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From Out of a Dream [Quest]

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  • Take to the rooftops with Archer's Paradox and shoot them down. Running is a lot harder with an arrow or three in you. Nuo's a big girl - let her make her own decisions.


    Share your wonders in The Artifact and Evocation Workshop

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    • You breathe in and try to focus all your senses. The chaotic sounds of people reacting to the alarms throughout the house, the red lights, the gurgling from the guards at your feet… all of these distractions filter out as you focus on the woman you assume is Joy, trying to discern if it is really her.

      A hint of the smell of poppy blossoms and the shiver running down your back tell you it is. There is that same feeling of wrongness, of a thing not in its proper place…

      “Get Himitsu!” you yell at Nuo, following one snap judgment with another. She reacts instantly and begins to run. Both of you sprint down the hall towards the stairs, parting ways to follow your chosen targets.

      You make it halfway up the stairs and turn to see Joy, teeth clenched and eyes full of hate, clumsily swinging at your head with the glowing Stone in her hands. Still moving up, you bend and turn out of the way of the blow. Then you follow up with an opportunistic slice at her arm with Righty.

      The blade passes through with no resistance as Joy dissolves into a pale cloud of smoke. The fumes make your vision blur. You shake your head to clear it as you climb the last few steps out of the cloud and into the office. Joy is not there. For a moment, you are disoriented and confused about what just happened – were you chasing an illusion after all? Could you really have been wrong, or are the xian’s tricks that good?

      Then you hear clattering on the tiles outside. Your eyes snap to a window, open to the blackness outside. You let out a low rumble as you cautiously cross the room, putting Righty away and drawing one of your iron knives.

      All is quiet as you step over the sill – the wind has picked up a little, gently blowing spray into your face. You turn and look about you, slowly, peering into the murk, waiting for any sight or sound out place that might tell you where Joy is hiding.

      There is a noise like gentle laughter behind you. Your muscles move before your mind as you spin around, flinging your knife in the direction of the sound. You have an instant to process the sight of Joy, inexplicably hanging in the air just beyond the edge of the roof, before the knife passes through her head. Just like the last Joy, this image turns into smoke which is quickly dissipated by the rain.

      You let out a short curse, draw another knife, and begin waiting again. Shortly afterwards, you hear voice, calling in your direction, from the roof on the opposite side of the building.

      “You think you’re the hero, don’t you?” says Joy, projecting without yelling. Her tone is equal parts mocking and recriminatory. “The mighty warrior, here to slay the evil witch and save the city?”

      The words go in one ear and out the other as you creep past the windows, turning one corner and approaching another. The direction the sound is coming from does not change, nor does Joy stop talking.

      “You are no such thing, Nameless One. All true heroes have names.”

      You peek around the second corner and see Joy, standing with her back to the window, looking in your direction. Again, your arm moves before your mind can catch up, and you throw your second knife. The iron edge arcs slightly through the air as you hastily step around the corner. Joy raises up a hand as if to catch it, but when the blade touches her skin she vanishes, leaving nothing but air behind.

      You let out some louder, longer curses and draw your last knife. You only just have it readied when you hear Joy again.

      “You are no hero. You’re a nasty, violent, vicious brute!” All mockery is gone from her voice – only indignation remains.

      Again, the voice is behind you. Again, you spin around, ready to throw, but this time you hesitate and take some time to observe. Joy floats through the mist well beyond the edge of the roof. She is four or five arm-lengths away from you, her head at the height of your head. Her flowing clothes and hair blow in the breeze but seem unaffected by the rain. She is not carrying the Stone.

      “You’re a murdering monster who has to die before anyone else can be happy!” she shouts, swinging an arm towards you. Her long sleeve extends over her hand and then far past her body, sweeping out like a trailing ribbon, or a whip. Whitish cloth wraps around your right forearm just as you begin to throw, tangling you up and pulling you off balance. You take a step back, trying to pull her towards you, but the sleeve stretches elastically without moving Joy an inch. She flings out her other sleeve and entangles your other arm when you desperately try to slash your way free.

      Joy pulls her arms back and her sleeves draw in, pulling you off the roof. She then raises her arms and hauls you upwards, leaving you dangling above her, too far away to kick her in the head. While you struggle and jerk against your bindings, you see Joy’s head morph. Her nose sinks in, her eyes become hollow sockets, and her mouth widens, black teeth becoming sharpened points. Her visage is and evil-looking mask that only cursorily resembles a human face. Her hair spreads out in all directions, ignoring rain, wind, and gravity.

