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From Out of a Dream [Quest]

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  • Can we swim? If so, then by boat; we have no time to lose.

    And don't forget to punt the merchants if they haven't made themselves useful to the Sunblessed.


    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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    • By horse. This is the way my people do things.


      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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      • (Two for land, one for water. Any other votes?

        This is not as trivial as you might think. Besides the time factor, going by air means you could encounter [REDACTED]. Going by water, you must take into account [CENSORED] and [OBSCURED]. And of course the open road has [SOMETHING].

        Whatever you choose, I can guarantee [LONG BLOCK OF BLACKED OUT TEXT] hippopotamus.)


        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'll vote land, too, but with the addendum that we dig up the Stone and ensure an infinite supply of expendable horses for the journey.

          Originally posted by semicasual View Post
          Whatever you choose, I can guarantee [LONG BLOCK OF BLACKED OUT TEXT] hippopotamus.)
          So that spirit we set loose in Chapter One is coming back to haunt us, huh?

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          • Originally posted by Erinys View Post
            By horse. This is the way my people do things.

            I vote for this. Let's have some epic ride montage!





            ((Or Danger, Danger is always interesting!))


            I write things.

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            • You plan to go on a journey to unfamiliar lands to meet esoteric beings for reasons you barely understand. In the midst of all this uncertainty, you decide you would prefer to at least travel in a way you are comfortable with - by horse. A long trip overland means grain for your mount, preserved goods for you, water for both, and money to get more supplies as you go - you do not want to waste time foraging unless you must.

              Kun and Ling leave at the end of the first week. Your children and the wanderers tend to shun them, and without the ability to speak to anyone they are unable to find places for themselves. When their time is up, you have them escorted, despite their protests, to the edge of your territory. There they are set loose with two packs of supplies and seemingly no idea what to do next. You never see them again.

              Your impatience starts becoming unbearable by the fourth week. Silver Sky insists you must take a test to prove your readiness to speak to the gods, which he will only give you on the twenty-eight day despite your protests. You tell him many times that you are ready, and contemplate leaving without taking his test, but something holds you in place.1

              Finally, on the morning of the twenty-eighth, the shaman comes to you as you are finishing your exercises. It is a cool, misty morning on the training field. The grass is slick beneath your feet. You notice Silvery Sky just as you complete your last swing and begin to relax your stance.

              "{Thy time hath come, mighty Otgonbayar, who is Chief to the Sunblessed,}" says Silver Sky, speaking in gods' tongue as usual. "{Art thou ready?}"

              You say nothing for a few long seconds. Just then you do not feel ready, mostly because blood is flowing to your limbs instead of your head and thinking takes real effort. Even so, you eventually answer "{Yes, honored mentor2, I am ready.}"

              "{Then speak unto to me as thou would unto the very gods themselves, they who rule in Heaven. Then I shall judge thy readiness.}" Silver Sky's face is a blank and his voice is a drone. If he has any particular feelings about this moment, you cannot guess them.

              You take a deep breath, then begin the speech you have been preparing in pieces for weeks. "{I, Otgonbayar, blessed by the Sun, warrior without peer, come before you to plead the case of my many progeny. My heirs, who are shaped by my power and my will, are unrecognized by Heaven - their souls are unrecorded in the records of life and death. Therefore, I say unto you - thou shalt remember them, and judge them. For their lives are worth as much as any mortal's and more, for they are mine and under my protection. So let it be done.}"

              Silver Sky nods, still expressionless. "{Thou art as ready as thou shalt be.}"

              Some of the tension you feel eases. "{Then I shall leave at once. Thou shalt guide the Sunlessed in matters of the spirit until my return - thus do I charge you.}"

              "{It shall be done, mighty Otgonbayar.}"

              "{Then go and tell the council it is time - I shall soon follow.}"

              When the shaman is out of sight, you scan the field to make sure you are alone. Then you go to the cairn where the Stone of Making was buried and kick over the rocks. You pull up the wet dirt with your hands and cast it aside. The Stone will be useful on your journey, you think. A limitless source of supplies or even new horses if you need them, and perhaps much more.

              After several minutes of digging, you become convinced something is wrong. You do not remember burying the Stone too deep, but you cannot find it. You start widening and deepening the hole, shifting earth with Cleaver, but the only stones you uncover are lifeless grey slabs. You look around, wondering if you somehow dug up the wrong cairn.

              Eventually, you are forced to accept the obvious - the Stone has been taken from its place. Worse, you cannot know for sure when this happened. You force yourself to breath and unclench your fists as you think.

              Anyone who lived in the village for any length of time might know of this place. All of the Sunblessed and many of the Wanderers would know you possess the Stone. Someone might have seen you bury it and then come to take it while you were elsewhere or told someone else. But what to do?

              • Nothing. You found this out at the worst time - you can't afford to delay your journey and that means you can't start an investigation. Just let it be for now and hope there's still a trail to follow when you get back.
              • Set the Sunblessed to searching. Your children should find it soon if it's still on the steppes. You'd be relieved (if angry) if one of them had it all along.
              • Forget the journey for now. Finding the stone takes priority.
              • Something else?


              1
              It's hard to describe, other than how you know in your bones that you cannot, must not, fail this mission.

              2
              He insisted you call him that. It was two weeks before your figured out what it meant, and by then it was habit.



