Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

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: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Alberich » November 25th, 2017, 9:48 am

As the hours passed and the five companion picked their way through the trees, the night-sounds grew softer and more distant, and their way was descending. It was easy to think back on familiar things...not just to hum the "Old Peculiar" tune, but to think back to your first pint, and the first time you heard the song...or the first time you tramped through the herb garden, finding ingredients for a Natural Products Chemistry demonstration...or the first time you ambushed Khoo outdoors, and how he blushed...or the first girl who walked by you and touched your arm like this, no matter if she was only teasing. (At least here, no one was chanting about how "Udo's-got-a-girl-friend! Udo's-got-a-girl-friend...)

The foliage was thick above but their magelight gave them all they needed. And it wasn't far past midnight when far ahead they saw what looked like a break...where the trees were thinner and bright moonlight streamed in. And there was some kind of black bulk ahead. At a signal from Jade they doused their light spells and crept up closer, Udo taking point alone for now, Fumiko in the middle. Even in the darkness, or perhaps especially in the darkness, the woods themselves had a familiar feel here. Like the trees around your childhood home, or the smithy where you first learned your trade, or the gardens of Tsuirakushiti...

THUNK!!!!

...or that jungle path on the Southern Continent where Gabriel's men were trying to shoot you down like a dog. Udo hit the ground before a large ash tree, where a thorn the size of a crossbow bolt had buried itself. The others took cover too, then peered out to see the lie of the land.

The building was large and entirely dark, a hundred yards wide and two stories high. Details were impossible to see in this light, except for faint light from several open doors along the wall. If the adventurers could make it to those doors, they'd be inside.

Before that building lay an open field, a hundred yards wide and a hundred yards deep. To either side (and all around the other sides of the building) grew thorny, impenetrable hedges with a distinctly scary feel.

Only a few scattered trees grew there, and among their branches were a few twitchy movements, as of entangling vines ready to strangle the unwary. Several very large mushrooms also grew around the field, no doubt with surprises of their own, and here and there some huge, midnight-black flowers. Behind the treeline, closest to the building, Udo saw further movements...and there. There was a large shape, a swollen bulb atop a moving stalk, and that was what had fired the thorn at him. Carefully aiming his staff from the prone position, he fired a mighty bolt, Thoooomm!....

....and it did not strike home at all. It must've flown at least halfway, but then it came in range of a black flower, which diverted the bolt right into itself. The flower glowed a ghostly green as it absorbed the bolt's power completely. And then, twenty yards ahead of it, to Udo's disgust, another flower of the same kind emerged from the earth in a green glow, and in moments was in place, a further sentinel against magic strikes. So it seemed he'd made the enemy stronger! He crawled carefully back to his companions to confer.

It was plain they couldn't just "bubble up" and run through the field. If those flowers could absorb mana from force bolts, they could probably absorb shields, and the adventurers would be left vulnerable to those thorns. Long-range magic attacks had the same problem--once the flowers got hold of the magic, the enemy got stronger, not weaker. Levitating above it all didn't seem wise either--up in the moonlit sky, with no protective foliage, Khoo would be vulnerable to thorn-shots, and who knew what else? Over the whole lay the feel of the strange necromancy that had animated the Laughing Dead. Presumably, then, these plants were of the half-dead kind they'd faced before...herbicides such as Khoo had employed before might retard them in a sudden, unnatural growth, but would not kill them outright.

There could be no question that this was the lair of their mad opponent, or that Jade's sword lay inside, or the answers to many questions. They just had to get in. But how?

* * *

Within, the Harvester of the Dead of Eschderte sat before an antique scrying pool, prepared to direct his defenses. They weren't mobile, most of them, but if the meddlesome youth intruders gave him more power, he could surely choose what to grow and where. And if they dithered too long he could draw on his reserves to strengthen the field further, and punish them for their indecisive irresolute weak hesitating. Honest initiates into the Secrets came by other ways with long observation. If these wanted to force their way in by assault, they would have to prove worthy. As none had done in a lifetime.
Last edited by Alberich on December 1st, 2017, 9:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Jack Rothwell » November 25th, 2017, 12:37 pm

THUNK!!!!

"Shit-fire!"

