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Back Alive or Maybe Dead [Quest]

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  • Tiime to muster the troops. Charging in on our defeats the purpose of having allies in the first place and doesn't help them or even let them know they are going to get ambushed.

    Don't get me wrong, I want One-Eye Em dead along with the other Lost Souls, but let's not lose anyone before the main event.


    Thoughts ripple out, birthing others

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    • Muster the troops!


      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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      • Burninate!

        She stood up, dusted herself off, and burst into roaring fire. The Ranger raised Judgement and Absolution and charged.

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        • She crept and crawled back the way she'd come. She'd heard enough - it was time to muster the troops.

          The voices of One-Eyed Em and her partner faded as she made her way back down the hill. When she figured she was well out of their line of sight, she began to run. She rushed through the swamp as quickly as she could, no longer concerned with concealment.

          A short while later, breathing heavily, she emerged onto the low slopes where she'd left her party behind. And there they were, arguing. Serge and Lans were in each other's faces. Bo kept back from them, silently pacing and periodically looking their way. Seres stood off to one side and kept a lookout - she spotted the Ranger in short order and waved. Gaze sat in a meditative stance beside Seres.

          "...it isn't the time, marshal Serge," said Lans, emphasizing the title with clear contempt. "You should know that."

          "There's not going to be a better time!" Serge snapped back, clearly making an effort not to shout. "A leader is supposed to lead. Not run off by herself and leave the squad to hang!"

          "Boys, she's come back," Seres called to them. They paused to glance her way, then gave each other one last glare before coming to join her.

          All six came together in an uneasy clump in the dark, hands tight around their weapons. Seres was the first to ask the question that was on all their minds. "What you find, Ash?"

          The Ranger looked at her in silence, then grimaced. She turned away from the rest of the group and tugged down her mask. Ash let out a long sigh, then spoke without turning to look at them.

          "Two lost souls," she said, uncharacteristically quiet. "One-eyed Em, and another one I didn't recognize. And they've got some kind of beast they call the deadhulk. I didn't get a good look, but it was big - big as a house." Then Ash pulled her mask back up, and the Ranger faced the posse once again.

          Serge groaned. Lans frowned. Seres sucked on her teeth. Bo wrapped her arms around herself. Gaze remained seated and did not react.

          "Alright. Big monster," said Serge, once the uncomfortable silence had stretched too long. "We'll kill it, then climb up to where you first saw it and see what's what."

          "I've never heard of any such thing as a 'deadhulk'" Lans thought aloud.

          Serge shook his head. "Big animal tactics are always the same. Surround them, attack from the sides or from behind, and keep your formation loose for when they charge."

          "So do we wait for it to come to us?" asked Seres. "Or-"

          "[Quiet.]" said Gaze, abruptly standing up. Everyone did quiet, although not everyone understood the words. "[It comes.]"

          And in the silence they could hear it - the rhythmic thumping from the footsteps of a large large creature, coming closer.

          "Shit," said Serge. "Bo, run for the mounds. We'll meet up there if we're separated. Everyone else, spread out and get ready,"

          Bo took off while the others started to pull away from each other. Gaze stayed where she was, scratching something in the dirt with the end of her staff. The Ranger went right, into the swamp, and the others went left, forming a line of sorts in the dark.
          They were barely in position when the Ranger saw it, galloping out of the dark on four massive legs and staring at them all with a baker's dozen of skull-heads. It looked like some demented taxidermist had reassembled a bull's skeleton, and then layered another bull's skeleton on top of that, and then another on top of that, until a small herd's worth of bones was built up into a grotesque abomination, a twisted model of a real animal. It had no meat that she could see, no flesh on its disjointed bones, but its insides were stuffed with some black gelatinous fluid that dripped from its body as it came.

          And riding side-saddle on top of its spine was young woman about Seres' age, bouncing and giggling. She was pale, with long pale hair that fluttered around her, and built skinny like an acrobat. She wore a wide hat that she held against her head, a rider's robe like those more popular in the east, loose trousers and boots. And in all that, she managed to balance on top of the ungainly deadhulk and make it look easy.

          Mount and rider rushed into them, thundering and tearing up the dirt. Seres was right in its path, and she just managed to leap out of the way before it trampled her. Lans and Serge shouted and began chasing after it.

          But the Ranger had other ideas.
          • She figured on blasting its heads.
          • She was going to try to ride the damned thing.
          • She was going to get underneath it.
          • 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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          • All the best strategies happen underneath things. ^_^ (I would have gone with Riding it, but that's more of an Ash strategy than a Ranger strategy)


            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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            • She was going to get underneath it.

              This is pretty rad!

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              • Other!

                She was going to try and grab onto it's side, and pour firedust in it. Boom goes the souls!


                The artist behind the quests From Out of a Dream (complete) and Back Alive, or Maybe Dead (running!). Go give a read and make your choice!

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                • Originally posted by midnightcyclist View Post
                  Other!

                  She was going to try and grab onto it's side, and pour firedust in it. Boom goes the souls!
                  This. With a side order of truing to climb on the thing to get the best shot of blasting it's head.


                  Thoughts ripple out, birthing others

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                  • I guess I see something like this as our compromise.



                    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

                    Comment


                    • She was going to try to ride the damned thing. That's with a generous definition of "ride", I'll grant you.

                      First, the Ranger holstered Absolution, freeing up her left hand. Then she started to jog after the deadhulk, watching it closely.

                      She figured it would turn around soon, and it did. The beast dug in its back legs, ground to a stop, then spun around with frightening speed. It kicked Serge in the chest with one of its great forelegs, knocking him off his feet. Lans, just behind Serge, broke off his charge to stand over the fallen man. Lans held his sword at the ready, looking like a bullfighter with no cape.

