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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After a few more minutes and a few more dead bugs ("91 to go" Riiki had supplied helpfully) it was obvious the advance guard was exhausted. Tamina sighed as she consulted her internal bestiary.

"Won't be any more coming out now." She said. "Matriarch will know the soldiers are dead so she'll be telling them to change tactics which means..." She glanced upwards at the sun. It was a long way from the horizon. "She'll probably be signalling for her children to reposition inside the caves for an ambush or wait until nightfall to swarm us all at once."

"Chittoricks fight better at night. Nocturnal." Alleece continued. "I don't know about you, but 10 to 1 odds, magic gas or not, doesn't seem like a good idea."

"Which means we'll have to go in and keep our drits pricked up. They'll be several routes to follow so the chittoricks won't be to use their full force against us."

"Going in will be dangerous." Oolan was nervously wringing her tail.

"Yeah."

"If we don't kill or cut the matriarch off we'll get swarmed and die."

"Yeah."

"Even if we do that might happen anyway."

"Yeah."

"Got any other ideas?"

"Give up, go back to the Uran tribe, get turned into Kaalshiir, and I get made into Braccus'... err... con-cu-bine? Is that the right word?"

"Got any better ideas?"

"No. No I don't."
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Graybeard
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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[OOC: Short, putting my writing time today to use mainly in the other thread, where there will be much to say. Besides, I don't know whether the nasty guy's "rules" permit coming back tomorrow, which seems to the player as well as the character to be the only sensible thing to do. You're kinda driving this train, so ...]

Rip thought about the situation. "Hmmm ... this stuff is a contact poison. We can spray the passages we see, fill them with mist and let it collect on the walls. It'll keep the bugs out of those, maybe bottle them up a little, but then we won't have any spray left for fighting them when we get to the matriarch. We'll have to go make more bug juice, come back in the morning."

The prospect of spending the night outside, with droplas and lizards and crocs, oh my!, struck him as vastly preferable to spending the night in here, for sure ...
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Jack Rothwell
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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Tamina sighed and nodded. She didn't like the idea of returning to the village, she'd have more to perform some verbal acrobatics on Braccus for sure to beg for an extension, but after the devastating attack on her village by the Ralkin and their Black Guard she was loathe to risk any of her kin's lives unnecessary.

"Yeah. We do the tunnels at the entrance then head back. Too dangerous to spend the night out in the open."

"Ghob great hosts! Very trustworthy!" Bashiir leered. "No stealing or anything!"

Tamina gave the diminutive humanoid a look which suggested she trusted him about as far as she'd trust a hungry cobra with a mouse.

"Won't Braccus be pissed?" Alleece asked the question.

"Probably. Let's go."

OOC I'm having a real creative block tbh. Can't seem to muster the motivation to write. I'm thinking either someone gets captured during their scouting of the tunnels and they get forced to chase the chittorick in to save them, or further adventures that night in the Uran followed by jump cutting back to the tunnel in the morning. Thoughts? I'll try to add to this later, but I'm just forcing it atm./OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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[OOC: I kinda know what you mean. Well, when the action starts to drag, introduce a Wandering Monster(TM), so ...]

As the group moved back to the clearing in front of the cave entrance, their nostrils were assaulted by a very different stench from that of the bug spray. There were anxious looks from most of the party, but Rip was relieved; he'd smelled that particular stench many times before. "Hello, Thurston," he said, without looking to see exactly where his familiar was. "What brings you here? Aren't you supposed to be back helping with your egg-to-be?"

"RRAAAWWK," came an unmistakable voice from a treetop at the other side of the clearing. "Dorrie's mom is visiting for a week. She, uh, is takin' over the scene, if you know what I mean." Rip could see him now, perched on a branch, one that had another conveniently nearby for the cigar. If a parrot could be trembling in terror at the thought of its more-or-less mother-in-law, he was doing it.

"So what kind of trouble did you guys get yourselves into? I'm, uh, letting them have some, er, mother-daughter time for the week, so I thought I'd help you out. Felt like you needed it."

Several puzzled faces turned to Rip, who just nodded. "Familiars have a way of knowing when their boss needs them. I'd say present circumstances qualify ..." And then he got the beginnings of an idea. "That cigar ..."

[OOC: What's he thinking about the cigar? I don't know, but let's see what we can make of it. Or not; at the minimum, it (and Thurston) chould be a distraction while something else wanders into their camp site, wherever it is. Your call. One thing to think about: how would the chittoricks, or the Ghob, or even a wandering solider from the kobold city come to check on this crew, react to a grossly amplified odor of cigar? I'm thinking Rip's Amplification spell might have some other uses here ...]
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Jack Rothwell
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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OOC Hey bud. Just sent a message to say I'm going on hiatus for a while. I'm creatively dead atm./OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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[OOC: NO prob, good friend, it can wait; if there's anything I can do to help, say the word. Meanwhile, THIS should get your creative juices flowing ... Hadn't thought of it until you made the "creatively dead" observation, but there should certainly be ample opportunity for creativity from this!]

