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From Out of a Dream [Quest]

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  • Yes, let's look for another map. The citizens of heaven seem not to be too friendly.

    I write things.


    • I agree with the map idea


      • Something else
        It's late, find a place and sleep on it.

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


        • Nothing good has come from being unconscious in heaven, either. Map.

          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


          • You decide what you need is another waypoint. The only question is how to find one.

            You walk along the avenue, thinking. Then you close your eyes and focus with your hearing. The sound of five fountains filling five concentric channels was unique, even among all the decorative fonts that you have seen since. If there is another, similar plaza nearby, perhaps...

            There. A few blocks north of you, you hear the distinct sound you were listening for. A few minutes later you arrive in another garden, all-but indisinguishable from the first. You approach the canvas in the middle, as before. A smudge expands, a painting unfurls. You sharpen your eyes to make out its colors and contours in the dark.

            What you are able to determine after examining the map for several minutes does not please you. You have only traveled, at most, a quarter of the distance between the first waypoint and the Fields of Eternity. It appears you veered slightly north from your intended path, but you are more or less on track. You can only guess how much time you might have wasted backtracking after the revel, however. It could be that your destination is less than one day away, or it could be at least three more. You cannot get a sense of the map's scale.

            You sigh, make a note of the next waypoint directly west of you, and move on. You are too frustrated to rest now.

            Your journey takes you to a denser part of the city - here, the palaces are not so fine, or so large, or spaced apart. It reminds you more of Nexus, although it is much cleaner. The streets zigzag between blocks of houses, so your westward path takes many turns north and south.

            At the next corner you turn, the Doom is there as if he had never left. He is walking ahead of you, striding along like a man with a mission. Then he abruptly stops, looks back in your direction, and starts flailing about with his arms. It takes you a moment to realize that he pantomiming being struck by something. The footwork he does and the way he moves his hips is reminiscent of how one moves when cut across the torso; the way his arm suddenly falls limp looks as if a tendon was cut; then, finally, the way he clutches at his own neck as if to stop blood flow. The Doom falls to one knee, then collapses in the gutter. He lies as if lifeless for a few seconds, then disappears.

            You frown and your hand reflexively goes to Cleaver. You concentrate and look about, wondering what could have provoked the Doom.

            You hear soft footsteps coming around the corner you just passed. You turn to face in the direction just as a man dressed in red steps around the corner. He is a head shorter than you and has a dark complexion - short, slicked black hair, a pointed goatee, hawkish features. He wears a loose, light-catching crimson shirt and trousers, held tight around his joints by black leather straps, and padded shoes. He has no weapons that you can see.

            He sees that you see him and walks towards you with a gentle swagger.

            "{Ho, friend,}" he calls. "{Thou'st come far, for a man afoot. 'Tis lucky you leave an easy trail to follow.}" His tone is casual, but it seems to you that there is an undertone of accusation to it. That is, assuming you understand him - his gods' tongue has an odd lilt to it, and you are not sure you got all the words.

            "{I know thee not. Name thyself!}" you command, still gripping Cleaver.

            The man in red holds up his hands. "{At ease, friend. 'Tis I, Tal!}" He scans your face for signs of recognition. "{Tal-of-the-Ways? 'Twould be ignoble of thee to forget!}"

            You have a sense of remembrance, but you cannot recall anything concrete. You keep your guard up. "{How should I know thee?}"

            Tal spreads his arms wide. "{We reveled together, dear friend! Frolicked in the wine-rain like maddened deer!}" He lowers his arms. "{'Twas there you agreed to grant me a boon, and we set out on a venture.}"

            "{What venture?}" you ask,l watching his hands. His relaxation is a convincing charade, but you can see the tension in his joints.

            "{A most amusing jest, to set the god of housefires' house afire,}" Tal responds, moving one hand behind his back. "{And I to find a certain special article. But when the night was over, mine article were gone, thou'rt gone, and I was left to seek thee out.}"

            You answer with silence, considering your options. Before you can choose, Tal takes a step closer and speaks again.

            "{Now I come to find that article, oh prodigal friend of mine,}" he says, without any warmth in his voice. "{Givest me the shard, and I shall say all debts are cleared. I would not see thee be hurt...}" The arm behind his back twitches. He starts to turn to the side, moving into a stance of some kind.
            • Demand an explanation. "{What dost thou care for this shard? And what concern of it is mine?}"
            • Lie. "{I never had any shard. Now leave me be.}"
            • Tell the truth. "{I gave the shard a woman named Silk Butterfly. Demand it of her, if thou woudst.}"
            • Attack. Tal doesn't look like he's interested in talking.
            • 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


            • Half truth, silk butterfly robbed me of such an item. Or some such.


              • Originally posted by Jairain View Post
                Half truth, silk butterfly robbed me of such an item. Or some such.
                Yes. Maybe not use the word rob. Took is better.

                /split hairs.

                I write things.


