Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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.
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Jack Rothwell
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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The location of the nest was still some way away, but the newest addition to the group had insisted on taking the lead as 'A proud Ghob warrior should'. Riiki had drawn the short straw in accompanying him. It was clear conversation wasn't either of their strong points.

"Ghob strong! Mightiest warriors on Southern Continent! Clear cave out in a jiffy!"

"Kobolds strong too." Riiki replied, showing his rapier wit. "I'm best at Dropla riding. Savage Dropla are far more fearsome than chittering chittoricks!"

"Kobold's soft. Play in the sun. Do funny dances."

"And Ghob huddle in caves like gah."

And so on. Alleece, on the other hand, and ever the matchmaker, had accosted Oolan with a particular subject in mind.

"<Soooo... what to you think of the big guy?>"

Oolan, predictably, blushed scarlet at the inquiry. The girl was shy by kobold standards, but 'shy by kobold standards' was pretty forthright by anyone elses.

"<He's really handsome.>" She grinned a needle-like smile. "<So heroic, you saw how he rescued me from those thugs.>"

"<I'm pretty sure that was Rip, Oolan.>"

"<But the way he carried me...>" She sighed. "<Killikah males are so brutish. Why can't they be more dashing like Shorty?>"

"<I heard that.>" Growled T'ska.

Tamina, for her part, had lapsed into silence again.

OOC Getting to the cave on the next post unless you want to spin out the conversation or add an event./OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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[OOC: Just wanted to stick this one thing in before we get to the cave ...]

Rip's position at the back of the line with Shorty had two advantages. First and foremost, it meant that he'd be away from whatever combat erupted at the front of the line. (Of course, he was well aware that there were predators out there that would pick off stragglers at the rear, but that was why he kept a careful one half step ahead of his large crewmate.) Second, it gave him a little more time to work on creating the bug killer, or more accurately, to remember how to do it.

There really wasn't that much to it, actually. Mechanical mashing of the daisies in water got a large fraction of the way there, and repeated applications of an Amplification spell would both increase the potency of the brew, and make sure that there was a useful volume of the stuff. A few other little magical embellishments, and it was ready for the piece de resistance.

He pulled out the liquor bottle that the ghob had contributed to the process and handed it to Shorty. "Here. Drink this as I cast this one last spell. Chug it, whole thing at once."

Shorty looked puzzled. "But I don't --"

"Yes, you do," Rip cut him off. "Just do it. NOW." I really hope the ghob is watching ... and listening.

Still looking puzzled, Shorty did as he was told ... unaware that Rip's Amplification spell had worked on the contents of that bottle as well as on the sprayer.

Only seconds later, Shorty's face turned bright red, including the whites of his eyes. There probably wasn't smoke or steam pouring from his ears, but there might have been. He started panting, shifting from one foot to the other, and then that too was amplified, into what might have been a war dance conducted by a Gornch lizard if it had been bipedal. (Rip fancied he could feel the ground shaking, but he wasn't sure, so he surreptitiously cast a Minor Earthquake just to be on the safe side.) This went on for several minutes, during which it would have been impossible for the ghob, or any sentient being within a hundred yards, not to notice what was happening. Finally, Shorty emitted a thunderous belch, one that might have been heard all the way back in the Killikah home village, if not Emerylon.

Rip nodded in satisfaction as Shorty deflated. "I think it's ready ..."
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Jack Rothwell
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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OOC Hey man, just to let you know I'll be out of commission for a few days. Been carpet bombed by migraines and my brain feels like scrambled egg. :( /OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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OOC: No problem. On to the cave, whenever you're ready to take us there! Hope you feel better ....
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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OOC Well, my brain finally stopped attacking me so onwards with the story.../OOC

It was quiet. That was always a bad sign.

The trail the group had taken from what passed for a main road had been easy to follow; Rip and Shorty didn't have to be jungle experts to notice the broken branches and shredded foliage which made a tunnel like swathe towards the entrance of their quarries home. The ground was pock-marked by deep indentations as if someone had been jabbing spears into the earth for Gods-knew-what reason. Their ghob companion held up a hand for the group to halt as they reached the clearing.

As if they needed to be told.

A few moments of tense silence passed where Tamina fancied she could hear the sweat breaking out on her skin before she became aware of something just on the edge of hearing. A faint clanking noise, like someone thumping rocks together. Or a pair of oversized mandibles.

The cave entrance was a stark contrast to the one of the ghob settlement. Beyond the first twenty yards it was nothing but darkness.

"Gonna be a maze in there." She breathed. "Stick together. Whatever happens don't run off." She turned to her human companions. "Hope you can keep your light low, and umm...." She looked doubtfully at Shorty. "Try to tread lightly. Chittoricks are sensitive to vibration."
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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[OOC: Just volleying this one back to you, although Shorty has a point ...]

Shorty wasn't offended by Tamina's warning; he was just puzzled. "But, but -- if we make lots of vibrations out here at the entrance, isn't that a good thing? Won't we be able to just mow 'em down as they come out to investigate?"

