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From Out of a Dream [Quest]

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  • Keep the stone for yourself.

    I'm pretty sure we will want things again, after the newness of the stone wears off.

    I write things.


    • 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.

      A job's a job. Just be careful about getting paid, Himetsu did not so much stiff the workers, rather, he sent you to kill them. You can't expect much better.

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


      • A mercenary's contract is his bond. Deliver the stone to Himitsu. And ask if he would be interested in a longer-term contract, perhaps, so we can stay near it...?


        • It's beautiful and fascinating. And you're not very good at denying yourself. Keep the stone for yourself.


          • Deliver the stone to Himitsu, but make sure to get some more information while you're at it.


            • Why did Himitsu want it again? Maybe find more information before handing it over.

              "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


              • Keeping the Stone of Making is tempting, but in the end you decide that keeping your word and getting paid is more important to you. Almost as important is learning more about the man who sent you here. The quickest way to meet those ends is to finish the job and deliver the artifact.

                With some regret, you stuff the Stone into your satchel with all your soaked tools and make your way out of the flooded castle.

                The sun is low when you finally get back to the cart. The heavy rain has slackened to a drizzle. Li is sitting under a tree, whittling something. The horses sleep side by side nearby. You set down your casks next to the cart sitting in the road and approach Li. He doesn't seem to notice you walking up and standing in front of him until you call him. "Hey."

                Li gives a start, looks up from his carving - it looks a little like a horse - and gives a sniff. "Huh. I didn't think you'd make it. Well, have you found the thing, or did you give up?"

                "I found it." You tilt your satchel towards him and open it so he can see. When he lets out a breath and reaches towards the Stone, you close the bag and pull it away. Li looks disappointed.

                "Alright then... what about the squatters?"

                "Gone. We're done here."

                "Thank Heaven. Alright, let me get the cart hitched and we'll go."

                Li gets up to wrangle the animals and you sit down in the spot he vacated - you are very tired, especially in your arms. You pull a bit of bread you scavenged from the storeroom and chew on it while you wait.

                "Hey, what are these barrels?"


                "...You carried two wine barrels all the way back here?"


                "...are they full?"

                "One is."

                "I don't believe this."

                "You said we were out."

                "I didn't mean for you to go get more! Eeugh... At least help me load them!"

                It takes some time for you to get underway, but you end the day more or less the same way you began it - lying in the back of the cart next to your bundled weapons and foodstuffs. You pull the canvas over your head and drift away.

                (OOC: Thank you all who have participated so far. Before I start on the next chapter, I would like to get some feedback from you on how things are going. In particular, I would like to hear your thoughts on these areas:

                1. "Suggest, rather than tell" - there are a lot of places in this story where I could have given you more context than I did. I would like to know if you feel you have sufficient understanding of the events and locations to make informed decisions. I also want to know if you think you can guess specific details I have not given you, such as Nergui's caste.

                2. "Storytelling objectives." This part of the quest has two purposes. First, to establish Nergui's character and abilities. Second, to hint at his history. If you still do not have a clue about these things, now is the time to tell me so I can focus on them more in the next part.

                3. "Evocative description" - Where possible, I am trying to make it easy to visualize the setting Nergui is in and what he is doing. I am also trying to make this story entertaining to read and avoid overloading you with details [see #1]. Let me know how well I'm balancing those goals.

                4. "Legibility" - Most of what I post is second-draft level and I have several quirks that make for bad writing. I do not always catch mistakes. If you think that I could stand to work harder on error-checking, use commas or the word "you" far too much, or otherwise am not writing as clearly as I could be, please tell me.

                5. "Pacing" - I write a new story post whenever I feel bored and there are enough votes out to telegraph what the majority of readers think. Lately I have had a lot of free time, so that has meant a new post almost every day, sometimes less than 24 hours apart. Is that too fast for you?)
                Last edited by semicasual; 07-20-2015, 07:31 PM.

                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


                • I think having a fast pace at the beginning of the quest while interest is high is a good thing. When things start to slow down, you might want to set a regular schedule.

                  Otherwise, I think you have a good level of detail with your quest. I don't have much of an idea about his history, but enough hints to keep me intrigued.

                  I write things.


                  • I like being somewhat out of context, with my knowledge limited to what he knows and is currently sensing. It gives more stuff to be explored and helps us understand the character more through what he does and does not focus on, and seeing through the eyes of a character rather than having a lot of OOC knowledge baggage.

                    More info on his history would be great!

                    The descriptions have been great and legibility are not a problem for me.