                • Truth
                  "I remember thee not, nor the boon claimed. I have no shard, but I do bear a curse from a god, and I see that thee are the reason. Prepare to be chastised."
                  Draw Cleaver.
                  Last edited by L'het'esh; 08-03-2016, 07:33 PM.

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


                  • (Hello all. Just to let you know, I will be going on a business trip this week and I do not know when I will be able to write the next post. I thank you for your patience.)

                    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


                    • You take a step back, considering your options, carefully watching Tal’s hands. “{I had a shard},” you answer slowly. “{But it was taken from me by Silk Butterfly, a ‘servant of the lute.’}’” Tal seems to be reaching for something behind his back. A knife?

                      The red-clad man bends backward slightly. His mouth turns downward, but his eyes do not waver. “{Thou gaves’t to Silk? Dost thou know what thou hast done?}”

                      “{I care not}” you bluntly reply. “{I was cursed for your misdeeds. Now I must demand satisfaction.}” Cleaver comes out of its sheath in one smooth, easy motion. You point the great blade at Tal, waiting for his first move.

                      Tal-of-the-Ways does not flinch, but his frown becomes a smirk. “{‘Tis well enough. I needed thy silence anyway.}”

                      From behind his back, he pulls out a thin black ring – a chakram – two handspans in diameter and two fingerwidths wide on the edge. He shifts his fingers and thumb, revealing that he actually holds two identical chakrams. Then, with practiced ease, he casually tosses both chakrams into the air. One sails neatly over his head to be caught by his other hand. The other makes a short flip, landing in the same hand an instant before he whips that ring at your neck.

                      You keep your eye on the ring, step a little to the side, and tilt Cleaver slightly. The chakram deflects off the blade and sails past your head. For a fraction of a second, you can see your own reflection its polished black surface.

                      Then it is your turn. You channel power to your legs leap at Tal, letting you momentum enhance a fierce chop. Tal turns and steps aside, practically spinning out of the way. Cleaver digs into the pavement.

                      “{Thou’rt fast,}” comments Tal just before he throws a right hook at you, chakram in hand1. You duck, twist, tug Cleaver free and in the same movement make a one-handed, sideways swing at Tal. He leaps into the air, twirls over the blade, and lands in a crouch. From there he leaps into a flying uppercut, aiming his chakram at your jaw.

                      You tilt back at the waist. Tal’s ring flies up in front of your face, giving you a brief but clear view of your own eyes. Then you lash out with a left cross, catching the man in the throat. Tal chokes, coughs, flinches back. This gives you the brief window you need to pull up Cleaver with both hands into a rising slash at Tal’s abdomen.

                      The sword cuts in just above the hip. You see the hit and know it to be true – you have just enough time to think you might be lucky and bisect Tal outright. Then you see his body fracturing, breaking apart ahead of your impact point. With a sound like breaking glass, Tal abruptly shatters into thousands of pieces. Shards which are distinctly not flesh or bone fall from where he stood.

                      “{‘Twas close. Thou’st fought well, stranger,}” calls a voice behind you. You spin around to see Tal, facing you, casually picking up his second chakram from where it landed further up the street. “{Sadly, I haven’t the patience to test thee more.}” His tone is easy, but you can see him sweating. Also, a glowing red sign – the mark of War – is shining on his head.2 He turns both chakrams over his hands, letting them slide down over his wrists and down to his elbows. “{Now die!}”

                      Tal claps his hands and the sound echoes down the street. Then he takes a single step forward, stomping on the ground, and thrusts his open right palm at the air. The air ripples.

                      You hear a vaguely familiar sound – the drone of a thousand things breaking at once, all around you. The view of the street before your eyes is shattering into countless fragments, revealing shining black spaces in between. Then it is the fragments which are black, and moving fast – a myriad of onyx razors flying at you, flying in all directions.

                      You instinctively close your eyes, raise your hands to cover your head, hold Cleaver ahead of you as an improvised shield. But the rain of shards comes from everywhere. Yyou sense scores of their tiny cutting edges only just before they dig into your back, your sides – everything you cannot cover.

                      You take in a breath and tense your muscles, hardening your skin. More fragments than you can count slice into your armor and stick there, unable to go any further. There is a brief clamor as black shards clatter and tinkle against the pavement, and then silence. You exhale and open your eyes.

                      The entire street around you, up to where Tal is standing, is littered with black shards that glimmer in the light. Tal has not moved – he is standing in the same place, in the same pose. His expression of contempt has gone, replaced with utter surprise. “...{How?}” he asks, dumbfounded. Then a look of realization shows on his face. “{Thou’rt… Thou’rt Chosen of the Sun! A true Solar, in flesh!}”

                      Reflexively, you raise a hand to your forehead. Even through your gloves and headband, you feel the heat and see the light.

