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From Out of a Dream [Quest]

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  • Originally posted by Ferryman View Post
    Keep going. We haven't been sick in a long time, but anything nasty enough to affect us this way might require aid beyond just rest. Let's try to find a town or village with a healer.

    Agreed. Find a town and a healer.


    I write things.

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    • Town and healer.

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      • Dismount and lance the buboes; there may be splinters/thorns festering inside. Then you can either rest or move along, depending on how you feel.


        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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        • You resolve to press on despite the pain.

          That day's ride is uneventful, but still challenging. Dizziness hits you in waves, making it difficult for you to focus on your riding technique. By necessity, you slow down your pace.

          The next day is much the same, and so is the day after. The swelling and discoloration stay as they are. Finally, you descend from the plateau and enter populated lands again. You inquire about a healer in the next village you come to. The people there direct you to a man who is sometimes an herbalist and sometimes a veterinarian.

          The amateur examines you while you sit on a stained wooden table surrounded by vessels and cooking equipment, naked from the waist up. He pokes and prods at your buboes, then experimentally cuts into one with a tiny knife. Dark purple pus oozes from the wound while you grit your teeth. The amateur looks on, amazed. "I've never seen anything like this," he says. "But then, I mostly treat animals. I can give you something for the pain, but if you want to find an expert, Nexus isn't too far away. Surely there's someone there who knows about these things."

          You pay him for a small bottle of what turns out to be poppy juice mixed with strong spirits and continue on your way. It does help with the pain, but actually makes the dizziness worse. You stop taking it after the first dose wears off.

          A few days later, you finally reach your destination.

          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          Nexus is enormous, dwarfing the largest cities you had seen before many times over. From miles away, you can see the metropolis sprawling over the hills around a river, surrounded by three rings. The outermost ring is a line of black stone dolmen, each of them twice as high as you are and marked with unknown runes that you only see when you pass close to them. The innermost ring is a great stone wall as high as any you've seen or heard of. Between them is a shantytown, shacks and hovels clinging to the walls and pushing out towards the border-dolmen. You can make out little of the inner city over the wall. Part of Nexus sprouts chimneys pushing up a dense cloud of smog, like a black column rising into the sky. Another part is thick with the masts of large boats. Still another, raised a bit above the rest, has some great mansions and towers visible well above the outer wall. Taken all together, the sight is like something out of a dream - a glimpse of the sun after living for decades by firelight.


          That first glorious impression is ruined shortly after you enter the shantytown. You knew cities could smell - Eight Roads was a real feast for the nose - but Nexus reeks like nothing you have known before. The stench of at least eight different kinds of shit mixes with the reek of sweat, animals, and rotten everything1. You pull part of your cloak up around your nose, like you see a lot of the shanty-dwellers doing.

          You are riding in on a wide dirt road cutting through the shacks. Two crowds of people with all their animals, vehicles, and possessions move in two disorganized lines on this road - one going out, and one going in. All kinds of people move in both directions, although it appears that the carts and baggage going out tend to be empty. You merge with the inbound crowd, glaring suspiciously at the various people around you. Once or twice you have to slap away a hand that moves too close to your saddlebags.

          The inbound line gradually flows towards a wide gateway. Just inside the gate, a collection of wooden fences and low walls serve to funnel everyone passing through into two smaller lines. Guards in polished bronze armor stand outside the fence, watching the people coming and going.

          "Have your papers ready!" barks one guard. "If you have no papers, join the right-hand line. Dismount, and no pushing!"

          With no better ideas, you get off your horse and join the right-hand line - which, you notice, is moving much more slowly than the left-hand line. The left line marches past an officious-looking man sitting in a little booth who dully asks "Papers, please," to each person or group who passes. They hand him scrolls or sheets of something, which he takes and gives a cursory look over. Sometimes a few quiet words are exchanged, and then the papers are handed back and the person or group moves out of the line and into the commotion of the city.

          The right hand line, one the other hand, moves past another official in another booth, flanked by two guards This official is a sweaty-faced woman in an oversized robe, with a fat, jowly head covered by a flat cap. She has an immense stack of paper in front of her, along with an inkwell and a pen. Everyone who passes gets a long series of questions while she writes down something on one of her sheets. Money changes hands, the official hands over the sheet he was writing on, and the guards wave the traveler through.

          You wait in line for what feels like hours, patting your mare down to keep her calm. The person in front of you is little more than a boy, tanned, scrawny, dressed in a sack-like frock and tightly clutching a little leather bag. When he eventually reaches the official, he answers the questions easily enough, and when the time comes to pay he hands over his little bag. The jowly woman peeks inside the bag, makes a "tsk" sound, and passes it back. "This is not legal tender, please exit the line."

          The boy goes pale, and starts to stammer an objection. The official rolls her eyes. "Pursuant to Edict One Forty-Six dash A, cowries may not be offered as entry fees at any gate. Please exit the line."

          The boy does not move, either from stubbornness or confusion. One of the guards steps forward and makes a wide swing with his spear. The shaft hits the boy just above the ear and he drops like a stone. The guard mutters curses as he grabs the boy by the edge of his frock and starts dragging him back outside the gates. The official sighs, slams a wooden stamp with more force than necessary on the paper she had been filling out, then tosses the document somewhere under the counter of her booth.

          Finally, it is your turn. You step forward. The official looks at you like she cannot actually see you and starts intoning the questions.

