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.

Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Graybeard » September 7th, 2020, 6:58 pm

Rip suddenly felt ... alone.

He still had several tricks up his sleeve that (he hoped) would save his own useless ass, one of which he now used. A summoning of magic, a casting of something that had proven useful repeatedly on the airships and saved said ass at least once previously, and a web-like mesh filled the opening where the passageway angled down toward the chamber. There; that should stop the chittoricks, and if any tried poking through the web, he could just collapse it on them, like a real spider web, and make another one.

The problem was, he couldn't do much else, and those were his friends down there, Tamina now among them. His ass really was useless. He didn't think a Force Bolt that he could cast would do much good. Experimentally, he reached a finger out to the netting and launched one at one of the three workers heading his way. It produced a satisfying kraak, all right, but as expected, it didn't do much to the bug that he could see except knock it back a couple of feet.

"RAAWK, You're pretty much worthless, boss," Thurston said from behind him, never one to shy away from rubbing salt in a wound.

"Don't I know it," Rip grunted, wondering why he'd bothered to come looking for the feather duster. He cast another Force Bolt at a worker that was getting too close to Tamina; might as well do something to help while he tried to think of something more substantial.
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Jack Rothwell » September 11th, 2020, 4:55 pm

OOC Sorry Grey. Life is getting in the way again. I'll try to get back to this tomorrow./OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Jack Rothwell » September 12th, 2020, 5:29 am

The Matriarch was angry. Insofar as giant insects could feel emotion.

It had taken minimal damage against the combined assault of the two kobolds and a ghob thus far. Unsurprising given the thickness of it's carapace and mean gaps between them. T'ska tried an enthusiastic lunge as it turned towards Alleece and was met with a dull thud as the tip of his spear rebounded off something akin to a steel plate.

"Cabra!"

"<Look out!>"

Too late. The giant creature whipped back around with murder in it's eye clusters, seized the male between it's massive jaws and began to squeeze them shut. T'ska screamed.

A blur of fur chose that appropriately dramatic moment to cannon into the Matriarch's head. It whipped backwards, sending the terror struck kobold flying into a pile of rocks with a sickening crack. Tamina landed with a gasp. Blood seeped from her tribesman's head.

"<Oh no...>"

Alleece tackled Tamina out of the way as the Matriarch counterattacked with a barrage of kicking legs. Dust flew.

"T'ska!"

"He alive!" Called Bashiir, standing over the unconscious kobold, spear still pointed and intent on bloody murder. "Ghob protec! Kill the bug queen!"

"<I'll bait it Tammy.>" Alleece said. "<I'll make it lunge at me. You take it's antennae!>"

"<But what if I miss?>"

"<You won't.>" She smiled ruefully. "<Because you know my ghost will annoy you if I die.>"

Across the cavern the trio of workers trundled towards Rip. Accusatory 'clacks' being sent his way.
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Graybeard » September 12th, 2020, 10:40 am

[OOC: You know, I just remembered something that Rip himself would have forgotten: he's armed. As established when he put in his first appearance, he carries a sidearm, presumably in his Pocket Dimension since it isn't part of the kit an airship mage normally has any use for. So he can do something useful here! Time for his memory to get working again ...]

"Dammit, I've GOT to do something!" Rip shouted to himself, loud enough that Shorty might have heard him outside if he'd been paying attention.

There was a RAAWK from behind him, then Thurston cleared his throat in a human-like fashion for emphasis. "Hey, you've got a gun. Why don't you just shoot the son of a b***h?"

Rip blinked; he'd completely forgotten. "You know, you're right." He opened his Pocket Dimension and extracted the selfsame weapon. It was something he'd picked up on one of his raiding adventures, an odd thing obviously of Northern Confederacy manufacture that combined elements of pistol and revolver -- just call it a "handgun" for short. With the non-magical mechanical knowledge that he'd picked up fixing airship engines and such, he couldn't figure out exactly how the thing worked. Point was, however, it did. He could only get off half a dozen shots before he'd have to reload, but that should be enough to be useful. Shouldn't it?

Well, no way to know except do the experiment. He loaded the gun, sighted on one of the advancing chittoricks, and fired.

Rip wasn't much of a shot, but everyone gets lucky once in a while. As the passageway filled with noise, the middle worker's head exploded in unmentionable goo.

