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From Out of a Dream [Quest]

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  • Reaching Fist is an artifact weapon, yes? An orichalcum sickle should work as a climbing pick.

    > Ascend.

    Then pry off that crystal and sell it.
    Last edited by Kazorh; 07-14-2015, 08:50 AM.

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    • Flare your Mark, son.

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      • We flare our Mark and climb a smaller statue to get a good vantage point, from which to go after the crystal with Reaching Fist.
        If that doesn't work, use Reaching Fist to climb the statue's back, and get onto its head, and pry/cut the jewel out with Cleaver.


        I am extremely literal-minded and always write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
        Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors

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        • Might have to defeat the golem before all the prying that has been suggested.


          Like my Avatar? Courtesy of Jen! : Anybody want their characters to be experimented on ? post 98
          An Exalt is never unarmed.

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          • Originally posted by L'het'esh View Post
            Might have to defeat the golem before all the prying that has been suggested.
            The prying is a key component of the defeating strategy!


            "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

            "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo

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            • The statue shuffles around outside while you catch your breath, shaking the ground and churning up water with every step. When you’re ready, you start channeling energy into your mark and dash out.

              The warrior is crouching a little, bending over to look into the alcoves. It doesn’t seem to react to the mark*, but that’s fine – at this point, you don’t care what it thinks of you. The power is surging through you now, filling you with warmth. You sprint through the water, kicking up spray, unsheathing Righty and Lefty. When you think you’re in reach, you launch off the ground. Righty and Lefty are drawn back behind your head as you soar through the air.

              The warrior starts straightening up as you approach, getting back into a battle-ready stance. You impact against its lower chest, driving your short swords into its clay armor. A tight grip on their hilts lets you stay braced against the statue while it stands upright and starts turning around, trying to shake you off. When that doesn’t work, it moves its free arm to slap itself and crush you – just as planned.

              As the arm comes towards you, you let go of your swords and kick off the golem, turning a backflip so you land feet first, very briefly, on the golem’s forearm. In an instant, Reaching Fist is in your hands, and then you kick off again, aiming for the head. When you sense your jump is reaching its zenith, you throw the sickle as hard as you can towards the statue’s face. You have almost no time to see the blade stick in the golem’s unmoving cheek before you smack into the base of the neck.

              You cling there for a second, gripping the weight on Reaching Fist with both hands and swinging wildly around the golem’s head, all too aware that have to move quickly before it tries to swat you again. You pull yourself up and climb hand over hand up the chain until you can brace against the statue’s chin, and then you’re almost running up the side of its face. When you’ve reached the sickle, you pull a knife from your bandolier and jam it into the clay with all your strength.

              You’re about to yank the sickle free when you feel the air shift and start to make sense of the noise of clay rubbing on clay around you – you’re about to get swatted. The golem’s hand rushes towards you. Instinctively, you execute the same trick from before, flipping off of the warrior’s cheek and then bouncing up and away from its fingers. This time, your timing isn’t as fine, and the near-vertical surface of the statue’s hand doesn’t make for a good launching point. Somehow, Cleaver is in your hand and pointed the right way when you hit against its forehead just above the eyebrows. Your miraculous sword sinks into the clay as easily as it does into everything else, giving you the purchase you need while you regain your balance and shake off the shock of slamming into hard ceramic over and over again.

              There you are, clinging to Cleaver, far from the ground and in immediate danger of being squashed by the golem as soon as it has the presence of mind to slap its face again, wondering what to do next. You glance up, searching for the crystal you saw, and there it is – the Stone of Making, set into the clay below the colossus’ sculpted hairline.

              Just like Wei said, it’s hard to mistake it – you can see the shifting lights and colors from here. Your plan to try smashing the “power stone” doesn’t seem as desirable now. Prying it out is still a possibility, but you don’t want to just throw it to the ground....

              Suddenly, Cleaver shifts and starts to slide a little, coming loose. You figure this means that there isn’t as much clay around the point as you thought, and then the understanding that this statue must be hollow hits you like a thunderbolt along with some violent inspiration.

              It’s time to finish this. How will you do it?

