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From Out of a Dream [Quest]

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  • Make it clear you've seen them, then ignore them disdainfully. We've killed hundreds of bandits just like these are likely to be, and fought monsters that would make them wet themselves; getting worked up over common brigands is beneath us.

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    • We are carrying an arsenal of weapons and these bandits are going to attack? Ride on, and let the chips fall where they may.
      ah, red, the color of blood....
      EDIT: sorry, old habit. Rather, it is time to be Nergui again, for a little while.
      Last edited by L'het'esh; 03-23-2016, 10:49 PM.


      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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      • Pause and glare at the bandits in the bush. And then ride on. If these bandits are fool enough to attack us, so be it.


        I write things.

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        • Break into a gallop and outrun them. These bandits or whatever will only waste our time.

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          • They're no threat to me, but it would be inconvenient to lose my horse. I gallop ahead of them, and try to use my Blessing to make the horse faster and more enduring.


            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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            • You grumble under your breath as you stare balefully into the woods. Bandits? Skulking forest-people? Unusually timid travelers? Whoever they are, you cannot spare the time to deal with them.

              You lean forward and dig your heels into your mare's flanks. Just as trained, she starts to pick up the pace. She flattens out her back, extends her nose, and goes into a four-beat gait. Blurry, indistinct greenery rushes past you. You vaguely hear shouts from the woods beside you and then behind you as you suddenly race away.

              Your sense of space and time adjusts to compensate for your speed. You have to anticipate the trail ahead and steer accordingly. Balancing in your horse's back while gently nudging her this way and that demands subtlety and strength. All of this takes concentration you might otherwise have put towards noticing the trap in front of you.

              Less than ten yards away, a net of woven ropes abruptly rises off the forest floor. The entrapping barrier is strung between the trees over the path. With no time to slow down or turn, all you can think to do is reach for the great sword across your back. With one hand, you pull Cleaver free and slice down, nearly taking your mount's ear off. The blade parts the ropes in a golden flash. Before you can blink you are past the net, uncaught and free to run. You rebalance yourself with Cleaver held off to one side.

              Hooves pound the dirt. Nothing else blocks your way, and you do not slow until you are clear of the woods. Then you take a short rest so the mare can cool down.



              The next day, it starts to rain heavily. The rain continues with varying intensity for the rest of the week. Right around the time you start to wonder if the clouds are following you, you find your way to a hilltop village where the people build thatched houses on silts. Your only goals there are to resupply and get directions, but you learn of a new obstacle as well.

              "No going south this time of year, no sir," says the stable manager. You are leaning against a wooden wall in a dank barn-like structure, glancing out the door at the continuous drizzle outside. The manager is a dusky, stout woman who never pauses for breath as she hauls out feed for several horses, including your own. "Those plains might as well be a swamp, before the rain stops. Mud what sucks your boots right off is the least of it. There's parts that get deep enough to swallow a horse, yessir. Had a great uncle that tried to make that trip once - only ever found his hat. Course, he had trouble with the law, so maybe he thought that was the better way to go. Anyway, you'll not get far on the road. Better to head east, follow the plateau around. Or better yet, stay a while! I know a hostel where you can stay high and dry for a few weeks, not too expensive, and they've got watapo buns like you've never tasted!"

              She continues to espouse the amazing hospitality of the town1 while you give noncommittal grunts. There is something to what she says - the road up to the village was not easy, and from what you have seen the way south is even worse. You would not be the only one to stop here - most of the horses in these stables belong to other stranded travelers like yourself, stuck here until the end of the season. Even so, you are loathe to wait after racing to come this far. What to do...?
              • Go south anyway. You have confidence in your skills as a rider and orienteer - you can find a way through.
              • Take the long way. You won't wait, but you won't be reckless either.
              • Wait. It's been a long journey, and you could use some rest. Get back on the road when the road isn't under a foot of water.
              • Call for supernatural aid. Maybe you could use the pearl here? You've never tried to invoke a spirit before, but if you need to cross swampy terrain safely...
              • Something else?

              1
              You've known a lot of places like this. They have no money, so they try get all they can from anyone who can afford to travel. Some are better than others, but they all lie about how welcoming they are - particularly if you're both drunk and broke.
              Last edited by semicasual; 03-30-2016, 10:39 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

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              • How much longer would taking the eastern route extend our trip?


                I write things.

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                • The thing with the net was awesome.

