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From Out of a Dream [Quest]

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  • Hmmm... Normally, we stay to the back and try to use surprise to our advantage. But we don't want to leave the Sunblessed to take the brunt of the attacks.

    Let's stay with the Archers. It takes the best advantage of our strengths.

    And yes. Don't hold back. Soon we clear out these Buck-Orges, the sooner we can get home to deal with whatever is there. This family stuff is a lot more trouble than we thought. Horses would have been easier.*


    ((* Hey, our Night Caste hasn't changed that much from the drunken PSTD mercenary. Don't tell me he hasn't been thinking this at least once. ))
    Last edited by wonderandawe; 12-07-2015, 10:14 AM.


    I write things.

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    • Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
      ((* Hey, our Night Caste hasn't changed that much from the drunken PSTD mercenary. Don't tell me he hasn't been thinking this at least once. ))
      Sometimes you wonder why you didn't skip the children and focus on the herd. On the other hand, now you don't wake up in the morning with nothing to do but drink yourself unconscious again.


      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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      • ((Maybe one hundred children was a bit much for a new, unwedded father. With PTSD. And no other relatives. And a drinking problem.

        (("He's triumphed in battle against monsters and fair folk and golems and hordes of lightly armed mortals. He's mastered his own Essence. He's mastered advanced Wyld-Shaping like it's a walk in the park. He's even quit drinking (sort of). But can Otgonbayar manage to keep up with... DUN DUN DUNNNN... fatherhood?"))
        Last edited by Erinys; 12-07-2015, 11:03 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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        • Originally posted by Erinys View Post
          Maybe one hundred children was a bit much for a new, unwedded father. With PTSD. And no other relatives. And a drinking problem.
          The Blessed of the Sun don't do things half assed.


          I write things.

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          • ((On the old forum somebody made up some charms for things like cooking, babysitting, hygiene, going to school, and raising kids. I always assumed those were made as jokes, but I'm semi-serious when I say... that maybe this is a situation where a Solar would seriously try to invent charms like that. And now I wonder if he already developed Resistance charms for holding his liquor really well.))


            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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            • Originally posted by Erinys View Post
              I will join the archers, to start. However, after the spear warriors engage at medium range, it's no longer safe for [non-master] archers to shoot into the melee. At that point the archers have to drop back like the reserves and prepare to shoot any ogre that breaks out of the melee, while I wade in with a spear.

              And I'll bring all my other weapons, so if things start to go wrong I can call everyone off and just go solo.

              Obviously I won't bother to hide my Blessing.
              Close, but why use a spear when you have Cleaver? You should bob and weave through the melee, helping the Sunblessed that are hardest pressed. Righty and Lefty probably can't do enough damage with one stroke, and the same for Reaching Fist and Vortex.

              EDIT: and keep a watch out for Wanderers sent to spy on the hunt.


              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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              • I would say go with the archers first and then jump of the horse and charge them with cleaver. Then our sunlessed with spears can attack them from the other side.


                Also, look at the exalted fan collection that we are making.

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                • Originally posted by L'het'esh View Post
                  Close, but why use a spear when you have Cleaver?
                  ((The Sunblessed with spears will be fighting in formation. The GM said we can't join them with anything except a spear.))


                  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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                  • Quickly and quietly, everyone gets into position. You take your place with the archers and wait impatiently the opportunity to move. The beginning will be crucial – if the ogres spot any of the Sunblessed before they are ready, this fight is lost. You fidget with Archer’s Paradox, squeeze your reins, try counting blades of grass… and then, mercifully, the wait is over. All is ready, and you are the first to charge over the hill towards the camp.

                    Grass and scrub whip past you as you stare ahead. You straighten up in your saddle and scream, and soon your voice is joined by the other riders’. Buck-ogres who were sitting about, eating, or wrestling each other turn their heads – both of them – to you. You let go of the reins and grab for an arrow, focusing on the nearest beast. He is a hulking brute with an enormous handaxe in each of its massive hands, pushing out of a crude tent to see what the noise is. The arrow is nocked and drawn back. You hold your breath and wait for that tiny instant of clarity when you can see where everything will be, then release.

                    The arrow arcs ahead of you and plunges into the ogre’s left head’s left eye. The beast stumbles and falls while the right head roars in rage. The other archers around you loose their own shots. Some hit, striking muscular limbs and torsos. Others punch through the tents or thud into the dirt at the ogres’ feet, doing no damage but enraging the herd.

                    The one ogre you shot gets up, its left head limp. The beast roars again, screaming something in ogre language, and waves its axes at your advancing group. You take that as your signal to pull on the reigns and turn your horse around, starting the retreat. The ogres rush out of the camp with surprising speed. The other riders follow you, already struggling to put distance between themselves and the armed stampede coming their way.