          "Name and profession?"

          What do you tell her?
          • "Nergüi."
          • "Otgonbayar."
          • "...Guan."
          • Something else?
          AND
          • "Sellsword."
          • "...Landowner?"
          • "No 'profession' - I'm just passing through."
          • Something else?
          1
          Godsblood, don't these people bury their waste?

          Last edited by semicasual; 04-19-2016, 09:16 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.

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          • Guan the sellsword.


            I write things.

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            • "Nergui, sellsword."

              It's close enough to the truth, and it isn't likely to raise any further questions (we can do without more of those). If she asks what we're doing in town, let's not mention our injury. City-dwellers sometimes get panicky at the thought of illness, and we don't want to give her any reason to turn us away like she did the boy.


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              • Originally posted by semicasual View Post
                ...like something out of a dream...
                I see what you did there.

                I like Guan the sellsword too.


                I post Artifacts in this thread. How I make them is in this thread.
                I have made many tools and other things for 3rd Edition. I now host all of my creations on my Google site: The Vault of the Unsung Hero

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                • "Otgonbayar. Sellsword."
                  Nergui is a name left behind when Otgonbayar was resumed.
                  Sellsword is something to do while searching for the gate to the Gods of the Dead.



                  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
                    "Otgonbayar. Sellsword."
                    Nergui is a name left behind when Otgonbayar was resumed.
                    Sellsword is something to do while searching for the gate to the Gods of the Dead.
                    I agree with this

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                    • (Even split between Otgonbayar and Guan. Any other votes?)


                      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's use our real name. No good reason not to.

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                        • "Otgonbayar, sellsword," you answer. Lying or going nameless here would be pointless.

                          The jowly official nods and pens something on her sheet. "What is your reason for visiting the city?"

                          There is only one answer to that. "Business."

                          "Any saleable goods to declare?"

                          "No."

                          "Restricted substances?"

                          You do not know what she means. "No."

                          "Armaments?"

                          "Yes."

                          "Lay them out on the table, please." She gestures at a little wooden bench on her left.

                          You glance over her shoulder at one of the guards. He glares at you and makes a subtle jerking motion with his spear. With a sigh, you start unstrapping your equipment. Cleaver, Archer's Paradox, your quiver, your brace of knives, Fire, Water, Reaching Fist, and Vortex are all laid out one after the other. The official glances over each weapon and jots down a series of notes. "Is that all of them?"

                          "Yes."

                          "Are you the owner of that animal?" She nods towards your horse.

                          "Yes."

                          Another nod, another note. "Familiarize yourself with all edicts for animal ownership, bearing arms in the city, and martial contracting. Consult a legal counselor for more information. Three dirhams or equivalent value, please."

                          You fish around your money-pouch for coins and hand over a few of the smaller silver bits. The woman stamps her sheet with a big black emblem of a tower, then folds it up and hands it to you. "Keep this document on your person at all times - you will need it to pass between district checkpoints. Next in line, please."

                          She waves you away. You pull the mare ahead a little and begin the laborious process of re-arming yourself. Behind you, the next person in line - a man with a huge backpack, followed by a woman carrying two screaming babies and a gaggle of children in various sizes - leans down over the stall and starts giving quiet answers to the official's sharp questioning.


                          Finally, you pass through the gateway and into the city.

                          You have never seen the like of this place before. A smooth paved road divides rows of buildings built so high and so close together that they almost appear as a solid wall. In many places it seems like buildings have been stacked atop each other to create great towers of dwellings. Everywhere is commotion - people milling about colorful storefronts, shouting out of windows, hauling cargoes about. This place has an energy to it that puts Eight Roads to shame, and the source of that energy is obviously commerce. Even when money is not changing hands, you can see it moving from place to place with every step taken by everyone here.

                          "Hey! Clear the road!" shouts someone behind you. You turn around and see a red-faced man riding atop a cart full of cabbages. He waves a crop at you. "I'm trying to move, here! Roads are for riding! Move it!"

                          You fix him with your meanest glare, and the cabbage-carter trails off. Still, not to hold up traffic any further, you mount up. As you set your mare walking down the way, sharp pain and chills run through your side. You reflexively put a hand to your ribs and work on controlling your breath.

                          As you go along, you consider your next step. You have had a lot of time to think about what to do once you got here. First...
                          • Find a healer. You've been feeling better, but not much better. Before you take up the task of looking for the Gate, you should get an expert to look at your wounds.
                          • Look for Nuo. She did say that she would be coming here. Any help you could get would be welcome.
                          • Ask around about the Gate. No time to waste - you didn't race all the way south to get sidetracked now. Someone in this city has to know something...
                          • Something else?
                          Last edited by semicasual; 04-19-2016, 09:17 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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                          • Find a healer. We won't be good for much if we don't deal with this injury, and it doesn't seem to be getting better on its own.

                            After that, look for Nuo. We could use an ally, and...well, if she knows the city she might know how to find what we're looking for.


                            Share your wonders in The Artifact and Evocation Workshop

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                            • Find Nuo and then with her help look for a healer.


                              I write things.

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                              • Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
                                Find Nuo and then with her help look for a healer.
                                Seconded..


                                I post Artifacts in this thread. How I make them is in this thread.
                                I have made many tools and other things for 3rd Edition. I now host all of my creations on my Google site: The Vault of the Unsung Hero

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