Jade had thrown herself flat into the cover of a fallen log at the initial thorn shot, quietly marvelling at the ingenuity of her quarry before Udo's ill-advised spell had broken her concentration and informed the party of the ineffectual nature of magic attacks (or at least force bolts). She cursed internally and set her mind to a solution of the deadly flowers. She turned the problem over in her mind, as her father used to tell her to do before acting on a complex issue. A light went on.

"I don't suppose anyone has any high proof liquor on them?" She queried, pulling out a book of matches. "If regular magic doesn't work maybe plain old fire can do the job, but first..."

Jade raised out of cover long enough to snap off a shot at the magically imbued foliage. It was better to cover all bases first.
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Alberich » November 25th, 2017, 1:18 pm

Fifty yards was (and is) very long range for a pistol, especially in low light. But Jade could get up closer by crawling and using the terrain. And since nothing had a clear shot at her, she had time to line up her shot. Crack! She severed a black flower at the stem. She apprehended that, like the semi-dead vines she'd shot off of Udo's staff, it would wither into true deadness soon after it was cut off from the earth.

With her mask off for clear sight and a little concentration, she could see there were about a dozen of the black flowers scattered around the battlefield. And their range wasn't infinite, either--Udo's bolt had flown true until it got within twenty or thirty yards of one. Jade might well be able to clear them a path, if that was in her mind.

That was a good thing under the circumstances--Anna-Lisa might have room for a full liquor cabinet, or for that matter a full liquor store, in her state-of-the-art Pocket Dimension, but the same magical effects that were cutting off her crystal ball signals rendered it inaccessible around here. And Udo had been living hand-to-mouth, and taking his drinks bottle-to-mouth, since hitting Ester. The adventure could continue; the bacchanal would have to wait.
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Graybeard » November 25th, 2017, 6:56 pm

Khoo and Anna-Lisa hunkered down momentarily for a quiet conversation. (Fumiko simply whimpered, "I want to go HOOOOMMME!" over and over.) Remarkably, it was Anna-Lisa who got the idea first... and they started to live the old meme about "hunting in pairs."

"There's something better than fire. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" she muttered to Khoo.

"I think so. That Thaumatic Emergency Response class we both took?" And by the Sea God's Great Green Gills, I'm glad she thought of that now, rather than back in -- our -- apartment when she was trying to artificially age her faux dwarven construct.

"Right." There'd been a demonstration at that class that seemed, to put it mildly, apropos to the current situation. It was going to take two people to do it right, with the right skills ... but they had the right skills.

Khoo opened his pack and produced a large glass bottle (Anna-Lisa would have a much larger one in her mega-Pocket Dimension, but that was unavailable; fortunately, it shouldn't be necessary); for "specimen collection," Masaki had said back when their mission had looked sane, but it was going to be used for something better now. Anna-Lisa took it without a word and gave it a mighty whack against a log, and it splintered into a thousand pieces, which was the whole idea. Meanwhile, Khoo was powering up the most potent Wind Sprite he'd ever cast in his life.

The next step was the tricky one. Anna-Lisa's magical forte was fire magic, rather than water magic. However, to understand a thing, one must understand its opposite. Her skills with water magic weren't at the arch-mage level, but they'd be good enough. Hopefully.

All was in readiness, and she cast a Cloudburst in front of her, just as Khoo scooped up as many glass fragments as he could without hamburgerizing his hands. (He'd have a few cuts, and Anna-Lisa would have to cast some Heals on those, but she was surprisingly good with Healing Magic.) He tossed these into the air and resumed control of the Wind Sprite, with the Cloudburst in between them.

It worked. An extremely high-pressure, high-velocity jet of water, full of abrasives, streaked out, powered by the Wind Sprite, and smashed into the enemy lair with an oddly gentle tinkling sound. It would cut through that wall, and any flesh immediately beyond it, like tissue paper ... for better or for worse. And the best thing was: the cutting agent was entirely non-magical. That had been the whole point of that session of the class: defeating magical booby traps.

They waited with bated breath to see what lay beyond the wall.