      Die!” she commands with a hiss. Then Joy drops her arms, simultaneously throwing you down and releasing her grip on you.

      You hurtle towards the ground, spending the few precious fractions of a second you have left trying to control your fall… then land hard on your back, painfully meeting the weapons that were fixed there. Your head knocks against something hard, stunning you, and you hear something break – you hope it was only your quiver.

      You hear voices approaching, running footsteps. With a cough, you roll over and climb onto your feet. Lefty and the throwing knife are still tightly gripped in your hands. Taking stock of your situation, the first thing you notice is the spearpoints. Two guards in front of you and two more behind you have formed a rough square that slowly revolves around you as they all watch you and each other. They are being defensive – perhaps they did not expect you to get up.

      You are standing in the courtyard on the neat stone walkway leading up to Himitsu’s house. Joy is still a few floors above you, dimly lit by the red glow coming from the first floor windows. There are intermittent flashes and crashing sounds coming from the ground floor.

      Your vision is swimming – that blow to the head might be worse than you thought. But you have more immediate dangers to worry about. You grip your weapons even more tightly.
      • Counterattack. (Open player challenge! Nergüi is in a tactically unfavorable situation. How would you turn this around?)


      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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      • I've... got nothing on tactics (except that this might be a good time to learn a fast healing charm). However, when we do get back at her, we should emphasize that she's right. We're not a hero, we're just a murdering brute. And in Creation, unlike the storytime she comes from, the nasty, murdering brutes usually win.

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        • There's no reason at all to bother talking to her, or listening to her words. She's an alien monster, and we aren't trying to be a hero anyway*. Maybe it's worth asking all these guards why they serve and risk their lives for an obviously alien, inhuman xian monster. That might distract them or cause fatal hesitation.

          ((I have no tactics ideas either.))


          *Although her calling us a murderer is amusing since she and Himitsu blew up the Magistrate's house and everyone in it.
          Last edited by Erinys; 09-17-2015, 11:37 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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          • Check your Quiver and/or find the Iron Arrow. Jump to the building behind you* and pull out your bow and shoot the Fae Bitch. Do not come into range of her attacks again.

            *We have already fallen from a height that would kill a mortal and gotten back up again. Might as well make use of all of our powers. Though we don't want our blessing showing on our forehead.


            I write things.

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            • Certainly jump out of the ring of guards. Leap up to the roof and get the bow? Or jump back down and kill the guards?

              Neither! Joy does not have the Stone, so go inside and see that Himetsu dies. He attacked the nice Ayumu who was giving us drinks. If Joy wants to fight, she will come in after us, throwing away her advantages to try and protect her questionable partner. The iron tipped arrows can be used on her later, if she is foolish enough to stay around.


              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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              • Try to take one of those spears, sweep and stab with it to create an opening, and then go help Nuo (who has some questions to answer).

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                • Grab a spear just behind the head with your left hand.

                  Pull it under your armpit and past, dragging the guard with it.

                  Introduce him palm of your right hand, driving his nose into his brain.

                  Spin the spear and get a two handed grip on it.

                  Jump over their little group, crash through a window and find Himitsu. Joy is obnoxious and dangerous, but not as much as the stone.

                  Alternatively jump over them to another rooftop, fling the spear at Joy, then draw Vortex or Reaching Fist. Something with mobility to counter her sleeves and reach.


                  "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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                  • (I should have asked this question much earlier, in retrospect - in general, do you guys prefer to be given a concrete set of choices, or do you like open-ended problems with no particular solutions given?

                    In any event, I'll write up another story post on Monday.)


                    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 like having choices, even if I don't use them all the time. Gives me ideas on what to do next that I can build from.


                      I write things.

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                      • I like choices. They give me alternatives to consider, and then I can always try to think of another way if I deem none to be satisfactory.


                        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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                        • What those guys said.

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                          • Originally posted by L'het'esh View Post
                            I like choices. They give me alternatives to consider, and then I can always try to think of another way if I deem none to be satisfactory.
                            I agree with this.


                            "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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                            • ((I like choices. I can always ignore them and suggest something else, but it's helpful when I can't think of anything, to see a selection of the sorts of things Nergui might think of. Especially since he probably knows things we don't.))


                              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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                              • The "n choices plus Something Else" ones are probably the best, yeah.

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