              * Cleave it right through. There’s a trick you know, a way to make this sword slide through stone or metal like water. It’d be interesting to see what happened if you tried that trick now.
              * Smash it to bits. You think you can still get up to the crown of its head, and the break though that clay crown with Vortex. Then, once you’re inside the hollow head…
              * Go for the eyes. Your body is your strongest weapon. If you have to, you can tear this statue’s face apart with your bare hands**.
              * Tear out the Stone and run away. You don’t need to destroy the statue – with a little applied force, you can wrench the stone free and fall with it to the floor. If for some reason that doesn’t kill the golem, you can at least be sure that it won’t be able to chase you out of the room.
              * Something else?

              *
              Not surprising – golems are dumb. They’re good for doing simple tasks that don’t require any judgment or complicated conditions, like moving heavy objects around or smashing anything that moves into a room. You think maybe they could do more if there was a sorcerer around to tell them what to do, but then that’s the sorcerer making the calls, not the golem.

              **
              That is, if you didn’t wear gloves.
              Last edited by semicasual; 07-15-2015, 09:47 AM.


              On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

              Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

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              • Rip a hole somewhere in its face and get inside its head, where it hopefully can't reach. Chop the Stone out from inside. Then climb down the inside and cut a hole out of a foot or leg.

                Edit: Yeah, what Kazorh said. A very evocative crazy swingy-stunty scene.
                Last edited by Erinys; 07-14-2015, 11:19 PM.


                I am extremely literal-minded and always write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors

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                • I love an opportunity to use all the weapons in our arsenal, so let's hammer our way in with Vortex.

                  Thumb up on the action scene, by the way.

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                  • Cleave it right through. It means either
                    A) going back down to the shoulder to lop off the arm, then the head and other shoulder, or
                    B) cut your way inside, then run around the inside, peeling it like an apple!


                    I like B better.



                    Like my Avatar? Courtesy of Jen! : Anybody want their characters to be experimented on ? post 98
                    An Exalt is never unarmed.

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                    • Another option is to cut the whole head off from inside, and then climb down. Or jump down if it starts falling dangerously.

                      Although chopping off both arms from the inside might be a good first step, in case it can still attack us without the jewel or its entire head. Or we can deal with that if/when it happens, whatever.
                      Last edited by Erinys; 07-15-2015, 12:25 AM.


                      I am extremely literal-minded and always write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                      Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors

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                      • By the way: did you decide to retcon Reaching Fist into Heaven's Reach, or did you have Shards on the mind while writing?

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                        • Smash it to bits! Let's see what is in the center of this tootsie pop!


                          I write things.

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                          • >Tear its face open with your bare hands, make sure to grab the jewel, then basically cut it apart from the inside.


                            "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

                            "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo

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                            • Originally posted by Kazorh View Post
                              By the way: did you decide to retcon Reaching Fist into Heaven's Reach, or did you have Shards on the mind while writing?
                              (That was a typo. Fixed it, thanks.)


                              On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

                              Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

                              Comment


                              • First, you shift your grip on Cleaver and let your feet fall away from the golem’s face to swing freely below you. Next, you forcefully pull yourself up, twisting yourself around until you can rest both feet on the hilt* of your sword. The golem starts to shake its head, so you put your arms out to the sides to steady yourself while you get ready to jump. As soon as you see an opening, you leap up and over the edge of the statue’s scalp to land in a neat crouch on its tied-up hair. The statue starts nodding to try and throw you off, but you have no difficulty balancing on this comparatively flat surface.

                                Vortex unfurls as you draw it out, gripping two sections with both hands. The last section cracks against the warrior’s ceramic skull again and again as you focus all your energy into every swing. Around the third or fourth hit, you break open a fist-sized hole in the clay. Several hits later, you drop into the new orifice you've carved out, landing on a platform at the top of the golem’s neck.

                                Once inside, you take a deep breath and concentrate on drawing out all your reserves. Your glowing mark lights up the hollow head like daylight. Using the Blessing like this always gives you a huge adrenaline rush, and it feels like your veins are on fire. You let out a roar and spin Vortex every which way, swinging at the walls with no plan in mind except to destroy everything you can reach.