[OOC: If you've never seen an abrasive water jet cutter in action, they are, as Anna-Lisa would and will say, awesome. You make freaking sure you're not in the path of the thing. A version is quite useful in emergency response, e,g. for opening up crumpled car doors after an accident to extract the protoplasm inside the car ... but you use it carefully.]
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Alberich » November 25th, 2017, 8:03 pm

[OOC: I see YouTube has got an entire waterjet channel so you can see these waterjets cutting all kinds of tough stuff (note: the animals being cut are dead already; though I think Anna-Lisa would especially appreciate the dissection of a super-soaker flamethrower). Each video shows the stream starting an inch or two away...not over a hundred yards...which leads me to doubt the jet would have the same kind of cutting power at such a great distance.

The Jet d'eau in Geneva ...which has a four inch nozzle to control it...is working against gravity and only reaches 150 yards, at which point it's lost all force...from the shape of it you can see that it disperses pretty seriously over that distance. And that's with a beginning speed of 120 MPH, comparable to a Category 3 hurricane wind speed...presumably a large multiple would be needed to not only reach but cut stone at that distance. From this overview of waterjets I see that cutting waterjets have water moving at 600 mph ...over three times faster than the windspeed for the worst cat-5 hurricanes on record, and over 1 1/2 times faster than the worst Fujita 6 "inconceivable" tornadoes. It says "The distance between the end of the waterjet nozzle and the material is typically very small"...listing this as a safety feature as compared with lasers... Presumably Khoo would need a lot more speed to get the same effect at over 100 yards.

It's for you to say if Khoo has that kind of power in these wind sprites...it seems extreme to me.

When I googled "dispersion of a waterjet" I hit a paywalled article that discussed "dispersion at various distances from the nozzle" that would probably clarify how fast they lose power over distance...plus others talking about the parameters of nozzle design, though of course the adventurers here don't have a nozzle, or a shop to have Jade make them one. Also, given that the wall is 100 yards long and two stories high, I'm inclined to think it would take more than one glass specimen jar to create enough abrasive to cut much of it, not to mention quite a long time.

Naturally, if they were up right next to the wall they could just walk through the open doors they have already seen there...but there's a 100-yard-wide, 100-yard-deep field of hostile plants between them and the wall right now. They can't send the sprite itself out there, at least not until Jade picks off more flowers--hmph, other girls are content to just pick flowers--because any "magic in the air" that gets within 20-30 yards of the black flowers will be absorbed. What do you think?

Suggest we halt all action 'til this is sorted out.]
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Graybeard » November 26th, 2017, 12:06 am

OOC: It can work however it needs to work. However, three points. First, I advise being a little cautious about extrapolating from the way technology works in the real world, to the way magic-enhanced stuff works in the Errant World. I have no idea what the range of a thaumatic water cannon could be in this world, but it needn't be constrained at all by real-world physics -- and remember that Anna-Lisa has battlemage-level proficiency with fireballs and such things, which as Khoo has "explained" means she knows something about the opposite kind of magic as well. We've gracefully swallowed far more extreme deviations from real-world counterparts of things, as has Poe.

Second, and somewhat contrary to the above -- catgirl alert here -- the propulsive power of the Wind Sprite can presumably extend some distance beyond where the spell was cast, even without the Wind Sprite being present, if it's powerful enough to start with. Consider firearms. The "magic" to get a bullet moving at supersonic speeds all happens in a very small volume and extremely short time: the burning of the propellant. The propulsive power, however, continues for quite a while (relatively speaking) after that because of expansion of the hot gases the "magic" created. So also here. The big issue would be whether the jet loses coherence, and I could show you some images (unclassified) from my old job, if I still worked there, that demonstrate that it can stay coherent under some conditions for quite a distance even without confinement. I don't think that's a show-stopper in this setting.

Finally, and my main point: this is all supposed to be fun. It is also supposed to be interactive rather than narrative. Curve balls abound and are part of the fun. I think the wall should clearly be penetrable by this spellcraft -- but that doesn't mean that what's beyond can't be the bad guy's outhouse, or his supply of hooch, or a mega-mushroom that launches the roof into orbit. (Or what's behind the wall could be the bad guy; the couple are hoping for that, of course, but it needn't be so.) All of these things could happen; pick one and run with it. But please keep the fun and interactive nature of the setting in mind when doing so.
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Alberich » November 26th, 2017, 7:29 am

[OOC: PM sent to Graybeard.]