                    I am fine with your pacing choices.

                    "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


                    • 1: All good here, and the dude would appear to be a Night Caste.

                      2: Nergüi's personality seems clear to me; his backstory less so. I'd chalk that up to my own skimming of the earlier posts, though.

                      3: I do think things feel a little cut and dry at times, but the footnotes help with that. So, er, more footnotes?

                      4: I've noticed no egregious mistakes, and so I have no complaints.

                      5: The pacing is fine, but I'd suggest posting only every two days anyway, just to allow more people to contribute (assuming, of course, that there are more people to contribute).

                      How helpful!


                      • 1. I think it's fine.

                        2. With the evocative little texts you add to the choices, it'd be hard not to get an idea about Nergui' character. And I liked the few hints we got about his history.

                        3. I also think it's fine.

                        5. I'm okay with the fast pacing. Not being able to vote for one update because I didn't visit the forum isn't a big deal (there are plenty of times where I didn't vote anyway because I was satisfied going with what the others were saying) and the story goes faster, which is good.


                        • I'm thinking he's a Dawn caste, seems pretty good at the straight-up violence, with a variety of combat abilities. Probably favors a couple of Night ones too, though. He's definitely a hardened mercenary, and as far from an idealist as it's possible to get; pragmatism is the order of the day, and if the most efficient way to get to his goals is by killing a buttload of people, well, too bad for them.

                          A little more context in some places never hurts. Otherwise the pacing is fine whatever you're comfortable with, and the combat descriptions are great. The loving detail on them is another reason I think Dawn.

                          That said, it wouldn't hurt to diversify a little... and we want to stay close to the stone... maybe Mr. Magus is looking for an apprentice, even? I'm glad we decided to take it back; keeping it would have been a huge, huge gamble. If word got out we stiffed a client on something like that, we'd never find work again, and probably have a bounty on our heads big enough to lure other Exalted into hunting us. it'd be either figure the thing out or die.


                          • Originally posted by WarDragon View Post
                            I'm thinking he's a Dawn caste, seems pretty good at the straight-up violence, with a variety of combat abilities. Probably favors a couple of Night ones too, though.
                            It's been mentioned a couple of times that his caste mark is a circle. He's a Night Caste.


                            • 1. I very much like the strict in-character perspective. The occasional footnote to provide additional context (while still retaining the in-character perspective on it) is a good solution. I don't want objective OOC details distracting from the story. Other details - like Nergui's, caste - have come through clearly. I do find it amusing that despite him being a Night Caste, he still slipped up and let his caste mark bleed out during the initial fight. While skilled, he's not exactly a consummate professional and personal discipline is clearly not a strength of his.

                              2. I agree that while I feel I have a good grasp of our protagonist's personality, his past remains largely an enigma. We only know a few things for certain (i.e. he must have been born in the inland Threshold since he's never seen the ocean).

                              3. The level of description is good. It's always tricky to balance this against story pacing and so far I think you're doing it well.

                              4. Legibility is solid. Second-draft seems fine.

                              5. I like frequent updates - even if I don't vote on every post, I still enjoy seeing things progress more quickly. If nothing else, it helps keep your readers focused on what is happening, rather than getting bogged down in meta-discussion waiting for the next entry. But you should always write at the pace that you find best.

                              Share your wonders in The Artifact and Evocation Workshop


                              • 1. "Suggest, rather than tell" ((This has been an interesting way to tell it. It does help stay in character although it results in not knowing as much. That isn't a negative, though.))

                                2. "Storytelling objectives." ((His personality has come through clearly and vividly. His Caste was apparent from his caste mark (although he behaves more like a Dawn). His past, reason for being nameless, and the source of his ridiculous artifact weapon collection is a total blank to me. He's from a horse-country and wants to "bury [his] past" and I know nothing else.))

                                3. "Evocative description" ((Descriptions have been quite evocative, at least in the last few posts. I'd have to reread the earlier ones to comment on them.))

                                4. "Legibility" ((It's been very legible and very few typos that I noticed.))

                                5. "Pacing" ((I like the faster pacing although I have decided to only read this quest on days when I'm also posting to the Second Breath discussion, due to multiple quests crowding my headspace. But I like not having enough space between updates to get bogged down in meta-discussion, like Ferryman said. Though .. with no concern whatsoever that we'll be discussing what course of action is the most morally correct, maybe this quest just won't produce any meta-discussion anyway. We'll see.))

                                She/Her. I am literal-minded and write literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to make a joke.
                                My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
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