                    The archers turn in their saddles and fire behind them, loosing arrow after arrow to try to slow the ogres down. Most focus on filling the air with shots, but you only watch from your place at the head of the group. You bide your time and wait for another perfect moment.

                    The one ogre you shot is coming along surprisingly well1. He runs at the front of the ogre counter-charge, treating up the dirt as it gains ground. The brute puts on a sudden burst of speed and you immediately see it gaining ground on the rider in the rear – Fire Heart. You grit your teeth and squeeze the horse with your legs, turning it slightly, and ready your bow. The next moment of clarity strikes right before the ogre makes a lunge, raising his axes to make a flying tackle at your son’s horse.

                    Your shot pierces through the right head’s right eye, and the flying tackle becomes an inelegant plunge into the earth. Around you, the Sunblessed whoop as the spearmen rise up and sprint at the advancing ogres. Sharp shafts bring bellowing beasts to a sudden stop as the ogres are surrounded. The Sunblessed push in cautiously but hard, using their numbers and the longer reach of their weapons to keep them at bay.

                    The reserve group approaches, waiting to join in. You bring your horse to a halt and leap out of the saddle. You are dimly aware of someone handing you a spear as you turn to look at the fight in progress.

                    At first, everything seems to be going well. The Sunblessed close ranks around each ogre, staying clear of their heavy swings, and kill them by inches with opportunistic stabs. If the ogres try to break through, they brace their spears and impale the monsters with their own weight. But everything can change in an instant.

                    One ogre near the outside ducks under a spear thrust and steps forward, knocking the shaft aside with one arm. The other Sunblessed nearby are too slow to react and two of them get knocked back by the ogre’s follow-up swing. The beast presses its advantage and swings down a great stone hammer into a fallen child’s chest.

                    “[Left side! Attack!]” you scream to the reserve group, and then run towards the fray without seeing if they are following you. You leap, fall, and sink the tip of your spear into the ogre’s chest. The shaft sticks between the ribs, leaving you hanging off the wooden pole while the ogre screams and thrashes about. Other Sunblessed join you, and soon half a dozen spears pierce the ogre’s gut and its sides. The ogre starts to slump forwards as it vomits blood from both mouths. You grit your teeth and give a mighty heave, pushing the ogre onto its back and clear of your children.

                    Around you, the battle is coming to a swift conclusion. Every ogre that falls frees up more Sunblessed to surround and jab at the rest. But the rest of the fighting is meaningless to you. You spend the entire time staring down at Stone Will, trying to breath with his ribs crushed.
                    1
                    You’ve never seen one recover from losing a head before.


                    You stand there for a while, desperately trying to think of something you can do and finding nothing, unaware of the passage of time. You are still there when Jewel Flower approaches you and tells you something about the battle. Words go in one ear and out the other until you manage to pick out a tiny, crucial message.

                    “[…a shaman from the Wanderers tribe appeared to watch – he said he wanted to speak to you-]”
                    You snap out of your stupor and look at her. “[Eternal Peace? Bring him here right now.]”

                    “[He is not Eternal Peace. He said he was – ]”

                    “[I care not! Bring him here!]”

                    You pace and fume in the middle of a small group of Sunblessed. They watch you and Stone Will with concern. Stone Will wheezes and coughs wetly. Jewel Flower returns, leading an old man. He carries a walking stick in one hand and wears drab, mud-colored robes.

                    “[The one with no name,]” says the old man. His voice is croaky. “[I have come to - ]”

                    “[Do you know healing arts?]” you bark at him, not hearing his words.

                    The old man stops, stammers a little, and finally gets out a “[Yes?]”

                    You grab him by the shoulder and push him towards Stone Will. “[Heal him.]”

                    The old man stumbles forward, catches himself on his stick, and peers down at your son. “…Hmm.” He slowly gets down on his knees and lays the stick aside. Then he carefully pulls up Stone Will’s shirt, probing at the dark bruises underneath. “…Hmmm… [It will take time.]”

                    You relax a tiny fraction, although the tight feeling in your chest remains. “[What do you need?]”

                    “[Clean water, a fire, blankets, clean clothes. And time,]” he repeats without taking his eyes off of Stone Will. “[…You need more time…]” He lays a hand on Stone Will’s head, and Stone Will closes his eyes. The child seems a little more relaxed already.

                    You make sure the shaman has everything he asks for. You continue to wait and watch them for a while. The shaman seems to do very little except watch and wait himself – once the fire is set, he lays a damp cloth on Stone Will’s head and sits there with his legs crossed. Sometime later, he pulls a strange device out of a leather bag – a bladder of some kind with a little tube sticking out of it. He asks you to hold Stone Will’s mouth open while he pushes the tube down Stone Will’s throat, and then squeezes the bladder like a bellows. For almost an hour, the shaman works his device and pushes air into Stone Will’s chest. Then he carefully pulls the tube out and goes back to waiting.