[OOC2: Amicable solution close at hand, I think, but I'm out 'til Tuesday morning.]
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Graybeard » November 27th, 2017, 11:39 pm

[OOC: PMs continuing, but there seems to be some confusion as to what just happened. The following is an attempt to clarify that.]

Spots swam in front of Khoo's eyes, and his heart was pounding; first time he'd used that much high-level magic at one time since his M.Thm. orals. "Hard work!" he panted to Anna-Lisa. Easy to <puff> tire yourself out doing <puff> things like that. The rescue <puff> mages must be a lot fitter than I am."

She seemed to be feeling the same way, judging from her breathing. "Yeah, I'm pretty tapped out." Tapped out or not, she got that smile again. "I think we should probably take a quick nap ... together." She started teeing up, despite her exhaustion, the beginnings of what he'd come to recognize as a Contraception spell.

Khoo really wanted to go along with this idea, even though this was neither the time nor the place for what she had in mind as a sleep aid. First, though, he wanted to check out their handiwork. "Wait one," he said, and poked his head above the log they were using as a shield.

Yes, the results were more or less as hoped. There was a ragged, man- (or at least Jade-) sized hole in the wall of the building across the clearing. That should provide, if not wholesale structural damage, at least a big enough opening [OOC: I started to type "hopening," which would fit ...] for the sword swingers to get in and dispatch the bad guy, while he, Anna-Lisa, and the odd girl crouched in their concealment to provide thaumatic support -- or catch forty winks, as applicable.

His satisfied reveries were interrupted by a loud GRUNT! coming from selfsame hole ...

,,, And it was only then that it dawned on him that not only would the forced entry provide a way for Jade and Udo to get into the building; it would also provide a way for whatever was inside the building to get out.

More ominous noises emanated from the hole, and suddenly he wasn't so exhausted any more.
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Alberich » November 28th, 2017, 10:12 pm

A dim flickering light, as of old-style oil lamps, shone from within that hole, and an pile of kegs appeared to have been smashed. The loud grunt turned into articulate and very loud cursing. Whoever owned that voice may've been human, but if so, he could try for a career as a troll impersonator. After a few pungent scraps of local vocabulary, he screamed in rage:

"If you make Initiate, YOU'RE ON CLEAN-UP YOUR WHOLE FIRST YEAR, you vandalous bastards!!!! D'YOU HEAR ME???" -- the threat was cut off sharply. (And any efforts to converse further with him would fail...at least while the adventurers stayed outside the building. It was as if he'd been suddenly been ordered to shut his mouth and keep it shut. Which, in fact, was precisely what had happened.)

Whoever he was, he didn't show his face or emerge from the new hole. Maybe that resulted from a proper fear of anything that could issue a blast like that...in which case he would obviously need to get some more stone walls between himself and the outside. Or maybe he understood that between him and the five adventurers lay a hundred-yard field of very hostile semi-undead plants, which may not have been properly instructed to distinguish between one live animal and another. If there were breathers on the lawn, perchance they didn't want breathers on the lawn...

* * *

As Anna-Lisa started to confer "battle honors" on Khoo in the wake of this blow, Udo cut in. "No, no, I keep telling you, that's for after the battle! But then...ah ha ha!" As if struck by a sudden thought, he crept back to where Fumiko was panicking to see if he could calm her down or at least quiet her down. The paymistress seemed to be doing fine on her own for the moment.

* * *

Meantime, Jade was still in a position to pick off further black anti-magic flowers if she wished to do so. (Assuming, that is, that things remained quiet so as not to spoil her aim...) Khoo's blast had been uniquely immune to such things, but she didn't think her allies' other magic would be. And Udo might be wanting some orders soon, before he started forgetting his own advice.
Last edited by Alberich on November 30th, 2017, 10:27 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Farrel- Vengeance in the Mushrooms Woods

Postby Jack Rothwell » November 29th, 2017, 2:17 pm

OOC I'll get something in tomorrow. Sorry, been swamped again. /OOC

OOC Edit: Make that Friday. Things are crazy right now. /OOC
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