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Back Alive or Maybe Dead [Quest]

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  • As much as Serge needs some spotlight I think this is the best course of action.

    Originally posted by Wise Old Guru View Post
    I vote Serge...but I wanna check in on Gaze too. Because it's good Ambush Etiquette to let your fellow ambushers KNOW if there's some sort of hellish sorcerous fire-trap they shouldn't step on, or a demon ant-lion, or something, BEFORE the ambush actually starts.

    And it could start any minute.


    • Ash figured she should start byfiguring out what the blazes Gaze was up to.

      She approached the old mystic just as she finished daubing a strange, spiraling, crawling pattern around the "doorway" of the Tower. Gaze was carrying a bucket of pitch, and she used her bare hands to scrape the black sludge across the Tower's surface. Ash watched in silence while Gaze worked, studying the scene, trying to guess what the markings could mean. She quickly gave up.

      "[Elder,]" Ash said, taking a step closer. "[What are you doing?]"

      Gaze turned her hooded face to towards Ash. "[I am preparing for the arrival of our enemy.]"

      Ash looked dubiously at Gaze's pitch-covered hand. "[What preparation is this?]"

      Gaze waved a hand at the markings above the door. "[The enemy has shown they can walk through shadow, to come and go from portals in this world. These signs will prevent their entry.]"

      Ash gave a grunt of agreement and nodded. "[That is wise. We should mark every door here in this way.]"

      Gaze nodded and pointed to the markings on the ground around the tower. "[These are wards against darkness. They will fail against one chosen by the Promising God, but they may give us precious time.]"

      "[I hope that is time we do not need,]" said Ash.

      Gaze shook her head. "[We face a an enemy who laughs at death. Their survival is all but meaningless. And so I shall mark the tower's innards with yet more signs...]"

      Ash blinked. "[What sort of signs?]"

      Gaze told her, and Ash went pale. "[Why... why would I do this? Why would you think I would do this!?]"

      Gaze looked on Ash impassively. "[Because you fear failure more than death. And if our enemy takes this tower, you shall fail, then die.]"

      "[Do you think so little of us?]" Ash demanded.

      Gaze shook her head. "[In the short time we have traveled together, you have done alone what would should take an army. But our enemy, and his patron, have power to challenge the gods themselves and bring about the end of days.]" The old mystic pointed upwards. "[Even the ever-burning sun must set in its time. And we may already be in the twilight of the world.]"

      "[If you have so little hope for the future, why are you here?]" asked Ash, bitterly.

      Gaze clucked her tongue. "[You are truly a poor student. It is not hope that drives me. It is survival - even in the face of doom, all living things will struggle for any scrap of time they may claim for themselves. And so must I.]"

      "[So if you believe we are losing, will you leave us?]" asked Ash.

      Gaze did not answer. She only watched, meeting Ash's glare with her own.
      Sometime later, and still angry, Ash worked with Serge to put up trip lines all around the mine complex. Most were simple - a rope tied between two pegs in the ground, or nailed into walls, covering likely points that an attacks would move through. Some crossed doorways or gaps between buildings, and a few were right before where Seres was digging her pits.

      After that, they disagreed on whether there should be more, or where they should be. And that turned into an argument on their general strategy. Ash wanted them all to stay mobile - moving from building to building, manually raising up lines and triggering traps, using their rigged battlefield as a weapon against the Lost Souls. Serge preferred a more defensive strategy - using traps that required none of their hands to trigger, the posse would lie in wait to ambush anyone who got through their defenses.

      Both of them knew that in actual battle, they'd have to make it up as they went. But Ash didn't admit it aloud, and neither did Serge. Their disagreement soon turned into bickering.

      "It's reckless! It's stupid!", Serge snapped, throwing up his hands. "You're saying we should split up, leave our prepared defenses behind - or worse, end up triggering them on ourselves - and hope for the best!"

      "It's not stupid. It's strategic," Ash insisted. "Each of us - we're tougher than they are, Stronger than they are. Faster than they are. We should use that to our advantage and not just sit around, waitin' to be overrun!"

      Serge's face turned stormy. "I've heard that before. Do all Chosen think this way?"

      Ash's angry retort was lost in her sudden confusion. "I've never said it before. Or heard it. What are you talkin' about?"

      "My old commander!" barked Serge. "Remember? The one who died? Used to talk exactly like that. Thought his gifts would protect him from everything. Instead, they got him killed, nearly got us killed, and guess who was blamed for not saving him?"

      Ash didn't answer, and Serge barely waited to see if she would.

      "Us!" he continued, jabbing a thumb into his chest. "Three fucking years of fucking exemplary service, and then we're all drummed out with nothing. And they tell us we're lucky, because nobody was tortured on their way out." Serge spat on the ground. "No more. I'm not going to sit by and watch you make this mistake, Ash. You're going to do this right - for your sake, and mine."
      • Ash forgot about the issue of the traps for the moment, and decided to fish for details.
      • Ash considered Serge's words, saw wisdom in them, and agreed.
      • Ash decided it was time to put her foot down.
      • 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


      • Details! Details! Details! Details!

        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


        • Originally posted by The Unsung Hero View Post
          Details! Details! Details! Details!
          Yes, more of the storytelling...

          Thoughts ripple out, birthing others


          • Originally posted by The Unsung Hero View Post
            Details! Details! Details! Details!
            This. Um hmmm.