"Raawk. Nice shot, boss," Thurston said as soon as his and Rip's ears stopped ringing. "Almost looked like you know what you're doing with that thing."

"Appearances are deceiving," Rip grunted back, and launched another round in the direction of the matriarch's enormous body; at least this time he'd be odds-on to hit such a large target, rather than rely on luck.
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Jack Rothwell » October 7th, 2020, 4:32 pm

Rip's gunshot rang throughout the cavern. Attracting the attention of the matriarch in a manner that somehow conveyed surprise. There weren't exactly a lot of firearms in the jungle. Alleece grinned. Tamina grinned. The remaining workers weren't capable of grinning. One did manage an awkward hop-skip forward and made a snapping lunge at the heat packing human.

Alleece tensed and sprang at the Matriarch, burying her spear into the gap between the monsters plates with a noise like a giant fork scraping on a plate. The creature screeched and flailed reflexively at the kobold causing it pain.

OOC Giving you time to react bud. I'll add something more on the morrow. Hey, at least I'm writing again! :D /OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Graybeard » October 7th, 2020, 8:37 pm

[OOC: Great to be going again! A short one in the same spirit, looking forward to the next couple of days ...]

The magical netting stopped the charging chittorick easily enough. (It should, Rip thought, wishing he was more sure of it than he had been. After all, he'd stopped a runaway airship with the same spell, albeit a small one.) However, it had a side effect that he hadn't been considering.

The bug wasn't as massive as an airship, but it was still heavy enough, and moving fast enough, to stretch the net. Like any piece of elastic, it stretched, stopped the charge ... and then rebounded. With a loud SPROING that Rip would have found hilarious under different circumstances, the net launched its unwilling payload through the air like a giant slingshot. The chittorick didn't have wings, so it hurtled in the general direction of Alleece, mandibles clacking and legs flailing.

"RRAAWK! Alleece! INCOMING!" Thurston screeched, while Rip, trying not to start laughing, drew a bead on the one remaining chittorick trying to get at him.

[OOC: Up to you to decide where this misguided missile lands. I wouldn't dare.]
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Jack Rothwell » October 9th, 2020, 12:09 pm

Luckily, very luckily as it turned out. The young kobold was on the ball enough to hear the armed human despite her enthusiastic scrambling to avoid being pounded into jelly by the matriarch's equally enthusiastic kicking. The flung worker narrowly missed her and instead collided with it's mother with a loud crack, interrupting the matriarch's angry attack.

Alleece didn't waste oxygen on thanking Rip for the warning. Besides, something was about to happen.

The stunned monster finally gave Tamina the opening she was looking for. There was a flash of light, a blur of fur, and a sound like tearing silk. The mage came out of her run with a gasp at T'ska's side as something, two somethings, hit the ground.

Clean hit.

The matriarch reared back and let out a tortured shriek, now separated from the antennae that had given her control of her scuttling brood. It was immediately joined by a deafening chorus of every chittorick in the hive as the mind link they shared with their parent blinked out of existence. The remaining workers in the chamber wheeled around clacking wildly, and each lunged at the nearest available target.

"Ghob! Help me with T'ska!" Tamina cried, helping to pull the injured male to his feet. "We gotta run! Now!"

It didn't take a genius to figure out that things were about to become very interesting for the entrance group...
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Graybeard » October 9th, 2020, 10:41 pm

[OOC: Mainly just volleying it back to you, since it looks like you have something in mind; go for it. Note that it was Thurston, not Rip, that warned Alleece, but it really doesn't matter.]

For the one chittorick still trying to get at Rip, "the nearest available target" still meant "Rip". As it flailed at the magical netting, it was close enough that even a poorish shot like the selfsame Rip couldn't miss. Two more rounds (leaving two in the odd pistol-like handle that fed bullets into the revolver-like cylinder, for no reason that Rip had ever been able to figure out) sufficed to splatter the big bug adequately for Rip to feel secure dropping the magical barrier so that the kobolds and ghob could hurry through. With them back in the passageway, he raised the barrier again; it wouldn't keep the chittoricks in place indefinitely, but it should buy plenty of time for the combat team to make their escape. Should.

