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.
Post Reply
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
Posts: 2377
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Post by Jack Rothwell »

OOC I see several possibilities. He could've been taken hostage by unfriendly kobolds. A giant bird could've snatched him up and put him in it's nest for a snack. He might've thought it was a good idea to try some of the exotic mushrooms for lunch and be running around in his underwear yelling about the yellow pixies. Maybe he was adopted by the dropla and is going native for the sake of not being trampled?/OOC
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
Posts: 7074
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Post by Graybeard »

[OOC: Your last suggestion is close to the one I'd envisioned for Shorty, so let's make it so. Assume that Thurston says garbled stuff to this general effect, with one little addition ...]

"... And the thing he was holding ... RAAAWWK. Hideous. Drippin' blood and all sorts of stuff." Could a parrot shudder? Thurston tried, at least.

Rip was impressed. "Well, not sure it sounds like he needs rescuing, but we'd better check it out, at least." Before the group set out in Shorty's direction, he paused to light Thurston's cigar; it would keep the bugs away, and the residual stench would identify the trail back to this spot if the group got lost somehow.

They'd gone another mile or so when one of the kobolds motioned for silence. Rip cast a Damping spell, and briefly considered making Thurston douse his cigar, but decided against it. The spell would also keep the smell from propagating very far, and while Shorty would recognize it, the droplas presumably would not. Presumably. Hopefully. Maybe. Thurston (and therefore Rip) moved to the back of the group, just in case.

They'd only advanced another hundred yards or so when Alleece held up a paw again and the party stopped.

The Damping spell mainly kept sound made within its radius from getting out, and garbling what did get through. It had less effect on sound coming into the spell area. It was therefore not hard for Rip, and the others (kobold hearing being what it was, presumably they'd already noticed before Rip did), to hear a rhythmic noise from somewhere up ahead. There were no words, at least none that a human would recognize, just a repetitive "GRONK ... grunt ... yip ... GRONK ... grunt ... yip ..." repeating over and over.

"RAAWWK," Thurston squawked as quietly as he could, getting an annoyed look from Rip; the sound wouldn't make it out of the Damping spell, but he'd dropped his cigar. "They're singin', boss," the bird quietly continued while Rip doused the stogie before it could set anything on fire.

[OOC: Over to you ...]
Image

Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
Posts: 2377
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Post by Jack Rothwell »

Tamina clamped a hand over her mouth to stop a sudden onset of giggles. The kobold had been a fiend for studying the wildlife of the Southern Continent ever since she'd been old enough to read and reckless enough to search for them. The noise the small herd were making was familiar to her.

"We're safe." She whispered. "Least for now. That noise is kind of an inny... in-ish-ee..."

"Initiation?" Supplied Alleece, who spoke the human tongue better than her older companion.

"Yeah. That. It sounds like your friend is being welcomed into the 'tribe'."

She peaked her head out. Although the big man was nowhere in sight the telltale ring of Dropla facing inwards and gently stamping their feet told her where Shorty was. The mage noticed a calf squeezing between the group with what appeared to be a mouthful of vegetation in it's jaws.

"...and he's about to get lunch. Whether he eats grass or not." She added. "Umm... I could prolly do a noise spell to scare them away but your friend might get... err... ran over. An' Dropla sometimes attack when they're scared, 'specially with their gah nearby."

"The trees then?" Alleece indicated the canopy over the congregation's heads. "We could drop a rope to Shorty and he could get out that way."

"Or just wait til he's had his greens?" Tamina giggled again. "Nothing in the gah's mouth was poisonous far as I could see. Baby spit and grass won't kill him."
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
Posts: 7074
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Post by Graybeard »

[OOC: Amusing how close this is to what I'd been thinking about. Great minds think alike, or at least, twisted minds. :twisted: However, I'd like to introduce one further twist:]

Rip could barely contain the belly laugh trying to emerge from him at this development. "This, I've gotta see," he chortled. It was a relief to hear that Shorty was alive and well, and the poking-fun ammunition that the scene could provide when they got out of here ...

Thurston was trying to say something, but Rip waved him aside with a brusque "Later!" and cast a Spider Climb spell on himself, one of the "miscellaneous" bits of magic he'd come to specialize in. Finding a suitable-looking tree and checking first for spines or possibly toxic secretions, he shinnied up the trunk and out a stout-looking limb as far as he dared to. That was far enough; he could see clearly into the clearing ...

... But from above, the picture had one detail that was different from what Tamina had said.

"Luminosita's festering testicles," he swore softly to himself, partly to check to make sure he was still in range of the Damping. (He was.) He craned his neck for a better view ...

Yep, no doubt about it. The dropla weren't just facing Shorty; they were kneeling. He was holding what appeared to be the severed head of something large and ferocious-looking. [OOC: I don't remember much about the predators of your ecosystem, JR. Go wild! /OOC:] Every few seconds one of the dropla would lumber up, touch the head with its massive horn, and back away, snorting and nodding ... and getting back on its front knees.

