Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

From Out of a Dream [Quest]

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • “We can’t waste any time,” you announce, sounding as grim as you look. “The best choice is to attack now, before Himitsu wises up or anything changes.”

    “Tonight?”

    “Tonight. If we can, we should try to find the Stone and steal it. If we can do that much, Himitsu’ll have a lot less teeth. Then we’ll hunt him and his ‘mistress.’”

    “…I supposed I can’t argue with that. Let’s go.” Nuo’s tone is hard to read – a little bit resigned, a little bit drained, and not at all surprised. She looks ahead down the gloomy street and tilts her hat back, scattering raindrops from the brim. “Has anyone ever told you that you’re surprisingly eager to risk your life?”

    “You’d be the first,” you answer with a sniff1.

    “I don’t know anyone else who would throw themselves into a mission like this and be calm about it.” Nuo purses her lips. “I’m not sure if I admire that or not.”

    “I fight because I have to, and I’m calm because I need to be.” Obviously.

    “…You don’t say.”

    “I said it.”

    1
    It’s true – despite the odds, nobody ever called you reckless, either when you were Otgonbayar or Nergüi. It always seemed to you that charging into danger was never foolhardy when you did it, and no one disagreed.


    You lead the way back to the magus’ residence. The rain turns into a light misting, filling the town with fog. The path ahead is difficult to see, even for you. Still, you are determined not to spend too much energy focusing your senses when the worst is yet to come.

    The people who were gathered in the streets are gone by the time you arrive – perhaps your runner reached them, or they just gave up. Whatever the reason, there are no obstacles on your way inside, except for Nuo.

    “No,” she hisses at you in frustration. “We’re not doing that again.”

    You both stand by the back wall of Himitsu’s mansion. You naturally assumed that you would enter the same way you had before – at the top level. Your companion had other ideas.

    “It’s… too awkward. I can get in perfectly well on the first floor. That’s where they’ll probably be, anyway.”

    Unwilling to argue it out this time, you both make the smaller jump from the back wall to the first floor. You move more quietly when you’re not overburdened, anyway. So does Nuo, for that matter.

    Following a rough plan you hashed out before arriving, you and Nuo split up to creep around the roof, peeking in through the windows. As before, the first floor is completely dark. When you rejoin Nuo, she points out a window entrance that leads into an unfurnished chamber – maybe a guestroom, or some other thing that Himitsu and his servants have not yet taken the time to fill.

    The inside of the room is nearly pitch-black. You climb in, and Nuo stays close behind you as you lightly step through to the opposite side. Your Blessing is enhancing your eyes now, freeing you from feeling your way along the wall until you find a door. Slowly, the proper entrance to the empty room slides open while you peer into the hallway outside. In better light, this scene would be more familiar to you…

    Nuo cautiously slides the door shut behind her while you edge down the hall, counting doors. The third one on the left is the one where you heard light snoring, you think. Coincidentally, the windows into that room were also shuttered. You spend some time studying the door for signs of traps while Nuo catches up to you, but find nothing. You keep one hand on Righty while you slowly move the door aside.

    The shuttered room has its own very soft light. A gentle white glow emanates from the Stone of Making, which rests on a low table near the center of the room. Just past the table, Himits is lying on his side on a bed, facing towards the stone… and you. He appears to be asleep, and is breathing gently. Joy rests close beside him, one arm around his neck. Her hair blankets them both, over their actual blanket.

    Beside you, Nuo takes a deep breath and pulls out the iron dagger, unsheathed. She starts moving forward as if to push past you into the room, but you throw out an arm across her path. She stops abruptly, head darting in your direction. By way of explanation, you point up towards the upper frame of the door – a series of paper strips are hung from the other side. In the dim light of the Stone, you can make out enough characters to guess that these are magical wards of some kind2. Nuo’s eyes follow your finger, and then she inhales sharply. She looks back and forth between you and the talismans, questioningly.

    Now what?
    • Shoot over the threshold. Archer’s Paradox is already strung. You can plug both people in the bed without passing the wards. Better use the iron arrows, just to be sure.
    • Go around. You can break through the shutters on the outside easily, if not quietly, and that will remove any need to deal with the wards. Chopping through the wall might work too.
    • Double-Team. Set off the wards, have Nuo hide and attack after they’ve focused on you.
    • Storm in. Damn the wards, just run in there, grab the Stone, and kill whoever you can before anyone responds.
    • Something else?
    2
    Alarms, probably. Deadlier wards are possible, but you don’t think Himitsu would put those up there unless he hated being woken enough that he would kill his servants to make a point. If he really didn’t want anyone to enter the room, he would use some kind of lock.