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

Meanwhile, outside:

The illusion of the janitor vanished as the juvuzzeers snuffled their way into the forest. Shorty mused briefly on the question of just what Illusion they might cast that would intimidate one of the large reptilian predators that roamed the forest, then decided he didn't really want to know; after all, that would mean that there was one of those critters in the area, and that would be bad.

Waiting for the combat team got boring after a while. One or two chittorick soldiers came out to patrol individually, but lacking strength in numbers, didn't last long, and quiet soon reigned again ... until the noise of combat, including the unmistakable crack of Rip's pistol, reached the surface. Then ...

The clacking of the workers, getting distinctly louder all too quickly, made it clear that it was time to get back into a ready-for-combat mindset.

"
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Jack Rothwell » October 10th, 2020, 9:46 am

It was like running through a war zone in the near dark.

Tamina and the Bashiir panted as they half dragged, half carried the injured T'ska through the tunnels back to the surface. There hadn't been time to heal the kobold; no sooner had the chorus erupted then workers and soldiers had come swarming into the chamber in showers of ichor and pinwheeling carapace. Chaos had taken over, several of the matriarch's children moving to attack their parent while the rest had set to work killing each and the eggs they'd previous been guarding. Rip, no fool he, had called to his familiar and followed the group as they'd made their hurried exit. He and Alleece now led the group; magical light illuminating their way (OOC I'm assuming this is what Rip would do. Hope you don't mind me throwing out some actions for him/OOC)

"<Hurts...>"

"<Suck it up T'ska!>" Tamina shouted, scrambling forwards over loose rocks and slime. "<Nearly there!>" Light flashed across the mage's skin as she used her mana to boost her strength again, black dots swam across her vision as fatigue reared it's ugly head.

Ahead, an injured chittorick staggered out of side tunnel with a weak but hostile snapping, the blood of it's brood mate dropping from it's mandibles. Alleece broke off to dispatch the creature with a pang of sympathy. Necessary or not, their actions had turned the hive into a scene of butchery and was not something to be celebrated.

After a few more minutes the light came at the end of the tunnel. The cave group staggered into the sunshine and the scene of another battle.

OOC I'll get to the other thread tomorrow. Just wanted to wrap this situation up first./OOC
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Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Postby Graybeard » October 10th, 2020, 10:58 am

[OOC: OK, then to help wrap it up, a minor curve ball resulting from the last thing I teed up. If this doesn't fit your plans, it can be retconned, but I think it definitely helps with, shall we say, clean-up...]

Enough chittoricks were pouring out of the main entrance now to be scary. They weren't fighting efficiently at all, but they were big and well armed and there were a lot of them. This wasn't a good combination ... until help came from an unexpected direction.

"RAWWWK! HEY, DUMBASS BUGS! LOOK OVER HERE!"

Thurston, who'd been airborne from the moment he emerged from the smaller entrance, had noticed something: the juvuzzeers were still close at hand. Had they found something to eat in the forest, or did they somehow sense that there was going to be plenty of food in the clearing and the cave in a few minutes? Anyway, they pivoted and squirmed back into the clearing, in the process setting up the janitor Illusion again.

They, however, were not the dumbass bugs that Thurston was yelling at; but his intended audience, the chittoricks, picked up their heads, and saw ...

... Well, Rip would wonder for a long time just what they did see. There was obviously something native to the tunnel system that the juvuzzeers could project and that was sufficient to get chittoricks to leave them alone. But what could they project that was terrifying to a chittorick? He wasn't sure he wanted to think about that.

Whatever the answer, the result was immediate. To the extent that clacking insectoid mandibles could produce a gasp of fear, that was what happened. Thus distracted, many of the chittoricks were simply skewered immediately by humans, kobolds, and Ghob. The rest managed to disperse into the forest, running as fast as their many jointed legs could carry them, while the juvuzzeers began to feed.

"RAAWK," Thurston repeated, a note of triumph in his squawk. "Look what I managed to pick up." He was clutching another chittorick egg, this one however broken and dead; obviously intended for the same use as the last one. "Now can I have another cigar?"

Rip rolled his eyes, complied, and then set to work using his limited Healing magic on the wounded kobold; somebody else would have to take care of the internal injuries, but stopping blood loss was not only practical (nothing drew unwanted predatory attention quite like the spoor of blood), but something that ought to work about the same from species to species.
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