              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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              • Nothing. The journey is too important to put off; each delay means one of the Sunblessed may be lost for all time, unmade and forgotten. If one of them does have it, it's safe, and if not, odds are that searching for it will only cause more problems. Regardless, this is a sign that our time to wield the Stone of Making is done.

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                • Nothing. It was put aside for a reason. While it might help on the journey, Nergui lived long without such and Otgonbayar can do as well, if not better. The real reason to take the Stone away is so it could not be abused or misused near the Sunblessed. Whoever has it has not done anything noticeable, and it is possible that they can not.

                  In any case, get on with it! Nexus and the gods of death await.


                  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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                  • Nothing. Let's get this journey started.


                    I write things.

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                    • Your misgivings are swept away by the grim certainty that there is nothing you can do. Whatever fears you might have, there are more pressing problems to deal with. The missing Stone will have to be a problem for another day. You wipe the mud on your hands and sword off onto the grass, then begin the walk back to the village.

                      Word spreads quickly among the Sunblessed. By the time you arrive, everyone is already gathered to wish you luck and watch you go. People say short prayers for you or ask questions are you pass - you give short answers to both. Finally, you find First waiting for you with your horse, saddled and ready. You mount up and walk your horse towards the center of the crowd.

                      When you have reached the middle, you hold up a hand. The murmers, prayers, and questions cease, leaving you room to speak. "[My children, today I must leave you, and I know not when I will return. Your council - Steel Warrior, First, and Gold Spirit - shall lead you as before, and Silver Sky will guide your prayers. Follow them as you would me.]"

                      You pause briefly to think. There is a lot that you would say if you could find the words, but you cannot think how to express most of what you are feeling now. Besides, you have to leave. What parting words of guidance will you give the Sunblessed?
                      • "[Your clan and family are the most precious things you will ever have. Watch over and care for each other.]"
                      • "[You must protect your pride. Never forget that you are Sunblessed, chosen people. No one can take that from you.]"
                      • "[This land I have made for you is sacred. Tend to it, guard it, and it shall serve you all your lives.]"
                      • 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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                      • "[This land I have made for you is sacred. Tend to it, guard it, and it shall serve you all your lives.]"

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                        • Your clan and family are the most precious things you will ever have. Watch over and care for each other

                          The Sunblessed are not the land, but the people. Where ever the Sunblessed are, as long as they are together they will be home.


                          I write things.

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                          • Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
                            Your clan and family are the most precious things you will ever have. Watch over and care for each other

                            The Sunblessed are not the land, but the people. Where ever the Sunblessed are, as long as they are together they will be home.
                            Seconding this.

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                            • Clan/family. We are going to the gods of death because of how important the children are to us.


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

                              Comment


                              • “[Your clan and family are the most precious things you will ever have. Watch over and care for each other.]”

                                With those parting words, you wave goodbye and turn your steed around. You kick her into a trot and ride away from the Sunblessed village, sparing one final look at the place before it falls out of sight behind hills and trees.


                                The journey south is uneventful, at first. You focus yourself on proper riding technique – balancing oneself just so to prevent saddle soreness, pushing your mare just hard enough to sustain a long run - and make excellent time.

                                The country gets a little warmer, wetter, and greener as you go further south. You find yourself passing through full forests and wide farmlands, lined with horsetracks and footpaths. When you come upon one of the southerner’s caravan trails, you follow it until it joins a road. The further south you go, the more well-used the roads are. Sometimes, the dirt road merges onto a wide stretch of smooth, ancient cobblestone.1

                                The old roads usually lead to a town, when they don’t fade away back into the earth. You find yourself among Riverspeaking people before long – farmers and crafters who almost always make way for you as you ride by, either from respect for you or just fear of being run down. Once or twice, you stop in a settlement to resupply and sleep in a bed. Mostly you camp on the road, partly to avoid people and partly because traveling as far as you can each day leaves you stopping between towns. The denser part of the south, where every village is within spitting distance of another one, is still ahead of you.
                                1
                                People say the old stone roads are the safest – animals and spirits don’t harass travelers on the old ways because the gods of travel have blessed every brick. You don’t know if that’s true, but you’ll welcome any wide, flat, straight path to follow.



                                One day, you find yourself on a well-worn track through some deep woods. It is late in the afternoon, getting on to dusk. The trees block much of the sunlight, leaving the path ahead of you mottled with shadows. Wind blowing through the branches and birdcalls are the loudest noises you can hear. You have slowed to a walk for the moment, letting your horse have something like a rest while you both focus on the path.

                                You notice a flicker of movement at the corner of your eye – leaves rustling out of time with the wind. Something shifts in the shadows to your left, and then again to your right. You grimace, peer into the darkness, and gradually an impression comes to you. You are looking at a group of people, at least five, moving between the trees quickly and quietly. Some are ahead of you, and some behind. One of them is close enough to step out right in front of you if they so chose. What do you do?
                                • Draw Archer’s Paradox, start yelling and shooting into the trees. The best way to stop an ambush is to start one of your own. If you attack before they know you’ve noticed them, you might kill a few and scatter the rest.
                                • Stop and demand an explanation. “Who’s sneaking around out there? Show yourselves!”
                                • Break into a gallop and outrun them. They won’t keep up with you if you’re really determined to get away.
                                • 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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