    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


    • I know I was against causal murder but the shot is too perfect. Shoot over the threshold. The magus is literally in bed with the fae. Kill the bastard.


      I write things.

      Comment


      • The question is whether one iron shot could kill Joy at once. Better shoot Himitsu first, in the throat or eye, if we can make him die so silently that Joy doesn't notice. But who knows what powers she has -- her sense of touch may be keen enough to feel the body jerk from the arrow's force, or maybe she can sense death or violence. If not we can then start shooting her and hope she dies before she wakes and grabs the Stone...

        But it would be best to figure out how to destroy the wards.

        Or is there a way to use our Blessing to sneak past the wards? Or to get in the window in complete silence?


        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

        Comment


        • Er, Reaching Fist's hooked end to grab the Stone from out here in the hall? Otherwise, shoot Joy while Nuo rushes to kill Himetsu. If we are any good as an archer, we can have 2 or 3 in the Fae before it can do anything...


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

          Comment


          • Originally posted by L'het'esh View Post
            Er, Reaching Fist's hooked end to grab the Stone from out here in the hall?
            I like this option.

            The other option is to storm in swinging with a heavy weapon and get to the stone before they do.


            "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

            Comment


            • Put some iron arrows in Joy, don't give her a chance to wake up. Then, either let Nuo get Himitsu, or charge across if the wards have already gone off.

              Comment


              • Shoot over the threshold. Only suckers and dead men fight fair.


                Share your wonders in The Artifact and Evocation Workshop

                Comment


                • You take step back from the door, kneel down, carefully unsling your bow, and feel around in your quiver for an iron arrow. You remember putting a little notch in each one just below the fletching… Ah, there’s one. The arrow slides free, its nock meets the bowstring. Before you draw, you look towards Nuo and whisper – “Get ready. I’m going to shoot Joy. If Himitsu wakes, run in and stab him. I’ll grab the stone and break out the window. Got it?”

                  Nuo nods, tightening her grip on her dagger.

                  You grit your teeth while you pull the string back – this shot has to be perfect. You twitch your arms up and down, left and right, in increments almost too small to note, until you are sure the angle is right. You let go of the string. There is a soft twanging noise, and the arrow zips across the room, hits home into Joy’s left eye…

                  …and she vanishes with a loud “snap!” A life-size straw dummy lies where she lay, your arrow stuck in its false grass head. Himitsu vanishes too, replaced by a similar doll. The soft glow from the Stone of Making fades as it transforms into a nondescript round rock.

                  There is a moment of stillness while you take everything in, and then a noise like dozens of clanging bells echoes all around you. Strange red orbs appear along the ceiling, illuminating the hall with magical light. Nuo yells something unintelligible and races into the bedroom. You quickly sling up your bow again and draw your swords, swearing too quietly to be heard over the din. You turn towards the stairs, expecting armed men to rush in at any moment, but in doing so you see movement on the opposite side of the hall.

                  The door nearest to you slides open, fast, and a pair of Himitsu’s guards dash out like they were preparing for this moment all night. They spot you immediately and level their short spears in your direction, advancing down the hall shoulder to shoulder. You step forward and feint to the right, hoping to surprise them, but their spear-tips follow you perfectly and neither one of them tries to lunge. They step forward very deliberately together, blocking the hall, forcing you back. You figure they mean to herd you into a corner with their superior reach. Maybe you should try attacking their spears or switching weapons…?

                  You are saved from the tactical dilemma by Nuo’s intervention. When the guards have pushed you several steps back from the decoy bedroom, she bolts out from behind the door and jumps on the guard on the right. Red iron slices across the guard’s throat, releasing spurts of black blood. The other guard is surprised enough to break her stance. You seize the opening to rush in, knock her spear aside with one hand, and drive Righty into her heart through her abdomen with the other.

