide like a rhino's. (Whether or not she knew what a rhino was, its hide looked like one's.) The head was boarlike with tusks, and darker than the body, the eyes red with pure lust. The look it'd given her was decidedly disturbing, and now that he was closer, Tim was getting that same look. Two huge arms hung from the shoulders, the fingertips clawed, the skin as tough as anywhere. A third arm grew from halfway down the body, and its hand supported the monster's male member, rampant and swollen with lust and malice.

That thing seemed as thick-hided as the rest of the monster's body, and parts of it had a sheen like horn or bone - it wasn't soft or vulnerable like a man's. It was a weapon, not a love-tool. It was also far too large for anything near human- or elf-sized. To Desiree's practiced eye, this was quite clear: Neither she nor Timothy could survive a couching by this creature, not even if it chose to be gentle. Which it gave no signs of being.

It stepped back to avoid a swing of Tim's, then made a grab for his blade that almost captured it. A huge arm swooshed through the air - Tim ducked and fell to a knee to avoid, and then he was back up, swinging to make it step back. There was no way he was going to beat this thing. He might get lucky and wound it a little, but he was out of his league, and once it got his hands on him, he'd find out all about Exitalis without any more annoying questions.

Maybe Lillith should be here to tell him that it was all part of the Great Cycle of Life, and we all have to go sometime, so he should face his fate like a man. But if this creature had its way, and it seemed determined to "have its way" with him, "like a man" was not the way he'd go...

Several points were clear to Desiree:

(1) Tim didn't have long. There was no hope of help, no sign of their companions, no guarantee that anyone could reach them in time to join in the fight. And fighting wasn't her forte.

(2) Based on the way it'd looked at each of them, it didn't seem to care which of them it raped. Tim just happened to be closer. Getting near it herself would be foolish and possibly fatal.

(3) There was no question of her "taking one for the team," even if heroic self-sacrifice had been her metier. No one her size could survive that thing, not even with a dozen healers pouring in all their power.

(4) The wall they'd tumbled down wasn't that steep or hard. With the tool at hand, or even without it, Desiree could use her preferred battle tactic and surely succeed. This would save her, but would abandon Brother Tim to a Fate Worse Than Death, followed immediately by a Fate Indistinguishable From Death.

(5) Things were definitely looking bad. Yet for all its strength, the monster was male, horny, and stupid. [OOC: But I repeat myself.] Was there nothing to be done?

[OOC: What's this? Timorous Tim becomes Vlad the Impalee? The Buggery Boys Meet the Monsters? Looks like Lieutenant Tim needs a good noncom - but all he's got is a good non-combatant! Look out, Desiree! It could be sodomy and gomorrhey! Will she save his rear end, or her own? Tune in next post - same errant time - same errant channel!]
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Re: Background noise

Postby Drusia » November 13th, 2011, 11:02 am

"I smell your lust! NOW YOU FEED MINE!"

It stepped back to avoid a swing of Tim's, then made a grab for his blade that almost captured it. A huge arm swooshed through the air - Tim ducked and fell to a knee to avoid, and then he was back up, swinging to make it step back. There was no way he was going to beat this thing.


I stare up at the creature in abject terror. Somewhere in the back of my mind, dredged up from years of studying my mother's records and tales, I place the creature as an "Athach" - it's the tusks and third arm that are the identifying marks. My mother fought one once - they are the most vulnerable from behind, where the arms can't reach. Of course, since neither of us have the ability to gate the way my mother does, that information is moot.

I should run. Brother Tim isn't really one of us - we don't even know if we can trust him. He's just some Luminosa priest. He put himself between me and it - if he thinks he can fight that thing, I should let him try. It was his choice. I should run. Now.

... I don't.

Damn it.

I close my eyes and open myself to the goddess. I make myself a vessel for her light. I am terrified, but that's actually helpful - it's easier to put myself in her hands, when I know that there's every chance I'll be sent to her soon.

I feel her strength fill me. I feel her power on my tongue, pushing against my teeth. I open my eyes.

I slip out of my dress, standing nude, my arms outstretched.

"STOP!" I shout. The words leap from my tongue, and I feel my skin warm as a white glow surounds me. I am her vessel and her beauty shines through me.

Brother Tim and the Athach both stop - they both turn to look at me. For a handful of seconds, neither of them moves. I focus my attention on the creature, summoning up as much power as I can muster.

"ON YOUR KNEES!" I demand. The Athach drops to its knees, its eyes held by mine.

I swallow, pushing the power of the goddess back, away from my tongue. It flows from my body, making my skin shine, making it impossible to look away. With my tongue free, without turning my head, I speak to Brother Tim.