                      The deadhulk took a few steps back. The girl riding atop it slapped on its spine, shouting "Yah! Yah!" And then it charged again, bearing down on Lans and Serge.

                      But then the Ranger was there in a flash of sparks. She ran to the beast's left and jumped at it as it came, grabbing onto a rib-bone with one hand. She pulled up and braced her feet against the immense skeleton as best she could. Then she stuck Judgment in between the ribs and pulled the trigger.

                      There was a flash of gold, and then bright yellow flames covered the inside of the deadhulk. It didn't make a sound, but the creature gave a start much like a live animal would. It veered off from its charge and began to buck wildly.

                      The Ranger held on with all her strength and managed to fire off a couple more shots. But then something slammed into her and drove her into the ground. The impact stunned her, and she felt a sharp pain across her upper chest.

                      When her mind caught up with things, the Ranger realized that the deadhulk's rider had tackled her, fallen with her off the deadhulk, and slashed her with something as they came down. The girl rolled off her as they landed, tumbling head over heels but stopping on her feet. She faced the Ranger while the fallen woman struggled to get up.

                      "You're the Ranger, aren't you?" said the girl, with an air of disgust. "You're supposed to be dead." She sounded more like she'd just eaten something distasteful than someone meeting a hated foe.

                      The Ranger, as usual, did not answer. She became aware that the sharp pain just over her breastbone was rapidly growing cold. It was the kind of chill that almost burns, and the heat radiating from her own body did nothing for it.

                      "Well, no worries!" the girl said, with sudden and disconcerting cheer. "Loco will take care of you, and the deadhulk will take care of your friends!"

                      The Ranger rose up with some effort, and risked a quick glance around. Seres, Lans, and Serge were all on their feet, loosely grouped around the flaming monster. The deadhulk didn't seem any less dangerous for being on fire. if anything, it seemed to be frenzied, lashing out madly with hoof and horn.

                      The girl in front of her was illuminated enough by the light of the burning beast that the Ranger could make out her face - it was "Loco" Lu Si, worth eighty dinars for mass murder, horse theft, and mischief. And she was holding a pair of wavy-bladed daggers that glistened in the firelight.
                      • The Ranger aimed Judgment from the hip and sent a wave of hot dust at her.
                      • The Ranger lunged at Loco, swinging the grip of Judgment at the outlaw's face.
                      • The Ranger silently glared at the outlaw and drew Absolution from her hip.
                      • Something else?
                      Last edited by semicasual; 12-01-2017, 01:23 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

                      Comment


                      • Seems like a good time for some Judgment.


                        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

                        Comment


                        • The Ranger aimed Judgment from the hip and sent a wave of hot dust at her.

                          LET'S HEAT THINGS UP!

                          (I will not apologize for my puns XD)


                          The artist behind the quests From Out of a Dream (complete) and Back Alive, or Maybe Dead (running!). Go give a read and make your choice!

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                          • We shall deliver Judgement upon this Loco, and then give her Absolution. A wave of flame is a good distraction to draw another flamepiece. It is a flurried action but why not?


                            Thoughts ripple out, birthing others

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                            • The Ranger aimed Judgment from the hip and sent a wave of hot dust at her.

                              Loco must've seen that coming, because she was already falling as the trigger clicked. She dropped to the ground and tumbled over backwards while gold sparks flew over her. She rolled onto her feet and was up and lunging before the Ranger could adjust her aim.

                              Then the Ranger was on the defensive, using one flamepiece and her wits to fend off Loco's knives. She ducked one jab, parried another, then backpedaled while Loco gave chase.

                              The chill feeling the Ranger felt where Loco had cut her was starting to get hot - very hot - but she couldn't worry about it then. Dodging and weaving took all her attention. On some level, she saw and understood Loco wasn't trying to stick her in the ribs, or anywhere vital. The way she slashed around, striking at anything exposed, it seemed like Loco wanted to land a hit anywhere, and it didn't matter where. The Ranger was able to keep ahead, but it was close.

                              And then came an opening. Loco lunged, the Ranger sidestepped, and finally there was enough breathing space to draw Absolution.

                              Loco, overextended, was facing away from her. The Ranger raised her second flamepiece and thumbed the hammer.

                              Just then, she became aware of two things - movement in the corner of her vision, and a hoarse, angry yell. She ducked and fell back. A large stone passed through the space where her head had been a moment before.

                              "YOU!" screamed One-Eyed Em, charging out out of the darkness. "YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD!"

                              "I told her that," replied Loco as she spun about. But no one was listening.

                              Em looked much as she had before - large, furious, clad in leather. She had found herself a new club - an enormous bone that looked like a yeddim femur and was nearly as big as she was. Despite its size, she held it easily in her left hand. Her left hand and arm were different - from the elbow down, they were black and ashen, almost exactly like spent firewood.

                              Em came on, waving her great club, hollering enough to wake the dead. Loco, meanwhile, was circling around the Ranger, moving to flank her. The Ranger found herself pointing one flamepiece at each of them, thinking as fast as she could.
                              • She pointed her pieces down and sprayed blue and gold fire across the ground.
                              • She took a breath, turned, and fired a double-blast at (pick one: Em / Loco), pouring all her passion into the shot.
                              • She waited for them both to come at her. Then, at the last moment, she leaped out of their way and aimed to catch them both in one wide burst.
                              • 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

                              Comment


                              • Hit Loco with both barrels. She's got poison or some such trick up her sleeve. Other one we can handle after, we've dealt with her before. But I don't relish fighting two at once, we should try to knock one out of the fight.


                                So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

                                The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
                                -Roger Zelazny

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