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From Out of a Dream [Quest]

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  • Yeah uncursing, let's be smart with the bartering.

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    • While Uncursing would be handy, what do we have to barter for so valuable a service? If it is a service from us, forget it, that would just be more complications and delay.

      Probably a bit of Food or Nothing would be best.


      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 consider your options and decide to take a chance. "{I am stricken by a curse, which you may see by the ash on my face and the burn-marked steps I leave behind. I seek one wise in the ways of curses to lift it from me.}"

        Ji beams at you. "{Thou art fortunate, for I know of one who would perform such a service for no great cost.}" A long pause follows this proclamation.

        "{Then tell me,}" you demand.

        "{Stay,}" answers Ji, crossing his arms and wrapping himself in tassels in the process.His smile never wavers but his eyes betray his greed. "{Knowledge is a commodity, and I would not trade it for nothing! Tell me some news - a story of things influencing the markets of the heavenly city - and I will tell thee what I know in turn.}"

        You frown, thinking over what you have seen in your short time here.
        • "...{Tonight, the house of Ozdis burned along with his possessions. He will want new goods, soon.}"
        • "...{There is a... servant of the Lute, named Silk Butterfly, who is most desirous of particular magical crystals.}"
        • "...{A Doom follows me. Thou wouldst be wise to tell me what I wish and send me away, or I may bring an end to thee.}"
        • Something else?
        Last edited by semicasual; 07-28-2016, 05:33 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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        • The thing about the fire, it might be unkind to reveal the gem and screw that curse slinging but-wipe anyways

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          • If we are going to do this, let's get out as cheaply as possible. This will appeal to the greedy.
            .{Tonight, the house of Ozdis burned along with his possessions. He will want new goods, soon.}


            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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            • "{Tonight, the house of Ozdis burned along with his possessions,}" you reply. "{He will want new goods, soon.}"

              Conscientious Li gives a brief chuckle. "{Ozdis' house, on fire? There is an irony to that.}"

              "{Is that enough?}"

              "{Indeed it is!}" Li bends down even further than before and beckons you closer. You take a step forward. He looks around furtively, and when he is satisfied that no one is paying attention he begins speaking just above a whisper. "{Go thou north, through that alley. Count five doors and knock three times on the sixth. Someone will ask who thou art, and thou wilt answer 'I am but a humble man in need.'}"

              You give him a skeptical look. Li, evidently unconcerned, sits up and resumes beaming down on you. "{I am well pleased by our dealings. Know that if thou desirest trade again, you are ever welcome in my Bazaar.}"


              The alley bends shortly past its entrance, leading into a shadowed corridor. Awnings and hangings above block out most of the moonlight. You keep your senses sharpened, mindful that this is an ideal place for an ambush. But no one appears to attack or rob you, and all you learn by waiting and lurking in the dark is that even the back-alleys in Yu Shan are remarkably clean.

              The sixth door is easily found, but you spend some time at it before you knock. The door itself is thick, wooden, bound with brass. There is a brass door-knocker on it in the shape of a snake's head. With your ear to the door, you can hear the sound of someone whistling off-key inside.

              You bang on the snake-head knocker three times, and the whistling stops. One of the eyes on the knocker abruptly turns dark red, with a tiny slit in the middle. The slit tilts towards you, uncannily like a real snake's eye. "{Who calls?}" comes a voice, a drawling tenor, from the mouth of the mistake.

              "{I am but a humble man in need,}" you answer coldly.1

              The snake's eye fades back into the brass. The door swings open with nothing visibly pulling it, inviting you in.

              The interior looks like a place where someone might have lived until recently, having taken away most of what they own. You enter into what might have been a parlor with a bare, swept stone floor, a few small lamps hanging from the ceiling, and no furnishings except in the middle of the room. There is a small wooden table, legs and edges beautifully carved into some kind of weaving pattern, and two chairs of similar design. In one of these chairs, facing you, is a robed figure - a man with long hair, you think. Oddly, the light from the lamps seems not to reach him - while the rest of the room is fairly well-lit, the man at the table is in shadow so deep your eyes can barely pierce them. He is looking over a book on the table, idly turning the pages.

              "[Come, traveler. Be seated and tell me of your troubles,]" he says, in your own language.

              You walk forward. The door shuts behind you, again with nothing visibly moving it. You come to stand by the chair, but do not sit down. "[How know you my tongue?]"

              "[To me, all tongues are one,]" the figure answers in a mild tone. "[You but hear the tongue you know best. Please, be seated.]"

              You take a seat in the chair. The man shuts his book, then clucks his tongue. "[Ah, it seems we have another guest... uninvited. Show yourself, lackey.]"

              There is a popping noise and the Doom appears, standing behind your left shoulder like had always been there.

              "[My business is not yours to see, creature,]" says the man, still oddly congenial. "[Wait outside - your charge will return to you soon.]"

              The door opens. The Doom walks through it with a series of halting, jerky steps. the door closes.

              "[Now we have privacy... welcome. My name is Ralu, and my purpose in life is to grant wishes and resolve problems. Tell me what troubles you.]" says the man, crossing his hands on the table.

              "[I was cursed by a god to die in fire,]" you begin, then pause, wondering how to continue without sounding insane2. "[My skin is always covered in ash, I scorch the ground with every step I take, and I believe that any house I shelter in will burn down.]" You glance around the room, wondering which parts of it would be most flammable.

              "[Very cruel, as curses go,]" says Ralu with a shake of his head. "[Do not worry - this place is protected. And ash is simple enough to sweep away.]"

