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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OOC Just to double check. Is the cigar cloud heading through the main entrance towards the centre of the nest of just drifting randomly? I think the way I looking to play it would be to have the chittoricks scrambling out of the main while a smaller party goes through the side and tries to disable the matriarch while her swarm is distracted. I'll retcon if necessary./OOC

"We should follow." Tamina said, pointing at the side entrance. "The smoke'll bring the swarm out so we could sneak past and try to rescue Thurston. If some people stay behind, make a lot of noise and fight the smaller ones the Queen'll think we're all outside and we might be able to catch her by surprise."

"What if we don't?" Riiki asked.

"Then we either all stay outside and try to kill all the bugs, or the ones who snuck in'll get minced." She sighed. "Maybe Bashiir really is an amazing chittorick fighter and he'll do the job all by himself." The sarcastic edge to her voice showed how likely she thought that would be.
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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[OOC: I didn't have anything specific in mind for the smoke bomb, just that it would be propelled by Rip's, er, "air current" toward the center of the nest via whatever path got it there. It's yours to play with as you see fit. Why is the stench getting stronger coming from the side entrance? Presumably because the smoke bomb has made it to, and if you wish, past the place where the two entrances meet -- hopefully where the queen is.]

The humans shifted uncomfortably at Tamina's plan. They didn't like the idea of splitting the party, and both felt an element of guilt at being (among) the ones who would be waiting outside while someone else, someone smaller, went in and did the most dangerous stuff. Still, neither had any better ideas, and this one might even work. "Okay," Rip said, as another RRAAAWWK echoed in the passages. "We'll make a big noisy fight once the workers start out." He started to move back to the main entrance and look for a suitable place to conceal himself. Concealing Shorty, of course, would be much more difficult, but the huge man could serve as the roadblock in the entrance.

"So which of you folks are staying with us, and which are going after Bashir?" he continued to the kobolds, just as another AWK could be heard from within -- but this one sounded more like Bashir than like Thurston.
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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Tamina looked from one face to another with a weight on her heart; there and then she truly understood the weight of what Leli must have felt for all those years. The burden of leadership, weighing up potential consequences, and no way of knowing what the future held. She had to go; that was a no-brainer. Leader's led. Tamina's magic made her the best candidate for getting a clear shot at the matriarch's antennae and she was the smallest person in the party to boot besides Oolan, and the fear in her eyes was undeniable. The younger kobold was practically hiding behind Shorty to boot so that ruled her out. Like Shorty, Riiki's frame was slightly too big to comfortably fit through the narrow gap. T'ska wasn't, and he stood impassively as if he knew he would be called on. Alleece's stubborn stance brooked no argument on the issue either. All that left was Dochi, and given the numbers the entrance group might be swarmed by...

As if hearing the mage's thoughts there came a rising tide of oversized insect legs clacking on ancient stone. Clearly much more numerous than before. The kobold's ears could also pick out an unidentifiable, almost 'snickering' sound like...

"Are they... coughing?"

Tamina grinned; it was a ray of hope, but a lot better than nothing.

"Alleece, T'ska, with me." She said. "They're gonna be disorientated, hopefully bumping into each other, so they'll be easier to kill."

"Hopefully." Alleece echoed.

"Just need to hold them off until we get to the matriarch. We're counting on you."

With that, their climb began.

OOC Let me know if you want anything adjusting Grey. I think Rip would probably be slender enough to squeeze through the side entrance as well if you want a retcon./OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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[OOC: No retcon required under the circumstances...]

Rip looked at the small hole, looked at Riiki, looked at Shorty. "Attack party's getting small," he sighed to the big man. "Maybe I'd better follow --"

He was interrupted by a skittering noise and a whiff of cigar stench, both coming from the main entrance. About three or four chittoricks were heading their way, making that same coughing noise. Thus incapacitated, and maybe with some help from leftover insecticide, dispatching them was an easy matter.

Shorty and Riiki had done most of the damage, and Shorty turned to Rip. "I think we can handle them, if you want to -- follow the others," he said.

Rip shuddered. "I don't want to, but I think I should, but first something." He pulled a cigar out of his pocket. "Could one of you take a puff on this thing first? I'll refresh the stink bomb before I go -- in a manner of speaking."

[OOC: Rip will be joining the others, I suppose, but pausing this group here to let Riiki experience a cigar for the first time if you wish...]
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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Riiki hesitantly put the stogie to his mouth and took a drag. A big drag. Then blew it out in the coughing fit of the first time smoker. Tears sprang in the kobold's eyes as he nearly lost his grip on his spear.

"Awful!" He said in his broken human speech. "How your Parrot do this?"

Alleece called from her vantage point as Tamina's legs vanished into the dark.

"Glad to have you Rip! Let's get this bitch!"

OOC I'll get back to longer posts tomorrow. Thanks for keeping this moving Grey./OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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[OOC:} Short one, just volleying it back to you. My pleasure moving these along, and I hope you'll have some fun with the chapel in the other thread. I had Jade and Leo in mind as well as Khoo and Anna-Lisa when I thought of it...]

The cloud of smoke expelled by Riiki was so large and dense that Rip wondered if he was going to have to cast a Healing spell on the kobold after the Gust of Wind. He decided against it. The damage shouldn't be long-lasting, and not being a Healer by trade, nor knowing any details of kobold anatomy, he feared he might "heal" something that would do more harm than good.

He settled for the Amplification and Gust of Wind, noting with approval that the big kobold seemed to be getting over the coughing jag. There was no telling what this second salvo would do, but with the fighters from his own party not traveling in the main passage, it couldn't hurt.