                                The back of the statue’s head shatters into pieces that fly out into the darkness and splash into the pool below. The jawbones go next, leaving the front of the warrior’s face looking unsupported. You step out on the edge of the hole you’ve made and haul Reaching Fist in by its chain, tearing off a chunk of cheek in the process. With your kusarigama back in hand, you’re able to climb up the inside of the golem’s face to where Cleaver is stuck through it. You bash out some of the surrounding clay and haul your sword inside. The Stone of Making comes next, coming down into the hollow along with part of a sculpted widow’s peak. You stand among bits of shattered pottery, reattaching weapons to yourself, trying to stow the large Stone away as best you can. When you’ve finished, you smash out the statue’s mouth, sending most of the golem’s remaining face falling away.

                                To your surprise, the colossus can still function without a head. The golem staggers and flails around, apparently unable to reach into its own broken cranium to get you and limited to trying to shake you out. You fight an urge to laugh at its stumbling while you lightly hop out of the head down to its shoulder and go to work on its sword arm.

                                The warrior’s weapon and the severed limb holding it slam into the floor, breaking itself along with several smaller statues and sending water everywhere. The other arm follows soon after. Then you break into its torso from the base of the neck and tumble down into the pelvis. You smash out a hole where the groin would be for spite, and then end this sorry golem by splintering its right leg from the inside. The groin-hole makes for a good exit point to jump to safety when the broken statue finally falls. Ripples roll across the room, and then there is silence.

                                You stand in the water once again, panting from exhaustion and admiring your handiwork. Broken pieces of ceramic of various sizes are scattered all over the chamber, illuminated by your still-glowing mark. With some effort, you manage to retrieve your scattered belongings - your satchel from the pool, and Righty and Lefty from a chunk of the statue’s chest. You decide to take a breather, finding a seat on a chunk of leg that is large enough to be completely out of the water. Still basking in the afterglow of a really good fight, you idly pull out the Stone of Making and give it a good looking over.

                                *
                                You learned the hard way never to try balancing on Cleaver’s edge. You almost lost a foot last time you tried. Other weapons aren’t as much of a problem.



                                Wei’s description really undersold this gem. It’s like a very large jewel with dozens of tiny facets, each perfectly carved to the exact size of every other. You’ve never seen a stone so finely cut. But the inside… the inside is amazing beyond words.

                                You see… shifting colors and shapes in a kind of cloud of other, less clear shifting colors and shapes. It’s like looking for patterns in fog or water or blowing dust – sometimes, for an instant, you can clearly make out the form of something, but it’s gone as soon as you grasp what it is. This stone is absolutely full of this not-quite stuff. You know, somehow, that if you just knew the right trick to it, everything you see in the Stone could be drawn out of it. Every dream inside the stone could become real.

                                Every second you watch it (and you feel like you could watch it forever), you can see the possibilities for a new thing – grass, a chair, a chain of mountains, men and women, a house, piles of gold, candles, a pyramid, the sea*, a cooking pot, a field of squash, some giant white root plant, a rainstorm, a mine, a city much like Eight Roads, a feast, many wine jars, a crown, a child’s ball, bread, the desert, a statue of a goddess, some kind of long-necked animal, jewels, a knife…

                                Eventually you pull your eyes off of the stone. You blink and look around the empty crypt, wondering how much time has passed. You concentrate, and realize that it’s getting on to dusk. You’re not sure how much time you spent wandering underground or how much you spent looking into the Stone of Making. Awareness of your situation quickly returns to you – you’re soaked through (and you’re feeling pruney now), you’re hungry, you’re tired, you need a drink, and you still have to walk back to the cart before Li leaves without you.

                                As you head towards the door to the Resting Place, it suddenly occurs to you that you have a choice to make about this stone. A choice that could, perhaps, change your life forever…
                                • Deliver the stone to Himitsu. It’s what you came here for, right? You don’t understand magic, and you know better than most people that unknown magic can kill you. You want to finish the job, get paid, and get hammered, probably in that order.
                                • Keep the stone for yourself. It’s the most beautiful thing you’ve seen in your life. True, you have no idea how it works, but maybe you can teach yourself, or find a teacher. And if you can do that, you will never want for anything ever again.
                                • Keep the stone, but find another buyer. You don’t want to handle this rock any more than you need to. After all you did you get it, you can guess why it was so well protected. You don’t trust your mysterious employer with something so potent. You’ll find someone else to give it to… although right now you have no idea who.
                                • Something else?
                                *
                                You’ve never seen the sea, but you imagine that’s what one looks like. Endless water…
                                Last edited by semicasual; 08-03-2015, 10:43 AM.


                                On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

                                Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

                                Comment

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