Rip was dubious, but he paused in his preparations for a Sensory Enhancement spell, which he thought might be useful in low-light conditions, until he could hear Tamina's response. Honestly, giving the "don't run off" instructions to kobolds seemed to him like the legendary, probably mythical Archmage Canutiel ordering back the waves.
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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Tamina nodded.

"Just forgot to mention it before. Don't want them sneaking up on us when we have to go in there."

"The Matriarch is the real goal." Alleece added. "If we can kill her and cut her off from the rest of the nest." She mimed a pair of antenna. "Then they'll tear themselves apart."

"And Matriarchs are always deep underground unless Ralkin cabra tals are summoning them." Tamina said. "K then. If we can draw the scouts out it'll make things easier."

"Already easy!" Bashiir yelled. "I see mighty victory in future!"

Tamina's sharp look did nothing to quieten the enthusiastic ghob down. But by then it was already too late. The group heard a chittering noise rapidly rising from inside the cave. A moment later they came into view.

To call chittoricks ugly would be inaccurate. They were no more repulsive than oversized beetles but their size gave them an alien quality that was unnerving. The trio that emerged paused and swayed as if drawing a bead on the source of the sound. There were no looks exchanged between the creatures, giving the impression they wre all one loosely connected creature casting around with many pairs to find it's target. Which Tamina was sure they were. She whispered from her hiding place to Rip.

"Looks like it's time for your magic mojo."

OOC Feel free to mess these bugs up to your heart's content./OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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Rip blinked at the spectacle for a second; these things were ... a lot bigger than the giant cockroaches. What he hadn't told the kobolds was that the picture with Shorty was staged, with some perspective and some magic. The actual bugs weren't nearly big enough for Shorty to ride, maybe more the size of a medium to large dog. To be sure, for cockroaches, that qualified as "giant," and they weren't suitable for being squashed like an ordinary bug. But they weren't chittoricks.

Well, nothing to do but what could be done. He opened the Pocket Dimension and wrestled the sprayer, now full of bug killer and heavy, out of it. "Here," he said, handing it to a dubious-looking Shorty. "You're stronger than I am, can squirt the stuff farther." Shorty, still looking dubious, shrugged his mighty shoulders and fired a stream at the things in front of him.

The effect was drastic and immediate. All three chittoricks stopped in their tracks and began to twitch. The twitches rapidly became convulsions, and the convulsions became death spasms. It was only a matter of seconds, two minutes at most, before they lay dead. That was the good news. The bad news ...

"PYAH!" Shorty said, his usual soft voice raised a few decibels. "Those things STINK!"

It was true, something stank. "Er, that's the spray," Rip pointed out mildly. "One little thing I forgot ... that stuff smells awful, and in a confined space, it's going to be hard to take. Not a bad thing, actually, the stench will get intolerable before it reaches concentrations where we start hallucinating. Wait a sec, I'll try something."

He started rummaging in his Pocket Dimension for something to make, for lack of a better term, gas masks out of. Thus distracted, he didn't notice one little detail.

The stench may have been enough to warn humans and kobolds that gas concentrations were getting dangerously high. Ghob, however ...
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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...seemed completely oblivious to the stench drawing gags from the others.

"Why you cough?" He said. "Fresh as goomba fruit out here!"

"I guess if you live like sardines with a species who have no concept of personal hygiene you must build up a tolerance to that kind of stuff." Alleece supplied, backing away with a paw over her mouth. "I can supply some strips of cloth if that'll help."

Not that their was much to spare. After all, kobolds tended to dress on the breezy side.

"Better move away from there Bashiir" Tamina cautioned. "Don't wanna see the little yellow pixies." Between two of her last visits to Port Lorrel the mage herself took a particularly dim view of hallucinogens

"See pixies all the time!" Bashiir said proudly. "Ghob strong tolerance for sacred flowers! Bug deaths give vigor!"

"Erm guys? There's more coming." T'ska interjected.

"3 down, 97 to go." Muttered Riiki
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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The next pair of chittoricks met the same fate as the first trio, and just as quickly. However, they got Rip thinking. "3 down, 97 to go." I think there's enough of this stuff left to get through most of these things ... but how are we going to take out the queen? I don't think it'll last that long, and from what I understand, she's the tough one.

He put that thought on the back burner for the moment as Alleece offered him a small bit of fabric. A quick casting of Mending magic, of which he was a virtuoso after his time on the airships (fixing things was his job, after all), and he handed a fresh mask back to Alleece. A brainstorm: he still had some bits of Shorty's parachute left in a pocket. With a little more magic, these could easily be converted into masks to fit everyone but Shorty himself, who naturally had a head the size of a pumpkin. The big man waved off the smaller mask he was offered. "Nah. I'll be okay. Smell never bothers me much either."

It might have occurred to Rip that the real issue wasn't the smell, it was the potential for hallucinations, and just because Shorty was immune to stench didn't mean he'd be immune to those. However, it didn't ... yet.
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