"It's simple Amplification magic," Rip enthused as Thurston flew down from his perch, cigar in hand beak. "Just let me amp up the cigar, then fire off a Gust of Wind." (Thurston looked horrified at that last sentence, remembering the last time Rip had cast that spell, but he clenched his teeth beak and let Rip continue.) "It'll blow the amplified cigar smoke back in there, nothing inside will want to do anything except be somewhere else."

"That includes me," Thurston squawked around the cigar.

"No sass," Rip chided him. "Let me have that thing." He took the cigar, cast some magic. The smoke got a factor of ten thicker, and a large factor more widespread. Next followed the Gust of Wind, cast just as he'd done it before. The concentrated glob of smoke (and ... wind) wafted into the cave entrance.

Rip felt smugly proud of himself. "Just give it five minutes or so, and nothing inside will --"

"SQUAAAWWWK!"

Suddenly, Rip realized he'd failed to take into account two things. One was the possibility that there were smaller entrances to the cave complex. Another was the possibility that one or more of the chittoricks might be out hunting. These two errors no came together with a bang.

The offended-parrot sound came, as one might expect, from an offended parrot, now clenched in the mandibles of a chittorick that had been hiding in the jungle, made it unnoticed into the group while they were dodging the smoke (and wind), and grabbed the most grabbable member of the party that it could see, which of course was Thurston. Before anyone could react (reflexes being dulled by the cigar stench, reasonably enough), it skittered through a small hole in the cliff face, still clutching Thurston, and disappeared.

Most of the group looked horrified at the loss of a member, but Rip looked more annoyed than anything else. "Not to worry," he tried to reassure his comrades. "Familiars are almost indestructible, it'd take both physical damage and a magical Dispel to do anything more than muss his feathers. And chittoricks aren't magical ... are they?" He started to look anxiously from one kobold to the next as the significance of that little uncertainty hit him.

[OOC: So there you are, per your earlier suggestion, one tailor-made kidnap victim ... but I bet it wasn't the one you were thinking of! :twisted: ]
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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Tamina had squeaked in horror at the sudden appearance of the insectoid horror. She'd been about to point out that the volume of smoke might not be enough to agitate all the chttoricks into exiting (although it would've been a good start) but the rapidly disappearing parrot had taken priority.

"No. They're not magical." She eventually answered Rip's question. "But Braccus' said they may have developed a back-of-mind bond to Aleron. He probably liked to summon from this swarm since they were close to kobold territory. Once he was dead, they started getting more aggressive to the Killikah in this area."

"Did... parrot talk?" Said Bashiir. Apparently slow to catch up on current events.

"Thurston might have given us an in to where the Matriarch is." Alleece chipped in. "Chittoricks always take live prey directly to the nest..."

"...and they always use the most direct route!" Tamina exclaimed. "That hole is the back door. We should penetrate that way! Umm... why are people laughing?"

OOC I'll try to add to the other thread asap. New players also welcome in this thread btw. The uran village is a bit of a tourist attraction. No reason why adventurers seeking fame and fortune wouldn't be there.../OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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"That hole is the back door. We should penetrate that way! Umm... why are people laughing?"

Shorty guffawed at this, but Rip was too busy thinking about the situation to catch the not-very-subtle double entendre. Thurston wasn't in real danger, he thought; familiars were nearly indestructible by any means short of a Dispel, and the persistent rumor that familiars could serve their bosses as emergency food supplies was, well, unfounded. (He knew somebody who'd tried in grad school, in a particularly drunken party. It ... hadn't ended well, although Zorro, the talking-cat familiar in question, had been so obnoxious that most of the class had wished it had.)

Still, the parrot needed rescuing, and of course, they also had a job to do. Shorty stopped laughing long enough to wipe his eyes and address Tamina. "Er, I don't know about that. I think I'm too big to fit comfortably into that hole without some lubrication."

This time, Rip joined in, as a distant RAAWWK sounded from within the selfsame hole.
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Jack Rothwell
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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Tamina's confused look remained while Alleece turned red in the effort of struggling to breathe. No surprise there, even though the mage was the elder of the two her friend had a little more experience in... certain things.

"Well, maybe there's some more practical way we can fit you in there." She managed after her fit of laughter had stopped. "Tamina? Do you know any spells that could shrink him?"

"Umm... I don't think so. I can make stuff grow by infusing them with magic."

"I bet you can."

That one Tamina got.

"<Knock it off.> ...but that's plants and stuff I don't think I can do that in reverse. Much less to a living person."

"Ok, unless someone happens to have a shrink potion in their bag. We either go in through the main entrance, leave Shorty behind and take the side route or head back to the Ghob village and..."

"You all sissies! Bashiir slay the queen bug!"

The group turned as one to see their diminutive new companion scrambling up the last few feet to the side entrance. With a final sneer he pulled himself into the hole and was lost to view.

"Well... shit." The mage sighed.
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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[OOC: Short one, mainly volleying it back to you, but Rip does have a point ...]

Shorty looked like he was about to turn and charge through the main entrance, but Rip held up a hand. "We're still in the game here. That stink bomb hasn't had time to make it back to the queen's chamber yet." As if to punctuate the point, a whiff of something foul started to come out through the side entrance. "It won't bother Thurston at all, after all the cigars he's had. Will it bother a ghob? I have absolutely no idea, but we'll find out shortly."

The stench was getting stronger.
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