                      Tal’s expression shifts to one of indignant rage. “{Thou’st tricked me! May a thousand dogs sodomize thy corpse!}”3

                      Tal begins to run at you, stepping quickly and easily over the sharp fragments scattered on the pavement.
                      • Be aggressive. Whatever strange powers Tal has, you can’t afford to lose the initiative. You should meet his charge with Cleaver and every ounce of strength you have.
                      • Be defensive, probing. Tal commands some kind of magic. Every other time you’ve rushed at a mystic enemy without a plan, you risked death. This time, you’ll try waiting and learning his tricks before you make a move.
                      • Try to talk. Tal seems to know something you don’t, or at least he thinks he does…
                      • Something else?
                      How does he do that without cutting himself?...

                      This is the second time you’ve seen someone in Yu Shan with a sigil-mark. Are these Blessed like you?

                      That’s a good one. Too bad Silver Sky refused to teach you any curses.
                      Last edited by semicasual; 08-14-2016, 04:06 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


                      • Defensive, but try to talk. Maybe you will find out about this "Solar" thing.

                        ((is this the first time we have heard the word Solar in reference to is?))

                        I write things.


                        • Defensive, let him burn through motes in his rage. His spell was a fail so he might be running on empty. Look for small openings forcing him to defend and take control of the fight.


                          • Something Else Get out Reaching Fist and answer his ranged attack with ranged attack. Let Tal dance through the razor sharp shards till he cuts his feet....

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


                            • Defensive, yes. Let's put him in his place though -- I'm getting irritated and need to vent.


                              • Time seems to slow as Tal closes in. You keep your eyes focused on him, but you are peripherally aware of something odd. The shards on the ground reflect Tal's image like a broken mirror... on every side, simultaneously. You blink, and suddenly you realize you do not know where Tal is. You see him coming at you from the front, on your left, on your right. Every Tal you see leaps up, twirling in the air, and throws down a chakram at the apex of their jump.

                                The soft whirring of a flying disc reaches your hyper-alert ears. In the fractions of a second you have to react, all you can think to do is escape. You kick off the ground, quick and hard, leaving the confusing visions below you. A kaleidoscopic blur of people and weapons merge into one body. One solitary Tal lands on his feet and shuffles forward a few steps. His chakram passes through the spot where you stood, skips off the ground, then loops around in the air and zips back into his hand. You land a short distance from where you started, crunching shards underfoot. Cleaver is up and ready again immediately after, while Tal takes a long breath and gives you a baleful glare.

                                The red-clad warrior hops back a few steps and then makes a circular motion with his arms, drawing his rings along some kind of arcane pattern. Then, suddenly, a man appears in front of him. He is tall, with thick braided hair and beard, a brigandine, a glowing gold mark beneath a headband – it is the very image of you, even down to how he holds a duplicate of Cleaver. You look at your double, puzzled, and he looks back with an identical expression. Then Tal’s right chakram punches through the double’s chest, and its eyes go blank with shock. You feel a terrible ache in your head and chest. It takes a great act of will not to drop your sword and curl up on the ground. Your duplicate, like Tal’s duplicates from before, shatters and crumbles into nothing.

                                “{Hah! Where’st thy godly might now?}” cackles Tal triumphantly.

                                You focus on clearing your mind. Breathe in… breathe out… You quickly regroup and close the distance between you, not starting your swing with Cleaver until you are extremely close. Tal does not dodge, seeming surprised that you could move at all. You practically hit him with the cross guard, but once again Tal breaks up before your blow. Another illusion falls to pieces as you snarl with rage.

                                You hear a footstep, the crunch of a boot on glass behind you, and whirl around with a wild swing of your blade. This time Tal is ready, moving to one side underneath Cleaver like someone stepping between the slats in a fence. Still low to the ground, he punches out with his left chakram.

                                Anticipating this attack, you step away from Tal as you complete your attack. But you do not stop turning. You settle your weight on one leg and raise your other foot, letting your spin carry you into a low, half-circle kick. With your relative positions, you are at just the right height to boot him in the head.

                                Tal is quick to flinch back, but not far enough. Your sole grazes his face. You hear a hissing noise, and an instant later Tal howls in pain. You pull in your leg, then fall into a guard stance while you take stock.

                                Your armor is practically shredded. You feel woozy, but not too dazed to fight. Tal is recoiling and backing away, one hand raised to an angry red burn mark on his upper cheek. He is breathing heavily. “{Feet of hot coals… damn you…}” he snarls and pants. He gently pokes the burn and winces. “{Just for this… I shall see thee drown in thine own excrement.}”1

                                You wordlessly growl back at him.
                                • Wait him out. Whatever this power is he uses, it seems to tax him more than defending yourself taxes you. You just have to wait for him to tire out, then he’s yours.
                                • Retreat, attack from stealth. His powers all seem to use the reflections in these mirror shards he scattered around, or the polished chakrams he uses as weapons. Perhaps the secret to victory is to strike from out of sight…
                                • Destroy the whole arena. You’re getting impatient, and being outdoors with no allies or valuables around gives you a rare opportunity to cut loose.
                                • Something else?
                                Another good line to remember.
                                Last edited by semicasual; 08-22-2016, 08:56 AM.

                                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