"I can't move or break eye contact," I tell him softly, "So... if you plan on getting us both out of here, you're going to have to carry me."

-- Desiree
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Re: Background noise

Postby Alberich » November 13th, 2011, 8:34 pm

Tim turned to see Desiree, naked, glowing, transfixing the monster. His first thought: squeeeeee!!!! But there was no time to think it. He sheathed his sword and seized up the robe she'd dropped. At first he was going to wrap it around her, but her, ah, nakidity must be part of the magic. This wasn't the time to be delicate or think. There was danger and she'd taken charge to save their lives. For now, he was muscle. He went to work.

Going in low, he wrapped his arms around her waist, lifted her, and laid her as gently as he could on the dirt slope while keeping an arm around her. He grabbed his large knife with one hand - the handle fit well, as it should; he'd carved it himself - and used it for purchase, scrambling with his legs and hauling her with the other arm. His dragging gave her many scrapes and abrasions - he hadn't been clever enough to lay the robe below her - but as both were skilled healers the hurts wouldn't last.

Because she'd conquered her urge to panic, and found a still place to invoke her magic, she was able to remember more as Tim made the climb. These Athaches were not part of the natural order protected by the Goddess, and though they were very hard to kill, they did not last long in this world. When one of them came, it stayed until it...came. It vanished once its lust was sated. In fact, there may've been only one in existence, coming back at times and for reasons no one knew.

(Come to that, hadn't someone suggested that the Athach didn't exist at all? That it was just an allegory about the ways of men, based on a bad joke about a "third arm"? Well, whoever she was, she was wrong. It made more sense than that elephant creature that was supposed to roam the Southern Continent.)

This Athach was going to have a hard time getting out of the pit - it looked pretty heavy and the walls would give way as it tried to climb. Whatever creature met it next was going to be unlucky, unless it was very large indeed, but Tim and Desiree should be able to escape.

Tim was strong and agile both, but he was sweaty and dirty as he struggled with Desiree up to the top. Now she could stand up to keep the kneeling Athach transfixed. Tim let go, too slowly to be efficient, and rolled away from her once. But he didn't hide his eyes - instead he got to one knee, looking at her and looking to her for direction. Something still gave him a slight stammer. "Www...What now?" He was ready to act, and do his part.
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Re: Background noise

Postby Drusia » November 15th, 2011, 12:38 am

"Www...What now?" He was ready to act, and do his part.

I blink. Below, the Athach roars.

"We run!" I yelp. I grab his hand and tug him after me. I don't know where we're going, but so long as it's away from here, I'll keep running.

-- Desiree
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Re: Background noise

Postby Alberich » November 15th, 2011, 8:11 am

He didn't stop to argue - he kept her robe around his neck, took her hand, and ran along. He kept his eyes to the ground in these trackless woods, for fear of roots and snakes. The noise of the beast soon vanished but they ran on a little further. As soon as we stop, thought Tim, I can return her robe to her, and who knows? She might talk to me a little. That would be good - she was fear and desire and much more, but she'd just saved his life when she could've let him die.

She started to slow their run, and they broke out of the mist into a clearing with a large pale mushroom.

Brad was there, his face tear-stained. Eli was there, looking worried. Tim now was there, still quite dirty and sweaty from his recent endeavors. Desiree, she was looking clean and fresh, at least from the front, and stark naked.

[OOC: By Jack's request, here we all are.]
Last edited by Alberich on November 15th, 2011, 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Background noise

Postby Jack Rothwell » November 15th, 2011, 9:01 am

For a moment Eli didn't say a word. His eyes drank in the scene before him. The priest who'd been rubbing him the wrong way since the moment they'd met standing side by side with his lover. Desiree was naked as the day she was born and, even worse, looking red-cheeked and flustered. The half-elf's teeth gritted, his hand went to the sword hanging off his belt by its own violation. His eyes blazed.

"You... you... what..."

And then his blade was out, sunlight glinting off it's sharp edge. His feet began marching towards the Brother independently of their owner.
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Re: Background noise

Postby Alberich » November 15th, 2011, 11:55 am

Tim's dirty face was wide-eyed, but you didn't stop to think when someone was coming at you like that. With two steps he got between Eli and Desiree as he drew his own blade and took a defensive stance, thinking how to counter if the other attacked in a rage.

His eyes narrowed, as own anger rose at this imperious elf, this would-be master of Veracian "peasants." Yet his human blood must run stronger than Desiree's - his temperament did not run to this "casual" love of hers.

Tim had to focus on his approaching enemy - there was no time to look to see how Brad was reacting, or if he was even still there.

[OOC: Leaving Brad to Graybeard here.]
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