You're stalling, a voice in the back of Rip's head said. "Damn right I am," he confessed audibly, getting a puzzled look from Shorty. Thus emboldened, he moved over to the back entrance. "Let's get on with it," he muttered, and he lifted himself up into the tunnel as two more gasping chittoricks emerged from the main entrance to be dispatched by the rear guard.
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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The tunnel was dark but, thankfully, not as cramped as they'd feared.

Tamina has scurried forward for the first twenty feet or so as quickly as a humanoid on all fours could before she felt the rock overhead start to let up. With the night vision her kind were gifted with she saw the tunnel widening as it trailed off to the bend some fifty feet ahead. The path seemed to slope downward which made sense; chittoricks preferred the humidity that came from being as far underground as possible. She straightened up gratefully keeping a firm grip on her spear.

"Hear anything?" T'ska asked in their native tongue. Tamina strained, but nothing but the dim sound of combat outside was to he heard. Of Bashiir, there was no sign, although some of the tracks in the dust were ghob footprints clearly enough. The rest belonging to the alien residents within.

It seemed at least, that the smoke's journey hadn't visited this part of the cave yet but that was unlikely to remain that way being so close to the entrance. Alleece arrived at that moment with Rip in tow and shot the human a thumbs up. She gave him a quizzical look.

"Where's the best place for you in the marching order? Wanna ride drogue, centre or up front?"
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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Rip thought about it. "Middle, I think, but give me a second or two."

He was taller than (most of?) the kobolds, and he could see the passageway's ceiling and his cranium meeting under less-than-friendly circumstances in spots. I should have enough personal energy for this, while still having plenty left over for spellcasting once ... well, once combat is joined, might as well be blunt about it. He summoned magic and cast.

There. His breakable skull was enclosed in a very small Barrier, like the one he'd created during a food fight on the Bonny Read.

"Anybody else want a helmet before we head into battle?" he asked.

[OOC: Incidentally, if you check out that link, skip back before it half a dozen entries or so and read on for a while, for one of the funniest arcs in the entire history of Errant Road.]
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Post by Jack Rothwell »

OOC Unless Rip is particularly tall he'd be about the same height as the average kobold, maybe a little taller./OOC

T'ska raised a volunteering paw for the helmet and moved to the back of the group. Alleece joined Tamina at the front with a silent nod and the group pressed forward.

It was slow progress through the chittorick nest. As the fighting from outside faded the group could hear it replaced by the faint drip of water and the scuttling of legs through walls of solid stone. Eventually the path widened, and with some relief they noticed dim light sources speckling the walls, illuminating a trio of paths ahead. The party noted Rip's smoke spell had penetrated this far, although the vapours were currently lapping the taller ceiling. It would probably necessitate face coverings if it thickened further in.

Alleece noticed Rip staring at the mysterious light

"Natural phenomenon." She supplied in a whisper. "The glow comes from some rare species of fungi. Usually found in the dark heart."

"Dark heart?"

"It's what we call the centre of the continent. Few kobolds ever go there. There's said to be primal forces at work."

"Quiet!" Tamina hissed. "Something's coming!"

The kobold gestured to a side tunnel for the group to hide in.

OOC Funnily enough this quarantine business has piqued my interest in getting involved in DnD so I think I'll roll some stealth checks for the humanoids before proceeding. Of course, if want you to stage an encounter or throw in a curveball go right ahead. No one ever said the chittoricks were the only thing that lived down there. I'm planning on having the kobolds arrive at their destination in a couple of posts or so./OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

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[OOC: I had imagined Rip being just a bit taller than most of the kobolds, maybe an inch or two. The point is that he thinks his cranium can be cracked here. Remember, he's not really much of a fighter compared to most ER (or DnD, which I loved back in the day) characters. Anyway, here's a curveball, in the DnD tradition, that I hope will amuse you -- note that it doesn't really affect anything you have planned with the chittorick queen:]

Rip got as far into concealment as he could manage, as a strange sound emanated from one of the side tunnels, a sound as though of many feet shuffling along the ground at once.

--------------

Meanwhile, another couple of chittoricks emerged gasping from the main entrance, to be speedily dispatched by Shorty and Riiki -- and to join the growing pile of chittorick bodies (and body parts) in the clearing. This got Shorty thinking about something.

"There's a lot of organic matter out here, waiting for something to come along and eat it," he mused. "Dead bodies pile up all the time in fiction, but they don't last long in the real world [OOC: sic... /OOC]. Do you have any idea what kind of creature scavenges dead chittoricks?"

Language limitations being what they were, Riiki's only response was a shrug. However, they were about to get an answer.

-------------

Rip marveled.

What emerged from the tunnel didn't look threatening at all; very much the contrary, although it most certainly looked incongruous. First came a garden-variety push broom that seemed to be responsible for the noise. Wielding this broom was what appeared to be a very typical human; specifically, an overalls-clad man, maybe in his fifties, wearing a jaunty hat, with a big nose and mustache. He paid no attention to Rip or the kobolds, and headed straight down the passage that the party had just traveled.

As he did so, Rip noticed something.

The light from the fungi wasn't intense, but it was enough to cast shadows, and the shadows that were following this janitor-like apparition weren't shaped at all like he was. Much the contrary: the physical form revealed by the shadows was of something much lower to the ground, only two feet high or so, with a body several feet long and in contact with the ground, as some kind of oversized worm or other creepy-crawly might have. The front end of this shadow-casting thing was where the head of the broom was; the rear, some distance behind the janitor. The brushing sound came from the whole body, as though many small feet were treading the surface at once.

The inexplicable thing receded in the distance toward the entrance (and Shorty, Riiki and a great deal of chitin and protein), as Rip shook his head to try to get the improbable image out of his mind.

[OOC: So over to you. What are the kobolds, including Riiki, seeing here?]
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