              "[I was told you could remove the curse.]"

              "[Indeed I can... for a price.]" Ralu moves his right hand and pulls back some of his hair. This reveals one dark red slitted eye - a serpent's eye. "[Hmmmmm... I will have... your Thread. Yes, that would be best.]"

              You have the impression that he is smiling, although you cannot make out most of his face. "[What thread?]" you answer, suspiciously.

              "[The thread of your fate, wandering one.]" The snake eye scans you carefully, unblinking. "[Yours is a rare treasure, I can see. Power, glory, pain, and struggle... but ah, I see the curse upon it. And there... a calamity awaits you. Small wonder that creature follows you. You would be wise to be rid of your Thread as soon as possible, to have any hope of averting this fate.]"

              You struggle to process the idea that fates can be given away. "[What if I refuse?]"

              Ralu shrugs. "[If that is your wish, I will respect it. But you have nothing else I want. Even if you had, freeing you from your thread is by far the easiest way of removing the curse, as they are inextricably tied together. This then, is my offer - you will be freed of your bane, and I I will have your thread.]"

              You sit in silence, thinking. Your eyes wander over the table again, and you realize the "weaving" you observed before is actually carved knots of twisting snakes.
              • Accept.
              • Refuse.
              • Something else?
              1
              Everything about this setup is suspicious. You wouldn't be here if you weren't desperate.


              2
              Nuo was right. You do have strangest problems.


              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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              • Our fate is our own. You shall not have it.


                I write things.

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                • Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
                  Our fate is our own. You shall not have it.
                  I agree with this. Refuse the offer.


                  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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                  • Yeah Refuse, though I'd keep it firm yet Polite. We dont' want to be offending anyone. But yes, our fate is our own.


                    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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                    • Originally posted by The Unsung Hero View Post
                      Yeah Refuse, though I'd keep it firm yet Polite. We dont' want to be offending anyone. But yes, our fate is our own.
                      This, firm but polite

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                      • Bartering away the thread of our very fate seems ill-considered, yes. But before refusing, let's ask what it would mean. His answer will be illuminating either way.


                        Share your wonders in The Artifact and Evocation Workshop

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                        • Originally posted by Ferryman View Post
                          Bartering away the thread of our very fate seems ill-considered, yes. But before refusing, let's ask what it would mean. His answer will be illuminating either way.
                          Agreed. We need to know exactly what it will entail, but... I'm leaning towards accepting the offer. Gets rid fo the curse, and any nasty surprises that Fate may have in store for us. From that point on, anything we do will be truly our own.

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                          • Originally posted by WarDragon View Post

                            Agreed. We need to know exactly what it will entail, but... I'm leaning towards accepting the offer. Gets rid fo the curse, and any nasty surprises that Fate may have in store for us. From that point on, anything we do will be truly our own.
                            Agreed, what does giving our fate away mean? It might be worth the bargain the remove the curse. Let's ask first then decide.

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                            • You run a hand slowly along the table, over dozens of carefully carved snakes.

                              "[What does losing my thread mean? Why do you want my thread?]" you ask, not bothering to conceal your suspicion.

                              Ralu tilts his head down. "[To the first, the loss of your thread means you cut loose all ties that bind you. To be fateless is freedom from your past and future - the memory of what was, and what the stars decree is to come. To the second, I desire your thread because your thread is unique. I desire it because I might find many uses for it.]" Again, you have the impression that he is grinning. "[Most of all, I desire it because I know it is precious to you.]"

                              You push your chair away from the table and stand up, resolved to follow your instincts.

                              "[I refuse. My fate is my own.]"

                              Ralu looks up at you. His one red eye winks out. "[As you wish. Let it never be said that I do not respect another's freedom to choose.]" He waves a hand and the door to the parlor swings open. "[Go forth. Should you return, I will not be here.]"

                              You walk away slowly, watching Ralu out of the corner of your eye as you go. He merely opens his book again and begins leafing through it. The door nearly hits you on your way out.

                              You stand in the shadowed street and wonder if it is less dark outside than it was before or if you are imagining it. Your Doom is waiting in the middle of the way, perfectly still, arms spread out like some parody of a scarecrow. Only his head moves to face you as you approach.

                              "{Time was lost here for naught.}" you comment to the masked creature. The Doom nods in understanding, then makes another of its smoking disappearances. You sigh, take a moment to reorient yourself westwards, and stubbornly press on.

                              You carry on walking while the moon descends. The splendor of the city is starting to blur together into an indistinct mish-mash, one block of grand buildings after another. The absurdity of the city's magnificence starts to sink in when you pass by a tower of lapis lazuli and realize that it is no finer than any of the other structures you have passed. In fact, you may have seen another tower just like it.

                              You stop in your tracks, roasting the pavement under your feet as you consider the tower. Did you really see another just like it? Or is this the same tower?

                              On reflection, you might be lost. You are confident that you are going in the right direction, but... you do not know where you wandered to while you were blacked out, how far you have come since you found that map, or how far you still have to go. Maybe you should figure out your position before you continue.
                              • Scale the tower. Maybe you can spot a landmark.
                              • Look for another map. You vaguely remember other waypoints being marked on the first one.
                              • Ask for directions. You chose not to bother any of the gods on private errands before, but circumstances have changed.
                              • Something else?
                              Last edited by semicasual; 08-29-2016, 05:49 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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                              • Look for another map. So far encounters with the denizens of Heaven have not been successful, I'm not keen to engage others to ask for help now.

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