                  If it's not an absurd amount of time (like, would actually be longer than waiting for the rain to stop), take the long way. If it is absurd, then wait.

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                  • Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
                    How much longer would taking the eastern route extend our trip?
                    Eh, at least half as long as waiting. And that's if there's no more delays.
                    Originally posted by WarDragon View Post
                    The thing with the net was awesome.
                    (Thank you. Finding a way to make running away interesting required some thought.)


                    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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                    • Originally posted by WarDragon View Post

                      If it's not an absurd amount of time (like, would actually be longer than waiting for the rain to stop), take the long way. If it is absurd, then wait.
                      Yes. Take the long way.


                      I write things.

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                      • Go south. No guts, no glory?

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                        • Supertramp: take the long way...
                          Moving is better than sitting around with nothing to do but drink, gamble, and kill random strangers. That's what Nergui would have done.


                          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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                          • Originally posted by L'het'esh View Post
                            Supertramp: take the long way...
                            Moving is better than sitting around with nothing to do but drink, gamble, and kill random strangers. That's what Nergui would have done.
                            Yep, this.

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                            • You quiet the manager's prattle by agreeing to stay one night and set out early the next morning. It is dark during these hours, when the sunrise is dimmed by storm clouds. Pouring rain and dense fog slows your progress eastward. The land rises up over time, leading to a seemingly endless series of grassy hills. Eventually you leave the rain behind you and enter a country that strongly resembles the northern steppes, albeit warmer.

                              The road, if you can call it that1, follows the path of least resistance through the hills. First it winds east, then more southeast. There are few people in this region. The odd homestead or trading post are the only settlements you pass for weeks. It is not that the land is hard to live on, as such, but this region seems to be just out of the way of anywhere important. In many places, the hills rise high enough for you to see beyond distant cliffs to the rich lowlands below. These are mostly covered in fog, but on clear days you can catch glimpses of acres of farmland and large cities2.

                              One day, the path merges with stretch of one of the old roads. You ride on stone for about a mile before you come to a crossroads with an enormous cyclopean totem planted in the middle of it. The totem is worn smooth by wind and rain, but you can still make out a frieze of people and animals apparently walking around the upper part of the totem. Lower down, at the height of your eyes if you were not on horseback, are chiseled words in godstongue.

                              You study the words for a moment, then rummage around in your saddlebags and pull out your reading-mask3. You hold the mask close to the totem and tilt it down at the writing. After a few moments, the mask starts speaking monotonously in your voice.

                              "West - Cliffs of Dawn and the Overwatch Citadel. North - Protected Lands of Allenal. East - Red River, Starry Dales, and Sky-Reaching Bridge. South - Greater Prosperity. May this path be forever blessed by Endless Promenade, in whose care this road was built, and by our Lady of Journeys, who watches all roads."

                              None of those names mean anything to you. You wave the mask over the totem one more time to see if it says anything else, and your hand brushes against the stone. You feel a faint tingling from your forehead and the engraving lights up with a soft white-green glow. You pull back, startled, and the glow spreads beneath your horse's hooves. Soon the entire road is dimly illuminated - clear enough to see the road in darkness, but not enough to light up the surrounding environment. You wait for a while to see if anything else happen. When nothing does happen, you continue southwards.

                              Late that evening, the setting sun highlights a standing stone structure just a little ways off the still-glowing road. As you pass by, you can make out what might be an old tomb. Great carved blocks frame the entrance to a tunnel of some kind leading into a hillside. The twilight shines a little way inside, but only a little.

                              It is getting dark. Soon you should rest. What do you do?
                              • Camp inside, make a cursory search. This place is an obvious shelter, but you don't want to make time to fully explore the place.
                              • Camp inside, make a thorough search. There might be something useful or valuable inside, and since you're already here...
                              • Press on. It's not always safe to camp in ruins like these at night - there is old magic around here, and it's still active. You can go a little farther.
                              • Something else?
                              1
                              Parts of it look more like an animal track.


                              2
                              Who would want to stay up here with everything down there in plain view? There's a familiar feeling...


                              3
                              Silver Sky couldn't teach you to read much in the short time you had. Godstongue is a mishmash of symbols for sounds and symbols for names and symbols for ideas, and every god has their own unique sign. You mostly know the signs for sounds, but you see few of those on this marker.



                              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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                              • Thorough search, thorough search!

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