"Looks like they're worshiping him," an awestruck Rip called down to the kobolds.
Image

Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
Posts: 2377
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Post by Jack Rothwell »

"Wait, that's a-"

"-morroran." Alleece finished, pointing at the reptilian head which had been liberated from it's owners body. "Those things hunt dropla like an alcoholic hunts a bottle. No wonder they like your friend so much."

"Explains why they're so calm too. Morroran hunt solo. They don't go into each other territory 'cept to mate. 'S prolly the same one you ran into before."

"Which also means that if they like your friend and he's friendly to us..."

"...you might be able to just walk up and pull Shorty out of there. He'd have to leave the head though to keep 'em calm. Shame, it's a prize hunting trophy. Erm... better you go than us; Kobolds sometimes hunt Dropla 'n they're not too fond of us, humans don't come around as much."

Maybe 'sometimes' was an understatement. Tamina's tribesmen were currently wheeling a cart-full of dropla hides to the Uran settlement and it was likely the scent of dead animal was on the kobolds for any one of the big shaggy creatures to smell if they got too close.
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
Posts: 7074
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Post by Graybeard »

"Well ... if you say so ..." Rip said, doubt in his voice. He started to reverse his field down to the ground.

Unfortunately, he made a slight route-finding error.

The limb he'd crawled out on was sturdy enough. However, when he turned around, he had to rest his weight momentarily on an adjacent limb ... and that one had been gnawed half way through, by whom or what remaining unclear.

The suspect limb split with a KRAAAK too reminiscent, for Rip's admittedly biased tastes, of the noise a Force Bolt makes. There were simply limits to how much sound a Damping spell could absorb. This exceeded the limits.

He landed on the ground with minimal physical damage, but a rather jarred mental state ...

... But it wasn't nearly as jarred as that of the droplas.

The herd's heads came up as one, and their ears also pricked up in unison.
Image

Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
Posts: 2377
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Post by Jack Rothwell »

"<Uh oh.>"

"<Uh oh is right. What do we do?>"

"<Well, do you think jumping down there smelling of dead dropla will help the situation?>"

"<Nope.>"

"<Will Rip being murdered help the situation?>"

"<Again. Nope.>"

"<Ideas?>"

Tamina clenched her teeth.

"<If they advance I could try to distract them. I could piss them off and hummingbird my ass out of there.>"

"<Leaving you speeding through the jungle. Alone. With a herd of irate, tonne-heavy animals chasing you.>"

"<I didn't say it was great idea.>" The mage sarcasmed.

What happened next would depend on whether or not Shorty really was the one true dropla-whisperer.
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
Posts: 7074
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Post by Graybeard »

What happened next would depend on whether or not Shorty really was the one true dropla-whisperer.
Aooarently he was. Shorty's weirdly high, quiet voice rose over the nervous shuffling of the dropla herd. One didn't have to speak the dropla language, if they had one, to recognize the soothing tones in whatever he was saying. Slowly, the shuffling stopped and the rhythmic grunting resumed. The details were garbled by the Damping spell, but they probably didn't matter.

"Now what?" Rip almost whispered, chastened. He dropped the Damping; everybody in the group was going to be on their best behavior now ... notably himself.

Before any of the kobolds could speak, Shorty spoke again, still quietly but obviously directing his voice toward the forest.

"Hi, guys! Hey, uh, could you get me out of here when it's convenient? No rush."

If the droplas [OOC: OK, linguist, is the plural of dropla "dropla" or "droplas"?] were bothered by this aside from their whatever-they'd-decided-Shorty-was, they did not show it.
Image

Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
Posts: 2377
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Post by Jack Rothwell »

Tamina made a decision, probably not the wisest one she'd ever made, and slowly emerged from her hiding place until she was in sight of the dropla but not downwind from them. She kept her distance and her moved back to a path to sprint in case things got hairier than the large beasts already were.

Communication with the various beasties of the jungle wasn't a speciality of the humanoid, but her study of them made her better versed than a lot of her tribe. She spared a nod for her clanswoman; letting her know to bail if necessary. She gently cupped her hands to her mouth and made a soft noise; one designed to show the animals she meant no harm.

"Mmmm *snort* ooo-oooh *grunt*..."

The dropla thus far were observing the newcomer with a passive kind of interest. Tamina continued her 'Dropla song' and made a 'go that way' gesture to Shorty; indicating him to head towards his companions while she had the herbivore's attention.
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
Posts: 7074
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: Southern Continent: Picking Up The Pieces

Post by Graybeard »

The ruse worked. Shorty managed to slip away from the dropla while they were being "entertained," carrying the predator's head with him. This produced a ... strong ... reaction when he plunked it on the ground in front of Rip. As for the dropla, attention span was never one of their strengths, and as soon as Tamina wrapped up her act, they resumed being dropla.

Rip was almost over his stomach churning by the time Tamina was reunited with the rest of the group, but not quite. "Where in the Weave did you get that thing?" he managed to choke out before his stomach rose in his throat one more time.

[OOC: Short one, will try to come up with a story for Shorty after the kobolds have their say. But what next?]
Image

Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
Post Reply