                  Seconds after the bodies hit the floor, you spot another door open nearer the stairs. A bald man in fine robes and a short woman with extremely long hair run out and sprint towards the exit. The man holds a head-sized sparkling crystal under his right arm, and the woman holds an identical crystal under her left. They separate at the stairs when the man runs downwards, and the woman runs up.

                  Better think fast.

                  What do you do?
                  • Chase the man. It’s Himitsu, escaping with the Stone. No doubt he means to use his guards below to cover his retreat. The other one is just another decoy.
                  • Chase the woman. It’s Joy, escaping with the Stone. She might have more hidden magic for attack or defense in the study. The other one is just another decoy.
                  • Stay here. You won’t be fooled by more illusions. Either one or both could easily lead you into a trap.
                  • Escape. You’re not playing their games, and you’re not going to wait here to see who comes to attack you next. Break through the nearest window and retreat into the rain and darkness.
                  AND
                  What should Nuo do?
                  • Chase the woman/man. While you take one path, she can follow another. What else are partners for?
                  • Stay here. There may yet be secrets here to be discovered. She should secure this floor in case there are more illusions.
                  • Flee. It was never realistic to protect her with the way she acts, but now this situation is out of your control and out of her league. She should go now while escape is still possible.
                  Last edited by semicasual; 09-16-2015, 11:56 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


                  • If they were holding the Stone, wouldn't they attack, not flee? So both are decoys? How rapidly can we shoot both?
                    Last edited by Erinys; 09-15-2015, 06:16 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

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Erinys View Post
                      If they were holding the Stone, wouldn's they attack, not flee? So both are decoys?
                      Opps. I guess there was a reason why that shot was TOO perfect.

                      Stay here and search until we are about to be captured. Then retreat into the raining darkness. Have Nuo do the same.
                      Last edited by wonderandawe; 09-15-2015, 06:21 PM.


                      I write things.

                      Comment


                      • Watch the fleeing figures. Remember what it felt like inside the blob, how everything was different from the real world -- not just texture or smell or sound or taste or color, but the very nature of it -- remember the way it felt, the way we remember how it feels to use our Blessing to do what ordinary men can't. That is the difference between illusion and reality. We don't need to touch or shoot them to distinguish real from false.

                        Remember also how wrong Joy feels by her very presense -- her, not an illusion of her.

                        Look beyond the visible and into the cores of them, and feel what they are.
                        Last edited by Erinys; 09-15-2015, 07:08 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

                        Comment


                        • ((Hahaha, I love the fair folk magic, that's hilarious!))

                          >Tell Nuo to chase Himitsu - she can probably handle him better, while you handle the wrong thing that is Joy - assuming it's actually her. Yeah, try and see if you feel her wrongness, that'd be a good clue if it's actually her.

                          Originally posted by Erinys View Post
                          If they were holding the Stone, wouldn't they attack, not flee?
                          We escaped their best weapon once before. Chances are, they're not going to risk using it on us without a guarantee of it ending us, and they don't have that guarantee.


                          "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

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Erinys View Post
                            Watch the fleeing figures. Remember what it felt like inside the blob, how everything was different from the real world -- not just texture or smell or sound or taste or color, but the very nature of it -- remember the way it felt, the way we remember how it feels to use our Blessing to do what ordinary men can't. That is the difference between illusion and reality. We don't need to touch or shoot them to distinguish real from false.

                            Remember also how wrong Joy feels by her very presense -- her, not an illusion of her.

                            Look beyond the visible and into the cores of them, and feel what they are.
                            I was going to say split up, but this is better. chase her if she is wrong, sending Nuo after Himetsu.
                            Otherwise, enter the room they supposedly fled from, with Nuo....


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

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Erinys View Post
                              Watch the fleeing figures. Remember what it felt like inside the blob, how everything was different from the real world -- not just texture or smell or sound or taste or color, but the very nature of it -- remember the way it felt, the way we remember how it feels to use our Blessing to do what ordinary men can't. That is the difference between illusion and reality. We don't need to touch or shoot them to distinguish real from false.

                              Remember also how wrong Joy feels by her very presense -- her, not an illusion of her.

                              Look beyond the visible and into the cores of them, and feel what they are.
                              This. We can see through their paltry tricks.

                              Comment


                              • (In retrospect, I probably should have included the "something else" option. Or maybe I never needed to use it in any of the other posts. Hmmm...)


                                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

                                Working...
                                X