                    In the meantime, the Sunblessed celebrate. Despite the state of their brother, they are flush with victory and their mood is bright. They butcher the ogres and cook several of them. There is far more meat than they can eat, but they try anyway. They take all of the skulls and bind them together with sticks and ropes, then mount the whole thing on three crossed spear-shafts as a victory monument. They loot the ogre’s camp and find valuable baubles among the trash the ogres kept. When you finally decide you cannot do any more for Stone Will, you half-heartedly join them.

                    Night falls, and the Sunblessed make their own camp upwind of the ogres’. They sleep easily. Your rest is broken by the nightmare of the battlefield. You spend the pre-dawn hours wide awake, staring at the falling moon.

                    The next day, you go to find Stone Will and the shaman exactly where you left them. The shaman is wide awake and nods at you sit down next to him. Stone Will is asleep, and appears to be breathing better. You raise his blankets to look underneath and frown - the contusions on his chest look darker.

                    “[Time heals all wounds, great chief,]” says the shaman without facing you. “[Time, patience, and acceptance.]”

                    “[I did not ask your name, shaman,]” you grumble, sitting back. “[But I owe you a debt for healing my son. Who are you, and what would you have of me?]”

                    Now the old man turns to face you. You suddenly realize you’ve seen this man before – you cannot remember his name, but he was part of the united army of the steppes. A shaman from another clan, you think. He would have been far younger then, of course, which is why you did not recognize him. Now he is practically skin and bones under that robe, and his slate-colored eyes are sunk into roughly shaven face.

                    “[My name is Silver Sky,]” he says, “[I have been looking for you for a long time.]” The old man pauses, frowns, and looks to Stone Will. “[What I would ask of you can wait a while longer, I think. The boy will need watching. Certainly, he cannot go any further with this hunt.]” He turns his head back to you. “[Give me a horse and a sled to carry him on. I will bring him to your village and await you there. We shall speak of debts when you return.]”

                    You are about to accept, but feel a sudden twinge of doubt. Is this the right choice?
                    • Let Silver Sky go with Stone Will. Who knows what could happen if Stone Will is left without an experienced healer to observe him? Better not take any chances.
                    • Send Stone Will with someone else, keep Silver Sky with you. What happened to Stone Will could happen to anyone. Having a healer along for the hunt could save more lives. Better not take any chances.
                    • Call off the hunt. This is all too risky. You can’t put your children in more danger. You’re going to bring everyone home, starting today. Better not take any chances.
                    • Something else?


                    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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                    • Let Silver Sky go with Stone Will. Continue the hunt. Speak carefully to the Sunblessed; loss is part of life that they are not used to.

                      The shaman is from the old days. He can tell much of what happened, how the Wanderers came to be, if that is important.


                      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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                      • We'll all return to the village, and check on the other Sunblessed. When Stone Will is improving and I've spoken with Silver Sky, then we resume the hunt. I'm not ready to leave this shaman alone in my village -- I don't know what he wants from me or what he'll do. I can't trust him yet -- shamans are wily and slippery. (There's no doubt he knows who I am, and more than that, he knows I was Nergüi. What else does he know? Does he want revenge for "abandoning" the clans?)

                        Or if we have to, we just camp here for a few days before resuming the hunt. Does Stone Will really need to be at the village, instead of here, to start healing? If he needs shelter or food or warm water, I can shape it for him.


                        Either way, I'll speak to the Sunblessed about death. (If I didn't warn them about it before when I was training, them, I'm a fool. But even if I did, they surely don't understand it yet.)
                        Last edited by Erinys; 12-09-2015, 12:03 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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                        • Send Stone Will with someone else, keep Silver Sky with you.

                          We cannot stop the hunt as we promised we would take care of the Buck-Ogres and will need a healer for any other injuries. Silver Sky can instruct one of our other children on how to care for Stone Will.


                          I write things.

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                          • Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
                            Send Stone Will with someone else, keep Silver Sky with you.

                            We cannot stop the hunt as we promised we would take care of the Buck-Ogres and will need a healer for any other injuries. Silver Sky can instruct one of our other children on how to care for Stone Will.
                            Shamans are often capable of feats that other men can't equal. It's quite possible nobody else can help Stone Will. We should not continue the hunt without keeping Silver Sky here, if he is willing to stay, though.


                            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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                            • Let Silver Sky go with Stone Will. Be more careful, in the next battle.

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                              • Let Silver Sky go with Stone Will. And if there's anyone to spare, send them along as an... escort.

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